Too Much from Lenovo….

By Bob Raikes
Lenovo Stacks
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Lenovo had a huge range of new products at CES, but was not showing publicly on the show floor. Fortunately, we have friends in high places and we were able to meet the company a couple of times at the Pepcom event and also in the meeting room in the Venetian. Lenovo is doing well and was celebrating sales of 100 million ThinkPads. European staff were also keen to highlight more than 20 consecutive quarters of growth.

Lenovo Stacks – could they be added to the back of a monitor?The first thing we looked at was not a display, but was interesting. The company has a new “Stack” concept of modular peripherals that are connected and physically connected using magnets – no cables are required. There are four modules so far – a battery, a wifi router, a bluetooth speaker and an external hard disk drive (1TB). The modules are very compact and know about each other – for example, the battery can extend the battery life of the bluetooth speaker from 8 hours to 48. It could be interesting to develop a monitor to which these could be docked – for example to charge the battery from the monitor.

The Thinkvision X24 was the first monitor we looked at. It’s a thin bezel 7.5mm thick (at the top, anyway) FullHD monitor that has DisplayPort and HDMI and uses a 23.8″ IPS panel. Pricing is a competitive $249. There is a clean look to the back of the monitor and it starts to ship in April. Staff at the Pepcom event drew our attention to the “Tiny-in-one” modular all-in-one that we saw at IFA, but is now shipping. The monitor accepts a Lenovo Tiny PC on the back (best understood with a look at the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7wsfRiZksU)

There has been a full refresh of the Thinkpad line of notebooks to take advantage of the Core M and 5th generation Core-i Broadwell chips which start to ship in February and March. In an interesting move, the company has switched back to traditional click button switches on the touchpad and mechanical function keys, after trying touch in recent models. The very light X1 Carbon has been updated and the standard 1920 x 1080 display can be upgraded to a 2560 x 1440 touch screen. Weight is 2.9lbs, low for a 14″ display set and the machine still includes VGA as well as a mini DisplayPort.

The X250 (from the X240) is about the same weight, but is a 12.5″ display device and is 0.79″ thick. Displays start from 1366 x 768 TN, with options of 1366 x 768 “Premium IPS” and 1920 x 1080 IPS touch. Processors go up to a Core i7 and there are dual batteries with battery life of up to 20 hours, with the 6 cell add-on battery.

Many of the other products are relatively simple upgrades. The T450 and T450S replace the T440 and T440S. The T450S goes up to a 14″ 1920 x 1080 Touch screen and from 8.4 to 17 hour battery life. Details on the T450 were thin at print time. The display on the T450S is IPS-based and is better in viewing angle performance than the author’s T440S.

The T550 is also an ultrabook and is available with 15″ displays up to 2880 x 1620 (16:9) but with weight moving up to 5 lbs. Further down, the L450 and E450 have only single batteries. Displays are 14″ and with 1366 x 768 at 200 cd/m² or 1920 x 1080 cd/m².

For more details on the new Yoga systems, see our notes from the Showstoppers evening event (Lenovo Dominates Showstoppers)