Lenovo company has announced the ThinkPad 8, an 8-inch business tablet with enough premium features that even regular shoppers might be tempted. The 8.3-inch screen boasts a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, whereas most of its rivals top out at 1,280 x 800. Additionally, it sports an aluminum chassis, micro-HDMI and optional 4G, all of which are fairly rare on 8-inch tablets. Even the camera setup seems slightly better, with 8-megapixel stills and an accompanying flash, not that we ever have high hopes for imaging performance on tablets.
If anything, the only cost-cutting measure seems to be the omission of an active digitizer for pen support, which was included on last year's ThinkPad Tablet 2, and which you can get on Dell's less-expensive Venue 8 Pro. The performance should be on par with other Windows tablets. It packs a quad-core Bay Trail processor (the Intel's Z3770 chip), along with 2GB of RAM and up to 128GB of built-in storage. With a rated battery life of eight hours, its runtime should also be similar to other 8-inch tablets. If that high-res screen does anything for you, the ThinkPad 8 will be available later this month, with prices starting at $399.
Putting a 1080p display into an 8-inch tablet makes an awful lot of sense. It's already in plenty of flagship smartphones half the size. It's also a functional resolution, perfect for movie playback. The screen was thankfully bright with wide viewing angles, making it a clear improvement over other small Windows tablets. Those higher quality build materials also mean an all-around classier design too. We were particularly taken with the ThinkPad styling. fingerprints are visible on the tablet's satin finish, but Lenovo's prior tablets weren't nearly as slick, we'd go so far as to say that this feels as premium as the company's flagship Ultrabooks.
As for performance, the Intel Bay Trail chip powering it all proved more than capable, and it stream video to connected monitors without issue. It's a tempting little Windows 8 tablet and we can't wait to see how it fares in a full review.