For quite some time I have been on a quest to find a good tablet device. For me, “good” includes the following features:
- Long battery life so I can get through a day of taking notes successfully
- Full use of OneNote for typing notes, inking notes, and recording audio at meetings
- Touch friendly email client
- Touch friendly twitter client
- Touch friendly news reader
Devices I’ve tried for this include:
HP Slate 2
Dell Latitude ST Tablet
Each of these devices failed to live up to what I truly need. The Slate 2 did not successfully run Windows 8 very well, and so was not a very touch friendly device. The Latitude ST was okay, but its CPU is laggy and the inking experience was pretty poor. The Surface RT is actually not too bad, but doesn’t support inking in OneNote and (surprisingly) doesn’t support recording audio directly in OneNote, either.
For a while I had heard good things about the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2. I finally got around to trying one out at the Microsoft store, and I was impressed. The inking experience seemed pretty good. I got one in July, and my first opportunity to use it in an all day inking scenario was last week.
The device performed flawlessly. I was able to take notes all day long without battery issues. I was also able to access my email, my newsreader, and my twitter client easily. The device is lightweight, and comes with a cover that protects the screen yet easily opens up for use. I was able to carry the tablet in my purse but access it when I needed it.
I haven’t yet tried recording audio in a real-world scenario (typically I would do that at a client meeting not a conference), but I’m relatively confident that will work well, too.
There are a few minor problems I’ve experienced with it:
- It isn’t clear when the device is turned off if it is correctly plugged in for charging. if it is on you can easily tell by looking at the battery indicator on screen.
- For some reason, my battery only wants to charge to 56% initially. If I unplug in the charger, wait a minute or so and plug it in again, it finishes charging. Other owners appear to have this problem too. I hope a firmware update solves this.
- The cover that comes with it turns into a stand for the device, but it puts it at a fairly poor viewing angle for me. I need it more reclined. I’m fairly short, so this probably is an issue for most people using it.
Overall, I’m very happy with my Thinkpad Tablet 2 purchase. It is not a cheap tablet (around $600), but since cheaper devices didn’t meet my needs I’m not complaining. All the other tablets are piled in a corner now – the Thinkpad Tablet 2 is my tablet of choice.