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How the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet Works

        Tech | Tablet PCs

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet Features
The digitized pen is pressure-sensitive so that you can use it for handwriting or even art applications.
The digitized pen is pressure-sensitive so that you can use it for handwriting or even art applications.
Courtesy Lenovo

Aside from its IT-inspired appearance, there's nothing that really screams "business" tablet -- until you start digging into the ThinkPad's features. Some of the preinstalled apps are a giveaway.

Lenovo included full (that is, not stripped-down trial) versions of Citrix Receiver (a remote desktop access app) and Documents to Go (which lets you view Microsoft Office files), along with Computrace Mobile, which could help you track down a lost or stolen tablet.

The ThinkPad's accessories are also more business-minded than most tablets'. For another $100, you'll get a keyboard folio that doubles as a stand for the tablet. The keyboard connects to the full-size USB port, and it's equipped with the usual red ThinkPad optical TrackPoint. The well-reviewed keyboard will likely be an indispensable tool (and thus, unavoidable expense) for any serious business user.

For $40 extra, Lenovo will throw in a battery-powered stylus. Not a little pokey stick like the ones you saw shipping with old-school smartphones, this one is supposed to feel like a full-sized pen, one that you'll use for significant data input and composition. Each time you see the standard Android keyboard appear on the screen, you'll have multiple input options. You can prod the onscreen display, scribble with a finger or, perhaps best of all, write using the stylus.

Integrated software immediately recognizes your handwriting (in nearly 30 languages, no less) and offers visual feedback to show you that it understands what you're composing. One major caveat, though: If your writing looks less like neat, crisp cursive and more like messy chicken scratch, your results with this feature may be less than satisfactory.

All of these capabilities are abstract concepts unless you have concrete power. To that end, Lenovo armed its ThinkPad tablet with a 2-cell, lithium-polymer rechargeable battery. The company rates this power pack at nearly 9 hours of life, although you can expect less work time if you crank up the screen's brightness and constantly employ networking devices.


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