Lenovo has another convertible tablet ready for Windows 8 alongside the fairly traditional ThinkPad Twist and the nearly 360-degree hinged Yoga: a docking tablet called the IdeaTab Lynx. As hinted by the name, this is a Windows 8 tablet that can convert into a suitable PC once plugged into its included keyboard dock. The tablet features an 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, either 32GB or 64GB of flash storage, and, importantly, a new Cloverview Intel Atom dual core processor at 1.8GHz. That processor means that this is capable of being a full Windows 8 laptop, as it can run x86 programs in desktop mode unlike other convertibles equipped with ARM processors and Windows RT.
As with most tablets with removable keyboards, the IdeaTab Lynx can hold quite a bit of charge when the two pieces are together: Lenovo quotes about 16 hours of usage, and the tablet will run off of the keyboard’s battery before draining its own internal cell. The tablet and keyboard weigh about 1.4 pounds each, which is suitably light, but it does lend to the device’s overall inexpensive feel. That’s not terribly surprising considering this is an IdeaTab product: like many of Lenovo’s Idea-branded devices, the back of the tablet is made of an attractive textured plastic, and the hinge looks to be all-plastic too. Speaking of the hinge, it has a large, plastic eject button that was acting up on the pre-production unit that we used, and sliding the tablet in and out wasn’t terribly smooth. Unfortunately, the Windows key on the bezel of the tablet is covered when docked, meaning you’ll have to reach for the Windows button on the keyboard: not a huge deal, but a minor inconvenience nonetheless.
The dock’s keys are reasonably deep, though on a small device like this the layout is certainly a bit cramped — not at all unusual for this form factor. The trackpad is also far smaller than we’d like, and it’s stiff, too. In terms of ports, the dock adds two USB 2.0 ports to the tablet’s Micro USB, Micro HDMI, and microSD card slot. The tablet fortunately charges over a standard Micro USB port, and that port is duplicated on the dock so you can keep it plugged in and only insert the tablet when you get home. The tablet will be available starting at $599 on October 26th, while the keyboard dock will cost you an extra $149.
In addition to the IdeaTab Lynx, Lenovo has solidified pricing and availability on the ThinkPad Tablet 2: it’s going to start at $649, not including the optional keyboard accessory. Be sure to look at our prior coverage for more information on the digitizer-equipped tablet.
Sean Hollister contributed to this report.