No Time for Play
Now that NVIDIA has announced its latest quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the days of the Tegra 2 processors in Honeycomb tablets are numbered. You are most probably looking at the last few Honeycomb tablets that ship with NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor before the first quad-core Honeycomb tablet from ASUS arrives sometime in December.
Positioned as a business tablet, we are intrigued to know if the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is able to perform as well or even better than its Android peers. Hence, we lined up the ThinkPad Tablet against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Sony Tablet S, two of the most recent tablets in the market. As per other tablet reviews, we also included the Apple iPad 2 to measure the ThinkPad Tablet's capability with the leading slate.
Do note that the benchmarks are conducted with stock firmwares, and hence may not reflect the day-to-day usage performance of the tablet. The following benchmarks are used for raw performance evaluation: -
- Quadrant evaluates the CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance. This is an Android OS based test.
- Smartbench 2011 is a multi-core friendly benchmark application that includes both the Productivity and Games Indices for a more complete gauge of the overall performance of Android tablets.
|Device||Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet||Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1||Sony Tablet S||Apple iPad 2|
|CPU||NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz||NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz||NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz||Apple A5 dual-core 1GHz|
|GPU||ULP GeForce||ULP GeForce||ULP GeForce||PowerVR SGX 543MP2|
|OS||Google Android 3.1||Google Android 3.1||Google Android 3.2||Apple iOS 4.3|
From the figures above, you can see that the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet's performance in the Android benchmarks was not consistent. While the ThinkPad Tablet took a slight lead in Smartbench 2011, it fell behind the competition by quite a margin for the Quadrant benchmark. Generally, benchmarks and numbers alone give you a rough gauge, not a definitive assessment of the tablet's overall performance.
During our time with the ThinkPad Tablet, we found the overall user experience to be average. The display was unresponsive at times as it failed to registered our touch inputs. We had to tap on the icons a few times before it registered. Navigating the user interface wasn't as smooth as the other tablets we have reviewed. To be honest, we were slightly disappointed with the performance of the ThinkPad Tablet. It isn't far fetched to say that at this stage, if a tablet is still unable to provide a comparable or decent user experience to the Apple iPad 2, then it will fail in its bid to gain any traction in the market.
In terms of web browser performance, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet fared the worst among the tablets. Again numbers aside, we found the web browsing experience to be similar to other Honeycomb tablets that we have reviewed. Adobe Flash support is no longer considered as a key advantage of Android devices over iOS devices since Adobe has ditched it in favor of HTML 5.