iPad3 lessons from Thinkpad tablet

Discussion in 'iPad' started by techkidd4400, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. techkidd4400, Sep 17, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011

    techkidd4400 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    First do not attack me for suggesting that I like a competing tablet. I love my iPad.

    Of course, the iPad's primary purpose is to consume content, but I think it could improve its broader appeal if it adopted some features I have seen in the impressive Thinkpad Tablet by Lenovo, which is better suited for productivity and business users.

    I think the TPT contains a number of nice features that make it useful for work, but not play.

    First, the pen and inking capabilities exceed the iPad's. I like having a choice of using a pen to ink notes in meetings or maybe class, and I do not want to use my finger or a pogo stylus.

    I also like the direct access to the file subsystem that TPT users (and other Android tablet users, I guess) have. I like thin tablets, but I do not want to give up access to USB and SD card slots.

    The app store has a lot more software than the Android marketplace, but many of the same developers are porting versions of their iOS software for Android and the apps look the same and run the same so I am beginning to doubt that the app store will always be a competitive advantage for Apple.

    The TPT has convinced me that the hope of a Tablet replacing a laptop may become a reality soon, and I am unsure whether Apple or someone else will get there first. I think the TPT raises the bar for the iPad3.
  2. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    As has been pointed out, ad nauseam, they're totally different products. They share a similar form, but that's about it. Apple doesn't yet need or want to release a full computer in tablet form - although it's a dead certainty that it is coming. Lenovo was smart in not trying to compete with the iPad and Apple doesn't need to compete with Lenovo.
  3. Bluemeanie1976 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    The playbook was supposed to be all about business users, but that never went well either. Personally, I am not at all attracted by stylus use. With metro coming out, I ink the iPad 3 will step it up a fair amount, I think. We'll see.
  4. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    I appreciate the value added Lenovo has added to a generic Android tablet, as well. So far, I think, it's the best of the bunch (at least on paper.) Coupled with the folio case Lenovo is selling (and the excellent Lenovo keyboard that it includes) and it's at the head of the (Android) class, I think.

    Only one design flaw I've seen noted. Although the ThinkPad Tablet includes a 2.0 USB port, it cannot be accessed when the tablet is in the folio and being used with the keyboard. How they missed that flaw is beyond me. (But how Apple failed to support both iPad specific keys AND standard volume and brightness controls on the latest version of the Apple Wireless Keyboard is beyond me, too.)

    Though I'm not a big fan of handwritten input for serious text entry, the Lenovo support (with a dedicated stylus) is apparently much better than that provided on the iPad (and the ThinkPad Tablet includes handwriting recognition in its note taking application bundled with the product.)

    If I were in the market for a business tablet that also provides a reasonable level of entertainment support, it would be a serious contender.
  5. coldmack macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2008
    I get the feeling if Apple added digitizer support to the iPad it would be in-house(or a small company they acquired), and not something from well established companies like N-Trig or Wacom. However, I do see a lot of potential with the Lenovo Tablet, but with Tegra 3 and other quad core cpu coming out in the near future, I would wait for a version 2 to come out with the better specs.
  6. techkidd4400 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    Of course, the thinkpad tablet and the iPad are different products. Thankfully. My point is that what is interesting about the thinkpad tablet is the different functionality that it has that some ipad owners would like to see in a future ipad. So, yes competition is coming and it's good for consumers.
  7. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    As I said, it's no stretch of the imagination that Apple is headed toward a full-featured tablet computer, it's just that the market and the technology isn't quite there yet. The public just isn't going to be buying these in the tens of millions of units yet and Apple's not ready to abandon the MBA yet.

    I love my iPad but it's not a substitute for all my business computing needs - and not because it isn't a full-featured computer - and I know I'm not in the minority there.
  8. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    I would personally love to see something like wacoms digitiser built into the iPad. Dont think we will see an official stylus for many years, if ever tho.

    I hadn't seen that Lenovo before, looks like a great android tablet.
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    ThinkPad aka tablet pc has been around for years. Yes it might appeal to a few people, but most people do not want it in terms of actually buying them.

    So iPad should learn copy a failed category of products?
  10. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Sorry. Wrong product. It's true that Lenovo has been making touch screen devices for years but the ThinkPad Tablet is quite different from those models. And in fact it is also quite different from the X220T which is their current PC "tablet." You might want to look at the Lenovo product line-up before presuming you're up to date.
  11. Carouser macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2010
    Didn't you hear? Competition exists in only one direction: Failed products drive Apple to improve their own devices. Apple should learn from those companies, not the other way around.

    But more to the general point, poloponies is right in that these are addressing much different consumers. I doubt Apple will ever offer a first-party stylus. The other consumers who have needs the OP has outlined (similar filesystem, ports) are currently satisfied by laptops and desktops, and I think they are fairly low priorities for integration into iOS. Who knows, though.
  12. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Ever tried to carry your desktop to meetings? Ever tried to make rounds in a hospital with a laptop? Lenovo has a sterling reputation with business users and makes its money selling into large corporations where hundreds or even thousands of units constitute a sale. The ThinkPad Tablet is ideal for those markets. And when a real keyboard is needed, there is none better than those made by Lenovo.

    The iPad, as great as it is as a consumer device, is like trying to use a Mini in place of a pickup for many users. Yeah, it can be done, but it ain't efficient.
  13. Goratrix macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2011
    ahem, "ThinkPad" is a name of IBM's (now Lenovo's) line of enterprise notebooks.
  14. Carouser macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2010
    Which is why people will buy those Tablets from Lenovo? I have no idea what you are arguing against. Apple covers one crowd with the iPad. They address another crowd, business/productivity/office users with their laptops and desktops, since most of them would be poorly served by the current iPad. For the crowd who absolutely could use a tablet in a particular business environment (like those you mention), this Lenovo could be a good fit. Does it make much sense for Apple to try to turn the iPad into a Lenovo competitor, when the iPad and the Lenovo tablets are already quite different? I don't think so.

    Some people want all kinds of features that the Lenovo has in the iPad. Does the strength of their desire translate into good reasons for Apple to shift the design of the iPad to compete with the Lenovo in any near future? I say no.
  15. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Desktop to meetings? As if that's the only option? That's what notebooks are for. And I've attended many meetings where iPads were in use.

    As for hospital use, iPads are more than capable. I have several physician friends who have been using their iPad 1 for EMR for over a year (first with Citrix and now with dedicated apps).
  16. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    The name has also been applied to convertible tablets like the X220T.
  17. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Sorry. Misunderstanding all round. At least on my part. In fact, I don't think Apple would be well served to try to make the iPad be all things to all people. I had misunderstood your original point, interpreting your to say that laptops and desktops could be/should be used by those with needs that the iPad does not meet.

    For many reasons I think (and I think Apple believes) that it is ill suited to design products for the market Lenovo is aiming at. And it certainly should not shift the overall direction of the iPad as a consumer product to meet the needs of business users and corporations.


    I have physician friends that use iPads, as well. However, the absence of a pressure sensitive screen and built-in handwriting recognition software (both features of the Lenovo) makes it a less robust choice.

    Likewise, I've used my own iPad in business meetings. And while it's adequate for the task, I would also have like to have had better access to files (via a flash drive) when I did.

    In short, to say that an iPad can be improved or that another device is superior in a particular environment is not to say that an iPad is inadequate. My pickup will get me to the grocery store and I can haul stuff in my Mini but it doesn't mean that either is the best choice for those tasks.
  18. techkidd4400 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    Lenovo makes Tablet PCs under the Thinkpad name, but I was not referring to those failed machines. Lenovo just released android-based Thinkpad Tablets that have the functionality and footprint of current Tablets. Thankfully, Apple is too smart to ignore the business user. They don't want to give up that customer to Lenovo or anyone else and Apple shareholders don't want that either - as a customer - neither do I. Being the company that they are, I am sure Apple is already on it and maybe we will see something in iPad 3 or 4.
    I am not saying they are going to add a stylus - though that would be nice in my opinion - but I do think Apple will incorporate more features in the ipad to make it more useful to business users. Heck, the Apple website already shows that they are not going to neglect those customers in the future.
  19. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Do you really believe that Apple hasn't been working on a tablet computer for some time now? That's clearly where they're headed, but it won't be happening anytime soon.
  20. techkidd4400 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    Do you really believe your response had anything to do with what I posted?
  21. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Given that your basic premise was that Apple should be taking cues from Lenovo: "iPad3 lessons from Thinkpad tablet," then yes.
  22. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Doubt it. Apple has been trying to lure business customers for years; the initiative you cite is nothing new. But they've had very limited success. The introduction of the iPad hasn't changed that.

    You won't see a stylus, a pressure sensitive screen, or the incorporation of usb file access in the iPad. And without those features and the capacity to work seamlessly with Microsoft laptops and desktops, you won't see Apple making a major dent in the business market.

    That's not to say that some business users, especially those in niche markets such as graphic design won't adopt Apple products. Nor is it to say that there aren't anecdotal examples of firms here and there that are prepared to make the leap to an Apple environment. But a major player in the business marketplace? Like a successful Windows OS for a mobile device, I'll believe it when I see it.
  23. Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus
    Since 1979 actually.
  24. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Open your eyes. Millions of iPads are in the Enterprise now, with thousands entering each and every day.

    We recently deployed 22,000 units in a Fortune 500 company who will be making their own announcement shortly in a series of television spots.

    The iPad IS a major player in business today, though there are always ways to improve the product.

  25. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    As already noted, Apple's attempts to crack the business market aren't new. And the success has been limited.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=qy...e&q=Apple penetration of Fortune 1000&f=false

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