Lenovo announced its Thinkpad products yesterday, but it held out on a few more surprises. Among the fray are a rugged, backflipping convertibles that hit the 15-inch mark, an affordable Yoga 3, and a tiny Windows tab you can write on with just about anything.
The original Thinkpad Yoga was one of the first rugged, enterprise ultrabooks you might actually want, complete with a keyboard that sucks in when you fold it back like a tablet, and a hefty, durable, iconic Thinkpad frame. Previously, it came as a 12-inch model only, but now it's got two bigger brothers that come in at 14 and 15 inches, respectively.
The larger versions retain all the same charms as their more miniature predecessor, but the 14-incher has an option for discrete Nvidia graphics. So does the 15-incher, plus a full numpad, and an optional RealSense camera that can do Intel's new holodecky tricks. And all three of the triplets sport new 5th generation Intel Core i processors and are available this January, starting at $US1000, $US1200 and $US1200.
Meanwhile, another Yoga is getting small. Lenovo's bringing the same ultraslim form factor of the Core M powered Yoga Pro 3 to a smaller, more affordable 11-incher, the Yoga 3. The Yoga 3 rocks a Core M processor just like the Pro 3, with options for up to 8GB of RAM and up to 500GB of storage, but reps a 1920 x 1080 touchscreen compared to the Pro's 3200 x 1800 one. It also doesn't have the Pro 3's distinct watch-band hinge, opting instead for a more traditional but still 360-degree folding hinge.
The Yoga 3 also comes in a 14-inch variety, that ups the ante to a Core i5 or i7 processor, while keeping screen, storage and RAM options the same. The pair are available starting this March for $US800 and $US980, smaller and larger respectively.
Last but not least Lenovo also has a new and improved version of its tiny 8-inch Yoga Tablet running Windows 8. Using what Lenovo calls "AnyPen" technology, the tiny tab can take writing input from anything with a metal or graphite tip. I scribbled on the tablet with a pencil, a screwdriver, scissors, a knife, all of them worked just like a stylus. The only exception was a ballpoint pen, the tip of which was too obscured by ink, I think.
So far this tech is exclusively for the tiniest Windows tab, but Lenovo's optimistic it can come to the Android tablets too, though it tends to be most useful for hunting and pecking through a tiny version of Windows 8. The new pencil-friendly version of the Yoga tab is available this January for $US300, just $US20 more than the standard version.