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Lenovo CES 2014: Tablets Still Rock

*sponsored series

 
With all the new announcements at CES 2014, it may have seemed like tablets were not top priority. But I was excited to see the quality of new tablets that are truly becoming that one unified device for both entertainment and work.   A great example is the new Lenovo ThinkPad 8 tablet that joins in with the already released Yoga Tablet 10 and 8.

 

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet – Photo credit: Lenovo

 

The Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet is high definition enough for entertainment while also having the features needed for a successful work device. It has an a 10 point multi-touch 8.3 inch display (1920×1200) with Windows 8.1 Pro, 2MP and 8MP cameras, latest Intel Bay Trail Quad Core processor, up to 128GB of storage and Global 3G/4G LTE support.  Accessories include a USB 3.0 dock that converts the ThinkPad 8 into a full PC experience and a keyboard base. The Quickshot Cover enables converting to Tent mode and peels back to use the 8 MP camera. There is also a microHDMI port that allows connection to a PC to view pictures or photos or use Miracast technology to transfer them wirelessly.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet

Lenovo Yoga Tablet. Photo Credit: Lenovo

 

The Yoga Tablet 10 (10 inch) and Yoga Tablet 8 (8 inch) Android tablets offer a unique multi-mode design: it has a battery cylinder on the side that makes it easy to hold, Quad core 1.2 Ghz processor, Android 4.2 Jellybean, native storage of 16GB  or 32 GB and can add up to 64GB micro-SD card storage, micro USB for charging, a pop out stand for standing up (good for watching or listening to media and video chat) and the ability to “tilt” the stand (good for typing or gaming).  To really enable mobile use, the battery has a maximum life of 18 hours, lasting throughout the day and more.

 

Both the 8 inch and 10 inch Yoga Tablet have an HD 1280 x 800 display with a 178 degree viewing angle that is wide enough to share with the whole family.  The screen is  crisp, clear and easy to ready and the chrome design is stylish to look at.  Connectivity includes integrated Bluetooth, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and GPS. The sound is enhanced with the tablet’s Dolby Digital Plus speakers that face front. The 5.0M rear and 1.6M front cameras offer the ability to take high definition pictures.  For those that prefer using a keyboard, there is a touch keyboard with nice haptic response or an option to use Accutype keyboard Bluetooth accessory.

 

 

Lenovo Tablets

 

 

Our family had the opportunity to review the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 and 8. We found that the 10 inch is the perfect size for teens and adults to comfortably read content. The Yoga Tablet 8 inch is the perfect size for my 11 year old to watch ESPN and consume all types of content instead of squinting to see content on his small MP3 player. But the 8 inch would also be great for mobile adults looking for a smaller form factor. My husband has been looking for a tablet for a while now, evaluating different operating systems, form factors and performance. His latest experiment has been with the 10 inch Lenovo yoga tablet and it is proving to be very capable for both business and personal use.

 

 

He found that the set up of the Yoga Tablet was very straight-forward and similar to other Android devices. Charge it up, turn it on, establish the WiFi connection and start downloading the apps you need to be productive. The kids were very impressed with the games both familiar and unfamiliar in the Google Play store. LinkedIn loaded quickly and was easy to use, with the front and back camera on the Yoga tablet coming in handy to capture valuable information for various folders that help in home/family and business management.
One very handy feature is the built-in kickstand which enables the tablet to be used multiple ways in addition to holding it in your hands. With the kickstand down, the tablet props up like a computer screen in a landscape position. This is very handy when used in conjunction with a Bluetooth keyboard. Roasted 90 degrees, the kickstand also secures the tablet upright in portrait position, which is convenient when looking at an email inbox, photos, long documents or games. For those who like to use a tablet almost flat to the table, placing the Yoga down with the kickstand in place provides a tablet at a small angle to the table which is great for touch screen use. Our family really enjoyed these different positions, each with their own benefits allowing for customization of use according to what we were trying to do and whether we were sitting or standing.

 

The speakers provide high quality Dolby sound and are located on the front in the bottom corners, a much better design than speakers in back which can be muffled by a tablet cover. The volume controls and headset jack are conveniently located on the side and feel high quality to the touch. No loose headset connection where if you don’t press it in just right the stereo sound turns mono and the audio gets scratchy. And while it’s not usual to like the on/off button on a computer or tablet, the large button on the end of the built-in battery with a very clean motion when pushed is a welcome role model for what buttons on computers should feel like. Also impressive is the screen, with 1280X800 max resolution and a built-in graphics processor which delivers the quality needed for everything from writing documents  to watching YouTube videos and playing games.

 

Pricing as of Jan. 2014:

The ThinkPad 8 convertible tablet configure to order models start at $399 and Topseller
models start at $429.  The Yoga Tablet 8 starts at $199 and the Yoga Tablet 10 starts at $275.00.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Lenovo CES 2014 : Horizon 2, 4K Monitors and Beacon

*Sponsored series

 

For my first CES 2014 covering Lenovo products I discussed the Lenovo Yoga 2 and other new laptops. But Lenovo also showcased new technology at CES 2014 that enables new types of mobility and flexibility with home devices - and ups the ante for professional desktop monitors (that can also be used at home). The Horizon 2 showcases one of the most exciting new developments in home technology, the PC that extends into A TABLE form factor (also called a table PC)! The Horizon 2 is slimmer (19.5mm) then original Horizon, with new features such as NFC that allows devices to share digital content directly.

 

Lenovo Horizon 2 Standing Position

Horizon 2 – Photo credit: Lenovo

 

The Lenovo Horizon 2 Table PC has a 10 finger touchscreen, motion control features for navigation, Windows 8.1, four hours of battery, up to 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor and Dolby Home Theater.  When used in Stand mode, it can be used as an All in One Desktop. “Table” mode enables collaborative computing such as playing games for up to four people. Accessories include a joystick, striker and e-dice to enhance the digital gaming.

 

Lenovo Horizon 2 Joy stick

Horizon 2 – Photo credit: Lenovo

 

Enhancing “table” mode is the Lenovo “Aura” custom interface for media aggregation and entertainment. The press release explained enables users to “upload photos from their camera or smartphone and the Aura interface will try to recognize the faces in the photos, access media from their PC or smartphone on their home network directly on Horizon 2’s display when it lays flat in Table Mode with the Aura interface activated. They can either use the new Horizon mobile app to shake their mobile Android device, allowing the content to “fall” onto Horizon 2’s screen. Or they can place the mobile device on the screen, which signals to the Aura dial to open around it and “pull” out content onto Horizon 2’s display. Also, users can edit photos and share directly from Aura to Facebook.“ In addition, the Horizon 2 also has multi-user games including Ubisoft’s Chubby Kings, Legacy Games’ Crayola’s Songbook and education apps such as I Spy from Scholastic.

 

 

 

Lenovo Horizon 2 Aura Interface

Horizon 2 – Photo credit: Lenovo

 

Lenovo announced the Beacon personal cloud storage device which allow to store and play media from anywhere using a tablet, smartphone, PC or TV.  The Beacon stores files within the device.   Because families these days have so much media to store, it is helpful to have a specific media storage for the home. Features include storage expandable to 6 TB and an Intel Atom dual core processor. The service has no monthly fees, can load files wirelessly or via USB connection, is able to auto upload photos from a smartphone camera via WiFi or 3G, uses Lenovo custom app on an Android smartphone to remotely control or play media stored on Beacon to an internet connected TV or by HDMI, and includes security features and ability to share with multiple users.

 

Lenovo Beacon

Lenovo Beacon Photo credit: Lenovo

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the other Lenovo product announcements from CES 2014:

  • Lenovo N308 is the company’s first Android all in one desktop that is geared for those who want access to apps, entertainment and browsing.  The N308 runs the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, comes with an NVIDIA Tegra quad core processor, up to 500 GB hard drive storage, a 720p webcam and WiFi.
  • Lenovo A740: The Lenovo A740 is an aluminum styled 27 inch All in One that is only 4mm thin. It has up to 1 TB of hard drive storage, voice and motion control, a 10 finger touchscreen display, NFC for exchanging digital content, HD Display with wide 178° viewing angle (WQHD 2560×1440), NVIDIA GeForce graphics, JBL speakers and Dolby Home Theater.
  • Traditional notebooks Zline 14 and 15 inch for general computing are great for users on a budget. Starting at $399, they have quality features such as Intel Core processors, Dolby speakers, optical drives, different memory options 4GB, USB 3 port to work with USB 3 dock to hook into a keyboard. The 15 inch has a numeric keypad on the keyboard.
  • The Y40  (14 inch) and Y50 (15 inch) are laptops geared for media creation and gaming with Nvidia GTX graphics,  up to Core i7 and 16 GB RAM, backlit keyboard (modern design, red backlight), SSD option, touchscreen and has a 4K option. Both have JBL speakers with subwolfer. Price points starting from $699.
  • Two other new devices are the Thinkvision Pro2840m, a 4K (28 inch) monitor that is geared toward the engineering (CAD) or professional market with full speakers for only $799!!  Another is the Thinkvision 28 that is focused on consumer home market with a 4K monitor, adjustable stand that lays flat for gaming and has 32 GB storage. Touch and Android are additional features for $1199. The computer supports 4K is streaming on YouTube and Netflix.
  • The Lenovo Flex 20 (already out on the market) is a more portable alternative to the Horizon. It is an dual mode all-in-one PC that adjusts from standing in a “desktop” mode to laying flat in “entertainment” mode but hinge is adjustable at any angle. The 19.5’HD screen (1600 x 900) has 10 point multi-touch, built in camera and microphone for video conferencing, wide viewing angle, TV tuner and the stereo speakers have Dolby Home Theater.  Accessories such as joystick, striker and e-dice can be used with fun and educational games from a custom Lenovo Aura interface. The Aura was created to make the PC a “social device bringing users together to enjoy fun apps and multimedia.  Games can be loaded from the Windows Store and the Lenovo app shop. The up to 2 hour battery allows the PC to be moved to different parts of the house.  The USB 3.0 enables faster file transfer and copying of large media files (also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices).
  • In the multi-mode category there is also the Lenovo Flex in 14D (14 inch) or 15D (15 inch) notebooks.  These value convertible laptops have AMD A6 quad core processors, all day battery life, two modes (Laptop and Stand) and  Dolby Advanced Audio v2 .

 

Lenovo Flex 15D

Lenovo Flex 15 D Photo Credit: Lenovo

 

Pricing from the press release:

The Lenovo Beacon personal cloud storage device will be available beginning in April with models starting at $199. The Lenovo N308 AIO Desktop will be available beginning in February with models starting at $450. The Horizon 2 Table PC will be available beginning in June with models starting at $1,499. The Lenovo A740 AIO Desktop will be available beginning June with models starting at $1,499 via major retailers and www.lenovo.com.

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

.

 

 

 

Giveaway – Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC!

**Winner is LisaC. My3Sons33 Congrats! .

While gadgets are getting more mobile, I suggest every family have a Desktop PC. Desktop PC’s are budget friendly, have bigger screens then laptops and can do double duty as a “work at home” PC for work at home parents. Desktop PC’s also make it easier for mom and dad to keep an eye on what the kids are doing online – because if they are set up in the family room – they stay in the family room.

I recently had the chance to review the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one Desktop PC, which has become not only a valued family PC, but also a work PC for a “work at home mom” (i.e. ME!). I am happy to say that I also have the fun of announcing a giveaway of one Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC to one lucky reader. Here are the details:

  1. TIMING: Contest starts July 6th and ends July 10, 10pm pst.
  2. PRIZE: One Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC
  3. HOW TO ENTER: Each contestant can only comment 2 times – one (1) with how they
    would use the PC and another (2) only if they share the contest
    details over Twitter
    – and provide a link to the Tweet in the comment text. For use of a new PC, would you be looking for a family, work at home or small business PC? The tweet should have the Twitter IDs @TechMama and @lenovosocial,
    the bitly of this post “http://bit.ly/bTiQZe” and the hashtag “#A70z“. **Only 2 comments/entries per person will be used to determine winner.
  4. HOW WINNER IS CHOOSEN:We will be entering the number of comments into Random.org to randomly choose a winner.
  5. OTHER RULES:

–A Valid email address must be entered in the private “email” section of the comment (not in the comment text). If a valid email address is not provided, another winner will be choosen.

–Winner must be located in North America (Canada/US). Shipments can only be made to Canada/US.

–Lenovo are not responsible for any lost packages or incorrect shipping addresses. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Approximate value of prizes may vary. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness and/or voice/photograph and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation over the internet and picture data storage).

–This giveaway is running on other sites. Individuals who’ve won at another site are
ineligible to win a second time. Here are the other sites:

Here is the link to find out more information about the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC.

Here is the link to my Hands On: Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC

Disclosure: The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z was
provided to TechMamas.com on a long term review. There were no
requirements to blog, just to experience the computer. My words are my
own.


 

Hands On: The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z For Work At Home Moms & As Family PC

When I first received the package for my review of the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z  All-in-One (see disclosures below), I was excited but also worried about having the time to set up a new computer. I wondered how a desktop would fit into our full house and be shared by my three boys and me, a mom working from home. I was also curious what it would be like to have a 19″ screen computer in our house versus the smaller laptop screens. After unwrapping and using the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z, my concerns were quickly put to rest as the computer is now a welcomed (and much needed) addition to our home.

TECHIE DETAILS: The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z I am reviewing has an integrated 19” Widescreen Flat Panel Display (16:10), Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 processor, 320GB hard drive, 2 GB Ram, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, web cam, USB mouse,
optional built-in microphone, DVD slot,  1.3MP webcam,  integrated speakers,DirectX® 10 integrated graphics card and 6 USB ports (3 rear and 3 side). It comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional 32 bit and is Energy Star 5.0 compliant.

Best yet – there is a 1 year on-site warranty which means someone will come the customer’s location to fix the computer should there be a problem. Access to the hard drive and memory is well designed. The starting price is same as a netbook: $499, with the configuration above costing $729. The hard drive options are 160GB, 250GB, 320GB and 500GB. The RAM options are 1GB or 2GB with 2 slots allowing an upgrade to 4GB.  The form factor is only 2.44″ thick and it is a “all in one” so the desktop and monitor are a single unit. The A70z can be wall-mounted using additional hardware if the use prefers a fixed location for the computer.

There are  three mounting options: stand, desk arm and wall (all
optional and sold separately) and Simple cable management for crowded work spaces
.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z  PRODUCT FEATURE PAGE

TRANSLATION: This is a budget friendly family desktop PC, yet it can also be a solution for work at home parents. We don’t have a separate work space for a desktop so we use our dining room table (the one in our living/dining room that get’s used twice a year for holidays and used daily for homework). The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z was light and compact enough to be moved when we needed the space for entertaining. The 19″ screen is a welcome change  (along with crisp graphics) from a smaller laptop screen. The wired keyboard and mouse shipped with the A70z was comfortable for both my kids and me. The boot up time was quick, and the Intel Core 2 Duo processor fast enough to perform all the family computing tasks.

The picture above is an press kit image. I wish I had a home office that looks like this… If this was a picture of me it would include baskets of unfolded clean laundry around the desk and assorted Lego structures on the floor from my sons…But the picture does show the clean looking – slim form factor of the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z.

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