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Lenovo's shape-shifting laptops, tablets get a facelift

By Agam Shah
January 5, 2014 07:11 PM ET

IDG News Service - Lower pricing hasn't stopped Lenovo from adding a gaggle of new features and innovations to its latest hybrid laptops and tablets.

Lenovo announced the new detachable Miix 2 and Yoga 2 laptop-tablet hybrid, which carry lower starting prices of $499 and $529, respectively. The highly anticipated ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which starts at $1,299, has an innovative reprogrammable keyboard that can adapt to applications. The 27-inch Horizon 2 all-in-one PC allows content and apps to be pulled from smartphones, tablets and other PCs.

The new models are thinner and lighter, and step up performance with Intel's latest Atom chips, called Bay Trail, and fourth-generation Core processors, nicknamed Haswell. The new PCs were announced ahead of the International CES show in Las Vegas.

Lenovo's Yoga 2 hybrid
Lenovo's Yoga 2 hybrid

Yoga 2 hybrid

The Yoga 2 is the thinner, lighter and cheaper successor to the original Yoga laptop announced last year. The current Yoga 11S starts at $799, while the Yoga 13 starts at $849.

The Yoga can double up as a tablet, with the screen capable of twisting 360 degrees around and folding into the base of the laptop.

"The Yoga 2 advances the design and gets to mainstream price points," said Nick Reynolds, executive director of marketing for Lenovo business group.

The hybrids will come in models with 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch screens. The screens are available at up to a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. The Yoga 2 PCs will ship this month.

Starting at $529, the 11-inch model is 17 millimeters thick and weighs 1.3 kilograms. It has a quad-core Intel Pentium processor and a 500GB hard drive.

The 13-inch model starts at $999, is 17.3 millimeters thick and weighs 1.5 kilograms. It is performance-oriented, with a Core i5 and 500GB SSHD (solid-state and hard-drive combination) storage.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook

The innovative ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a refresh of the company's popular laptop introduced in 2012. Starting at $1,299, the laptop "is the world's lightest 14-inch ultrabook," Reynolds said. It is 17.7 mm thick and weighs 1.27 kilograms. The laptop will become available in January.

It has Haswell processors and offers nine hours of battery life. Another new feature is an "adaptive keyboard," in which the keyboard's function buttons can be reprogrammed to work in accordance with programs.

"As I launch one application such as a Skype call, it will dynamically change those keys to have Web conferencing or VOIP conferencing applications. If I change that once again over to an Internet browser, it will adapt those keys to functions that are relevant," said Matt Bereda, marketing director for Lenovo's Think Business Group.

The goal is to make it easier for users to access functions when most needed. It is easy to reconfigure the adaptive keyboard, Bereda said.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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