Lenovo’s new ThinkPad 10 tablet is supposedly available in a variety of hardware and software configurations. The Product Specifications Reference documents for Western Europe list a total of 17 different configurations for the ThinkPad 10 20C1 – TopSeller model.
Basically these are arrived at by twiddling five main factors:
- Memory size: 2GB or 4GB RAM
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB
- Connectivity: WiFi-only, or WiFi and WWAN
- Touch-only, or Pen- and Touch-enabled
- Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 8.1 SST
For that last factor, operating system, I would say that Windows 8.1 Pro is relevant for business users (it includes features designed for IT management in a corporate environment), while Windows 8.1 SST is aimed at the consumer (it’s cheaper, and it also includes a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal).
With that in mind, I began looking around at Dutch online retailers who are promising to make the ThinkPad 10 available when it is released this month. Without exception, they are all listing models running Windows 8.1 Pro.
Now, it’s true that all Lenovo’s marketing for the ThinkPad 10 is aimed at business use, but if they are listing models with Windows 8.1 SST one would think that they have at least half an eye on the consumer market as well. These models would also be cheaper than those with Windows 8.1 Pro.
So I decided I would ask one of the retailers whether they would be making these models available as well. Back came the answer that unless I was prepared to buy more than 20, then I could forget about it. I’m not sure whether that’s Lenovo or the retailer being reluctant to deal in small quantities, but the end result is the same: the very models that are attractive to the consumer aren’t easily available for purchase here in the Netherlands.
A so-called TopSeller model that isn’t actually available? Someone, somewhere needs to take a long hard look at their marketing skills. I’m beginning to feel myself pushed back to considering the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for my next tablet.