Review: Lenovo ThinkPad 10

The name should give it away, but in case you haven’t caught up with it yet, the Lenovo ThinkPad 10 is a 10 inch tablet, supporting a 10.1 inch screen. An important part of this 10 inch screen is the resolution, and Lenovo manages to go beyond what Microsoft used on its own 10 inch Windows-based Surface Pro models, running the slightly higher 1920×1200 resolution.

Is it a dramatic increase for Lenovo? No, not really, and mostly amounts to a difference of aspect ratios, but this Full HD resolution goes a long way to making Windows 8 look sharp on the ThinkPad 10.

Start using it and you’ll find the Intel Atom Z3795 makes the computer really perform, as it’s quick on its feet, letting us run multiple apps easily and switch between them without much lag at all.

We do need to note that this isn’t an Ultrabook like its Yoga or ThinkPad X series brother, so don’t expect Core i5 or i7 processing power, because you won’t get it.

Instead, you’ll find the Atom provides just enough grunt to get your work done and then some, while still providing the battery life you’re after (which we’ll get to shortly, as well).

We are going to tackle some of the accessories in this review, though, partly because they make the ThinkPad 10 even more usable, and closer to a laptop than some of the machines competing with it.

Lenovo's ThinkPad Keyboard Dock

Our favourite has to be the ThinkPad keyboard dock (priced at $139), which isn’t just another Bluetooth keyboard, but rather a wired keyboard with a trackpad mouse. Wired is probably the wrong word though, because there’s no actual wire here, but rather a series of pins that connect with a flat port on the tablet, a connection which makes the tablet “wired,” so to speak.

That wired keyboard is a fair bit more useful than a Bluetooth not just because it can be used on flights, but also because the keyboard uses that port to take its power from the ThinkPad 10, meaning you don’t actually need to charge the keyboard accessory at all.

Lenovo's ThinkPad Keyboard Dock

Also helping this keyboard dock accessory is the keyboard itself, which is well spaced and features excellent travel, similar to the keyboards Lenovo uses on its ThinkPad line of laptop computers. The left CTRL key is the only real change in the design, sitting just left of the Fn (function) button, and throwing out left hands used to reaching to the bottom left corner for a little control action, but other than that, it’s an excellent keyboard, and one we wouldn’t mind typing a novel or two on.

Lenovo has even managed to provide enough room for some function buttons, and while the volume and brightness buttons will be obvious inclusions, we were surprised to see buttons included for multitasking through the ALT+TAB keyboard combination (F9) and showing all the apps on Windows 8.1 (F10).

Lenovo's ThinkPad Keyboard Dock

Lenovo’s keyboard dock even manages to pass our bus ride and type test with flying colours, which surprised us. We need to note that there is only one angle to show the screen in this dock, but thanks to Lenovo’s inclusion of a high grade panel, this is hardly a concern.

Add to this a magnetic connection, light as it is, and some clips helping to hold the tablet section into the keyboard dock and you not only have an accessory that makes the ThinkPad look like a laptop, but feel like one, too. When not in use, the keyboard dock will hold the tablet in position, so much so that it clips into place and doesn’t move until you decide to pull the tablet from its position.

There's a pretty strong magnet on the Lenovo ThinkPad Keyboard Dock. We don't recommend carrying it like this, but you can.