Lenovo kills 8” Windows tablets in the U.S.

It's not a good time to be a small Windows tablet. Microsoft's Surface Mini never even entered production, and now, Lenovo is discontinuing its eight-inch ThinkPad and Miix2 tablets in the U.S.

In an email exchange with PCWorld, Lenovo confirmed the move and blamed "lack of interest" for the cessation of sales. Raymond Gorman, a Lenovo spokesperson, said that "in North America, we’re seeing stronger interest in the larger screen sizes for Windows tablets and are pleased with initial customer demand for the ThinkPad 10." Other parts of the world seem to like smaller Windows tablets better, though. Gorman added, "in other markets, particularly Brazil, China, and Japan, the demand for ThinkPad 8 has been much stronger, so we are adjusting our ThinkPad 8 inventories to meet increasing demand in those markets."

There are cogent reasons for customers to balk at smaller Windows tablets. The Verge called Win8.1's desktop mode "unusable" on the ThinkPad 8. Also, the selection of Metro apps is still relatively thin compared to what's available on Android and iOS.

Whatever the reason for the lukewarm reception, this news isn't good for Microsoft. Windows 8.1 is free for devices with screen sizes under nine inches, but without the broad support of hardware partners, getting a foothold in a market dominated by the iPad Mini and a variety of Android tablets may be difficult. A glance at the Microsoft Store reveals only Asus and Dell selling 8" tablets. Lenovo's withdrawal might discourage other manufacturers from entering the market.

Comments closed
    • DarkMikaru
    • 5 years ago

    Funny how the market can be sometimes right? We all pine over 7in Tablets, drool over the 10 inch Models but an 8 inch model doesn’t sell at all? I wonder what the price was on these? Only thing I can figure is that the price premium may have killed it. Though I’ll admit, I’ve never used a Windows based tablet so I can’t comment on the actual usability.

    I’d love a 10 inch tablet, just not willing to pay that premium considering you can buy a full Laptop or PC for that price these days.

      • DarkMikaru
      • 5 years ago

      Guess I just answered my own question. Tiger Direct has the Miix2 for 219.99! That’s not unreasonable at all!!

      [url<]http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8563444&CatId=6845[/url<] Now I'm even more confused lol

    • cycomiko
    • 5 years ago

    I wish these companies would release these products locally (NZ)… or to be realistic, release them locally without doubling the sales price. I would have loved a 8″ windows tablet that I could dock to a larger screen/mouse/keyboard when home. Makes much more sense than my current collection of netbooks, desktops and ipad.
    Now I am one ipad down thanks to the child unit allowing the glass to meet the path…

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      [url=http://sugru.com/gallery/make-your-ipad-bouncy<]Child-proof iPad[/url<]

    • NovusBogus
    • 5 years ago

    Lenovo is a smart company, they know when to fold ’em. Unlike some…

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    For you guys complaining that an eight inch screen has full x86 support, you’re nuts. You don’t HAVE to use it. When winrt doesn’t have the desktop its “OMG WORST EVER NO DESKTOP!!”, when it does “OMG WHY THE DESKTOP?!?!?!”. Go back to your ipads and androids and let those who like the best of both worlds enjoy it.

      • End User
      • 5 years ago

      YOU ARE THE ROB FORD OF TR!

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    The verge? The verge is a joke.

    • End User
    • 5 years ago

    The market is satisfied by iOS and Android based products. Blackberry got clobbered by that reality and now Microsoft is getting hammered with it as well.

      • JohnC
      • 5 years ago

      I agree. MS should stick to what they do best – desktop OSes and services, including the (almost completely neglected, especially with severely underpowered current-gen XBOne) non-mobile gaming. And just provide fully featured mobile versions of their Office suites (and maybe other software services) for both Android and iOS. Or try to break Google’s complete monopoly on non-porn web searching or YouTube-like user content distribution service.

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        YOU TWO AGREE?!??! OMG.
        Seriously though, I often wonder of you’re alt accounts.

        • funko
        • 5 years ago

        interestingly, they can afford to because of the billions they make from patents that Android manufacturers pay them to be able to make Android products.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    And another one falls….

    Why, Microsoft? WHY do you insist on trying to turn our 8″ screens into fully-fledged workstations, and why must the interface for our fully-fledged workstations be dumbed down to the point of childishness?

    Can Microsoft please just hurry up and admit that Windows 8 for mobile “unified strategy” is a total failure. Then they can get back to the job of making a great successor to W7 and they can potentially rescue WP8 by making it the one OS to cover all mobile devices. Up until now developers have had to choose between Windows Phone for ARM. Windows RT for ARM, Windows 8 for x86. What a nightmare……

    • shaurz
    • 5 years ago

    8″ Windows tablets make no sense… they suck as tablets compared to Android/iOS and they’re too small to do work on which Windows is more suitable for.

      • Andrew Lauritzen
      • 5 years ago

      Disagreed on both points… in fact given the situation that apparently I’m the only one in the world who has no issues operating the desktop on an 8″ Windows tablet, I actually decided to measure the size of some of the UI and discovered that it’s ~ the same as my Nexus 4. Thus, objectively, I dispute the whining and am guessing the vast majority of it is people who don’t even own such a tablet perpetuating myths.

      I like my Nexus 7 2nd gen too, but my 8″ windows tablet is really quite indisputably better unless there’s some specific app you need from Android – generally just games at this point and I like to play games on bigger screens anyways. This is not solely my opinion which may obviously be biased by the fact that I work on Windows most of the day, but also the opinion of my wife and most other folks to whom I hand a few tablets to play with and compare…

      8″ is a great size IMO; I don’t see the draw of larger tablets vs. ultra-portables and smaller ones get too close to phone territory.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 5 years ago

        Some steam games work flawlessly on the Dell Venue 8 Pro. 10,000,000 for example is a great Windows-tablet game. I couldn’t get Plants vs Zombies to work… but I bet it’d be good if I figured out the problem with Origin.

        But I agree with you overall. But on top of that, because Steam generally has better games to offer… I’m inclined to believe that gaming will be better on the Windows Tablet

          • JohnC
          • 5 years ago

          Why the fuck would you play crappy Steam (or Origin or whatever other PC digital distributor there is) games on a tablet when there’s like billions of mobile-specific games at both Google Play and Apple’s App Store???

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            I think we can all agree that the vaaaaast majority of games on Android/iOS are 1) terrible and/or 2) shallow cash grabs. There are exceptions of course, but the point is that the sheer number of games says nothing about their quality. Steam games are generally of high quality, and I’d still take the few that work with well with touch (civ, defense grid, broken age, hearthstone, etc.) over most of so-called “mobile games” any day.

            But like I said, I don’t find gaming on tablets to be particularly compelling outside of a few very specific genres (card games basically). To each his own though.

            • JohnC
            • 5 years ago

            Hearthstone on iPad is just as entertaining as on PC. Same goes for “Plants vs Zombies”, “10,000,000”, “Plague, inc” and other very basic games where you don’t NEED to use keyboards or other controllers. Most of the “free” games are junk, yes (especially the ones forcing you to buy gems/gold/diamonds/whatever in order to have a slight chance of progressing beyond certain point), but most of the paid versions I’ve personally played were pretty entertaining and new ones appear every day on both Google Play and App Store so there’s never lack of entertaining ones.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            I never said those games are worse on iOS or whatever… you were claiming that something was inherently worse about “crappy Steam games” on tablets, which is what I was responding to. The implication was that the number of games on iOS/Android/Steam predicts the number of good games… which is vacuously false.

            I’m not arguing for PC tablet gaming superiority – you might note that I said in my original post that was the one area that they are clearly behind – but frankly I just don’t consider tablet gaming a compelling use case. If you do, great, but I don’t see how that affects any of my original points.

            i.e. 8″ windows tablets are perfectly usable in “desktop mode”, and even if you don’t need that, they are competitive in all other areas with the potential exception of tablet gaming.

            I really have to ask… do any of you guys actually own an 8″ windows tablet? I have all of the tablets being discussed here and I find it somewhat hard to believe that someone who has directly compared them would so casually dismiss it. It seems more likely that it’s just the cool thing to hate on – which is fine, this is the internet and all 🙂 – but ultimately I would assume people that read TR are more interested in reality than popularity.

            • JohnC
            • 5 years ago

            8″ Windows tablet? No, of course I don’t. What for? My iPad or my 8″ LG G Pad can do everything necessary from such devices, including opening/editing/printing ALL of necessary office documents or (if it’s not possible to do it natively) do the same by accessing work/home PCs through different remote desktop apps. Combine that with infinitely more user-friendly GUI for both of these devices, more useful apps for daily usage (like the LG’s awesome QPair app or any similar Android apps which allow you to receive notifications and control some functions of any Android smartphone in an extremely intuitive and convenient way directly from the tablet), better overall battery life, more available accessories and entertainment options and there’s absolutely 0 reason for most people to voluntarily get any Windows-based 8″ (or even larger) tablet 😛

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            That makes my point beautifully 🙂 I don’t mind that you prefer one or the other but don’t pretend you are comparing these things apples to apples. You’ve made purchases that you’re happy with and as is normal want to justify them to yourself and others. Fine, and I’m glad you’re happy, but we’re not going to get much objective conversation out of that position.

            For the points where you stray into factual claims…

            > better overall battery life
            Depends on the specific designs you are comparing. Certainly the components are just as battery efficient in the windows case (as has been proven over and over now), it’s just a question of battery size in given devices. Reviews seem to indicate for instance that the LG G Pad is similar or worse than the Nexus 7 in battery life, which I can tell you from experience is actually slightly less than the V8P. The latest iPads (Air, etc) last longer simply due to really large batteries, but they also cost nearly twice as much.

            Incidentally the V8P is cheaper than the LG pad and it includes a full copy of Office (that can even be installed on a different machine)…

            > more available accessories
            This one is funny because I find a lot of people like to make a big deal out of thinness and lightness when justifying a purchase decision, then emphasize “accessories” when they defeat all of that by putting it in cases and carrying around lots of crap with them 😉 Maybe that’s not you, but I have to chuckle at tablet “accessories”.

            > more useful apps for daily usage
            That depends on what your daily usage is 🙂 I see no point in the app that you mentioned for instance but conversely things like full Chrome+flash are kind of useful… And that’s a point worth calling out IMO – most “apps” are just trying to make up for deficiencies in mobile browsers. A full browser + increasingly common mobile web sites (which is what most apps are under the hood anyways) covers the vast majority of use cases on any platform.

            For me what it comes down to is really that the fundamentals on the windows tablet are just better than most competing options, especially if you consider price ($225 for a V8P at the moment…). Performance is way better (even in simple stuff like web browsing), battery life and build on the V8P is excellent and all the actual stuff I do with a tablet is class matching or leading (e-mail, web, video, music, casting/widi, etc). To me, doing those things well is more important than having more gimmicks, but to each his own.

            Anyways this is ultimately just personal choice and I’m glad that you’re happy. But I don’t think we’re going to have a very useful conversation unless you actually get some experience with the tablets you’re trashing.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            Johnc hates windows. End of story.

            • JohnC
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]don't pretend you are comparing these things apples to apples[/quote<] Oh I did (I often buy random stuff out of curiosity - food, electronics, cars, etc.). I compared "these things" to Apples, Jelly Beans from various manufacturers, as well as KitKat bars and ultimately the more delicious fruits and confectioneries won my heart. I just don't have that Dell garbage lying around anymore, just like I don't have that awful and equally useless (because of its OS) Nokia Lumia 920 anymore (I'm not really into collecting stuff) 😉 [quote<]things like full Chrome+flash are kind of useful[/quote<] Of course they are, that is why I have a fully functional browser on my G Pad which can display all Flash content and can block all "visually unpleasant" content using appropriate extensions. It's not Chrome, but it looks exactly the same from aesthetic point of view and can still sync all bookmarks and history with the desktop version of Chrome, so it's just as good 😉 Overall I'd rather rely on dedicated apps (instead of ANY kind of browser), which work much better on mobile devices with touch-driven interface for all multimedia content from places like Twitch.tv, YouTube or for monitoring many remote video surveillance sites (as well as for accessing non-multimedia stuff like remote automation system's sensors/controls), and even iPads do these things extremely well regardless of their objectively deficient browser. [quote<]a lot of people like to make a big deal out of thinness and lightness when justifying a purchase decision[/quote<] I don't. [quote<]Performance is way better[/quote<] Not in my personal experience. [quote<]this is ultimately just personal choice[/quote<] But of course! For most of the people it pretty much is, that is exactly why Lenovo wants to abandon these extremely unpopular, overpriced devices with a huge identity crisis and a severe lack of proper touch apps/games 😉

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            > Not in my personal experience.

            Well luckily this is an issue about about which there are indisputable facts… silvermont and A7 are clearly in a class above the rest, and you’ll pay ~double for the A7 for similar performance.

            • JohnC
            • 5 years ago

            Aww… you edited out the most amusing “pot, kettle, black” stuff about “fanboy comments”… You Windows fanatics are no fun 😉

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            It was redundant from my last post – you didn’t really address anything so it wasn’t needed 🙂

            And hey, one of the two of us is talking strengths/weaknesses, has and uses all of the different options and provides people with opportunities to experiment and choose for themselves. The other is just throwing out the typical bipolar “omg best platform ever vs trash” sorts of comments. I think it’s clear who’s the pot and who’s the kettle 😉 It’s pretty safe to summarily reject such black and white opinions regardless of the topic.

            • JohnC
            • 5 years ago

            Well, I don’t see YOU being able to “summarily reject” such opinions 😉

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            … are you even reading what I’m saying? :S

            • JohnC
            • 5 years ago

            Of course I am, and it’s pretty amusing to read “I don’t think we’re going to have a very useful conversation unless you conform to my opinion” in multiple posts and still seeing YOU trying to reply 😉

            All I said is that I’ve tried various 8″ tablets and found the Windows-based one inferior in most aspects to both iOS-based and (especially) Android-based models, for both business and entertainment purposes, and you’re still trying to argue about… something?

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            You’re misrepresenting the conversation here… but alas, I’ll happily go with your final comment/summary. Suffice it to say, if that’s all that you actually said – and in those significantly more reasonable words – then we wouldn’t be this deep in the thread 🙂

            • dragontamer5788
            • 5 years ago

            [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjCpvlnY5ig[/url<] Civ5 ain't gonna play on an iPad.

      • funko
      • 5 years ago

      FWIW, my Dell Venue 8 Pro has served me better than my short stints with iPad minis and Nexus 7’s in my white coat pocket.
      Citrix client friendly (all 3 are)
      compatible with small free statistical analysis applications (i.e. CATMaker)
      corporate outlook client friendly (all 3)
      comes with free MS Office (the medical field still works primarily with PowerPoint, Word and Excel, and alternatives have numerous glitches when it comes to execution in front of a lecture hall or client presentation)
      serves as a brain for a improptu windows ful lfledged desktop with bluetooth keyboard, mouse and usb monitor (no need for a laptop as my mobile machine anymore)
      easy to use as a kindle/PDF document reader (essential for people who read a few PDF/web pased journal articles a week to stay on top of medical ltierature
      easy to transfer files on and off with microSD, and basic Windows Explorer (beats out the top file explorers in android by a huge amount IMO)
      i can use torrents to grab items i need i na pinch (legal items!)
      the stylus feature allows me to more accurately mark up and sign documents than the pudgey ones other tablets use taht are ment for stylus input
      bluetooth mouse support when using traditional desktop and desktopwindows apps this can help a lot when combined with Citrix VDI sessions when connecting to win7/xp desktops!
      with my windows account, my login brings all my essential apps with me anytime i log into otehr computers/desktops (i feel this is better implemented by far in win8 compared to android… but admittedly have not looked into if this was possible in iOS recent devices)
      great price points ($250 new for a device with a solid IPS display.. although i got mine for even cheaper with promotion)
      etc…

      it makes sense for some people to use a 8″ windows device. it was a pleasant surprise after i had a very mediore experience with win RT teh year prior and after using nexus devices as my priamry smartphone since the Nexus One (galaxy nexus, nexus 4 and now nexus 5)

      (apple products with most experince: iphone 4 ,4s, 5c, ipad 2, ipad 4, ipad mini gen2)

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        ANDROID IS BETTER.

          • funko
          • 5 years ago

          haha I have both and like having both. I think we are moving towards a future where most of us can be platform neutral and switch seamlessly with minimal loss of function. kind of like car makers

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          WHAT THE HELL GUIZE?!?!? IF I SAY WINDOWS IS BETTER YOU MINUS ME. IF I SAY ANDROID IS BETTER YOU MINUS ME. [b<] WHAT DO YOU WANT?!?!?!?! [/b<]

    • MadManOriginal
    • 5 years ago

    Maybe if their tablet specs didn’t suck for the price they would sell.

      • JohnC
      • 5 years ago

      Maybe they are not interested in selling Windows-based tablets at all 😉 Their Android-based tablets have significantly cheaper prices for similar hardware.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 5 years ago

        Yup, and that hardware still sucks compared to other Android tablets.

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          like which? the dell venue pro is regularly on sale here for 239$. where else can you get a well built tablet with 2gb ram, quad core atom, real stylus and a full copy of MS office? the screen is [i<] only [/i<] 800p, but that's good enough in my book for 8 inches. what hardware do you think it's missing?

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      You know well that’s not why they don’t sell. Its rampant irrational anti-MS by nerds telling their friends to buy inferior junk.

    • Flying Fox
    • 5 years ago

    The Dell Venue Pro 8 was not as bad interest wise. Once you get down to that <$300 level, price becomes a sensitive factor. Thinkpad’s traditionally higher price premium is at work here, I believe.

    The Miix2 may be due to a different reason though.

    Not to discount the difficulty of the desktop on an 8″ screen, but I believe the 8″ form factor has its place.

    Perhaps simply too many people with fat fingers in US?

      • JohnC
      • 5 years ago

      I agree about form factor – I really like my 8.3″ LG G Pad which is running the Android OS 😉

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        Android blows.

      • NovusBogus
      • 5 years ago

      <10 inch tablets are commodity devices for general media/email/app and the generally higher hardware cost and poor app ecosystem make Windows a tough sell in a market where the dominant player takes all. 10+ inch is a laptop replacement and thus has much better usability–and thus a much stronger argument for Windows–so it makes good sense for Lenovo to let Google and Amazon fight over the cheap seats and focus on what they can sell.

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