Who is the super mega ultrabook winner?

Subject: Mobile | March 26, 2019 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, acer, asus, dell, hp, Lenovo, microsoft

Over at Ars Technica is a close comparison of a half dozen ultrabook models from a variety of manufacturers, with the purpose of determining which stand above the others.  As there are as many ways of using an ultraportable as there are people who carry them around, they've split their findings into a number of categories.  Take a look to see which models are tops for business use, best overall, best convertible or best detachable, just to name a few. 

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"Ultrabooks have become the standard design for most premium Windows laptops, and they represent the best of what companies like Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft have to offer in terms of design, power, and innovation."

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Source: Ars Technica

Lenovo Unleashes Smart Devices with Alexa and Google Assistants

Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2019 - 02:11 AM |
Tagged: tablet, snapdragon 450, Lenovo, google, Android, Alexa

While Lenovo’s desktop displays and mobile PCs got most of the attention at CES earlier this month, the company also took the wraps off a number of smart devices for the home in the form of a Google Assistant powered clock and a pair of Alexa powered tablets.

The Lenovo Smart Clock features a four-inch touchscreen using an IPS panel and 480x800 resolution wrapped in a soft touch fabric shell. Around back there is a single USB port, mute mic button, and volume controls. The Smart Clock uses a single 3-watt speaker (6W max) and there is support for Google’s multi-room audio and Chromecast support integrated. Measuring 113.88x79.2x79.8mm and weighing 328 grams (0.72 lbs), Lenovo’s smart clock is powered by a MediaTek 81675 clocked at 1.5 GHz paired with 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal eMMC storage. Wireless support includes 802.11ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 5.0.

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On the tablet front, Lenovo launched the Smart Tab P10 and Smart Tab M10 which officially launched January 19th. Both models are 10-inch tablets that run Android Oreo and include a docking station (the Smart Dock) that enables Alexa Show Mode. The Lenovo M10 is the budget option and the P10 dials up the specifications a bit. Both tablets have a 10.1” 1920x1200 IPS display, front-facing Dolby Atmos speakers (the M10 has two, the P10 has four), front and rear cameras (the M10 uses a 2MP camera up front and a 5MP rear camera while the P10 has a 5MP front camera and an 8MP rear camera), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor. The M10 features a soft touch finish, measures 8mm thick and weighs in at 1.05 pounds while the P10 uses a dual glass design and is slightly thinner and lighter at 7mm and 0.97 pounds respectively. The Lenovo M10 has 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage depending on the specific SKU along with a 4850 mAh battery. Stepping things up slightly the P10 offers up to 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a 7,000 mAh battery. The P10 further adds a Fingerprint reader and extra sensors.

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When docked the tablet can take advantage of dual 3-watt speakers and three far-field microphones to listen for Alexa activation commands while also being charged via the dock connector. The Smart Dock itself weighs 1.76 lbs and measures 2.57” x 11.16” x 1.96”.

Lenovo’s Smart Tab tablets are available now starting at $199.99 for the Smart Tab M10 and $299.99 for the Smart Tab P10. The Google Assistant-powered Smart Clock has a MSRP of $79.99 and is slated for a spring 2019 release.

What are your thoughts on the Alexa integrated tablets? I think it’s a nice-to-have feature, but I’m not sure I like Alexa enough to buy a tablet because of it. With that said, I will say that I was resistant to the various assistants (Cortana, Alexa, Google), and I still don’t use it on my phone, but the Echo and Echo Dots at the house are useful and can do some cool stuff! A tablet that can dock and use Alexa controls to display stuff could be handy for looking up recipies or watching the PC Perspective podcast (#JoshTekk) while in the kitchen.

Source: Lenovo

It's simply the rest ... that Ars saw at CES

Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2019 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: ces 2019, Lenovo, Samsung, LG, dell

Ars Technica takes you through an eclectic mix of devices which caught their eyes at CES, not necessarily award winners nor groundbreaking tech but at least somewhat eye catching.  For instance, Lenovo's smart alarm clock below with a 4" screen at 800x400. Powered by a 1.5GHz MediaTek 8167S SoC and a PowerVR GE8300 GPU with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage it has a significant amount of processing power, and one hopes security to stop someone from disabling your snooze button! 

There are also laptops, TVs in both OLED and MicroLED as well as a new Vive, all of which you can see here.

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"CES 2019 has finally come to an end—and by and large, it was a more interesting show than last year's. To that end, the Ars reviews staff has put together another annual Best in Show list, and this group of products we consider particularly interesting."

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Source: Ars Technica

CES 2019: Lenovo Yoga S940, Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED, Lenovo Yoga A940, Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2019 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: yoga, Lenovo, ces 2019, CES

Lenovo has also unveiled a new Yoga line of four very different products: two laptops, an all-in-one PC, and a mouse that is designed for presentations.

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Up first is the Lenovo Yoga S940. This is an ultra-slim, 14-inch laptop with a 4K, HDR screen and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. The processor is an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 backed by an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which seems to narrow down the possibilities to either the Core i7-8650U, the Core i7-8565U, or the Core i7-8550U. Each of these are quad-core, HyperThreaded processors, although the frequency changes quite a bit from model to model, so which one they actually chose could matter a bit.

Users can choose between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, although all three CPUs could have allowed 32GB – CPU support and “being able to actually fit it inside a tiny laptop” are two different things, however. In terms of connectivity, it has two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as a single USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port. That’s a bit light on the USB side of things, but the ability to attach two separate Thunderbolt 3 devices might make up for that. They do not list a 3.5mm audio jack, though.

The Lenovo Yoga S940 will be available in May for $1499 USD.

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Next is the Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED. As the name suggests, it’s a laptop with an AMOLED screen, which supports 4K. They also say that the screen supports “100% color gamut” although they don’t claim what gamut that is. They don’t seem to make any HDR claims, either.

In terms of specs, once again we get an unnamed eighth-generation Core i7 processor and an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which could be one of the three processors that I listed in the S940 section, above. Also, the RAM is still limited to 16GB. Unlike the S940 that offered 1TB of PCIe SSD, this one maxes out at 512GB, although that should be a lot for most use cases. It would be a little low for the stuff I do with my work PC, though, such as multiple side-by-side installations of Visual Studio to handle multiple different projects. The S730 has just one Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, but two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, as well as an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED will be available in April for $1649.99 USD.

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Up next is… not a laptop. The Lenovo Yoga A940 is an all-in-one pen-input device like the Microsoft Surface Studio. It also comes with the Lenovo Precision Dial and the Lenovo Active Pen 1 AES 1.0, which should also be familiar to those who are interested in the Microsoft Surface Studio.

The entire device is powered by an again unnamed Intel eighth-generation Core i7 processor, but this time it comes with an AMD RX 560 GPU to help with content creation tools (and games of course). Users can choose between 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB of RAM. Storage is a choice between 128GB PCIe SSD, 256GB PCIe SSD, 512GB PCIe SSD, 1TB SATA HDD, and 2TB SATA HDD. They don’t say whether a PCIe SSD can be installed alongside a SATA HDD, but I certainly hope so.

The Lenovo Yoga A940 launches in March for $2199.99 USD.

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Last up is the Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter. It’s an ultra-thin mouse with a laser pointer built into it. The center can buckle to make an arc-shaped mouse, or it can be pushed flat. The whole device is 1.4cm thin, which is a little over half of an inch. Its sensor tops out at 1600 DPI, which can be reduced to 1200 DPI and 800 DPI if you are more comfortable at one of those speeds. It also has a built-in red laser pointer.

The Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter will be available in June for $69.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

CES 2019: New Lenovo "Legion" Displays: Y44w & Y27gq

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Lenovo, g-sync, freesync 2, display, ces 2019, CES, amd

Lenovo has added two monitors to their Legion line of gaming devices.

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The Lenovo Legion Y44w is a 43.4” gaming display. Most of that size is horizontal, however, because it has a 32:10 aspect ratio. If you have ever used a 1920x1200 monitor, which was the PC equivalent of 1080p while PC manufacturers believed that 16:9 was too wide so they settled on 16:10 for the Windows Vista era, then you should imagine two of them side-by-side in a single monitor. In fact, the Y44w supports two separate video inputs if you wish to split the monitor down the middle into two side-by-side 1920x1200 displays. It can also operate as a single, 3840x1200 display, of course. This resolution is a little over half of a 4K panel, so it should be easier for second-tier GPUs to feed.

Beyond the resolution, the color gamut is listed as “99% sRGB, BT.709, DCI-P3” and it is certified as VESA HDR400. If the slide deck is correct and it can do 99% DCI-P3 at HDR400, then it should have an amazing picture. It can also do 144 Hz with FreeSync 2, so you do not need to compromise refresh rate to get those beautiful colors. The also have an optional speaker from Harman Kardon that can be attached to the display.

The Lenovo Legion Y44w will be available in April 2019 for $1199.99 USD.

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Lenovo also announced the Legion Y27gq gaming monitor. This one is a standard 16:9, 1440p, TN panel that can be driven up to 240 Hz. It supports G-Sync, but not HDR. Despite not supporting HDR, it still covers 90% of DCI-P3, which is quite wide for a TN panel. Lenovo is listing it as an “eSport gaming monitor”… so you can probably guess that high refresh rate and G-Sync are the focus.

If you gotta go fast, then the Lenovo Legion Y27gq is available in April 2019 for $999.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

CES 2019: Lenovo "Legion" Peripherals: H500 7.1 Pro & H300 Gaming Headsets, K500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard, M500 RGB Mouse

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: RGB, mechanical keyboard, Lenovo, Legion, headset, gaming mouse

Lenovo has just announced two new gaming headsets, a gaming mechanical keyboard, and a right-handed gaming mouse.

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The Lenovo Legion H500 7.1 Pro Gaming Headset is the high-end of the two announced. For $99.99 USD, the headphones have 50mm drivers in an all-black with black anisotropic metal highlight design. It supports virtual 7.1 surround sound via its USB sound card, although it can also be plugged into 3.5mm analog jacks. The microphone is retractable.

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For $59.99 USD, the Lenovo Legion H300 Gaming Headset still has 50mm drivers although it loses the USB sound device with 7.1 surround; it can only attach by 3.5mm, stereo. The headset design is somewhat similar, though, including the retractable microphone.

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Moving on to the Lenovo Legion K500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard. This device is based on Cherry MX Red switches, which means you will not feel a click or a bump as the key passes it actuation point. I personally don’t like linear keys, because I don’t like having no feedback until I bottom out, but that is 100% user-preference. The bottom of the keyboard has a full palm rest, which is detachable if you want to save that little bit of room. Its media keys are standard buttons on the top-left of the keyboard. I like how it contributes to the overall simple, clean design, although I would prefer a volume roller or dial. The price is listed as “starting at $99.99” (USD) although I don’t see any upsells listed.

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The Lenovo Legion M500 RGB Gaming Mouse uses a 16,000 DPI Pixart sensor and Omron mechanical switches. It also had three-zone RGB lighting and seven programmable buttons. There is also a 10g adjustable weight to customize how it feels to move. It is expected to cost $59.99 USD.

All peripherals are available in April 2019.

Source: Lenovo

CES 2019: New Lenovo "Legion" Gaming Laptops Announced. 15-inch Y740, 17-inch Y740, 15-inch Y540

Subject: Systems, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Lenovo, Legion, Intel, geforce, gaming laptop, ces 2019, CES

Three new laptops have been added to Lenovo’s portfolio under their “Legion” gaming brand. All three of them will contain “Unannounced NVIDIA GeForce GPUs”.

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The Lenovo Legion Y740 comes in two sizes: 15-inch and 17-inch. Based on the slide deck, both models have the choice between the Intel Core i5-8300H and the Intel Core i7-8750H. The Core i5-8300H is a quad-core CPU with HyperThreading (eight threads) that can turbo up to 4 GHz. The Core i7-8750H is a six-core CPU with HyperThreading (twelve threads) that can turbo up to 4.1 GHz. This can be paired with 8, 16, or 32GB of RAM at 2666MHz, or “8GB + 8GB 3200MHz Corsair Overclocked Memory”.

As for storage, both models can have up to 512GB of PCIe SSD, 512GB of SATA SSD, or 2TB of spinning metal. The 17-inch model can also have an Intel Optane drive added to it, although they don’t list a specific size. Both models also have 1x USB-C connector with support for Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, and USB 3.1. Alongside the USB-C is, also, HDMI, LAN, three standard USB 3.1 Gen 2, and a mini-DisplayPort connector. They also have an RGB keyboard, which, from the picture, appears to be tenkeyless. Both have Dolby sound, but only the 17-inch model also has a subwoofer. They do not list an audio jack, although I see a hole on the left side that could be either audio or a power plug. I think I also see power on the back, so I assume that it is audio on the side. Mobile phones are one thing, but a laptop better have a headphone jack.

The built-in displays are 1080p, which is a good size for a laptop, and support 144 Hz G-Sync @ 300nit. There is also an upsell to a 500nit panel that has been certified for Dolby HDR400. They don’t say whether the upsell also supports 144Hz G-Sync, but I would assume that they do. Check before you buy, though.

Both sizes will be available in February 2019. The 15-inch starts at $1749.99 USD and the 17-inch starts at $1979.99 USD.

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The third model is the Lenovo Legion Y540. This one will be available a little bit later – May 2019. Interestingly, the CPU is listed as “Intel Core processors”. As such, I would assume that this laptop will use a new, unannounced processor alongside the unannounced GeForce GPU. Lenovo does mention that the laptop can be paired with up to 32GB of RAM at 2666MHz.

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The battery is listed as “52.5Wh & 57Wh (Configuration dependent)”. Since an extra 4.5Wh seems like a tough upsell, I am guessing that battery you receive will be tied to the chosen display, but Lenovo doesn’t say so I don’t know. It looks like there will be a choice between three displays: a 60Hz 1080p IPS panel at 250nits with “45%” color, a 60Hz 1080p IPS panel at 300nits with “72%” color, and a 144Hz IPS panel at 300nits with “72%” color. I put each of the color space percentages in quotations because they don’t list which color space. Since one of them is an HDR panel, I’m going to assume that they don’t mean sRGB… because that would be awful. I am hoping that they are referring to the DCI-P3 color space. They could mean NTSC 1976, although that would be a bit low for an HDR panel.

The laptop has a USB-C port but, unlike the Y740, it can only be used for USB 3.1. There are also three standard USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port, one mini-DisplayPort, an Ethernet jack, and a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can still attach external monitors to it without the USB-C. They keyboard is backlight, but not RGB – just white.

As mentioned, the Lenovo Legion Y540 will be available in May 2019. It will start at $929.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

Mobile Coffee Lake Sssssss leak

Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2018 - 04:12 PM |
Tagged: Lenovo, coffee lake s, i7-9550U, i5-9250U, i3-9130U, Intel

Lenovo let a secret out today, the model numbers of mobile Coffee Lake S chips, of which we have only officially seen desktop parts so far.  The i7-9550U, i5-9250U and i3-9130U will be available in their new  IdeaPad family and while Lenovo may have labelled them 8th gen, they are very obviously 9th gen parts; this could imply they are also build on their 14nm++.  The Inquirer did not find much more information than the part names, we do not know frequencies or TDPs but as this is a refresh you can expect an iterative improvement in both.

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"While Intel has revealed desktop variants of its ninth-generation Core CPUs, which are effectively a refresh of its Coffee Lake S architecture found in eighth-gen processors, it has yet to reveal details of laptop variants."

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Source: The Inquirer

The Yoga Book gets a squirt from the electronic octopus

Subject: Mobile | November 8, 2018 - 02:44 PM |
Tagged: Lenovo, yoga book 2018, e ink

Lenovo chose to use more traditional hardware for the keyboard on the new Yoga Book, E Ink instead of their previous Halo design.  This update means that screen will accept touch and pen input without needing extra steps, making it much easier to draw directly on the screen after a second or two for it to refresh to the new interface.  The lack of physical keys may be a drawback for some, Ars Technica had some issues when trying to compose lengthy texts though those used to touchscreens may never notice.  Sadly Lenovo has not included the ability to read anything but PDFs on the E Ink screen, hopefully that will change soon.

Check out the review in full here.

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"Lenovo's quirky Yoga Book is back with some significant updates for 2018. The original Yoga Book was a unique hybrid of a tablet sporting a "halo" keyboard panel with no actual keys and a real paper drawing pad. Part netbook and part convertible, this year's edition remains quirky but seems more practical and less cumbersome than the original."

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Source: Ars Technica

Walks like a laptop but folds in your hand, Y O G A

Subject: Mobile | September 28, 2018 - 03:25 PM |
Tagged: yoga, thinkpad x1, lenovo thinkpad x1 yoga, Lenovo

Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 offers a unique choice, you can get a silver model if for some reason you wish to commit such a heretical action.  The connectivity options include two Thunderbolt 3 and two USB-C 3 ports, along with a mini-LAN port if you can't go wireless at some point, which should be quite infrequently as you can install a SIM card in these Yogas.  The IPS screen is HDR, though not OLED and The Register was quite taken with it.  Check out their full review as well as the rather important note at the very end right here.

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"The Yoga form factor has been one of Lenovo’s biggest successes, and in 2013 the company slapped a business suit on it and brought the it into the Thinkpad fold. Three years later it added the X1 branding, and a premium OLED display."

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Source: The Inquirer