Lenovo announces line of Windows 8 convertibles
As we grow closer and closer to the launch of Windows 8, it is becoming clear what kind of devices we can expect to see. Manufacturers are targeting Windows RT and Windows 8, but are mostly doing so with devices that function as both tablets and laptops. These touch-enabled products are designed mostly to allow users to enjoy Windows 8 in a no compromise environment. Lenovo has dubbed their line “convertibles”, since they can be used as both a tablet and as a full-on laptop.The Yoga 11 and Yoga 13The Lenovo Yoga got its name from the ability to take the screen and fold it all the way back on itself. In fact, the tablet mode for this device is activated by folding the screen all the way back and touching the other side of the keyboard area. The Yoga comes in an 11-inch model and a 13-inch model, both offering the same 360-degree hinge.The Yoga 11 is a Windows RT device, sporting an nVidia Tegra 3 processor. Lenovo bills this device as the slimmest multi-mode PC, since the 2.8 pound device is only 0.62 inches at its thickest point. Since this is also one of the first multi-mode PC’s out there, crowning the Yoga 11 as the thinnest isn’t really the most important feature here. The 11.6-inch 1366×768 display on the Yoga 11 is accompanied by 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. The $799 price tag puts this device at the high end of most Tegra 3 devices, and is the only Windows RT device in Lenovo’s lineup.The Yoga 13 packs a lot more power than the 11, but has a price tag to match. This convertible can support either an i5 or an i7 processor, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of SSD storage. The 1600×900 IPS display is powered by an Intel HD 4000 graphics card, and includes USB 2 and USB 3 ports. All this power cuts the reported battery life almost in half from the 13 hours reported to be in the Yoga 11, and 7 hours is fairly low by Ultrabook standards. Still, the 3.4 pound convertible is an impressive 13.3-inch laptop, and the form factor is certainly unique enough to turn some heads. Lenovo lists the starting price for the Yoga 13 at $1099, with no pricing available for a fully loaded version.The LynxOne of the more common designs for the no compromise Windows 8 device is to have the screen be removable from the keyboard entirely. This puts all the computing power in the screen area, but leaves the keyboard region for more battery life. The Lynx is Lenovo’s detachable Windows 8 device, and one of the first to come running an Intel Atom processor.If you have the two pieces together, the 2.86 pound Lynx look just like a laptop. Lenovo claims that the combined device will get you 16 hours of battery life, as well as a full keyboard. When you separate the 11.6″ 1366×768 display from the base, the 1.41 pound tablet exists with half the battery life. Having seen Windows 8 devices on Atom processors before, The Lynx should be pretty snappy, and the 400 nit display should be good to use indoors or outdoors.The Lynx is $599 for just the tablet, and $149 for the keyboard dock with the extra battery.The TwistThe last time hardware manufacturers got it in their heads that Windows could be used like a tablet, most of the devices that were made allowed the screen to pivot in the middle and close backwards on the keyboard. Most of those devices didn’t work well because the hardware wasn’t right for the time. The Twist convertible is taking another crack at that design, only now with the hardware and software to match.The 12.5″ Twist will come in 13,i5,and i7 flavors, starting at $849. This 250 12.8-inch IPS screen is coated in Gorilla Glass and offers a 7 hour battery with a 30 day standby. Lenovo has billed this device as being for small businesses and educational purposes. As the heaviest and thickest of the new Lenovo devices at 3.48 pounds and 0.79 inches, that claim is curious. The Twist is the only device in Lenovo’s new line to offer a 350 or 500GB HDD as an option instead of a 128GB SSD.The Twist offers some additional audio cancellation with the 720p webcam and Dolby Digital Home Theater, as well as an “Executive look and feel” with the soft touch coating on the outside.Lenovo’s new line of convertibles fall throughout the range of prices that have been seen for the other Windows 8 devices that are on their way. As each manufacturer lines up their new devices, the desire to know what Microsoft has up their sleeve grows. If the Microsoft Surface is priced in line with the devices that Lenovo and others are releasing, than these device will be very competitive.