Lenovo Challenges Google

Lenovo has unveiled a bevy of new devices at an event in Beijing, including a Chromecast rival.

First are three new laptops for consumers: the Z41 and Z51 are for multimedia use, and the Ideapad 100 for simple (read: basic) functionality.

The Z models are 14″ (Z41) and 15″ (Z51), with 1920 x 1080 resolution and optional discrete AMD graphics (R7 for the Z41 or R9 for the Z51). Both feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi and processors up to Intel Core i7, with 1TB of storage (HDD or SSHD). In addition, the Z51 features Intel’s Realsense 3D camera. Prices start at $500 and $600, respectively.

Aimed at users on a budget, the Ideapad 100 uses a Baytrail-M processor and integrated Intel Graphics. Storage is 128GB with an SSD or 500GB with an HDD. Battery life is around four hours. HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports are featured. It will be available in both 14″ and 15″ sizes (both 1366 x 768), with prices starting at $250.

We expect to hear more about these laptops when they are released in June.

Lenovo Cast streaming dongle

Lenovo also showed off the next generation of the Thinkpad 10 – a 10.1″ business-oriented tablet, with 128GB of storage and running Windows 10. The new model will be driven by a quad-core Intel Atom processor and be supplied with a stylus. Battery life is up to 10 hours, and screen resolution is 1920 x 1200. Lenovo can fit the tablet with anti-glare or privacy films, if required. Prices start at $550.

Finally, ‘Lenovo Cast’ is how the Chinese company hopes to challenge Google. The circular device is designed to make it easier to share content from small screens on larger displays.

There are three steps: plug, link and play. Lenovo Cast must be plugged into a display’s HDMI port; it is then linked to the device’s signal. Finally, DLNA- or Miracast-enabled phones or tablets can mirror their screens to the dongle, wirelessly. Android, iOS and Windows mobiles are compatible. Lenovo says that streaming is seamless thanks to dual-frequency Wi-Fi and a 20m range (even through walls).

Lenovo will start selling Lenovo Cast worldwide in August, for $50.