#LenovoLaunch and #LenovoIFA
At the Lenovo Launch event in Berlin, Lenovo announced a lot of new products, including tablets, notebooks, smartphones. Also announced a phablet called … surprise surprise … the Lenovo PHAB.
Here are my first impressions from Berlin.
Disclaimer: I was invited to these events by Lenovo and I am a member of the Lenovo INsiders advocacy program. All opinions presented here are my own.
There were three Yoga Tablets announced, the Yoga Tab 3 8 inch version, the 10 inch version and the Yoga Tab 3 Pro, which also got the built-in projector.
The projector is now built into the middle of the hinge, and turns with the hinge, so you can vary where you shine that picture. It also got auto-focus (uses distance measuring) and it somehow detects the angle to vary the picture size when you shoot it not quite straight.
How you would use the projector? There are many opinions. I myself am not 100% sure I could find a use for it, although I am leaning towards the business use: for presentations. The possible problems? The light level of 50 lumen is very low for day time presentations, and there is no presentation mode: the screen and the projected image is always the same.
Nice and loud speakers though, with great sound.
For me perhaps the biggest surprise is the reduction of the line. No Windows tablets, and no 13″ version. I asked around and it would seem we might get Windows tablets at some point, but the 13″ version was not well received.
Lenovo announced new Ideapads, and among them a very special device: the Ideapad Miix 700 tablet. The media was quick to dub it the Microsoft Surface clone or even the Surface killer.
It’s a strange device because spec-wise it sits between the two Surfaces that Microsoft has. It has some great additions, like the LTE option (missing from the Surface Pro 3).
The most impressive thing when you see it is of course the hinge, which was borrowed from the Yoga 3 Pro. The hinge opens a flap on the back, that can be used to have the tablet stand up (“stand mode”). The sales package will also include the keyboard cover, unlike with the Surfaces where the keyboard cover is not included.
All in all I really liked the Miix 700. You can check out my preview of the Miix 700.
Myself being a ThinkPad T/X series fan the currently announced “budget-ThinkPads” are not that interesting to me. I took a peek at the E560 ThinkPad, and it felt like a solid machine. Purely on the specification front they are decent machines with latest Intel processors and surely many price-conscious businesses will find it an excellent device no doubt.
ThinkPad YOGA 260/460
The new Thinkpad YOGA 260 has to be my favourite device from the announcements (although the Miix 700 is a very close second). The new ThinkPad YOGAs look fantastic. The ThinkPad YOGA 260 is the 12 inch version and the 460 is the 14 inch version. Both can have up to 16GB of RAM, which was a very big complaint from me (and apparently others) about the previous generation of Ultrabook devices from Lenovo. (We were told by Lenovo that 16GB is the minimum goal for all Skylake models … yaaay!).
The battery life promises 10 hours, which is nice. The YOGAs will be using the just released Skylake processors (i3-6100U, i5-6200U, i5-6300U, i7-6500U, i7-6600U). vPro version can be expected later – whenever Intel announces those, probably during CES 2016 in January.
The new YOGAs have an LTE option, and the bigger one (ThinkPad YOGA 460) also has an option for dedicated graphics. Both pass Milspec testing, so they are ThinkPads through and through. They feel excellent in the hand, have a very nice keyboard. Although I have to say looking at them side by side you get the impression that the 260 has a smaller keyboard. It turns out the actual keys are the same, but the distance between them is a slightly smaller. Typing on the 260 this does not immediately strike me as something I should be worried about, I typed out a Hello world program into notepad without errors.
If you are interested in the Yogas there is a very nice preview on the Lenovo Forums.
The ThinkPad YOGA 260 and 460 will also come in silver. We got a peek at the silver version backstage at IFA 🙂 – look for images below.
The two differences from the black version are: obviously the color and the silver option will not have LTE (WWAN). This is because the silver paint contains metal particles to make the paint durable and pass the milspec tests. But at the same time this paint interferes with the antennas that would be required for the LTE modem.
I did not spend a lot of time with the Vibe phones as they are not sold in Finland at the moment.
The Vibe Phones feature that struck my eye is the 4000 and 5000 mAh batteries. I wish more manufacturers would realize, that people use their phones a lot, and it means a lot of recharging. Big batteries for everyone!
I personally don’t think I would use a phablet (I still make relatively many phone calls, which would look ridiculous with a phablet 🙂 ), and the PHAB is certainly on the bigger end of the spectrum. That said, there seems to be a market for them, and so manufacturers are almost “required” to make them 🙂
As a device, I really like the size of the PHAB. If I would get one, it could probably replace the tablet I now use. Would be interesting to try a phablet for a few days, just to see how it would work out during everyday use. Of course my biggest problem would be carrying it, as my phone travels in my pocket. And I have no pockets big enough for a phablet 🙂
More devices ….
There were a lot more devices announced and showcased, which I will just mention in this article: All-in-ones, ThinkCentre Tiny, the new Y Series (gaming line), Moto 360 smart watch. There was even a Chromebook present, the Ideapad S100. It has variants that have Windows on them, and it felt like a pretty solid little machine.
If you are into gaming, check out a great video interview for the Y Series