The theme for Lenovo’s new lineup of computers could be lighter, thinner and more portable.
Lenovo became the world’s top seller of PCs in 2013. The company aims to expand its reach with a broader portfolio of desktop and laptop computers in 2014.
But Lenovo’s biggest consumer announcement might not be a mobile device at all. Rather, it could be something designed to stay in the home parked right next the router. In Las Vegas at CES, Lenovo announced the launch of the Lenovo Beacon, a storage device intended to help users manage the explosion of digital content that people both create and consume.
The Beacon is Lenovo’s first “personal cloud” storage device for what the company calls the digital home. Users can upload content to the Beacon wirelessly or via a USB cable. The Beacon is designed just for storage and it won’t work as a standalone PC, Nick Reynolds, executive director of Lenovo Business Group said. With storage expandable to up to 6 terabytes, users can have available to them more storage for pictures, video, movies and music than they would have from a third party cloud provider, Reynolds said. The Beacon works with devices operating on either Windows or Android. And for the first time, Lenovo now offers an Android computer called the N308.
Lenovo, which operates dual headquarters in Beijing, China and Morrisville, also announced at CES an expansion of its laptop lineup with new multi-mode devices. These devices feature a detachable keyboard design which gives users the option to use the device as a tablet or as a laptop, Reynolds explained. The new Flex devices, starting at $499, offer more affordable pricing as Lenovo targets entry level customers to this market.
But Reynolds notes that tablets sales in particular are growing rapidly. Many customers who choose tablets are not replacing their PCs. That’s why Lenovo has put such an emphasis on its “PC Plus” initiative. PC Plus refers to Lenovo’s strategy to offer an array of smart, connected devices – not just PCs. Reynolds said that smartphones and tablets represent 15 percent of Lenovo sales and it’s a profitable business.
“Every four seconds, a Lenovo device is sold somewhere in the world,” Reynolds said.
Here’s a breakdown of the Beacon, plus the new Lenovo computers:
- Works with devices running Windows or Android.
- Upload content wirelessly or via a USB connection
- Storage capacity expandable to up to 6 terabytes.
- Starts at $199, available in April from major retailers and at www.lenovo.com
- All in one desktop computer operating on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system
- 19.5 inch 1600×900 touchscreen
- 1.3 inches thin
- NVIDIA Tegra quad core processor
- Up to 500 GB hard drive storage
- Starts at $450, available beginning in February from major retailers and www.lenovo.com
The Y Series, represented by the 14-inch Y40 and the 15.6-inch Y50, are designed for users seeking higher performance.
- Optional backlit keyboard on the Y50. The Y50 also offers choices of an up to Ultra HD 3840×2160 display or Full HD 1920×1080 display with optional touch; the Y40 features a Full HD display.
- Powered by an up to 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, Windows 8.1 and HDD or SSD drive,
- JBL speakers and Dolby Home Theater® v4.
- Y40 and Y50 laptops start at $999 and will be available beginning in May through major retailers and www.lenovo.com.
The Z Series, represented by the 14-inch Z40 and 15.6-inch Z50 laptops, are intended for users who put an emphasis on multimedia entertainment.
- Full HD 1920×1080 screen, up to 4th generation Intel® Core i7 processor,
- Optional NVIDIA GeForce graphics
- Windows 8.1 and Dolby Home Theatre v4.
- Storage up to 1 TB either HDD or hybrid SSHD.
- The Z40 and Z50 laptops are available in black, silver or white.
- VeriFace facial recognition, motion/voice control.
- Start at $599 and will be available beginning in March.
All In One (AIO)
The Lenovo C560 AIO
- 23-inch full HD 1920×1080 optional multitouch display.
- Up to 4th generation Intel® Core i7™ processor and NVIDIA GeForce graphics
- Dolby Advanced Audio, DVD burner
- Up to 2 TB HD for storage
- WiFi and an optional TV tuner for using it around the house as a large screen tablet or TV.
- HDMI out support to connect via cable and stream high definition content to a TV or bigger screen.
- C560 AIO starts at $659 and is available beginning in February
MIIX 2, 10-inch screen
- 0.36-inches thick, 1.3lbs.
- 64-bit enabled quad-core Intel® Atom™ processor and Windows 8.1
- FHD 1920×1200 10-finger touchscreen display
- WiFi and optional 3G
- JBL surround speakers
- Up to 128 GB of eMMC storage, a micro SD slot for adding up to 32 GB of music, movies, photos and other data.
- 720p high resolution 2 megapixel front and 5 megapixel rear cameras.
- All day battery life
- Starts at $499. Available beginning in March through major retailers and www.lenovo.com
MIIX2, 11-inch screen
- Windows 8.1 with 10-finger touch support
- FHD 1920×1200 IPS wide-view display
- WiFi and optional 3G
- JBL speakers
- High resolution front and rear cameras
- Up to 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor
- Up to 256GB of solid state drive storage
- Long battery life for “all day computing.”
- Starts at $699; available beginning in April through via major retailers and www.lenovo.com.
YOGA 2 and Flex 14/15D
YOGA 2 11-inch
- 0.67-inches thin, 2.9lbs
- Up to the brand new quad-core Intel Pentium processors
- Storage in 500 GB HDD.
- Starts at $529; available beginning in late January at Best Buy, Best Buy Canada, Future Shop, and www.lenovo.com.
YOGA 2 13-inch
- 0.68-in thin, 3.5lbs
- Up to 4th generation Intel Core i5 processors,
- Backlit keyboard
- Full HD (1920×1080) display
- Storage up to 500 GB HDD or SSHD.
- Starts at $999; available beginning in February at Best Buy, Best Buy Canada, Future Shop and www.lenovo.com.
Flex 14D and 15D convertible laptops
- Up to AMD A6 quad core processors and AMD Radeon graphics
- Two modes – laptop and stand – in one device
- Dolby® Advanced Audio v2
- All day battery life.
- Both models start at $499 and are available beginning December 2013 via major retailers and www.lenovo.com.