Lenovo's biometric laptops are about to give passwords the finger

Lenovo Yoga 910 fingerprint sensor

Lenovo has got together with a trio of other tech companies to bring fingerprint authentication based on FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) standards to its laptops such as the Yoga convertible range.

As mentioned, the PC vendor is teaming up with three other firms: Synaptics for its Natural ID fingerprint sensor, Intel due to the integrated security features of its latest Kaby Lake CPUs, along with PayPal and its 'unique' authentication systems.

The upshot being that you'll be able to authenticate PayPal purchases, or any other online FIDO-enabled services, with a simple fingerprint rather than having to bother with entering (or indeed remembering) passwords. If you have a Lenovo laptop with the requisite hardware, that is, with the first device set to benefit from this innovation being the Yoga 910.

Safety first, second and third…

The collaborating tech firms stress the high level of security that this new system brings, with three layers of protection to guard against any possible compromise – the Natural ID sensor itself, Intel's built-in hardware security, along with the FIDO-compliant authentication. The user's fingerprint details and FIDO credentials never leave the laptop, and are stored in hardware and encrypted on the machine.

Brett McDowell, executive director of FIDO, commented: "Passwords are a universal problem that is not limited to mobile devices. Every internet connected device needs the ability to upgrade to simpler, stronger FIDO authentication and thanks to this partnership, the desktop ecosystem is on an accelerated path to get the same FIDO capabilities already well-established across the mobile ecosystem."

Lenovo's Yoga machines are a well-regarded range of convertibles, although last week they were the source of some controversy with the company being accused of 'locking' the hybrids to Windows 10 due to some manner of agreement with Microsoftallegations that the PC manufacturer strongly denied.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).