Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 12:48 PM | Scott Michaud
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.
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.
Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 01:07 AM | Tim Verry
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.
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.
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.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 3, 2013 - 02:29 AM | Tim Verry
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.
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.
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.
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2013 - 12:27 AM | Tim Verry
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.
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).
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.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | August 23, 2013 - 02:45 AM | Scott Michaud
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.
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.
... 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.
Introduction and Design
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.
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:
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.
Subject: Displays | July 30, 2013 - 05:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
"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:
- ASUS PQ321Q UltraHD Monitor Review: Living with a 31.5-inch 4K Desktop Display @ AnandTech
- Asus VG248QE Review @ TechReviewSource
- Dell UltraSharp U2913WM @ Hardware.info
- Samsung LS24C750 @ Hardawre.info
- HP Envy 27 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Panasonic TC-L55ET60 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Panasonic TC-L55DT60 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Sony KD-55X9005: first affordable UHD 4K TV @ Hardware.info
- LG 55LA8600 Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: Editorial | July 17, 2013 - 09:34 PM | Josh Walrath
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 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?
Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2013 - 03:02 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Lenovo, IDC, hp, desktop market share
Earlier this week Gartner reported that global PC shipments in the second quarter of this year had fallen 10.9% YoY. In line with Gartner’s statistics, market research firm IDC (International Data Corp) has also released Q2 2013 results on global PC shipments. The interesting takeaway from the IDC report is the market share numbers, however. The IDC report shows that Lenovo has overtaken HP as the number one PC OEM with the highest market share.
According to IDC, global PC shipments fell 11.4% to 75.632 million units versus the same time last year. Despite taking first place, Lenovo still managed to shrink 1.4% YoY due to a 10% decrease in shipments to the Asia/Pacific market (excluding Japan) which makes up about 50% of Lenovo’s market. It still managed to outperform market forecasts by only seeing a slight decrease from 12,802,000 PC shipments in Q2 2012 to 12,619,000 in Q3 2013.
Because Lenovo’s shipments only decreased 1.4%, it managed to snag 1st place from HP which shrank 7.7% YoY. Lenovo now holds 16.7% of global PC market share versus 15% market share at the same time last year. Comparatively, HP went from 15.7% in Q2 2012 to 16.4% in Q2 2013. ASUS and Acer actually lost market share and saw decreased global PC shipments of 21.1% and 32.6% respectively.
In short, Lenovo lost the least amount of shipments in an overall declining market, so it managed to edge out HP and the other major OEMs for top spot. Although it still had a net loss (in number of shipments / growth), it performed quite well this quarter.
More information can be found here.
What do you think about Lenovo earning the most market share for global PC shipments?
A 27-in Table PC
While foraging through the land that is Las Vegas during the 2013 Consumer Electronic Show, we ran into Lenovo and they showed us a unique PC design they were calling the "Table PC". The Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon is a 27-in All-in-One design that is finally available in the market and brings some very interesting design decisions and use cases.
At its heart, the IdeaCentre Horizon is a 27-in 1920x1080 display with an AIO PC design that includes some pretty standard Intel-based Ultrabook-style hardware. That includes an Intel Core i5-3337U dual-core processor, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX GT620M graphics processor, a 1TB 5400 RPM HDD and 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory.
But this computer is much more important than simply the hardware it is built around. Built to switch between a standard AIO configuration but allows for a fold-down, multi-user interface with custom software for interaction, the Horizon attempts to bring life to low-cost computers built for more than one user at a time.
From a physical perspective, the IdeaCentre Horizon has the normal and expected design cues. There is an HD webcam up top for Skype calls, touch-based buttons for volume and brightness, indicator lights for drive usage, power states, etc.
The 1920x1080 10-point touch screen on the Horizon was nice, but not great. For a 27-in display that you are going to be interfacing with very closely, the pixel density is definitely lower than our 1080p 21-in touch screen AIO floating around the office. There were some minor glare issues as well, even with the Lenovo "anti-glare coating" while using the Horizon in the fully laid down, flat position.