New Lenovo Yoga tablets, PCs due out for holiday season

Lenovo's new Yoga tablets will ship during the holiday season, and Ashton Kutcher has a hand in product development

Lenovo plans on releasing new Yoga tablets and hybrids in time for the end-of-year holiday season, with actor and venture capitalist, Ashton Kutcher, having a hand in the design and development of the products.

The "innovative and stylish" Yoga products "will become very popular presents for the holiday season," according to Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo's CEO.

Lenovo is holding an event in London on October 9 to announce the new products, with Kutcher joining the announcement by satellite. Kutcher holds the title of "product engineer" with Lenovo.

Product details weren't shared, but hints have already started popping up on Lenovo's website. One product on tap could be the Yoga 3 Pro, with a product page saying "Shhh. Can't talk now." The Yoga 3 Pro will succeed the Yoga 2 Pro laptop-tablet hybrid, which has a 13.3-inch screen attached to the base. That's unlike other hybrid designs in which the screens are detachable.

Lenovo offers Yoga tablets and hybrids with screen sizes between 8 and 13.3 inches. The 8- and 10-inch Yoga tablets have Android, while the 11.6- and 13.3-inch hybrids have Windows.

Also on the way could be new Yoga tablets with different screen sizes and upgraded processors. Intel has started shipping new Core M chips based on the Broadwell architecture, which Lenovo has used in the new ThinkPad Helix announced earlier this month. The Yoga tablets with Android have been criticized for poor performance and could use processor upgrades.

Yuanqing's comments were made on a call about Lenovo's plans to soon complete the acquisition of IBM's x86 server business for $US2.1 billion. The transaction is expected to close on Wednesday.

Lenovo is also expected to complete the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $US2.91 billion by the end of the year. Lenovo sells its smartphones mostly in China, Europe and Asia, and the Motorola Mobility acquisition will provide a pathway to the US smartphone market.

Hardware will remain Lenovo's key focus in the coming years, but the company is also building its software, services and security portfolio to go along with devices, Yuanqing said.

Right now, the tablets and smartphones in China have a cohesive set of services and software, but in the coming years, similar offerings will be wrapped around devices sold worldwide, Yuanqing said.

Lenovo's tablets have a custom user interface, but a homegrown cloud service for data storage, backup and syncing has eluded Lenovo for years. The company is building custom Cloud services for mobile devices and the enterprise with technologies derived from its 2012 acquisition of Cloud company, Stoneware.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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