The other night I went to an event put on by Lenovo, highlighting their new Windows 8 devices. I checked out 3 rather unique PCs and two tablets. (I have no idea in the pictures below of the Yoga computers which is the 11 and which is the 13 – without comparing them to each other I can’t tell. Sorry!)
My absolute favorite was the Yoga 11. This PC has a 360-degree hinge that allows you to use it like a regular laptop, or one of three screen-only modes: stand, tent, and tablet. Plus, thirteen hours of battery life!
It’s light (under 3lbs), thin (under 2/3 of an inch), and the touchscreen is very responsive (five-point multi touch, meaning if you drag four fingers and a thumb on the screen, they’ll all register).
My next favorite was the Yoga 11’s big sister, the Yoga 13. But the 13 isn’t just bigger: it’s in a completely different power category – more of an Ultrabook than a pc. It runs on an i5 or i7 Intel processor, has up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of SSD storage. It also can be used in the same four positions as the Yoga 11, and has ten-point multi touch. The only reason this one isn’t the one I’m drooling over is that I’m typing this post on my almost-new Sony Vaio Z, an Ultrabook in the same category as the Yoga 13 – I wouldn’t need another. If I were looking for a new Ultrabook, this would be at or near the top of my list.
The Twist seems like a good machine, and is just a tiny bit thicker and heavier than the Yoga 13. But it’s nowhere near as sleek as the Yogas, and the twisting motion that can convert it from a laptop to a tablet just doesn’t appeal to me as much as the Yoga hinge. But if you’re looking for a laptop that’s geared towards business, and you need a PC that has disc drives, you should give the Twist a look.
The Lynx is an interesting machine. It’s a tablet with a dual-core Atom processor, and it’s very light and thin: .37 inches, and less than a pound and a half. But you can also buy a keyboard dock for it. This isn’t some kind of flimsy afterthought of a keyboard, either: once you snap the tablet into the dock, it feels like a solid laptop – you get the best of both worlds. Plus, with the dock you double the battery life from 8 hours to 16. And it can run up to Windows 8 Pro.
Last I checked out the Thinkpad Tablet 2. At 1/3 of an inch and 1.3 pounds, it felt great in my hands. It has everything you’d expect from a good tablet: dual cameras, stereo speakers, and Gorilla Glass. As the only stand-alone tablet I checked out last night, I felt like it was missing something – a dock, a weird hinge hiding a keyboard, something – but it’s just a tablet, which many people seem to like. I think I just do too much typing to ever buy something without any kind of physical keyboard. But if you’re looking for a Windows 8 tablet, this was fast and responsive, and the Windows 8 tiles looked gorgeous on it.
I was very impressed with the selection – there seems to be something for everyone. I especially can’t wait to see how they hold up against the Windows Surface tablets. These products are all coming soon, with the release of Windows 8.
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