In a weird way, my excitement about Windows 8 tablets started with the Motorola Atrix, which is neither a tablet nor runs Windows 8. Basically, the Atrix promised to turn your gadgets into Legos. You have one device — in the Atrix's case a smartphone — that holds all your data, apps, and settings. Then you go about your life, adding and removing peripherals as you need them. Need a big screen? Toss it into a tablet or connect it to a monitor. Need to get some work done? Oh, here's a keyboard!

Needless to say, neither the Atrix nor this wonderful future has yet taken the world by storm. But Windows 8 offered a limited, perhaps more attainable version: an operating system and app ecosystem that's equally at home on a tablet and a laptop. It's touch-friendly, trackpad-friendly, and of course amenable to all the work and play we're used to doing on a Windows PC. And I've seen that it can work, though only in pieces — I've tested good Windows 8 laptops and good Windows 8 tablets, but not yet a device that glides frictionless between both worlds.

Ever since I first saw Lenovo's new ThinkPad Tablet 2, I've thought it might actually pull off this balancing act. It's very much a tablet — there's no dock, and you can't really call it a "hybrid" anything – but it comes with pen support and a keyboard, two things Lenovo's proven it does very well. The 10.1-inch tablet runs Windows 8 on Intel's low-powered Atom processor, and promises to marry all-day battery life and iPad-level portability with the ability to actually get real-world work done. Lenovo's Windows 8 laptops have been among the best I've tested in the last few months, so I hoped against hope that it had finally cracked the "one device, every situation" cipher. Finally, maybe, I could move toward the life the Atrix never gave me.