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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  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 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 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.





Sponsored: Three Wireless Products to Capture Ideas on the Go – 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, by Visa. Together with other bloggers I am highlighting innovation by sharing my curated product bundles available on that inspire innovation. For my bundle in the 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:


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 and used its online payment service (available on the Newegg checkout). All of my words are my own.


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


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

2. At participating websites there will be a checkout with by Visa button. This button enables paying at the online checkout by signing in with the 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.





Looking For “People Friendly Media” Technology

I was honored to connect with Deaf Mom and read about her life on her blog Deaf Mom Shares Her World. I learned from her that video interviews are not accessible for people who are deaf, that text transcripts along with videos are accessible. She inspired me to become interested in the people friendly media technology available. Just this morning we were emailing about this need:

NEED: We are looking for a technology that can "transcribe" audio files to text.

Then today I read about another inspiring person (T.V. Raman, a Computer Scientist and an Engineer at Google) in the New York Times article "Going Where No Guide Do Can". The article describes him as a leading thinker for accessibility issues and notes that some of Mr. Raman's innovations may help make electronic gadgets and web services more user-friendly for everyone. For example, the article also mentioned that Mr. Raman said that with the right tweaks, touch-screen phones – many of which already come equipped with GPS Technology and a compass – could help blind people navigate the world.

I will be heading to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. I decided to add accessibility technology that can assist people with disabilities to the my list of things to look for.

Please comment on this post with any technologies (and links) you know of to assisting people who are Blind or Deaf. I would also like to hear from people with other disabilities to add the technology they use also and will post about that also.

After reading the New York Times article, I realize that my comments do have a captcha which may be hard to use for screen readers. If you want to comment, and find the captcha an issue – then please email me and I will add your comments to this post. My email is techmamas(at)gmail(dot)com.

Relevant Links:

Start with a visit to Words Matter – Writing about people with disabilities

Official Google Blog: T.V. Raman on Even More Books to Read

Google Accessible Web Search For the visually impaired (Google Accessible Search) and Google Accessible Search FAQ

Google Book Search Becomes Accessible

Links From Deaf Mom:


Wi-Fi: To Secure Or Not To Secure? That Is The Question.

Techmeme posted with an interesting discussion around securing Wi-Fi networks. The discussion was started by an article in the Wired website titled: "Steal This Wi-Fi". In that article, Bruce Schneier admits that his home wireless network is "open" (no passwords or encryption). He discusses the security issues around having an open wireless system, but what really made sense to me was his point on where the security really should be – ON THE HOME PC’S OR LAPTOPS! Here is a snippet from his article:

"I’m also unmoved by those who say I’m putting my own data at risk,
because hackers might park in front of my house, log on to my open
network and eavesdrop on my internet traffic or break into my
computers. This is true, but my computers are much more at risk when I
use them on wireless networks in airports, coffee shops and other
public places. If I configure my computer to be secure regardless of
the network it’s on, then it simply doesn’t matter. And if my computer
isn’t secure on a public network, securing my own network isn’t going
to reduce my risk very much."

Here are my two cents on securing home wireless networks:

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California Storm Rages, But I Still Have Wireless….

While major news outlets like the San Jose Mercury News are covering the California storm that is ragingWrt300n_med_2 on, will the California Bay Area bloggers be able to blog if phone coverage is spotty? Some of my friends are without power, but I am somehow lucky to have power – and even better – WIRELESS!!.  So here I am, liveblogging that the storm. The wind is powerful, rain is hard, puddles are plentiful (my boys can’t wait to go out to jump in them) and the little ones and zeros are still traveling in the air to enable mama
to blog…

Oh, and a big shout out to Linksys, my Wireless-G Broadband Router is holding up just fine. But I am still eyeing the Wireless-N Broadband Router that I included in the TechMama’s Holiday Gift Guide. I guess I should also thank my AT&T Yahoo DSL


BlackBerry’s – Not Only Yummy But Useful For Moms

I am happy that my tech buddy Sarah Granger guest blogged on Techmamas about the iPhone. Last year when I first went shopping for a smartphone, the iPhone was not out yet. Which is lucky for me because I would have been very tempted.

To help decide which smartphone I was going to purchase, I talked to the most important experts of all – my mom friends who had smartphones. After shopping around, I decided on the BlackBerry. And recently I just upgraded to the BlackBerry Curve. Yippeee, mama is never offline. Our family is a two BlackBerry family (happens often in Silicon Valley), so hubby and I never have to say "Put that thing away". Well, maybe the kids do say that… 

I am still spending time getting to know the features of the BlackBerry Curve, but here are some of the my favorites. The start-up guide is helpful, and installation is quick and easy. I find the most important functions intuitive. Which is great for a busy mom who does not have time to read the full instruction manual. Not that I would read any instruction manual even if I did have time, I would rather read trashy magazines…  After my kids are all back at school and I have one moment to sit down, I will post with a more detailed review.

My current favorite features: 

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