The Vibe Band VB10, Lenovo's first wearable, is slim and stylish but slow

The Vibe Band VB10 has a long-lasting E-Ink display and classy curved design, though it's best-admired from afar.

For as classy as the Vibe Band VB10 looks -- with its slim figure made possible by a curved E-Ink display -- it's far too sluggish and feature-limited.

Like many other smartwatches, the Lenovo Vibe Band puts your phone's notifications on your wrist, and also throws in some basic step and sleep counting for good measure. But in a demo at CES, the Vibe Band only showed notifications for missed calls, emails, SMS and Twitter, with no other third-party apps supported. There seems to be no way to expand the Vibe Band's functionality beyond what comes in the box.

The bigger problem is the slow-as-molasses interface, operated by a trio of buttons along the band's right edge. Pressing the up/down buttons took a second or two to produce a response, and occasionally triggered a white-to-black screen flicker like the kind you get on an old Kindle e-reader. The Vibe Band makes you scroll through several menu options just to read your notifications, so navigating the sluggish interface is a chore. That's a big problem for a device that's supposed to be a time saver.

The Vibe Band's saving graces are its seven-day battery life and stylish appearance, with a narrow body and ultra-thin wrist strap, but it makes some significant performance sacrifices to achieve those traits. While it may be too late to save the Vibe Band -- it launches this April in emerging markets like China and Russia -- Lenovo should consider simplifying the interface with fewer button presses if it's going to stick with lightweight smartwatches.

Why this matters: Lenovo is leaning on its recent acquisition of Motorola, which already sells an Android Wear smartwatch. Still, it's worth keeping an eye on Lenovo's overseas moves. Perhaps the company can learn some lessons from the Vibe Band and deliver a better E-Ink smartwatch stateside down the road.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CESgadgetsconsumer electronicssmartwatchesLenovotwitterWearables

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?