Our First Impressions Of Lenovo's Answer To The IPad Mini

Lenovo thinkpad 8Kyle Russell/Business InsiderThe Lenovo ThinkPad 8

When you’re competing with the iPad, you’ve got to make something that isn’t just good enough — you have to make the user fall in love with the product.

When I first saw Lenovo’s ThinkPad 8 in this year’s CES coverage, I was intrigued.

It’s a tablet that’s about the same size as an iPad Mini, but it’s running a full version of Windows 8 and has specs that can keep up with many laptops on the market.

With its HDMI port and Bluetooth, you could easily use it as a desktop running all the software you need for work. You’re basically getting a full PC and a tablet together for $US399.

While we haven’t spent enough time with the device to give it a full review, we do have some initial thoughts after unboxing and setting up the tablet.

Here's the box my review unit came in.

There are stickers all over the thing.

The packaging is very simple -- there's no fancy cardboard cradling your tablet like when you unbox an iPad.

And this plastic wrap doesn't exactly scream premium.

Once you get it out of the packaging, the ThinkPad 8 looks pretty nice.

It's as long and wide as a paperback novel, and just a bit thicker than my iPhone.

The plastic it's made out of feels durable, though perhaps a bit too bendable.

The screen is really nice when you have the brightness cranked up.

I tried to open Lenovo's Settings app, but it had to download an update before it would work.

It's really weird to see an 8-inch tablet suddenly switch to looking like regular Windows to install an update.

After using the iPad and Android tablets for so long, I'm used to having updates download in the background.

Once I fiddled with the tablet for a bit, I opened up the ThinkPad's equivalent to the Smart Cover for the iPad. Again, very simple packaging.

The cover gives the ThinkPad a very clean, plain look (in a good way!), but it seems like it might collect dust over time.

It also has a nifty feature that I wish I had on my iPhone: you can fold down the corner of the cover, and the ThinkPad will automatically open its camera app.

The magnets attaching the ThinkPad to its cover seem more than strong enough for everyday use. I wouldn't recommend holding your tablet like this, however.

The plastic on the back of the ThinkPad seems to pick up (and keep) fingerprints, which is unfortunate. As an Apple user, I'm also not used to seeing stickers on *any* of my devices, let alone my tablet.

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