Lenovo announces new Windows 8, RT hybrid laptop/tablet devices

Lenovo unveiled the IdeaPad Yoga 11, which is the company's first ARM/Windows RT device

Lenovo has announced a new range of Windows 8 and RT hybrid computing devices that can function as tablets or laptops.

The devices include the IdeaPad Yoga 11, which is the company's first hybrid laptop/tablet with an ARM processor and Windows RT. The device has an 11.6-inch screen and a touchscreen that flips to become a tablet. The device weighs 1.27 kilograms, offers 13 hours of battery life and will become available in December starting at US$799.

The Yoga 11 is aimed at highly mobile users, said Peter Hortensius, senior vice president of the product group at Lenovo, in an interview. The Windows RT OS will not run existing Windows applications, so products with the OS may attract a new generation of laptop and tablet users, Hortensius said. The devices may take off just like tablets, which also attracted a new user base.

The Yoga 11 is a smaller version of the IdeaPad Yoga 13, which was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show and was one of the first tablet/PC hybrids shown. The Yoga 13 has a 13.3-inch screen and weighs 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds). It will come with Windows 8 and has Intel's Core processors based on the Ivy Bridge microarchitecture. The Yoga 13 offers a battery life of eight hours and will become available for $1,099 on Oct. 26.

The IdeaPad Yoga family belongs to a new wave of ultrabooks that also function as tablets. Other upcoming tablet/ultrabook hybrids include Hewlett-Packard's Envy X2, which has a screen that turns into a tablet when it's detached from a keyboard dock.

A lot of attention has gone into designing the Yoga products, Hortensius said. A hinge prevents a user from taking the screen off to function independently as a tablet, but that design gives Lenovo more design flexibility and lets it make the device more of a fully functional laptop, he said.

Lenovo also announced the IdeaTab Lynx tablet, with an 11.6-inch screen, Windows 8 and a dual-core Intel Atom processor code-named Clover Trail. The tablet weighs 640 grams and offers 16 hours of battery life with an optional dock. The device will become available starting at $599, with the optional dock priced at $149. The Lynx will go on sale starting in December.

The company also announced the ThinkPad Twist, which the company said is a "twist" on traditional ThinkPad design. This ultrabook, which is designed for small businesses, turns into a tablet after the screen is turned around and placed over the keyboard. The convertible laptop weighs 1.58 kilograms and comes with a 12.5-inch screen, similar to the popular ThinkPad X220. The laptop will come with Windows 8 Pro and an Intel Core processor code-named Ivy Bridge, and it will become available on Oct. 26 starting at $849.

Lenovo also announced that the ThinkPad Tablet 2 will start at $649. That 10.1-inch pure tablet comes with Windows 8 and Intel's low-power Atom processor. It will deliver between eight and 10 hours of battery life, and a detachable keyboard will be sold separately. The Tablet 2 will go on sale on Oct. 26.

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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