Lenovo announced two new portable tablets at an event in San Francisco, California, highlighting Windows 10, performance improvements delivered by Intel's processors and a sleek, mobile form factor.
The PC is not dead, Dilip Bhatia, Vice President, Global PC Design and Marketing at Lenovo, proclaimed as he kicked off the event unveiling the Lenovo Yoga 900 and the Lenovo Yoga Home 900. The devices are represent evolutionary designs to form factors that Lenovo pioneered in the PC industry.
The Yoga 900, Lenovo's take on the convertible all-in-one, is the successor to the popular Yoga 3 Pro, offering a similar 360-degree hinge design in a light and thin form factor design. With the Yoga 900, Lenovo increased the convertible's performance by using Intel's sixth generation Core i7 processor, rather than the Core M chip on last year's Yoga 3 Pro.
The second tablet comes with a 27-inch display, but it is considered to be a portable all-in-one desktop with an ultra-slim design. The Yoga Home 900 uses a flip out kickstand design, similar to rival Dell's discontinued XPS 18, comes with a thin profile, features a large touchscreen and has an integrated battery that makes the device feel as portable as a tablet for use around the house or office.
Instead of a detachable tablet screen a la Surface Book, Lenovo chose to go with a 360-degree rotating hinge, a design that it championed on last year's Yoga 3 Pro. As a result, you can use the Yoga 900 as a laptop, with the screen fully rotated in tablet mode, or in tent and display modes.
In a demonstration, Lenovo showed that in a cramped airplane seat, users can save room and have a comfortable computing experience by putting the Yoga 900 into tent mode.
The new hinge comes with a unique vent structure, Bhatia said, with ultra thin metal fans for ventilation. There are also more points of articulation for better rotation in the watchband design. Because of the placement of the vents in the hinge design, the bottom of the Yoga 900 is clean, save for two small speaker openings.
The rotating hinge uses an improved watchband hinge design for even smoother screen rotation, according to Lenovo. For users who like to switch between laptop and tablet modes, Windows 10 also makes it easier with Continuum mode, which adjusts the desktop UI depending on the usage mode.
The Yoga 900 ships with Intel's latest sixth generation Skylake processor in up to a Core i7 configuration. Combined with a denser battery, Lenovo promises 50% better battery life compared to the Yoga 3 Pro, which leads to up to nine hours of usage. There's up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM alongside solid state drives with up to 512GB capacity, an improved cooling system and JBL stereo speakers with Dolby tuning.
Unlike the Surface Book, the Yoga 900 doesn't come with discrete-class graphics, and we'll have to wait and see how Skylake's promised integrated graphics improvements holds up. Additionally, earlier this year, Lenovo introduced the ideapad Miix 700 to take on the Surface Pro 4.
The Yoga 900 has a 13.3-inch QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) screen. The tablet weighs 2.8 pounds (1.29kg) and is just 0.59 inches (14.9mm) thick. The Yoga 900 is the thinnest convertible, and that's with a keyboard, Lenovo claims.
- Read our Yoga 900 review
Even larger than the Horizon
With a 27-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen, the Lenovo Yoga Home 900 is even bigger than the 19.5-inch Horizon 2s introduced earlier this year. Like the Horizon, the Yoga Home 900 looks like an oversized slate with its slim profile, large touchscreen display and integrated battery. However, at 27 inches, you likely won't be taking this tablet with you to the coffee shop or on your next flight.
"It's a piece of technology we created to bring people together rather than buried in their own devices," Lenovo's marketing executive said, highlighting that the Yoga Home 900's large touchscreen, which is good for gaming, drawing and collaborating.
Being slim and portable – meaning that it's easier to carry the Yoga Home 900 from room-to-room in a home or office compared to a traditional AIO or desktop – the tablet form factor all-in-one doesn't skimp in the performance department either. Unfortunately, Skylake isn't part of the package, as the Yoga Home comes with Intel's fifth generation Broadwell Intel Core i7 processor.
Up to three hours of battery life is promised on a single charge. In addition to the mobile benefit of a tablet form factor, having an integrated battery means that SMB and home users can continue to work even in the event of a power failure, an advantage over a traditional desktop.
The AIO tablet comes with Lenovo's Aura 3.0 interface to access photos, videos, games and entertainment using the touchscreen, and the device can be configured with up to 8GB RAM and 1TB SSHD on board.
Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, announced that Cortana also integrates with Lenovo's ReachIt software to locate your contacts, files and photos, providing more personalization and utility to Microsoft's digital assistant.
- Read our Yoga Home 900 review
Pricing and availability
The Yoga 900 convertible will be available starting October 19 at Best Buy and through Lenovo. The laptop will be avialable in clementine orange, platinum silver and champagne gold hues. Pricing starts at $1,199 (£776, AU$1,649) for the configuration with an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB solid state drive, and the cost goes up to $1,499 (£970, AU$2,059) to double the memory and storage.
The Yoga Home 900 AIO starts at $1,549 (£1,003, AU$2,131) at the end of October through Lenovo, but Best Buy will offer the same Intel Core i5 Broadwell configuration with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage for $1,499 (£970, AU$2,059).
Bhatia promised that Lenovo will continue to innovate with new, exciting and different form factors.
- Read our review of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro