updated 06:18 pm EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Lenovo maintains competition with Surface
Among the first of Lenovo's CES announcements, the new ThinkPad 8 represents the company's latest midsize tablet powered by Windows 8. Powered by Intel's Bay Trail hardware, it aims to compete with Microsoft's own Surface lineup and other players in the segment. We met with Lenovo in Las Vegas for a quick hands-on preview ahead of the ThinkPad's public debut.
The ThinkPad 8 essentially serves as a smaller alternative to Lenovo's 10.1-inch ThinkPad Tablet 2, and as an upgraded counterpart to the eight-inch Miix 2. We've been impressed with the performance of Intel's Bay Trail hardware in other machines, and the ThinkPad 8 is no exception. For a tablet, it is surprisingly smooth when running a full-fledged desktop OS. The interface also looks great on the 1920x1200 display.
Like most of Lenovo's products, the ThinkPad 8 offers a no-nonsense design that pairs seemingly robust construction with a modest appearance. To our surprise, the back housing is actually aluminum despite its plastic appearance. As an added touch, the dotted 'i' on the ThinkPad logo illuminates when the tablet is powered on.
The ThinkPad 8 is not more powerful or prettier than some of the other midsize Windows 8 devices, but its $400 price tag makes it an attractive proposition in terms of overall value.