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Can the iPad be challenged for business use cases? Lenovo thinks so...

Apple fanboys and Haters will agree on at least one point -- Apple's iPad is a very refined product and positions itself well to be used for business.  But as many have said, the higher some climb, the greater they can fall... so can iPad be unseated? Can some of that market be shared ?  Lenovo's bold Thinkpad 8 is going to try...

I have historically had complaints about every mobile OS out there.  I get annoyed by lack of customization in iOS, by the lack of consistency in Android interfaces from vendor to vendor, and the lack of apps in Windows and others (WebOS *cough* *cough*).

I recently tried out a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, which is a very impressive piece of hardware.  It runs Windows 8.1 (a full version, not an RT or otherwise limited version) on an intel chip.  The new generation Intel Atom processor, along with decent intel video acceleration, and ::gulp:: a well performing windows 8 metro interface all magically combine into a surprisingly nimble piece of hardware that begs for attention.

So the Dell is a nice machine, but still has some flaws.  Lacking ports, cpu performance, screen resolution, somewhat slow storage.  It seems that Lenovo has been listening and is delivering on all fronts.  Lenovo introduced the Thinkpad 8 at CES, and it comes with some great specs, some of which you will care about, some you won't, but all appear to be hot topics:

  • 8.3-inch, 1,920x1,200-pixel-resolution HD display
  • New Intel Bay Trail quad-core 2.4ghz CPU
  • The entry level model comes with 64gb storage
  • Optional mobile data
  • Very thin (.34")
  • "preppy" and apple-ish aluminum case
  • An attractive ~$400-$500 entry level price
  • Expensive proprietary flip case  

This little device (from what I've researched) has some notable performance, and I can't wait to get my hands on one for some first-hand experience.    While the Thinkpad 8's screen won't be quite as dense as Apple's retina display, it is a nice step up from other Windows 8 offerings.  The Dell Venue 8 Pro performed better than I expected, so I have high hopes that the Thinkpad 8 will impress.

The price of Lenovo's Thinkpad 8 seems right, and the hardware feels premium, so maybe it can capture some of the market.  The Thinkpad 8 is being positioned as a business class tablet, where Apple's iPad brand is widely viewed as a media consumption device for consumers, though it surprisingly adapts to business needs as well.

What do you think?  Can the Lenovo brand make a dent in Apple's growing share of the enterprise?
What about consumer?  Could the Thinkpad 8 be received well by independent professionals as a BYOD tablet?  I'd love your feedback, and I'll report back with details when I lay hands on one of these unicorns...

Hit me up on twitter: @aschwabe!

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