Although the ThinkPad 10 has been a “known entity” since late 2013, and listed at the Lenovo Store since March or April of 2014, it was only last week — while I was away from my office on vacation, as fate would have it — that Lenovo finally opened the product page for actual orders. Having now visited same to check things out, I will cheerfully admit to having a soft spot for ThinkPad products (I own two Ivy Bridge era i7 notebooks, including the X220 Tablet and a T520 notebook, each upgraded with OCZ Vertex SSDs and Plextor mSATA SSDs and 16 GB RAM). At present, however, the only model available is a 2GB RAM/64 GB SSD despite promises of a 4GB RAM/128 GB SSD model on the ThinkPad 10 Tech Specs page. I’m a little disappointed, but not terribly surprised, given that it’s taken quite some time for Lenovo to bring the product to market since it first announced the platform (I do plan to wait for the heftier model to become available before ordering one myself).
A side view of the Lenovo ThinkPad 10 sitting inside the Ultrabook Keyboard dock with its drop-in, single-angle docking connector.
The present offering includes a quad-core Intel Atom Z3795 quad-core CPU running Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (x86), 2.0 GB LPDDR3 RAM, and offers 1920×1200 screen resolution (somewhat better than “full HD” at 1920×1080; graphics come from integrated Intel HD circuitry in the Atom family that’s on par with Intel 3xxx capabilities on other CPUs). The base unit as described currently retails for $692.55 at the Lenovo Store, including an instant rebate of $36.45. The all-important keyboard cover accessory (called an “Ultrabook Keyboard” on the Accessories page) will set you back an additional $120, a protective case costs $55, and an external battery costs $30. This puts a reasonable configuration in the $800-850 price range, which is about $200-250 more than a similarly equipped Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet (which supports i3 and i5 models at the top end of the feature/price spectrum at prices up to $1,180, including a keyboard dock with a second battery).
At the moment, the same dollars that the entry-level ThinkPad 10 will cost you would also buy you a 64-bit Venue 11 Pro model with twice as much RAM (4GB instead of 2) and SSD storage (128 GB instead of 64). Given those economics, it looks like Lenovo will have to bring lots of usability and capability options into the mix to give the Dell Venue 11 Pro a run for that money. I’m going to have to compare them side-by-side to see which option makes the most sense for business/professional users.