Lenovo: Yoga, Miix 2, and ThinkPad Tablets; Vibe Z and K900 Smartphonesby Jarred Walton on January 10, 2014 8:11 PM EST
Moving along in our Lenovo coverage, there were a couple of smartphones as well as quite a few tablets on display. The Yoga Tablet 8 and 10 promise up to 18 hours of battery life, thanks to the larger battery in the cylindrical hinge. That hinge is the reason for the Yoga naming, as it sports a kickstand that allows for Lenovo’s current buzzword: multimodal. The kickstand can be folded in for regular tablet use, or you can flip it out and use the tablets as either an inclined ramp or as an upright display. While the stand works well enough on hard surfaces, I suspect the real draw for many users is going to be the massive increase in battery life. These are tablets targeting the budget end of the performance spectrum, evidenced by the use of MediaTek MT8125 and MT8389 SoCs. The Yoga 8 comes with a 2-cell 6000 mAh battery, 1GB LP-DDR2 RAM, and 16GB/32GB of eMMC storage (with a micro-SD slot supporting up to 64GB of additional storage); it has a 1280x800 IPS display and weighs 400g. The Yoga 10 is similar in most areas, but has a 10” 1280x800 IPS display and a 3-cell 9000 mAh battery, with a weight of 605g. Both are available now, with the Yoga 8 priced at $199/$259 (16GB/32GB) and the Yoga 10 priced at $275/$289 (16GB/32GB).
The Miix 2 line of tablets takes a slightly different approach, going the detachable tablet route. I didn’t get many (usable) pictures of the Miix 2 tablets, but there are three models available: Miix 2 8” has an 8” 1280x800 display, the Miix 2 10” has a 10.1” 1920x1200 display, and the Miix 2 11” bumps the display size up to 11.6” while keeping the 1920x1200 resolution; both feature IPS displays. The Miix 2 tablets are also Windows 8.1 tablets, using Intel’s Bay Trail Atom platform. The 8” model starts at $299 for 32GB eMMC and offers up to seven hours of battery life and it’s available now. I didn’t get pricing or availability on the 10” and 11” models, but I suspect both will be priced a bit higher ($350-$400?) and should be available in the next month or so; they’re rated at up to eight hours of battery life. Besides the multimodal (TM!) functionality, the keyboards were reasonably comfortable but do not add any additional battery capacity.
Also on display (but not photographed properly by yours truly) is the new ThinkPad 8 tablet. It has an 8.3” IPS display, weighs 409g, and provides up to 8 hours of battery life. Higher-end features include a micro USB 3.0 port with an optional USB 3.0 dock and a 1920x1200 IPS display. Availability is scheduled for later this month, and the ThinkPad 8 Tablet comes with an Intel Atom Z3770 SoC (Bay Trail) and 2GB RAM, with up to 128GB of eMMC storage. The chassis is also constructed of aluminum, giving this a higher-end feel, the 8MP camera is slightly better than competing tablets, and 4G connectivity is optional. Pricing starts at $399, presumably for the 32GB eMMC model without 4G.
Moving over to the smartphone side of things, Lenovo had two phones on display: the Vibe Z and the K900. The K900 was launched last year and features a Clover Trail+ SoC (Z2760 2.0GHz) with a 5.5” 1080p display with Android 4.2; don’t get too excited, though, as it’s not for the North American market. As for the Vibe Z, again it’s not available in the US market (boo!), but if you live in a supported market it comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core SoC, Android 4.3, a 13MP rear-facing camera (and 5MP front-facing), a 5.5” 1080p display, and 2GB RAM/16GB eMMC storage. It felt pretty good in hand, and at 145g it’s pretty light, so it might be something for our non-US readers to keep a lookout for.
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tonyn84 - Friday, January 10, 2014 - linkI can't believe they dropped the Wacom pen from the ThinkPad 8, this could have been a perfect OneNote machine. I kept passing on the ThinkPad Tablet 2 because of the slow Atom chip and now they do this, looks like the Asus might be my only hope.
boto - Friday, January 10, 2014 - linkI was hoping for Lenovo to pull through with their ThinkPad tablet but they didn't. As of right now, I plan on getting the ASUS Vivotab Note 8 because of the Wacom digitizer. I can sacrifice the video out and USB 3.0. I wouldn't want to have a 1920x1200 screen without a mouse pointer either.
About the ASUS, does anyone know if the pen has a button for right clocking? I hate the whole tap and hold thing to get context menus.
skiboysteve - Sunday, January 12, 2014 - linkBoth OneNote metro and desktop apps scale perfectly with high DPI so 1920x1200 should be fine
iamlittlespoon - Friday, January 10, 2014 - linkThe Miix 2 10” has a 10.1” 1920x1200 display according to the website. Which I like! I agree with you Anand/Brain, the 16:10 form factor is good in laptops (and tablets compared to 16:9)
iamlittlespoon - Friday, January 10, 2014 - linkI have 24" 1920:1200 at work too, works as desktop too. Good compromise between being able to display 16:9 video decent and get more vertical space for text reading, ect.
JarredWalton - Saturday, January 11, 2014 - linkThanks -- fixed the 1080p error.
blaktron - Friday, January 10, 2014 - linkI have a Miix 2 8" 64GB and i love it. Its honestly the greatest thing ever. It's my 5th tablet, including iPads, Android 10" and a Clovertrail 10" Windows one, and it blows them all away. Lenovo is making a real play to drive their laptop momentum into the tablet space.
savagemike - Saturday, January 11, 2014 - linkI too am very let down by the Thinkpad 8 not having a stylus.
However one point about it which I seldom see pointed out is that it comes with Win 8.1 Pro - or so I've read. That's going to be very important for those hooking them up to use as media center PCs with a network tuner. You know you're out there people.
So what's the bet on how many high def streams the little 3770 can handle recording at one time while offloading onto a USB 3 hard drive for storage? I'm going to be an optimist and say it will handle 6 streams at once from a Ceton.
Gregyong - Sunday, January 12, 2014 - linkI'm surprised that they still have the K900 displayed, considering it's going to be EOL'ed where I'm at, with the Introduction of the Vibe Z next month.
BTW, Vibe Z will be launching with LTE support in the South East Asia Region, and 3G only in China.
ConorK - Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - linkBe careful when you buy a yoga. The wifi connectivity is a major, documented problem. Check out this 50+ page troubleshooting forum that's been going on for MONTHS on the Lenovo page: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Idea-Windows-based-Tab...