The Story Begins
In the automotive world, there is the idea of a sleeper car. Sleepers are high-performance cars in mundane, dull shells. This performance can come from a variety of different areas; it might be a high-performance trim level of a vehicle that most people associate to be cheap or slow, from modifications, or even entire drivetrain swaps.
The enthusiast PC building world also has their equivalent sleepers. In general, these sorts of project swap new, high-performance hardware into chassis from vintage desktop computers, this build from Linus Tech Tips springs to mind as a standout option.
One area that largely gets left behind in the PC hardware modification world is notebooks. Generally, notebooks don’t use standard components, making it virtually impossible to do something like swap newer hardware into an existing notebook chassis.
What we are taking a look at today, however, defies all common knowledge of the PC world. Through the work of some intrepid modders, I am now the proud owner of a 2010-vintage Lenovo ThinkPad X201 with a modern, 8th generation quad-core mobile processor, NVMe SSD, and 32GB of DDR4 memory in it.
Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2018 - 02:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hp, dell, Lenovo, acer, asus, Intel
Intel's delayed release of a new processor is going to have a noticeable effect on the laptop market this year. As there is little chance of seeing anything new until towards the end of this year, laptop designers will not be able to offer new models for the holidays and will instead have to rework existing products. DigiTimes suggests we will see trimmed down models with lower price tags to try to entice consumers into purchasing something, as they expect lower demand than we saw last year. Hopefully some gaming machines may become more affordable, or we will start to see models incorporating AMD's new chips become more common.
"Global notebook vendors including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asustek Computer will be unable to launch new models fitted with Intel's new-generation CPUs in the second half of 2018 as scheduled, as the release of Intel's new offerings will not come soon enough for this year's high season, according to industry sources."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- USB-C for Surface owners arrives in form of a massive dongle @ The Register
- Things AMD Needs to Fix @ Techspot
- BBC releases a wealth of pioneering computer-based TV shows to stream @ The Inquirer
- Taiwan partners to gain from Nintendo Switch shipment boom @ DigiTimes
- macOS Mojave: A visual tour of Dark Mode and other major features @ Ars Technica
- GitLab's move off Azure to Google cloud totally unrelated to Microsoft's GitHub acquisition. Yep @ The Register
- Ticketmaster hack: Firm admits customers' payment details may have been swiped @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2018 - 12:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dell, Lenovo, acer, asus, msi, gaming laptop, hp
The gaming laptop market is going through some big changes, with the two market leaders seeing their dominance challenged by companies more frequently associated with business models. While ASUS and MSI still account for half of the entire market, both with over a million units sold in the first half of 2018, Dell has already hit 500K and DigiTimes predicts Lenovo to hit 800-900K units by the end of the year.
It will be interesting to see how the market changes now that you can once again buy a GPU for less than the price of one of these gaming laptops; not to mention what this competition will do to pricing and design.
"But their market leaderships are being undermined by Dell, Lenovo, HP and even Acer, all of which are strengthening their shipment momentum via pricing competition in the first half of 2018, with both ASP and gross margins for gaming notebooks driven down as a result."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Researchers Invent a Way to Speed Intel's 3D XPoint Computer Memory @ Slashdot
- Microsoft Azure suffers 11-hours of borkage across Europe @ The Inquirer
- Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets @ The Register
- OpenBSD snubs Intel's hyper-threading over 'Spectre-class' security @ The Inquirer
- Gamdias ACHILLES P1 L Gaming Chair @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2018 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lenovo, Yoga 2
The first Yoga book with the Halo keyboard, a touchscreen which shows a keyboard as well as accepting input from a stylus, did not get high marks from Ken when he reviewed it last year. The concept itself was not the problem, it was the lack of any travel on the trackpad and keyboard, even enabling the tactile feedback was not enough to help with typing or clicking and dragging icons. For short tasks it was acceptable, once you grow accustomed to the interface, but you wouldn't want to compose a lengthy document. The next generation will have an faster processor as well as AI to assist with typing, one expects predictive text a la most mobile phones and improved stylus input.
"Teased during Intel's keynote at Computex, where the chipmaker unveiled a 'limited edition 5GHz Core i7', Lenovo's Yoga Book 2 retains the firm's unusual 'Halo keyboard'. Basically, it's a second screen, with a touchscreen surface acting as a digital keyboard."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tech ARP Computex 2018 Live Coverage – Day One
- Tech ARP Computex 2018 Live Coverage – Day Two
- Everything Jensen Huang Revealed @ NVIDIA Computex 2018! @ TechARP
- WatchOS 5 first take: Walkie Talkie, workout auto detect, and smarter Siri @ Ars Technica
- Consistent user experience: Q&A with Gigabyte sales and marketing chief Eddie Lin @ DigiTimes
- Apple WWDC: There's no way iOS and macOS will fully merge as one @ The Register
- GOG’s Summer Sale opens with a Xenonauts giveaway
Subject: Mobile | May 22, 2018 - 12:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Yoga 920, Lenovo, yoga, Kaby Lake R
Lenovo has been updating their Yoga lineup for more than a few years now, with the 920 model being one of the more popular models in recent years. This refresh keeps the same body and watchband hinge, instead the updates are all hidden inside. The base model features a Kaby Lake R Core i7-8550U, 8 GB of DDR4-2400, a 256GB NVMe SSD and a 1080p display, these can be upgraded to 8 GB of RAM, a 1TB NVMe drive and a 4k display if you so choose. Regardless of the display you choose, the touchscreen has been developed by Wacom and offers 4096 levels of sensitivity which makes grabbing a stylus a very good idea, though including one would have been even better.
Take a look at Techgage's full review to see how the new Yoga 920 performs as well as more details about the included features.
"Lenovo’s Yoga series has long been respected for its notebooks’ ability to bend to your will, and the 920 (14) proves to be one of the best models the series has seen. With its incredibly sturdy design, sharp watchband hinge, super-thin frame, and beautiful aesthetics, the Yoga 920 is the ultralight 2-in-1 to consider."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Best Gaming Laptops 2018 @ Techspot
- Sony Xperia XZ2 @ The Inquirer
- Android P Preview 2 hands on—New recent apps, awful gesture nav, and more! @ Ars Technica
- Honor 10 @ TechARP
- OnePlus 6 Review—A series of downgrades is saved by the low price @ Ars Technica
- Huawei P20 Pro @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | April 5, 2018 - 12:11 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: Z-NAND, video, Samsung, project trillium, podcast, p20 pro, nuc, msi, Lenovo, Jedi Challenges, Intel 8th Gen, Intel, Huawei, H370, gigabyte, fractal design, Bloody Gaming, asus, apple, adata
PC Perspective Podcast #494 - 04/05/18
Join us this week for Intel 8th Gen launch, Samsung Z-NAND, and more!!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:53:12
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Picks of the Week:
Josh: Bare Minimum NVME
Alex: Altered Carbon Trilogy
The tides are turning. Over the last few years, the technology industry sung with praises and predictions on virtual reality. The past year, however, tides have begun to shift. While VR remains prohibitively expensive and still wanting in the kind of experiences gamers crave, Augmented Reality is becoming the head-mounted hope for mainstream saturation.
Today, we’re taking a look at one of the first major consumer AR products with Lenovo Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. The set marries exciting technology with exciting IP, but is it enough to justify the $199 MSRP?
MSRP: $199.99 ($169.99 on Amazon as of this writing)
- Dimensions: 315.5mm x 47.2mm
- Weight: 275g
- Buttons: Power, Activation Matrix, Control Button
- Battery: Micro-USB Rechargable
Lenovo Mirage AR Headset
- Dimensions: 209.2mm x 83.4mm x 154.8mm
- Weight: 477g
- Buttons: Select, Cancel, Menu
- Camera: Dual motion tracking cameras
- Battery: Micro-USB Rechargable
- Dimensions: 94.1mm x 76.7mm
- Weight: 117g
- Buttons: Power/color switch
- AA batteries (x2) required
- Connection: Bluetooth connection to phone
- Languages: English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish
The set comes in a large box that doubles as a storage container when the headset and isn’t in use. Everything is nicely packaged, but especially the lightsaber which rests in a nice foam cut-out just under the top half of the box. The unboxing experience is befittingly premium for a product such as this.
The attention to detail on the lightsaber is impressive. It’s a loving recreation of Luke’s lightsaber from A New Hope. The top illuminates white or blue to indicate when it’s paired with your phone. In-game, pressing the side buttons causes the blade to rise up with the iconic sound effect; if you’re a Star Wars fan, it’s beyond neat.
Subject: Mobile | January 25, 2018 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lenovo, Yoga 920
Sadly this is not the Yoda 920 model, however even the non-special model of Lenovo's Yoga 920 is worth taking a look at. The entire body of the 14" convertible is metal to lend this tiny machine some stability and it features Lenovo's lovely watchband style hinge. As you can see in the picture below, a Sharpie is thicker than the Yoga 920 which does mean the chiclet style keys do not have much travel, which TechSport noted but did not find to offer a bad typing experience. The new Yoga also features Thunderbolt 3.0 and a 70WH battery which fared very well in the battery tests they performed in the full review.
"With a 14" foldable display, an 8th-gen Core i7 CPU, and a premium-looking design, the new Lenovo Yoga 920 is aimed at business professionals who want a sleek laptop that is a solid companion on the go and for use in the board room, too."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000 @ TechARP
- Guidemaster: Fitness trackers to consider before buying a smartwatch @ Ars Technica
- Razer Phone Revisited – In-depth Camera Analysis @ Kitguru
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro @ The Inquirer
Subject: Mobile | January 24, 2018 - 12:20 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: vega APU, vega 8, vega 10, swift 3, ryzen mobile, raven ridge, Lenovo, ideapad 720s, amd, acer, 2700u, 2500U
Last October, when AMD launched their mobile-oriented Ryzen Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics product line (Raven Ridge), they talked about several different notebooks that would be shipping with these new parts. However, up until now, there has only been one officially launched and shipping product—the HP Envy x360.
We have an article on the performance of the Ryzen 5 2500U and the HP Envy x360 coming very soon, but today Ryzen Mobile-enabled notebooks have become available to order from both Acer and Lenovo.
First, we'll take a look at Acer's offering, the Swift 3.
For anyone who might be familiar with Acer's current notebook offerings, the Ryzen Swift 3 will seem very similar. From the photos, it appears to be nearly identical to its 8th Generation Intel equipped counterpart. That's certainly not a negative though, as I have been impressed with the Intel variant during some recent testing.
|Acer Swift 3|
|Screen||15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Display|
|CPU||Ryzen 5 2500U||Ryzen 7 2700U|
|GPU||Integrated Radeon Vega 8||Integrated Radeon Vega 10|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 Dual Channel (non-upgradable)|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Network||802.11ac Dual Band 2x2 MU-MIMO|
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
48Wh Battery, "Up to 8 Hours Battery Life"
As far as specs are concerned, Acer seems to be checking all of the boxes. RAM will ship in a dual-channel configuration (although we don't know at what speed it will be running, likely 2133 or 2400,) but will not be user replaceable according to questions answered by an Acer representative on their Amazon listing.
Additionally, Acer seems to be the only notebook maker set to ship the Ryzen 5 2700U variant. Not only does the 2700U give users increased clock speeds of 200MHz at base speeds on the CPU portion, but the GPU sees a significant bump. The 2700U gets an upgrade from Vega 8 graphics with 512 stream processors running at 1100MHz to Vega 10 graphics with 640 stream processors at 1300MHz. This should provide a nice performance boost for the extra $200 Acer is asking.
The Acer Swift 3 is set to start shipping on February 9th from Amazon.
Next up is Lenovo, with their Ideapad 720S.
The only 13" Ryzen Mobile option to be announced, the Lenovo Ideapad 720S also shares a lot of design DNA with Lenovo's Intel counterparts.
|Lenovo Ideapad 720S|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 2500U|
|Graphics||Integrated Radeon Vega 8|
|Memory||8GB DDR4-2133 (Single Channel)|
|Screen||13.3-in 1920x1080 IPS|
|Storage||512GB PCIe SSD|
|Camera||720p / Dual Digital Array Microphone|
|Wireless||802.11AC (1x1) + Bluetooth® 4.1|
|Connections||2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C (DP & Power Delivery)
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C (DP)
|Battery||48Wh "Up to 9.5 hours battery life"|
12.0" x 8.4" x 0.5" / 305.9 x 213.8 x 13.6 (mm)
2.5 lbs (1.14 kg)
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Price||$1049 - Lenovo.com|
Disappointingly, the Lenovo Ideapad 720S will ship only in a single memory channel configuration. This will significantly affect the performance of the integrated graphics, as it is highly dependant on memory bandwidth. I wouldn't expect the memory to be user upgradable either; it's likely a single DIMMs worth of memory soldered onto the motherboard.
Curiously, although AMD listed a 2700U variant of the Ideapad 720S in their slides in October, those models have yet to be seen. However, we've seen this before from Lenovo where they start skipping a single SKU that is the most popular configuration and then filling out the rest of the options shortly after.
The Lenovo Ideapad 720S is available to order now directly from Lenovo, with an estimated shipping date or 5-7 business days.
At a price premium above the Acer Swift 3, the Ideapad 720S seems like a hard sell with lack of dual channel memory. However, for users who may be set on a 13" screen size, it appears it will be the only option.
Overall, I am excited to see more AMD-powered options in the thin-and-light notebook category, and I look forward to getting our hands on some of these new models soon!
Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2018 - 02:15 PM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: VR, lenovo mirage, Lenovo, daydream, CES 2018, CES, camera
UPDATE (2018-01-09 7:38 PM EST): Lenovo has announced new pricing information for its Mirage Solo headset and Mirage VR Camera. In lieu of the specific pricing originally reported, the Mirage Camera will now start at "under $300" while the Mirage Solo will start "under $400." Original article follows below.
Lenovo today announced the Mirage Solo, the first standalone headset compatible with Google's Daydream virtual reality platform. In addition to keeping the processing power, display, and power all confined to the headset for a completely untethered experience, the Mirage Solo also supports "WorldSense," a motion tracking technology that lets users move within a 1.5-meter range of compatible Daydream experiences without the need for external cameras or sensors.
The Mirage Solo is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 VR platform with 4GB of RAM. On-board storage is provided by microSD and can be expanded up to 256GB. The 256x1440 display offers a 110-degree filed of view, and the whole headset weighs in at 1.42 pounds.
The headset's 4000mAh battery is good for up to 7 hours per charge, although Lenovo notes that this number may vary based on the complexity of the Daydream content and the amount of motion involved.
The Mirage Solo includes a wireless Daydream controller and will start at
$449.99 "under $400" when it ships in the second quarter.
In addition to the Mirage Solo headset, Lenovo is also launching a product for those who wish to create and share virtual reality experiences. The Mirage Camera is a compact VR capture device that records 180 degrees of video via two 13MP fisheye lenses.
Once captured, the camera features integrated uploading to Google Photos and YouTube for easy sharing. The videos are recorded in the VR180 format, which allows for immersive 3D playback with compatible devices, or controllable 2D video for those without a headset.
The Mirage Camera includes 16GB of built-in storage and can be expanded with up to 128GB of additional storage via a microSD card. The removable battery offers up to two hours of continuous recording per charge.
The Mirage Camera starts at
$299.99 "under $300" and will launch in the second quarter. A model with integrated LTE is also planned, but Lenovo has not yet revealed pricing or release window for that version.