Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet and Keyboard Folio case hands-on (video)Two Lenovo tablets in the same evening? Nah, it’s not the midsummer sun melting your cerebrum, but the same result just might happen after you ingest this one. True to rumors, the ThinkPad Tablet (yeah, that’s seriously the whole name) will indeed be shipping with a full-size USB port and an optional dedicated folio / case, and oddly enough, it’s that very peripheral that could set this unit apart from the masses.
While it’s obviously no big chore to find a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard folio for the iPad, you probably won’t find a perfectly matching case with a tried-and-true Lenovo keyboard and a newfangled optical trackpad unless you’re ponying up for this guy. Internally, we’re looking at the same 1GHz Tegra 2 silicon as found in the more consumery IdeaPad K1, a 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) IPS display, a battery good for up to 8.7 hours of use, 1GB of RAM, 16/32/64GB of storage, 3-in-1 card reader, A-GPS, an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, front (2MP) / rear (5MP) cameras, a mini HDMI port (1080p capable!) and Lenovo’s own app launcher / app market.
In our discussions with Lenovo, it was made fairly clear that this guy was being aimed more at companies and less at consumers, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping the latter from enjoying a solid Honeycomb experience here. In fact, the ability to plug in a common mouse or trackpad (or combo device, for that matter) makes it far more useful than many of the ultraslim slates it’ll inevitably go up against. Also unique to the Tablet is a built-in active stylus, which is tailor-made to jot down highly important information cartoons in the company’s homegrown note-taking program.
The full-size USB port also puts it squarely in Eee Transformer territory, with the Keyboard Folio shown above making perfect use of it. In practice, the accessory worked beautifully, and while the $99 price tag may seem a bit steep, it’s not exactly cheap to go out and get a third-party case, keyboard and mouse. The company’s demanding $499 (and up) for it’s Android 3.1-based biz slate, with initial shipments starting today. Peek the hands-on video just after the break!