Thoughts on the Lenovo Thinkpad 2 -Part II

This is a followup to my last post , which concentrated on the hardware of my recently acquired Lenovo ThinkPad 2, This time I’m looking at the software experience.

Well, of course, the software experience is all about the use of Windows 8. As I’ve said many times before, people seem to either love or hate Windows 8. Personally speaking, I love it. True, there are many areas in which it could be improved , but overall I am well satisfied.

Let’s take the area of handwriting recognition.

This entire post has been created by using a pen. No keys have been pressed in the making of this post. Well, apart from the Prtscn key on a wireless keyboard to take screenshots.

It is true that there are changes between the handwriting recognition input panels of Windows 7 and Windows 8. For example:

In Windows 7, there are three ways in which the tablet input panel can be invoked on the Desktop. In Windows 8, there is just one way on the Desktop to invoke the panel – tapping the icon in the taskbar.

Secondly, the Windows 7 tablet input panel had three modes that the user could switch between by means of explicit buttons on the input panel. In Windows 8 , although the three modes are still present, they are accessed differently. Now, the tablet input panel is larger and takes up half the screen.

TPT2 11

The icon at the bottom right is used to switch between the handwriting and keyboard modes:

TPT2 12

TPT2 13

The default mode for the pen input is handwriting (freehand)

TPR2 14

Tapping on a word switches the panel into its third mode. This is the character mode where individual characters may be edited, and where the dictionary kicks in and shows alternatives:

TPT2 15

To my mind, the tablet input panel has been improved in Windows 8 over that in Windows 7. However , not everyone feels that way. Some people are finding it difficult to adjust to the new design.

I’ll carry on with thoughts on the software experience in a later post.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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3 Responses to Thoughts on the Lenovo Thinkpad 2 -Part II

  1. Looking forward to more, and congratulations on your new addition! I have been looking very seriously at some of the Lenovo devices. They have seemed to be the best mix of physical hardware design and usability of any of the current round of things. (That, or the Surface Pro.)

    As luck and fortune would have it, I managed to win a drop-your-business-card-in-the-bowl drawing at a trade show yesterday for a Surface with Windows RT. That puts me a bit out of the market for a Windows 8 Pro tablet. 🙂

    24 hours in, my experiences seem to mirror yours (more so the first post) with the obvious exception of pen support. I’m impressed both at the quality of the handwriting recognition and your tenacity to write out that entire post longhand. I’ve been touch typing for so long, I can’t slow down to write complete sentences by hand anymore.

    RT is an interesting beast. This is a fully capable “second screen”, more useful for _doing_ things than my iPad, but it won’t by any means replace my MacBook Air as my primary computer. With Windows 8 Pro, the new tablets and hybrids really can be the replacement machine.

    Looking forward to hearing more thoughts!

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Hi Mike, good to hear from you! The handwriting recognition of Windows is indeed scarily good – particularly with my scrawl. I did take the time to train the recognition engine (writing out 50 short sentences that it gives for the user to copy), so I expect that had a lot to do with it. It also had a habit of writing Lenora in place of Lenovo at first, but it seems to have got the hang of it now.

      I know what you mean about the “second screen” aspect of Windows RT. And while I could use RDP on it to connect to a full Windows 8 Pro environment, there would still be some x86 apps or drivers that I’d be unable to install that was the dealbreaker for me.

      The ThinkPad seems to be a good compromise for me. It’s not a desktop replacement, but it runs everything I need (e.g. Windows Live Writer, Windows Media Player) without a problem.

  2. Pingback: Thoughts On The Lenovo ThinkPad 2 | Geoff Coupe's Blog

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