Lenovo makes more noise at IFA today, announcing two new ThinkPad Yoga models, the Flex thin-and-light series, and the Flex 20 portable all-in-one PC. Each of the four new PCs will feature a fourth-generation Intel Core (aka Haswell) processor, but the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro is the most interesting, thanks to a 13-inch display that delivers an eye-popping resolution of 3200 by 1800 pixels.
Yoga 2 Pro
The Yoga 2 Pro features the now-familiar dual-hinge design that allows the display to be oriented into four modes: Tent, stand, tablet, and laptop. But unlike previous models, this one will boast a 13-inch multi-touch display with native resolution of 3200 by 1800 pixels. The new chassis is also thinner and lighter than that of previous models, measuring 0.61 inch thick and weighing 3.06 pounds.
Processor choices will range up to a Core i7 with integrated graphics, coupled with up to 8GB of DDR3 memory. Storage options consist of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB solid-state drives (SSDs), and I/O ports include one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, Micro HDMI, and an SD/MMC card reader.
The Yoga 2 Pro will be available in October, with prices starting at $1100.
Many corporate IT departments eschew Lenovo’s consumer-oriented IdeaPad product line, a policy that left a lot of suits disappointed that they couldn’t pack the earlier IdeaPad Yoga 11S or Yoga 13 in their briefcases.
That prohibition should disappear with the ThinkPad Yoga, a rugged convertible featuring a magnesium-alloy shell, a 12.5-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreen, and a “lift-and-lock” keyboard that automatically retracts the keyboard to present a flush surface when the notebook is placed in tablet mode.
The ThinkPad Yoga will be available with Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 CPUs and up to 8GB of DDR3/1600 memory. In spite of its 0.74-inch thickness, the machine will be outfitted with a 1TB hard drive as standard equipment, with a 256GB SSD as an option. The ThinkPad version of the Yoga will be limited to 1920 by 1080 resolution, but it will be available with an optional Wacom pen digitizer. It will also get a better collection of I/O ports, including two USB 3.0 ports and a four-in-one card reader in addition to Mini HDMI.
The ThinkPad Yoga will be available in November, with prices starting at $949.
Lenovo Flex 14/15
It’s easy to mistake the Lenovo Flex, available in 14- and 15-inch configurations, for the Yoga series, but there’s a key difference: The display on the Flex series pivots only 300 degrees. You can position it to face forward to watch a movie or make it easier to use the touchscreen, but you can’t pivot it into tablet mode.
The Flex 15’s display delivers full 1920 by 1080 resolution, but the 14-inch model is limited to 1366 by 768 pixels. Discrete Nvidia mobile graphics will be offered as options. Both models will be available with up to Intel Core i7 CPUs and up to 8GB of memory. Storage comes in the form of mechanical hard drives (up to 500GB for the Flex 14, and up to 1TB for the Flex 15), with 16GB SSD cache drives available as options. The Flex line will also be thicker and heavier than the Yoga series, with the 15-inch model measuring 0.87 inches thick and weighing 5.07 pounds.
The Lenovo Flex series will be available later this month at prices starting at $630.
Lenovo Flex 20
I was quite taken with Lenovo’s 27-inch IdeaCentre Horizon portable all-in-one, but carting a 19-pound computer around the house isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The Flex 20 scales that concept down to a 19.5-inch touchscreen display, shaving off more than 10 pounds in the process. Unfortunately, the Flex 20 also scales the resolution down: to 1600 by 900 pixels. On the bright side, it’s compatible with the joysticks, strikers, and e-dice that Lenovo developed for the Horizon.
The Flex 20 will be available with up to a Core i7 processor, 8GB of DDR3 memory, and a 500GB hybrid hard drive with an 8GB SSD cache. I/O ports are limited to two USB 3.0 ports and a headset jack. The all-in-one will have an integrated 720p webcam and stereo speakers. Lenovo says it should be capable of running on battery power for up to three hours.
The Flex 20 will be available later this month at prices starting at $900.
Updated at 9:23 a.m. PT with a video report from IDG News Service.
Michael is TechHive's lead editor and covers the smart home and home entertainment markets. He built his own smart home in 2007, which he uses as a real-world test lab when reviewing new products. Michael also reviews routers and networking products for TechHive and PCWorld.