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New Lenovo Laptops in Multiple Form Factors: Yoga 2 Miix 2 & Carbon X1

*sponsored series

 

When it comes to finding technology for my work and my family, versatility is key. At CES 2014, Lenovo announced new versatile devices for the mobile professional and family.  I had the fun opportunity to meet with Lenovo to find out details about the new devices. The new Miix 2 (10 and 11 inch) premiered with a 3-in-1 detachable laptop design (laptop, stand and tablet). The popular Lenovo Yoga (my current Ultrabook) that first was updated with with the Yoga 2 Pro, now has new versions called the YOGA 2 (in 11 and 13 inch models). The Yoga 2 has my favorite selection form factors: Laptop, tablet, tent and stand modes. For those looking for a super powerful thin laptop for work and for entertainment, the Thinkpad Carbon X1 is only 2.83 pounds and 17.7MM thin with adaptive keyboard and rapid charge technology. So many choices!

 

Lenovo Miix 2

Lenovo Miix 2. Photo credit: Lenovo

 

 

The Miix 2 10 inch weighs only 1.3lbs, runs the new 64-bit enabled quad-core Intel Atom processor, up to Windows 8.1,  battery life of up to 8 hours, 720p high resolution 2 MP front and 5 MP rear cameras , full HD (1920×1200) 10-finger touchscreen display, WiFi and optional 3G, JBL surround speakers, up to 128 GB of eMMC storage along with a micro SD slot for adding up to 32 GB. The Miix 2 (11 inch) is 1.76 pounds has upgraded performance with its up to 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor, greater storage up to 256GB of fast solid state drive storage and a Full HD 1920×1200 IPS wide-view display. The press release also shared that “Both models of the Silver Grey MIIX 2 make connecting, storing and moving content easy with their mini HDMI port to display content on larger screens, an SD card reader, micro USB port and micro SD cards along with USB 2.0 support on the keyboard”.

 

 

 Lenovo Yoga 2 13 inch 4 modes

Lenovo Yoga 2. Photo credit: Lenovo

 

 

At CES 2014 the Lenovo Yoga 2 (11″ and 13″ inch) was announced with the popular 4 multi-mode form factors (laptop, tablet, tent and stand modes). The Lenovo Yoga 2  (11.6 inch) is a light 2.9lbs and has HD (1366 x 768) 10 point touch display, up to 4 GB RAM, up to Windows 8.1, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity,  battery of up to 6 hours and features up to the brand new quad- core Intel Pentium processors for snappy performance.  The larger Lenovo Yoga 2 (13.3  inch), called “workhorse”, has many of the same features with added battery life of up to 8 hours,  weighs 3.5lbs, up to 8 GB RAM, backlit AccuType keyboard, Full HD (1920×1080) display, rubber bumpers around the screen that gives more stability in tent mode and and features more processing power with up to 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor.

 

Lenovo YOGA 2 13inch

Lenovo YOGA 2. Photo credit: Lenovo

 

 

Both sizes offer 1 MP 720p camera, integrated speakers that suppport Dolby Home Theatre v4 and  lots of storage for important data, photos, music, movies and games with its up to 500 GB hard drive (the Lenovo Yoga 2 13′ also offers up to 500GB SSHD storage). The features also allow input/output flexibility with 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, Micro HDMI-out, 3-in-1 card reader. For personalization, the current colors available are orange, silver and black.

 

Lenovo YOGA 2 13inch Yoga Chef

Lenovo YOGA 2. Photo credit: Lenovo

 

YOGA 2 also has more apps that utilize YOGA Picks, Lenovo’s unique service that recommends apps based on the mode (i.e. Standing, tablet, etc). Yoga Pix software will recommend different apps depending on the mode.  App developers, such as Yoga Chef,  partnered with Lenovo to incorporate use of gestures for motions control. One example in Yoga Chef is the ability to advance pages of a recipe without getting “egg” all over the screen!  The camera software has been updated to recognize motion control which can be used to advance applications such as photo slideshows, e-books and Powerpoint slides.  Pop ups within the app can notify users that the app is motion controlled enabled.  Out of the box, the Lenovo Yoga 2 also has Yoga Photo Touch for photo editing that enables use of touch to remove objects, use skin tools and change frames. The Lenovo voice control enables users to execute simple commands such as opening an app utilitzing Nuance’s Dragon Assistant. Lenovo uses Nuance Dragon Assistant Software in Lenovo 2-in-1, tablet, Ultrabook, notebook, and AIO devices

 

The press release also shared quotes that summarized:  “With our detachable MIIX 2 and convertible YOGA 2 and Flex devices, people no longer have to choose between a laptop or tablet. Our multimode products give them the best of both laptop and tablet worlds plus even new modes that make it better and easier to interact and watch their personal digital content,” said David Roman, chief marketing officer, Lenovo. “Now the only decision they have to make is choosing which Lenovo multimode product they prefer – one that flips and folds or one that detaches.”

 

Lenovo’s elegant next generation of 2 in 1 devices open up entirely new ways for people to connect, share, work and play,” said Navin Shenoy, vice president and general manager of the Mobile Client Platform Division at Intel Corporation. “With powerful Intel processors, products like the MIIX 2 deliver the right balance of long battery life and amazing performance so people can stay productive whether they’re using it as a tablet or laptop.”

 

 

While  these next two Lenovo models may be geared towards professionals, they are also great choice for multi-tasking families that balance work and home.

 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Photo Credit: Lenovo

 

 

The Thinkpad X1 carbon Ultrabook is currently the thinnest and lightest  14 inch around at 2.83 pounds and 17.7MM thin. The press release explained “Born from the same stock as aircrafts and racing cars, the X1 Carbon is forged from Carbon Fiber, which weighs less than magnesium and aluminum but is stronger than both“. The up to 9 hour battery life is powered up by Rapid Charge technology which provides an 80% charge in under an hour.

 

Additional features are optional built-in 4G, up to Windows 8.1 PRO, 8GB Ram, up to 512SSD, either i5 or i7 4th generation are 2 panel options (HD + 1600 x 900 and WQHD – 2560 x 1440). The adaptive keyboard is unique because it dynamically adjusts based on the software or application being used to highlight the most relevant keys as well as the advanced voice and gesture controls. To assist in taming the “cable clutter monster”, the new X1 Carbon utilizes the OneLink connector that the press release explained allows users “to get power, Gigabit Ethernet, and dual display support through a single cable via ThinkPad OneLink docking solutions. The ThinkPad OneLink Pro Dock includes multiple USB ports, audio and Ethernet connections and driver-free dual video support through DisplayPort and DVI on selected models. The integrated 90W AC adapter also provides power for the notebook, supports rapid charge and can also charge other devices such as a smartphone.”

 

The 13.3 inch Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, a multimode Ultrabook out on the market already, is light at 3.1 lbs, has up to 9 hour battery life, Windows 8.1 PRO, QHD+ (3200 x 1800) 10 point multi-touch display, up to 512 fast SSD hard drive and up to a 4th generation Intel Core i7 processors. Starting at $999, this makes the Yoga 2 Pro another great option for professionals or for families that need professional features.

 

 

The Jan. 2014*press release shared the following pricing and availability:

Pricing and Availability2 Models of the Lenovo MIIX 2 convertible laptop start at $499 for the 10-in model and $699 for the 11- in model. The 10-in model will be available beginning in March. The 11-in model will be available starting in April. They will be sold via major retailers and www.lenovo.com.  Models of the YOGA 2 13-in start at $999 and are available beginning in February at Best Buy, Best Buy Canada, Future Shop and www.lenovo.com. Models of the YOGA 2 11-in start at $529 and are available beginning in late January at Best Buy, Best Buy Canada, Future Shop, and www.lenovo.com. Models of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon start at $1299 and availability will begin late January. The OneLink Dock Pro is available now at $179.

 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored series for Techlicious Lenovo blogger program  I received products for review as part of the program. My words are my own.

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Sponsored: Three Wireless Products to Capture Ideas on the Go – V.me by Visa Innovator Series

I have always been uncomfortable entering my credit card information into multiple sites when I shop online. I prefer using an online payment service that securely stores my information in one place. This is why I am excited to partner with Visa to try out their new online payment service, V.me by Visa. Together with other bloggers I am highlighting innovation by sharing my curated product bundles available on http://vi.sa/14HRfxo that inspire innovation. For my bundle in the V.me by Visa Innovator Series, I chose to highlight wireless products that allow families and individuals to access information no matter where they are. As a working mom, having information at my fingertips allows me to be productive while on the move. Check out my feature: http://vi.sa/14HRfxo

 

New ideas for family management, new work projects and even birthday gifts come to me at different times of the day and different places, and mobile devices help turn these ideas into plans. I suggest three wireless products to keep innovation flowing no matter where you are:

 

 

To wirelessly print from any location:  The HP Envy 120 Color / All-In-One Color Printer has a sleek design, is quiet, can print, copy, scan, and access the web, has a USB port optimized to power smartphones and can scan and send straight to your email account. With the HP ePrint – I can print from anywhere by sending documents to my printer’s unique email address. This means I can develop my ideas on the road, send them to my printer, and have them waiting for me when I come home.

 

To wirelessly stream your music: I believe that every big or small innovator can benefit from listening to music. When I am working on projects or our kids are doing their homework we stream music to put us in the mood to create new ideas. To enable mobile music streaming, I am going to use the i.Sound GoSync Portable Stereo Bluetooth V2.0 Bluetooth Receiver. The iSound GoSync can wirelessly broadcast music from smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, computers and more to your home or car stereo, control playlists, includes a built-in rechargeable li-ion battery, remembers up to 6 devices and has a 33 foot wireless range.

 

 

Wireless accessories:  When I am working on my laptop I like to carry a wireless mouse with me for comfort and ergonomics. I am also inspired by artistic design. The Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Artist Cheuk 4 is not only comfortable but has original artwork on it created by  Deanne Cheuk, a New York-based art director, illustrator and artist.

 

What wireless products do you need when creativity strikes?

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received $500 from Visa to buy my products on Newegg.com and used its V.me online payment service (available on the Newegg checkout). All of my words are my own.

 

How is some information on how the V.me by Visa online payment system:

 

1. Sign up for V.me by Visa at https://www.v.me/ to store one or more of payment cards (including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards ) and shipping addresses in your V.me account. A default card can be set or changed as needed.

2. At participating websites there will be a checkout with V.me by Visa button. This button enables paying at the online checkout by signing in with the V.me by Visa account (email address and password), confirming payment details and then clicking pay.

3. Payment information is stored behind multiple layers of security. Customized email or text message alerts can provide notification about purchase activity.

 

 

 

 

NYC Adventures With Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium : The Video!

 

At the recent launch of Office 365 Home Premium in New York City’s Bryant Park, I had the opportunity to experience the new features of Office while talking to some very exciting people (keep reading to find out who!). The Microsoft Office 365 experience center showcased the services and applications (for example Word, Excel, PowerPoint and check out OneNote) that together comprise the new Office and demonstrated how they work together for a great experience that helps you amaze, share, connect, explore, create and imagine.

 

These days, I’m constantly amazed at when and where I can actually get things done. The new Office provides me with instant access to my documents and information offline or online, enabling me to be more productive by utilizing brief segments of my day to get things done for my family and myself. The option to use Office 365 on five devices (including PCs, Macs and Windows tablets), stream full Office apps to any Windows 7 or 8 PC, and use Office Web Apps on mobile devices also gives me the flexibility work how I want. After all, being more efficient during the day simplifies my life, and makes my nights less hectic.
 photo c2feab5e-537b-4131-9200-9df0b8adf6ce_zps8a69a1e2.jpg

 

 

Check out my new video on BlogHerTV that not only shares a VIP tour of the launch but also showcases interviews with interesting people. See what busy mom and Hollywood actress Felicity Huffman says came to her rescue managing her life as a mom. Hear what my blogger buddy Jen Singer from MommaSaid.net can do from a waiting room at the Vet and learn tips from Office Insiders regarding how they are using the new Office to make their life easier. Of course, considering where I was (Bryant Park on a beautiful winter day), I had to put on some ice skates for a New York City winter adventure. Luckily, Jen Singer decided to join in the fun!

 

 

Exciting Announcement: TechMama is guest columnist at Laptop Mag

For years, reading online and buying Laptop Magazine has been one of my regular stops to catch up on the latest in mobile tech. Laptop Magazine was (and is) an important part of my daily curation of family technology and social media.

 

Other then my personal blog TechMamas.com ( and as a big fan of CoolMomPicks),  I was thrilled to be part of the team at their sister site CoolMomTech – the top tech shopping site for moms. It was also my dream as a tech blogger to contribute to a mainstream tech site.

 

I am excited to announce that I am a guest columnist at none other then Laptop Magazine (ok, yes I am giddy)! My first column discusses if Augmented Reality toys are bad for your kids. To find out my thoughts – you will need to check out Laptop Magazine online or the May magazine issue. Even better if you do both. As I head out on a business trip next week, I picked up my regular “plane” – shut off your electronics and read a magazine – reading. I must say, buying the recent issue of Laptop Magazine was extra special this time.

 

 

 

Media Event: Windows 7 Holiday 2010 PC’s

About 6 months ago I purchased a new Windows 7 laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor, big hard drive and powerful graphics. My computer was 3 years old – which is 100 years old in PC age.

This new computer has really helped me turbo charge my computing experience and sneak work in between my crazy mom schedule managing 3 boys.

Last week I attended a Windows7 Holiday event that showcased some of the newly available Window 7 PC’s. My slogan this holiday season is upgrading family technology is the best holiday gift, so I was interested to see some of recent advancements and fun features.

Listed below are some interesting PC’s I saw and some of the specs. When choosing a PC it is important to first decide what that PC will be used for, then decide what features are important to support that use. Laptops, with their increasing more powerful specs, are crossing the line between being good for mobile as well as home.

Mobile Computing Power that can also used for work/homework:

Acer TimelineX 1830- starting at $600: Ultraportable, light, 8 hours + of battery life. Specs: Intel Core i3 Processor 4GB RAM, 320GB HD, Intel HD Graphics

Dell Studio 15 – starting at $599: 15.4″, 1080p display, Intel Core i7, 6GB RAM and 256GB solid state drive.

Dell Inspiron Duo – starting at $499: 10 inch multi-touch tablet that transitions to a laptop (Dell’s first convertablie tablet).

HP Envy 14 – starting at $999.99: Laser-etched aluminum design with Beats Audio. Up to Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 320GB

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge – starting at $700: Curved keyboard, Core i3, 3GB RAM, 320GB.

Lenovo U160 - starting at $749: A thin and light computer with a beautiful red design on the outer lid. Core i5 (or Core i7), 4GB RAM, 320GB.’

Samsung SF510 “Shark” – starting at $979: Curved modern design. Core i3, 4GB RAM, 640 GB HD.

Toshiba Kid’s PC Satellite L635 – starting at $499: Water-resistant keyboard, pre-loaded web browser KidZui and NetNanny. Celeron, 2GB RAM and 250GB HD.

Toshiba R705 – starting at $800: Thin and light 13″ Magnesium honeycomb chassis. Core i3, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD.

Family Touch PC’s:

HP TouchSmart 600 -  starting at $999: HD Multi-touch screen and Blu-Ray. Core i7, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD.

Sony Vaio J - starting at $1049.99: 21.5″ full HD touchscreen. Core i7, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD.

I also had a brief opportunity to view some of the new Windows 7 phones. I will be doing more detailed posts in the near future, but for now I thought the Samsung Focus and the Dell Venue Pro were defintely peaking my interest.

This week I will also be posting on Windows Live Essentials 2011, which I just starting using, then a discussion about some of the available free software and services. If only I could find some way to turbo charge my workouts similar to how my new PC turbocharged my work day!

Disclosure: This post is documenting a media event I was invited to. These specifications are from a press release distributed at the event.

This is not a sponsored post.

 

Just Announced: Sony VAIO® E Series, Cool Colors and Affordable Price

While I am still sorting through all the fun tech I saw at CES to create my CES coverage posts, I decided to keep a running tab of the new tech just out. On January 28 I posted with techie details about the Apple iPad. On Feb. 2nd Sony released news about the new VAIO® E Series. This announcement is interesting to add to the ongoing debate about the iPad functionality in the tablet category versus netbooks and laptops. One of the choices being debated is purchasing an internet device such as a tablet, buying a netbook, or buying a full featured laptop that are all now becoming closer in price. While comparing a tablet to a laptop is different because tablets are handheld and laptops are mobile computing  – many consumers need to make a choice of getting the most functionality for the buck.

Here are details from the Sony News press release.  Click HERE to view the Sony Vaio EB series on the Sony Style website. 

PRICE: The Sony Style website states the starting retail price for the Sony Vaio EB series as $799.

DESIGN: The SONY press release stated that the “E Series comes in five
translucent, high-gloss colors
— Caribbean Green, Iridescent Blue,
Coconut White, Hibiscus Pink and Lava Black— and three matte
colors—Maple Brown, Silver White and Gunmetal. Subtle patterns can be
found on the lids, of the glossy models, with the palm rest mirroring
the color of the PC….
With a 15.5-inch (measured diagonally) widescreen display with optional HD capability so movies….The edge-to-edge isolated keyboard has a
numeric pad built-in, giving you the experience of using a larger
computer in a much smaller footprint.
A pleasing dimpled touch pad is seamlessly integrated into the palm rest.

STORAGE, BATTERY LIFE, USB PORTS/CONNECTORS: The SONY press release stated “transfer and store data to peripheral devices utilizing the notebook’s eSATA/ USB port and three convenient USB ports. Select models incorporate Bluetooth® technology, enabling peripherals such as a wireless mouse to be utilized without tying up the unit’s ports…..For those who prefer to watch content on a
big screen television, the PC has an HDMI™ output so it can be
connected to a compatible HDTV set for a larger viewing experience
(HDMI cable required, sold separately).
Up to 500GB hard drives are available.. It also has the added convenience of DVD and CD read/write functionalities.”

The current Sony Style website has the following other features listed: WiFi – IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, max of 3.5 hours battery time, 8GB max RAM, and a weight of 5.95 pounds.

CAMERA: The SONY press release stated: “A built-in webcam with face-tracking
technology and microphone let you video chat with family, friends and
colleagues. A third-party internet service provider is required.”

APPLICATIONS: The SONY press release  states: “All E Series PCs come pre-installed with Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium operating system…..The E Series notebook also comes with three unique hardware buttons– WEB, VAIO and ASSIST to get you to where you want to go with a touch of a button. Quickly access the Internet, without full boot up into Windows®, by simply pressing the WEB button. Launch directly into Sony’s own Media Gallery software by pushing the designated VAIO button on the keyboard and create high-quality home movies. Finally troubleshoot any issues or facilitate simple do-it-yourself PC maintenance procedures by pressing the ASSIST button and launching the included VAIO Care™ software program…”

MULTI-TASKING and PROCESSOR INFO: Multi-tasking = YES. The SONY press release states “Select E Series models pack an Intel® Core™ i5 processor with Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technologies, delivering the performance needed for multitasking”. Sony Vaio EB series also available with the Intel® Core™ i3 processor. The Sony Style website also lists “dedicated graphics of ATI Mobility Radeon™ with up to 512MB of VRAM on select models” which helps support processing of video and photo related tasks.

MUSIC, MOVIES AND TV: As stated above, the HDMI output can be connected to a compatible HDTV set. The SONY press release  also stated:” The E Series notebook features an optional Blu-ray Disc™ ROM drive, making it ideal for viewing pristine HD content on-the-go”.

EBOOKS: Sony’s has a line of e-Readers and access to the Reader Store. Along with Google Books, the Reader Store has access to over 1 million eBooks.  With the Reader Library Software installed on the PC, ebooks can be purchased and stored. You do not need a device to use the service.

GREEN TECH: The SONY press release states: “E Series is ENERGY STAR® 5.0 Qualified, EPEAT® Silver registered and RoHS compliant. Its corrugated cardboard packaging is comprised of 95 percent recycled content. Sony will also help recycle your old PC (www.sony.com/green; recycling fees may apply).

All the information for this post was taken from the Sony Electronics press release and Sony Style website. This post is an update related to the press release.

I saw additional posts on the updated Sony Vaio E series at Engadget and Electronista.