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October 11, 2012

Lenovo Debuts Notebooks that Transform Into Tablets

Lenovo has announced a party of four convertible devices that could strongly impact the future of mobile computing.

Designed for Windows 8/RT, the touch-optimized devices that transform from notebooks into tablets, include the IdeaPad Yoga 13 and Yoga 11, IdeaTab Lynx and ThinkPad Twist.

“Our family of Ultrabook convertibles addresses the unique needs of consumers, businesses and everyone in between by creating high performance laptop-tablet combinations in new designs and different sizes,” said Peter Hortensius, senior vice-president, Lenovo, and president, product group, Lenovo.

“We think these innovative convertibles are the best devices for a groundbreaking touchscreen experience, plus their multi-modes give people even more ways to use their PC.”

The IdeaPad Yoga 11 resembles and operates like a standard notebook. But that is where the resemblance ends. The 11.6-inch HD touchscreen folds 360 degrees transforming into a touch-only tablet. The $799 Yoga 11 uses an ARM processor, runs Windows RT and has 13 hours of battery life. The Yoga 11 at 2.8-pounds and the Yoga 13 at 3.4-pounds have both been crafted for consumers.

The IdeaPad Yoga 13 also has a 360-degree folding design but a 13.3-inch HD screen. It runs Intel-based Windows 8 on a Core i5 or i7 processor, has up to 8GB DDR3 memory and up to 256GB SSD storage. The model, which uses a conventional notebook chipset, has seven hours of battery life.

The IdeaPad Lynx slides into an optional dock, offering a notebook-like display. The base, which is also a battery extender, doubles the device’s battery life from eight hours to 16 hours. The Lynx has an 11.6-inch HD touchscreen and uses the Intel Atom processor and Z2760 System on Chip.  It runs standard Windows 8 with standard Windows software. The tablet comes with 32GB of flash storage and can be expanded using Micro-SD. The tablet is $599 and the base $149.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist  has a display mounted to the keyboard base, but it can rotate up to 180 degrees and then fold back on the base to become a touch-only tablet. Like the Yoga 13, it runs a notebook chip and Windows 8 Pro. It has seven hours of battery life, 30 days of standby life and a two-second resume.

“Lenovo was one of the first to embrace convertible design coupled with touch interaction in a big way and the Yoga 13 and ThinkPad Twist are both remarkable devices that are sure to wow consumers,” said Kirk Skaugen, corporate vice-president and general manager, PC Client Group, Intel. “These designs fueled with powerful Intel 3rd generation Core processors will deliver the key attributes of the PC and tablet into a single system—essentially people are getting ‘two for one’.”

The ThinkPad Tablet 2, designed for Windows 8 and powered by Intel’s next generation CPU technology, will also debut in October along with the new convertible devices. This multi-use tablet, which the company announced previously, lasts more than 10 hours on a single charge and weighs in at 1.3 pounds. It includes an optional digitizer and pen for precision input, and runs Windows 8 apps and familiar desktop applications.

Lenovo announced Oct. 2 it will begin making PCs in Whitsett, N.C., near Greensboro next year.

The U.S. personal computer production line, set to begin in January of 2013, will create 115 new manufacturing jobs, Lenovo said in a press release.  Workers will build Think-branded notebook and desktop PCs, tablets, engineering workstations and servers for sale to domestic businesses, government and education customers, as well as consumers.

“Lenovo is establishing a U.S. manufacturing base because we believe in the long-term strength of the American PC market and our own growth opportunities here,” said Yuanqing Yang, chairman and CEO, Lenovo. “As Lenovo expands globally, we are establishing even deeper roots in each major market.  In addition to localized sales and marketing teams, in our major countries we are establishing an even stronger manufacturing footprint, investing in R&D and ensuring that we hire top local talent.  This global reach with local excellence helps us become even faster, more innovative and more responsive to our customers around the world.”