Lost your digital stylus? Just write on Lenovo's new Yoga tablet with a pencil--or a fork

Lenovo's new tablet lets you use almost any pencil or pen to write on your tablet.

Anything conductive larger than 1mm can be used to write on the new Yoga Tablet 2.

Anything conductive larger than 1mm can be used to write on the new Yoga Tablet 2.

If you've ever dabbled in pen-based computing, you've probably misplaced your pen. While Toshiba snuck a backup digital stylus into its new Portege, Lenovo's approach on its updated Yoga Tablet 2 is even easier: just whip out a pencil. Or a pen, or even a fork.

Called AnyPen, Lenovo's new technology turns any object that's thicker than 1mm and conductive into a digital stylus. So while a No. 2 Ticonderoga may work, the rubber-coated 0.5mm mechanical pencil won't.

The Yoga Tablet 2's innards are otherwise standard fare for a 8-inch, Windows 8.1 tablet. There's a quad-core Bay Trail M-based Atom CPU, 2GB of DDR3L, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and a 1920x1080 touchscreen IPS panel. The unit weighs about 1 lbs. and will be available this month for $300.

Next-gen Nvidia graphics sneaks into Yoga 3

The Yoga Tablet 2 isn't the only Yoga getting new moves, Lenovo is also introducing a pair of new Yoga 3 convertibles: an 11-inch Yoga 3 and a 14-inch Yoga 3.

The dynamic folding duo features Intel's "5th gen"-- oh hell, let's just say it at this point: Broadwell CPUs--and updated 802.11ac modules. The 11-inch Yoga actually gets the low-wattage Core M CPU while the 14-incher will offer a Core i5 or Core i7 option.

Perhaps more tantalizing for those who want more than what Intel's integrated graphics can deliver, Lenovo said the 14-inch Yoga 3 will come with a discrete graphics option using "upcoming" Nvidia mobile graphics chip. The unit it replaces, the 13-inch Yoga 2 doesn't offer a discrete graphics option. The dimensions of the 13-inch Yoga 3 are slightly larger than the 13-inch Yoga 2 and it's also a tenth of a pound heavier, but you do gain an extra inch of display with the extra heft.

For storage, both offer 128GB or 256GB SSD options or a 500GB hybrid hard drive. The weight of the 11-inch model will be 2.64 lbs. with the 14-inch model ticking it up to 3.5 lbs. Screen resolution of both will be just 1920x1080, but hey, at least both are IPS touch screens. The 11-inch Yoga 3 will start at $800 while the 14-inch Yoga 3 will cost $980. Both will be available in March.

Guess what the ThinkPad Yoga lineup gets?

Would you be surprised if we told you the updated ThinkPad Yoga didn't upgrade to Intel's 5th gen CPU? Yes, and so would we as it seems there isn't a Lenovo unit that didn't get that new processor inside.

The 12-inch ThinkPad Yoga doesn't seem to change much from what we can see from the announcement. The screen is still rated for 400 nits of brightness--blazing compared to most laptops, which typically put out 300 nits. The biggest change is the CPU of course. You know, "Intel's 5th generation" CPU.

Although the 12-inch ThinkPad Yoga strongly resembles its predecessor, there is one odd step down: Lenovo is now offering a 1366x768 resolution touch screen option for the unit in addition to keeping the 1920x1080 of the previous generation available.

The 14-inch ThinkPad Yoga also maintains status quo. The only real significant change I could find besides the option for a 512GB SSD was the move to a Broadwell CPU. But maybe that's because Lenovo is now also offering a 15.6-inch ThinkPad Yoga. Think of the new 15.6-inch ThinkPad Yoga as just a bigger ThinkPad Yoga. While the 14-inch ThinkPad Yoga weighs 4.18 lbs., the new 15-inch model is 5.07 lbs. The 15-inch model does have one advantage besides sheer size, though: while the 12 and 14 are limited to 8GB of RAM from the factory, the 15-inch model will have 12GB and 16GB options.

The 12-inch ThinkPad Yoga will start at $1,000 while the two larger variants will start at $1,200. The 12 and 15-inch models will be available in February while the updated 14-inch model won't see daylight until May.

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Gordon Mah Ung

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