On Thursday Lenovo held its Tech Life event at IFA, one day before the trade show opens formally. As expected, the company came out with a number of new laptops and monitors and PCs, but the theme at the fest for Lenovo this time is not the availability of new products. Instead, it is rethinking of the mission. Perceived as a company that primarily caters to working professionals with its laptops and other products, Lenovo is now hoping to be known for serving smarter technology for all. And to achieve that, it is bringing some unique features to its laptops and is expanding on tablets and smart displays.
Of particular note among 18 odd products that Lenovo launched at the IFA are the new Yoga laptops. While they come with usual razzle-dazzle of the latest Intel 10th-generation processors and Windows 10, the highlights of the new Yoga laptops are their design, their focus on the display and features like integration with Amazon Alexa virtual assistant.
Lenovo is focused on an ongoing vision and commitment to develop technologies that are not only smarter, but are available, accessible and benefit everyone, the company said.
The company said that the new laptops have been developed in partnership with Intel as part of Project Athena and that has helped Lenovo engineers create machines that are sleek and yet offer optimised performance and good battery life.
The new Yoga laptops that have been launched at IFA are: Yoga C940, Yoga S740, and Yoga C640. Of these, the Yoga C940 and Yoga S740 are going to be available in two screen sizes 15-inch screen and 14-inch screen. The Yoga C640 is going to be available with 13-inch screen.
Irrespective of the screen sizes, all new laptops come with IPS screen with FHD resolution. In fact, the new screen is one key part of the new laptops, as well as something that Lenovo believes will be a standard feature in most of its laptops. The company is calling the new screen technology Super Resolution. The new Yoga laptops have screens with up to 500 nits brightness, use IPS panels that show better colours, and with Super Resolution will upscale video up to FHD 1080p on Windows Media Player.
Then there are features like Q-Control that will help Yoga laptops maximise performance by providing better cooling, as well as squeeze out better battery life.
But the two features that stand out in the new Yoga laptops are the support for Alexa and the Standby Mode. In select markets, and with select Lenovo laptops, users will be able to use Alexa even when the lid of the machine is closed. Speak to Alexa when the laptop lid is open and locked or asleep (and) she'll respond instantly, with pop-up messages that appear at the bottom of the screen, Lenovo notes.
The Standby Mode, meanwhile, will work to fetch information and refresh it for example your mailbox even when the laptop has its lid closed. This is somewhat similar to how phones work as they continue to connect to the network even when their screen is switched off. This will ensure that users will be able to log into the laptop and instead of waiting for the mailbox to refresh, to take an example, will directly dive into the app and read the latest emails.
Talking of connectivity, some of the new laptops will support Wi-Fi 6. The new laptops also come with Dolby Atmnos sound system.
Another unique feature of the latest Lenovo Yoga laptops is the background blur filter for the camera. This, according to Lenovo, will ensure that when users are on a video chat using the laptop, their background will be blurred and the focus will be entirely on the person talking.
Additional smart features include an IR camera that can detect a person's absence after a few seconds and enable instant log-off. If a video is being watched and the viewer walks away for a few minutes, the PC is intuitive enough to pause the video and automatically resume upon return. During video calls the background can even be blurred so a cat or small child doesn't make a surprise appearance during an online meeting, said Lenovo.
In addition to Yoga laptops, Lenovo has also announced two new ThinkBooks at IFA, which officially starts from September 6. The two laptops are called ThinkBook 14 and ThinkBook 15. They will come with Intel 10th-generation Core processors and will have features like ThinkShutter, which can be toggled to disable camera if you are worried about privacy.
"ThinkBook is not just another laptop line-up. We designed ThinkBook specifically for the new workforce which comprises of Gen Z and millennials, with features and design that make it as easy and responsive as a smartphone, said Eric Yu, senior vice president and general manager, Lenovo SMB segment.
For now, Lenovo has only announced the global launch and prices for the new laptops. Currently, there are no details available about the India-specific prices and launch of new Yoga or ThinkBooks. The global prices of the new Yoga laptops start from Euros 899.
Disclaimer: The reporter's travel and stay for this event in Berlin has been arranged by Lenovo.