ThinkPad Tablet 2 has storage, security features to please enterprise IT. Also shows Lenovo, unlike some of its rivals, stands behind Microsoft Windows 8.
10 Tablets To Shake Up 2012
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
PC maker Lenovo took the wraps off its first tablet designed specifically to run Microsoft's new touch-centric Windows 8 operating system.
The ThinkPad Tablet 2, unveiled Thursday, includes a number of features that should appeal to road warriors, including built-in, pay-as-you-go 3G and 4G wireless, digitizer and pen support, and a generous, 10.1-inch screen in a package that checks in at 9.88 millimeters thick and 1.3 pounds.
The ThinkPad Tablet 2, which comes with Windows 8 Pro, is powered by Intel's Atom architecture. It features a number of ports, including a full-sized USB port, to accommodate a range of peripherals such as monitors and keyboards.
"Customers want a versatile device that fits their lifestyle and the many ways they use technology," said Dilip Bhatia, VP and general manager for Lenovo's ThinkPad business unit, in a statement.
The device, among the first Windows 8 slates to formally debut, should also appeal to IT departments. Security features include encrypted storage and an optional fingerprint reader, and it supports the full range of Microsoft's back-end security and management technologies.
Bhatia said the Tablet 2 is consumer friendly, "while offering companies and IT managers the oversight they need to help secure and manage their company's networks and data."
Other features include an HD display, front- and rear-facing cameras, noise-canceling microphones, an HDMI port, and support for wireless video streaming.
Lenovo appears to be fully behind Windows 8. "For the next generation of Lenovo PCs, designed to be great with Windows 8, we're working closer than ever with Microsoft and our silicon partners," said Bhatia.
The same can't be said for some other OEMs. Acer officials earlier this week said the company could bolt the Windows camp over Microsoft's decision to introduce its own, self-branded Windows 8 tablet called Surface.
"If Microsoft ... is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?" said Campbell Kan, president of PC global operations for Acer, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Lenovo did not announce pricing, but said the Tablet 2 will be available starting Oct. 26, when Windows 8 makes its retail debut.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.