The 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet arena has gotten really crowded of late (almost claustrophobic), with contenders from Dell, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo and Asus rolled out in recent months. But for the most part, these all look the same, so the competitive factor is relatively low.
Or rather was, because there’s finally an 8-incher planning to break the mold. Meet Lenovo’s ThinkPad 8, a zippier, sleeker, more vibrant, but also pricier alternative for Dell’s Venue 8 Pro, Acer’s Iconia W4 or Toshiba’s Encore.
Available via Lenovo’s official online store, the slate starts at $429 and is in pretty great demand at the moment, shipping “within 3-4 weeks”. Either that, or inventory is running low due to issues with the manufacturing process.
Either way, it’s probably better to wait than place your order already. Last-minute discounts could arise, plus there should be a 32 GB option launched before long, likely at $400 or so.
Meanwhile, this $430 version packs 64 GB of storage, as well as an 8-hour battery, quad-core Intel Atom Z3770 Bay Trail chip, and 2 GB RAM. So what’s so special about it? For one thing, the 8.3-inch 1,920 x 1,200 pix res display. The CPU too, as its rivals tout slightly less capable Z3740 units.
The dual 8 MP/2.2 MP cams are also awesome, as is the HDMI support, 8.8 mm thin profile, uber-slim bezels, and optional accessories, most of which are however not available yet. Bottom line, it’s just all-around better. Worth $430? More like $400, but again, you can count on Lenovo for swift, lucrative deals.