I recently travelled to Denver, CO for a business trip to meet with some of our current vendors, as well as to meet new potential vendors. Every quarter Everything Channel, a channel focused research and events group puts on an event called XChange. This event allows somewhat of a sneak peak for us of what is new from our vendor partners, and to evaluate the new technology to see if it fits in the tool bag of solutions and offering we provide here at Axxys.
It’s no secret that one of the recurring themes from the past few quarters has been “mobility” and “the cloud”. We all want to be able to access our data from anywhere, on any device, at any time. The proliferation of connectivity options through Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, WiMax, and smart devices is making this mantra of anywhere – anytime easier than ever.
One of the most impressive technologies I saw this past event, was actually not a new technology, but rather a refined technology. And ask anyone around the office, I’ve been beaming and telling everyone about it since the minute I saw it. That technology is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1. The ThinkPad X1 is Lenovo’s new business tablet device. Think something like the iPad, or any other tablet type device that is on the market, only better.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is a business tablet aimed at business entities as opposed to a consumer tablet being made to work in the corporate world. It boasts several similar characteristics such as storage size (available in 16, 32, and 64GB), front and rear facing cameras, wireless LAN and 3G capabilities, accelerometer, gyroscope, etc. It even runs the familiar Android OS using an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor. You can expect over 8 hours of battery life with Wi-Fi enabled, and over 16 if using it disconnected.
So what makes the Lenovo different from the other devices?
For starters the screen layout is a little different, with a 10.1” 1280×800 TFT screen that supports both multi-touch and the ThinkPad Tablet Pen. This is a digitizer style pen as opposed to the capacitive stylus required for many of the current consumer tablets. This means that writing, drawing, etc. is more precise with a fine tip as opposed to the mushy-rubbery stylus devices.
Next are the built in connections to other devices. There is a mini-HDMI connector for connecting to external displays, a USB 2.0 connector for connecting thumb drives and other peripheral devices (without needing special adapters), a micro USB connector, and a dock connector.
There is also an SD card slot for adding storage to the device so you can easily transfer documents via the SD Card, USB port, or various Wi-Fi and network options.
So what are the benefits for Business Professionals?
- Stay connected to colleagues and friends with email, pre-installed social networking applications, the 2MP front facing camera.
- View and edit Microsoft Office documents with pre-installed Documents to Go by DataViz.
- Write naturally and jot down handwritten notes that automatically convert to handwritten text, mark up documents, and draw pictures with the accurate pressure-sensitive ThinkPad Tablet Pen.
- Comfortably type long emails, create documents and enter data in forms or spreadsheets, thanks to the convenient ThinkPad Tablet Keyboard Folio (available separately) with built-in optical TrackPoint mouse.
So what are the benefits for IT Managers and IT Professionals?
- Easily deploy and provision multiple devices with Lenovo’s custom imaging service and zero touch deployment solution.
- Provide easy and secure e-mail access with Good Technologies and Cisco VPN support. Access to ActiveSync, user data, and SD cards can also be secured.
- Purchase and deploy corporate applications via company unique Application Shops
There are scenarios where the iPad, the Galaxy, and all of the other tablets are a good choice for personal use, and even for some business usage. However, if a company is going to adopt tablet technology for use in their business space, it really is worth looking at the ThinkPad X1 by Lenovo. This device is the first tablet I’ve seen that is seriously geared toward the business user. These will release in late August and will be a welcomed addition to my tool bag.