Lenovo is unloading a semi-truck’s worth of new product announcements at CES 2014, and I’m here to filter through the pages of spec sheets and highlight what matters. Right now, let’s focus on the convertibles and detachables being introduced: The Yoga 2 and Miix 2.
These new products fly under Lenovo’s “Multimode” banner, a category the company introduced alongside its original YOGA and Windows 8. All three have a common thread: the ability to use what used to be the traditional laptop form factor in a variety of new ways, with some implementations more flexible than others. Lenovo’s Chief Marketing Office David Roman explains. ”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.”
Lenovo’s Miix 2 is a Windows 8.1 tablet first and a laptop second, but boasts more CPU muscle than ordinary tablets. The 10″ version has an Intel Atom quad-core processor, while the 11.6″ model goes up to an Intel Haswell Core i5 processor. It looks like both models will have optional 3G connectivity in addition to standard 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth 4.0. Both models will share a 10-point 1920 x 1200 touch display and Intel HD graphics, though it’s unclear if it will be the 4000, Iris, or Iris Pro variety of integrated graphics.
I’m quite interested in the functionality of the Miix 2 and hope it performs as well as it looks on paper. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the tech specs for each size:
- Memory: 2GB for the 10″ version, and up to 8GB for the 11″ version.
- Storage: Up to 128GB integrated eMMC storage for the 10″ version, and up to 256GB SSD storage for the 11″ version. Both will have microSD support.
- Camera: 2MP front camera and 5MP rear camera on both models.
- Battery life: 8 hours for both models (though I’m expecting some variance between the two based on hardware configurations)
- Weight: 10″ — Tablet: 1.3 pounds, Keyboard Dock: 0.97 pounds / 11″ — Tablet: 1.76 pounds, Keyboard Dock: 1.21 pounds
- Pricing: 10″ starts at $499 and should launch in March. The 11″ starts at $699 and releases later in April.
The original Yoga established Lenovo’s Multimode philosophy and was a successful and attractive hybrid device, even if it was a bit pricey. With the Yoga 2, Lenovo is pledging to iron out the kinks and give the ultrabook a price tag with mainstream appeal. With the new 11″ model going for $529, they may have nailed it.
As with the Miix 2, Lenovo will launch two different versions at 11″ and 13″ and both will carry the dual-hinge design with four usage models: Laptop, Stand, Tent, and Tablet. Contributing to its thinness will be Seagate’s Ultrathin laptop hard drive. Here’s the breakdown for each model:
- Processor: Up to a quad-core Intel Pentium on the 11″ and up to Intel Haswell Core i5 on the 13″
- Resolution: 1366 x 768 (which reflects the mainstream price) for the 11″ and full HD 1920 x 1080 on the 13″. Both are 10-point multitouch screens.
- Graphics: Intel HD Integrated graphics for both models (again, I’m unsure of specifics until I get hands-on)
- Memory and Storage: 4GB RAM and up to 500GB hard drive for the 11″ model, and up to 8GB RAM and up to 500GB hybrid SSD with the 13″ version
- Battery life: Estimated 6 hours for 11″ and estimated 8 hours for 13″
- Extras: Lenovo voice control and motion control on both models
- Pricing: The 11″ Yoga 2 starts at $529 and lands later this month. The 13″ Yoga 2 hits later in February and starts at $999.
Lenovo will also launch the Flex 14D and Flex 15D laptops, which feature a 180 degree touchscreen. These are similar in design to the Miix but lack the detachable tablet mode. Both begin at $499 and utilize AMD’s A6 series of APUs.
“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.”
Stay tuned for much more CES coverage and hands on impressions with these and a plethora of other devices from the show floor. Continue the conversation by following me on Twitter.