Lenovo takes wraps off ultrabook, tablet hybrid

It also unveils cloud offering, desktop with a touchscreen

LAS VEGAS -- Lenovo got in on the ultrabook excitement before the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) even officially opened.

The IdeaPad Yoga
Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing shows off the IdeaPad Yoga, a hybrid ultrabook and tablet.

Late Monday, Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo's chairman and CEO, announced that the company will produce a hybrid ultrabook that can be flipped around to look and act like a tablet computer. The announcement came at a press event the day before CES opens in Las Vegas.

The IdeaPad Yoga, which is expected to ship after Windows 8 is released, is designed to open up and serve as a regular laptop with a keyboard. However, the screen can be folded all the way back so the machine, which also is outfitted with a touchscreen, acts as a tablet.

"With Yoga, consumers can have a singular experience that combines what they need in traditional PCs with what they want in tablets," Yuanging told the audience.

Lenovo also introduced a new all-in-one desktop: The IdeaCentre A720, which sports the world's slimmest 27-in. LCD screen , according to Lenovo. The frameless LCD is less than an inch thick and is touch-enabled.

In a demo, Peter Hortensius, head of the product group at Lenovo, showed how the desktop screen can be used sitting up vertically or bent all the way down so it lies flat on the desktop. Then he showed that the touchscreen can be used, lying flat, to play games.

"Our foundation in personal computers is very strong," said Yuanqing. "We also know that we must look beyond the traditional PCs for growth, innovation and new markets."

In contrast to those who say the end of the PC era is approaching, Yuanqing said this is an exciting time for the PC market. "Many people think the innovation in traditional PC is coming to an end," he said. "We believe in the exact opposite. I believe the PC will continue to evolve."

Lenovo did not disclose pricing information for the devices.

With Lenovo selling not only PCs, but smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, the company also took the wraps off the Lenovo Cloud. Calling it the centerpiece of the company's four-screen strategy, the cloud offering is designed to hold information and data from all four devices.

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Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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