May 1, 2013
I am still using the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 every day. I judge a product by how well it “sticks” to me and this thing really sticks to me! Of course, a lot of fine points are coming out as I use it. One of them is the included digitizer pen that I use to take notes with.
I admire the fact that the Lenovo pen attaches using a distinct internal slot as shown at left. It ensures the pen is always at hand.
This is compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro’s poor design that has no pen slot other than sharing its charging port—a very problematic design since you can’t charge and hold a pen at the same time. Since, due to its short battery life, you will need to charge the Surface Pro quite a lot, the pen is rarely attached, and so I guarantee you will grab the Surface one day and forget the pen is left behind on the table.
Again, having a dedicated pen slot like the one on the Lenovo is important for a tablet. However…
The Included Lenovo pen has a few problems
However, the included Lenovo pen has a few problems:
- The pen is very thin and a bit short and so it doesn’t feel great for long term use. It works well enough, it’s just not fantastic.
- The side-button is tiny and hard to find.
- The pen does not have an eraser at its end. Most good Wacom digitizer pens have a button at the end opposite the point. That button activates the eraser tool in nearly all pen-enabled software—and again, this pen lacks that button. So you have to activate the eraser some other way.
Internal Pen is Best As Emergency Backup
Due to these three issues, I use the included internal pen mainly as an emergency backup, and instead keep a few extra full-sized Wacom pens handy for normal use. For example one is always in my briefcase and one is always on my desk (the latter I use for note-taking when on a business call—this little tablet is great for that, using OneNote).
Buying Extra Pens
So where can you buy full-size Wacom pens separate from a tablet? At the left is one available on Amazon; It works great with the Lenovo and here is the link:
However, unfortunately, the supplier for this pen on Amazon has just changed and the price has nearly doubled since I bought it. It’s too much now I think.
But others are available.
For example here is a link to another less expensive model, this one made by Lenovo for their other tablets, and I think it should work, but I have not tested it:
If you try this one and it works, please place a comment on this post (or, if it does not work, return it to Amazon and comment here to that affect!). By the way, don’t purchase a pen made for a Wacom digitizer tablet like the Bamboo or Intuos; those don’t work with screen-based digitizers.
Trouble with Loose Pens
The trouble with loose pens is you forget them. So again, one solution is to have a few scattered about (like you do with ink pens). Admittedly, that’s expensive and you still may not find it when you need it. So having the one stored inside the tablet, as Lenovo has done, is the best plan to make sure you always have one on hand.
Also, I found that I could toss the extra pen in the bottom of the sleeve I describe at the very bottom this post: http://www.oneminutetodolist.com/blog/more-about-the-lenovo-thinkpad-tablet-2/