Lenovo shows ultrabook-tablet hybrid with touchscreen

The IdeaPad Yoga looks like an ultrabook at first glance, but the screen folds to turn into a tablet

Lenovo on Monday announced an ultrabook with a touchscreen that can be turned into a tablet just by flipping the display.

The IdeaPad Yoga has a 13.3-inch screen. The ultrabook was demonstrated running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 OS during a Lenovo press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"Simply fold it from PC to tablet, or tablet to PC," said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo, during the press conference.

The ultrabook is thin, which makes it easy to hold in tablet mode. The unit is 0.66 inches (1.6 centimeters) thick and weighs 3.1 pounds (1.4 kilograms). It provides eight hours of battery life on a single charge, according to Lenovo.

The IdeaPad Yoga will go on sale in stores once Windows 8 is released, Yuanqing said. Windows 8 is due to come out later this year, though the official release date has not been announced.

The ultrabook is a new category of thin and light laptops backed heavily by Intel, which is trying to revive the slumping PC market with new laptop designs. Earlier on Monday, Intel said future ultrabook laptops will implement tablet features and have touchscreens, voice recognition and longer battery life.

Lenovo did not share further details about the IdeaPad Yoga. But Yuanqing cautioned that the PC market isn't going away anytime soon, and said innovation will continue in PCs just as it has in smartphones and tablets.

"Many people think traditional [PC] innovation is coming to an end," Yuanqing said. "But we believe in the exact opposite."

The IdeaPad Yoga will probably come with Intel's upcoming Core processors, code-named Ivy Bridge, which will provide faster application and graphics performance.

The ultrabook is one of many devices that Lenovo is introducing at CES, including smartphones, voice-controlled 3D smart TVs with Android 4.0, and tablets, including one with a quad-core processor.

Lenovo executives at the press conference talked about the company's cloud strategy, which is part of its long-term plan to combine hardware, software and services. The company wants to provide a common look and feel across all its devices and is also developing content, infrastructure and middleware.

Outside of devices, the company will put a lot of focus on applications for four devices: smart TVs, tablets, smartphones and PCs.

"We will first develop those key applications and create terminal devices that fit the key usage," Yuanqing said.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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