IFA 2013: Lenovo Launches S5000 Thin and Light Seven-Inch Tablet

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 5, 2013 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: tablet, s5000, Lenovo, ideatab, android 4.2

Today, Lenovo announced a new high end seven inch tablet called the IdeaTab S5000. The new tablet measures 7.9mm thick and weighs 246 grams (0.54”).

The chassis has a laser engraved “fabric feel” back cover finish and chrome accents on the side. A large 5” 1280 x 800 (350 nit) touchscreen display dominates the front of the device. A 1.8MP webcam sits above the display and a Lenovo logo is located below the display. The tablet also has a rear 5.0 MP camera.

S5000_Hero_01.jpg

The IdeaTab S5000 is powered by a MediaTek 8389 SoC with a quad core CPU clocked at 1.2GHz and PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card), and a 3,450 mAh battery. The tablet is rated at 8 hours of continuous Wi-Fi web browsing or 6 hours of HD video playback. It has a OTG (On The Go) USB port allowing it to act as a host and connect to devices such as external storage. The S5000 can further be configured with HSPA+ 3G cellular connectivity.

The S5000 runs Android 4.2 and comes with Lenovo suite of customized smart apps for document and photo editing (among other things). The IdeaTab S5000 will be available in Q4 2013 for an as-yet-unannounced price.

Source: Lenovo

IFA 2013: Lenovo Updates Its Smartphone Portfolio With New Vibe X Flagship and Updated K900

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 5, 2013 - 02:52 PM |
Tagged: vibe x, smartphone, mtk 6589t, Lenovo, k900, android 4.2

Lenovo announced new mobile devices at IFA 2013 in Berlin this week including the new flagship Lenovo S960 “Vibe X” and an updated Lenovo K900 in orange or black colors. The new K900 is available now in China and the new Vibe X smartphone will be available (in China) in October.

The Lenovo Vibe X is the company's new flagship smartphone. The hardware, encased in a polycarbonate body is 6.9mm thin and weighs 121 grams. The smartphone features a 5-inch (440 pixels per inch) 1920 x 1080 IPS display covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. A 5MP front-facing webcam uses a 84-degree wide angle lens and the rear 13MP auto-focus camera has a back-illuminated sensor and LED flash.

IdeaPhone S960 (Vibe) _ 3.png

Internal specifications include a quad core MediaTek 6589T SoC clocked at 1.5GHz, a PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU, 2GB of memory, 16GB of internal storage, and an embedded 2,000 mAh Li-Po battery. The phone runs Google's Android 4.2 operating system.

IdeaPhone S960 (Vibe).jpg

I find it interesting that Lenovo has moved away from the Intel platform for its new flagship. Unfortunately, it still is not coming to the US or Europe. Instead, the new Vibe X smartphone will be available in China in October and in other countries where Lenovo smartphones are sold around the December time frame.

In addition the IdeaPhone S960 Vibe X, Lenovo has issues a slight update to the Clover Trail+ powered K900. The phone will now be available in orange and black, which are new color options in addition to the existing silver model.

Lenovo K900 Orange Smartphone.jpg

The phone is available now in China in 16GB and 32Gb capacities and will be available later this year in other countries. According to Into Mobile, the orange edition will cost users around 3,299 Yuan (which is a 300 Yuan premium over the silver SKU).

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing Gives Bonus From Bonus

Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 12:48 PM |
Tagged: Lenovo

After taking over IBM's line of personal computers, Lenovo climbed to first place amongst PC manufacturers. They spite the declining market with growth year-over-year and record shipments of devices. Over half of their revenue comes from PC sales.

Lenovo-YangYuanqing.png

Now, for the second consecutive year, CEO Yang Tuanqing (pictured above) is congratulating many of his employees by sharing his bonus with them. A total $3.25 million USD will be distributed amongst 10,000 employees who otherwise are ineligible for bonuses or commissions. Manufacturing workers are the focus with 85% of recipients located in China. For those employees, this would be equivalent to receiving an extra month's pay.

This move was very generous and humble; it is nowhere to be seen on their official press sites. It became public when Bloomberg received a leaked HR memo and confirmed it with a company spokesperson.

Good on you, Lenovo.

Source: Bloomberg

Lenovo Adds T440 and T440S Ultrabooks To Its ThinkPad Lineup

Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Thinkpad, t440s, t440, Lenovo

In addition to the high-end X240 ultraportable, Lenovo has launched the T440 and T440S to its ThinkPad lineup. Both machines are 14” notebooks with larger trackpads, HD displays, optional dedicated graphics, Intel Haswell processors, and up to 17 hours of rated battery life. The T440 and T440S notebooks can also be outfitted with NVIDIA GT 720M or 730M dedicated GPUs respectively. Unfortunately, the SKUs with NVIDIA graphics will not be available in North America. The T440S is the higher-specced unit of the two, and both notebooks will be available in October.

T440_Standard_03.jpg

The Lenovo T440 is a four pound, 21mm thick 14” ultrabook. It can be configured with an HD+ touchscreen display, Intel Haswell i5 CPU with HD 4400 graphics, up to 12GB of DDR3L memory, and a 1TB hard drive or a 512GB SSD. Other features include a 720p webcam, Dolby Digital Plus with Advanced Audio 2 technology, Intel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and 4G LTE ratios. IO includes mini Display Port, VGA, two USB 3.0, one SD card reader, and a RJ45 Ethernet jack.

The T440 will be available at the end of October with a starting price of $899.

ThinkPad T440s_3.jpg

Stepping up from the T440 to the T440S gets you some extra features and a lighter laptop thanks to a carbon fiber chassis. The ThinkPad T440S is a 14” notebook that is 20.45mm thick and weighs 3.5 pounds. The notebook can be configured with an Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, a 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display, three USB 3.0 ports (instead of the two on the T440), and Dolby Digital Plus with Home Theater 4 audio technology.

The faster and lighter ThinkPad T440S will also be available at the end of October with a starting MSRP of $1,149.

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Launches Premium ThinkPad X240 Business Ultrabook

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 3, 2013 - 02:29 AM |
Tagged: x240, ultrabook, Thinkpad, Lenovo, ifa

Lenovo recently launched a new high end business ultrabook called the ThinkPad X240. The 12”  ultrabook is aimed at road warriors and business professionals that want high end hardware in a portable form factor.

The ThinkPad X240 is a 12-inch, 20.3mm (0.79”) thick, notebook that weighs less than three pounds (1.34kg). It has large trackpad, backlit keyboard, 720p webcam, Dolby Home Theater Advanced Audio 2 technology, up to a 1080p display, and full size ports. External IO includes VGA, Ethernet, a combo headphone/mic jack, SD card reader, HDMI out, and two USB 3.0 ports.

X240_Hero_01.jpg

Internal specifications include Intel Haswell processors with HD 4400 graphics, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, and up to a 1TB hard drive. The system comes with a TPM chip and finger print reader and can be further configured with a 3G/4G LTE cellular radio, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and NFC radios.

The X240 also features Lenovo's Power Bridge technology which allows users to hot swap batteries while a 3-cell internal battery keeps the system powered up. When the 3-cell internal battery is paired with a removable 6-cell battery, Lenovo rates the X240 at 10 hours of battery life.

X240_Standard_01.jpg

The new ThinkPad X240 is portable and fairly powerful with battery life that business professionals value. Should the reviews hold up, it looks like a solid machine. It will be available around the end of October with a starting price of $1,099.

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Launches New ThinkCentre AIOs and Desktops

Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2013 - 12:27 AM |
Tagged: thinkcentre, Lenovo, desktop, business, all in one

Lenovo recently launched new ThinkCentre business PCs. The new systems include All In One and tower form factors and span the new E93z, E73z, M73z, and M73 series. All models come with Intel Haswell processors and will be available later this year.

The E93z, E73z, and M73z series are All In One desktops. They feature optional multi-touch screens, improved cable management, and the ability to tilt, rotate, adjust height, and lay flat thanks to the ThinkCentre UltraFlex stand. The Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z is the highest-end model and is a mere 48mm thick. The AIO comes with a 10-point multi-touch display, an Intel Haswell Core i7 processor, optional 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 discrete graphics, and a Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). The E93z’s display is a 21.5” screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Additionally, the system has both HDMI In and HDMI Out ports, allowing users to use the AIO as a display for another computer and/or connect the AIO PC to an additional display.

Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z.jpg

Further, Lenovo is also launching the ThinkCentre E73z and M73z All In One systems. Both PCs feature Intel Haswell Core i7 processors, SSHDs, a 20” display, 720p webcam with mic, and stereo speakers. The AIOs also come with TPM chips and self encrypting hard drive options.

Lenovo is also launching traditional desktop systems in a mini “one liter tiny” and tower form factors. Users will need to pair these with a separate display, though the systems do support remote power up with compatible keyboards. The smallest M73 comes in a box slightly bigger than a consumer router and can be mounted to the back of a desktop monitor or to the wall.  The M73 also comes in mini-tower and Small Form Factor (SFF) form factors which provide a single optical drive, two USB, and two audio jacks. The SFF is a tower slightly shorter and skinnier than the mini-tower but larger than the Tiny variant. The desktop systems come with Intel Haswell processors, SSHDs, USB 3.0, and Wi-Fi support (including WiDi).

Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny PC.jpg

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny desktop PC.

For example of the IO provided by the M73 series, the M73 Tiny includes a single eSATA, three USB 2.0, one VGA, one RJ45, two USB 3.0, two audio jacks, and a Wi-Fi antenna connector.

All of the new ThinkCentre models will be available later this year. The Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z will be available in September for a starting price of $699. The ThinkCentre E73z is also coming in September starting at $599. Further, the M73z AIO and M73 desktop series will both be available in October starting at $599 and $439 respectively.

More photos of the new enterprise machines can be found over at AnandTech.

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Bundles Start Menu... Which Bundles an App Store?

Subject: General Tech, Systems | August 23, 2013 - 02:45 AM |
Tagged: SweetLabs., Pokki, Lenovo

Hate the "Modern" Windows UI? There's an app... store... for that...?

Several solutions exist to reintroduce the classic Windows interface into Windows 8. Not surprisingly, OEMs consider developing or including some option with their devices as a selling point. Perhaps even less surprising, this solution is considered bloatware by some and tries to suggest apps for you.

Oh Lenovo...

sweetlabspokki.jpg

As Ars Technica reports, at least the software tries to be helpful, almost spiting its nature as a pre-installed third party app store. Pokki, the software developed by SweetLabs, includes shortcuts to the Windows Control Panel and other functions expected of a Start Menu.

It also, from its promotional image, above, feels like it will confuse novice users. The recommendations are prominent and docked against what should be system functionality. The layout is not particularly dishonest but, in my opinion, is too opaque about its intent to sell you applications.

SweetLabs previously struck a deal with Acer to include Pokki and Zynga titles on their laptops.

Lenovo intends to include this software in a variety of products. IdeaPad laptops, IdeaCentre desktops, and ThinkPad laptops were all announced.

pocky.jpg

... no relation to the sweet snack, Pocky... I think?

Maybe a little inspiration?

Of course many users might prefer this software to the default Windows experience. Even on Windows 7, I found myself purchasing and installing DisplayFusion to customize taskbar functionality. I also use BlueStacks, for example, which has its own marketplace and recommended applications.

This software could be good for users.

Mostly I hope consumers, from the out-of-box experience with their new devices, have control and understanding over the situation. Typical bundleware gives that a bad name. I am looking at you, antivirus trials.

Source: Ars Technica
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer:

Introduction and Design

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It seems like only yesterday (okay, last month) that we were testing the IdeaPad Yoga 11, which was certainly an interesting device. That’s primarily because of what it represents: namely, the slow merging of the tablet and notebook markets. You’ve probably heard people proclaiming the death of the PC as we know it. Not so fast—while it’s true that tablets have eaten into the sales of what were previously low-powered notebooks and now-extinct netbooks, there is still no way to replace the utility of a physical keyboard and the sensibility of a mouse cursor. Touch-centric devices are hard to beat when entertainment and education are the focus of a purchase, but as long as productivity matters, we aren’t likely to see traditional means of input and a range of connectivity options disappear anytime soon.

The IdeaPad Yoga 11 leaned so heavily in the direction of tablet design that it arguably was more tablet than notebook. That is, it featured a tablet-grade SOC (the nVidia Tegra 3) as opposed to a standard Intel or AMD CPU, an 11” display, and a phenomenal battery life that can only be compared to the likes of other ARM-based tablets. But, of course, with those allegiances come necessary concessions, not least of which is the inability to run x86 applications and the consequential half-baked experiment that is Windows RT.

P7192796.jpg

Fortunately, there’s always room for compromise, and for those of us searching for something closer to a notebook than the original Yoga 11, we’re now afforded the option of the 11S. Apart from being nearly identical in terms of form factor, the $999 (as configured) Yoga 11S adopts a standard x86 chipset with Intel ULV CPUs, which allows it to run full-blown Windows 8. That positions it squarely in-between the larger x86 Yoga 13 and the ARM-based Yoga 11, which makes it an ideal candidate for someone hoping for the best of both worlds. But can it survive the transition, or do its compromises outstrip its gains?

Our Yoga 11S came equipped with a fairly standard configuration:

specs.png

Unless you’re comparing to the Yoga 11’s specs, not much about this stands out. The Core i5-3339Y is the first thing that jumps out at you; in exchange for the nVidia Tegra 3 ARM-based SOC of the original Yoga 11, it’s a much more powerful chip with a 13W TDP and (thanks to its x86 architecture) the ability to run Windows 8 and standard Windows applications. Next on the list is the included 8 GB of DDR3 RAM—versus just 2 GB on the Yoga 11. Finally, there’s USB 3.0 and a much larger SSD (256 GB vs. 64 GB)—all valuable additions. One thing that hasn’t changed, meanwhile, is the battery size. Surely you’re wondering how this will affect the longevity of the notebook under typical usage. Patience; we’ll get to that in a bit! First, let’s talk about the general design of the notebook.

Continue reading our review of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Convertible Notebook!

When you think monitors, do you think Lenovo?

Subject: Displays | July 30, 2013 - 05:42 PM |
Tagged: Lenovo, thinkvision, ips display, LT3053p

The Lenovo ThinkVision LT3053p is an 30" IPS LED backlit display with a 2560×1600 resolution and a hefty price tag of around $1500.  For that price you do get some interesting input choices including a mobile high definition link port, which looks like an HDMI input except for the MHL label as well as both DisplayPort 1.2 in and an DP 1.2 out to allow you to daisy chain another monitor to the Lenovo.  As well a single USB 2.0 and four USB 3.0 ports were installed, including a dedicated charging port like is seen on many laptops now on the market.  For professionals this monitor is able to display 30bit colour and 99% Adobe RGB gamut.  Benchmark Reviews also demonstrated how the monitor can be split and accept sources from two different computers and have a mouse and keyboard hooked up directly so that it can act as a sort of KVM switch.  The features are interesting but it is hard to get over the sticker shock.

BR_lenovo_LT3053p_front.jpg

"In the past year or so flat panel monitor prices have entered free-fall, with massive 27″ displays widely available for under $300. Given that, why would anyone even consider spending over $1,500 on a somewhat larger 30″ display? Lenovo has lent Benchmark Reviews one of their ThinkVision LT3053p units to review, so let’s see what all that extra money buys you."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Intel Announces Q2 Results: Below Expectations, but Still Good

Subject: Editorial | July 17, 2013 - 09:34 PM |
Tagged: silvermont, quarterly results, money, Lenovo, k900, Intel, atom, 22 nm tri-gate, 14 nm

Intel announced their Q2 results for this year, and it did not quite meet expectations.  When I say expectations, I usually mean “make absolutely obscene amounts of money”.  It seems that Intel was just shy of estimates and margins were only slightly lower than expected.  That being said, Intel reported revenue of $12.8 billion US and a net income of $2 billion US.  Not… too… shabby.

Analysts were of course expecting higher, but it seems as though the PC slowdown is in fact having a material effect on the market.  Intel earlier this quarter cut estimates, so this was not exactly a surprise.  Margins came in around 58.3%, but these are expected to recover going into Q3.  Intel is certainly still in a strong position as millions of PCs are being shipped every quarter and they are the dominant CPU maker in its market.

Intel-Swimming-in-Money.jpg

Intel has been trying to get into the mobile market as it still exhibits strong growth not only now, but over the next several years as things become more and more connected.  Intel had ignored this market for some time, much to their dismay.  Their Atom based chips were slow to improve and typically used a last generation process node for cost savings.  In the face of a strong ARM based portfolio of products from companies like Qualcomm, Samsung, and Rockchip, the Intel Atom was simply not an effective solution until the latest batch of chips were available from Intel.  Products like the Atom Z2580, which powers the Lenovo K900 phone, were late to market as compared to other 28 nm products such as the Snapdragon series from Qualcomm.

Intel expects the next generation of Atom being built on its 22 nm Tri-Gate process, Silvermont, to be much more competitive with the latest generation offerings from its ARM based competitors.  Unfortunately for Intel, we do not expect to see Silvermont based products until later in Q3 with availability in late Q4 or Q1 2014.  Intel needs to move chips, but this will be a very different market than what they are used to.  These SOCs have decent margins, but they are nowhere near what Intel can do with their traditional notebook, desktop, and server CPUs.

To help cut costs going forward, it seems as though Intel will be pulling back on its plans for 14 nm production.  Expenditures and floor space/equipment for 14 nm will be cut back as compared to what previous plans had held.  Intel still is hoping to start 14 nm production at the end of this year with the first commercial products to hit at the end of 2014.  There are questions as to how viable 14 nm is as a fully ramped process in 2014.  Eventually 14 nm will work as advertised, but it appears as though the kinks were much more complex than anticipated given how quickly Intel ramped 22 nm.

Intel has plenty of money, a dominant position in the x86 world, and a world class process technology on which to base future products on.  I would say that they are still in very, very good shape.  The market is ever changing and Intel is still fairly nimble given their size.  They also recognize (albeit sometimes a bit later than expected) shifts in the marketplace and they invariably craft a plan of attack which addresses their shortcomings.  While Intel revenue seems to have peaked last year, they are addressing new markets aggressively as well as holding onto their dominant position in notebooks, desktops, and server markets.  Intel is expecting Q3 to be up, but overall sales throughout 2013 to be flat as compared to 2012.  Have I mentioned they still cleared $2 billion in a down quarter?

Source: Intel