The release of Windows 8 on the 25th of October 2012 brings Microsoft back into the tablet scene. Microsoft introduced the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition way back in 2002 and again in 2005 as part of Windows XP Service Pack 2, but it was more of an attempt to rehash a desktop operating system for tablet hardware. Included in the package then were some components that we still see on today’s operating systems (Windows Vista and Windows 7) such as the Tablet PC Input Panel, Windows Journal and Sticky Notes.
The tablet interface back then was mainly stylus driven so Microsoft released two downloadable packs that added more functionality to the tablet known as Microsoft Experience Pack and Education Pack. It included some useful tools to go with the pen input such as Ink Art, Ink Flash Cards and Equation Writer.
Manufacturers such as HP, Compaq, Toshiba, Panasonic. Fujitsu, Gateway and others developed their own flavor of a convertible tablet with either a snap-on keyboard or a screen on a swivel mount (mimicking a laptop) that also spun and folded shut to double up as a tablet.
So what can we expect to see this time around?
At the launch event in New York, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO said
Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. Its perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world.
Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love”
This has again sparked a new wave of hardware from manufacturers such as Lenovo, Asus, HP and Samsung that will help shape Windows 8’s future. These PC manufacturers have churned out laptops with touchscreen, laptops that serve as both laptop and tablet and tablet PCs with optional snap-on keyboards. We are beginning to see better innovations in the PC market and a new segment called Hybrids has now been created.
So what are hybrids and how are they different from devices back in 2005. Let’s take a look at an example of this new breed of PCs.
In every windows 8 there is a tablet dying to get out… and here is how it’s going to come out!
Enters the Hybrid Laptops, laptops that turns into a tablet when you need it to and with Lenovo Yoga it literary ‘turns’ into one.
Lenovo Yoga and Family of Convertible Devices Designed for Windows 8
On the 9th of October 2012, even before Windows 8 was officially launched, Lenovo announed a new family of hybrid devices designed for Windows 8; the Lenovo Yoga, Lynx and Twist at an event in New York. Here is what Lenovo’s PR arm has to say:
For consumers, the touch-optimized family includes the IdeaPad Yoga 13, a foremost blend of play and productivity, Yoga 11, a svelte, all day mobile companion, IdeaTab Lynx, a premier dual core Intel® Atom-based™ tablet, and for professionals, the ThinkPad Twist, a business-ready device that puts a new spin on the traditional convertible tablet.
“Our family of Ultrabook™ convertibles addresses the unique needs of consumers, businesses and everyone in between by creating high performance laptop-tablet combinations in new designs and different sizes,”
said Peter Hortensius, senior vice president, Lenovo, and president, Product Group, Lenovo.
“We think these innovative convertibles are the best devices for a groundbreaking touchscreen experience, plus their multi-modes give people even more ways to use their PC.”
IdeaPad Yoga 13 Flexes Into Totally Unique Poses
Infused with powerful 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors and running Windows 8, Yoga 13 provides laptop-grade performance to get work done all day without slowing down with its super slim 16.9 mm frame and eight hours of battery life.
At the flip of the hinge, Yoga 13 transforms into a media-friendly tablet primed with rich audio-visual features including Dolby® Home Theatre®. Visuals – photos, videos and websites – look stunning on its 13.3-in high definition IPS display, which provides bright background and vivid colors.
Users can even gesture to flip through photos and other content with Yoga 13’s special Motion Control technology or simply use their fingers on the multi-touch screen.
“The Yoga convertibles are a great example of the commitment Lenovo has made to continued innovation with Windows,”
said John Case, vice president, Worldwide OEM Marketing, Microsoft Corp.
“The commitment is evident in the beautiful hardware designs that exhibit flexibility, mobility and extended battery life; combining that with the new capabilities of Windows 8 these PCs provide an experience that is sure to delight customers.”
IdeaPad Yoga 11 Balances Power and Mobility
Yoga 13’s smaller screen size counterpart, Yoga 11, is the world’s slimmest multi-mode PC, measuring just 15.6 mm. Yoga 11’s slim design, 11.6-in screen and long 13 hour battery life make it a great convertible for mobility.
Equipped with NVIDIA Tegra 3 – the world’s only quad-core processor for Windows RT – Yoga 11 lets users watch HD movies, play games, get connected and stay productive with Microsoft Office applications virtually all day long.
As an added bonus, both Yoga 13 and 11 can be used in completely new ways: convert them into a Stand1 by flipping the keyboard behind the screen to comfortably watch movies or view pictures up close, or bend them upright like a Tent2 to bring games or video chats to life.
“The IdeaPad Yoga 11 is elegant, thin and light, combining the convenience of a tablet with the capability of a laptop,”
said Rene Haas, vice president, Notebook Business Unit, NVIDIA.
“Powered by the energy-efficient Tegra 3 processor, the Yoga 11 lets you work and stay connected all day long – and leave your laptop charger at home.”
IdeaTab Lynx Connects to Digital Life
The IdeaTab Lynx is one of the first Windows 8-based tablets with the latest dual core Intel® Atom™ processor. This feather light 11.6-in tablet caters to the mobile individual who wants to combine fun and work: users can interact with a variety of Windows 8 apps via its multi-touch screen when on the go or they can connect it to its keyboard for a full-function PC experience that includes writing documents in Microsoft Word, creating presentations in PowerPoint and building spreadsheets in Excel. With Lynx, users can leave the power plug behind thanks to its incredible 16 hours of battery life (with optional base), and they can enjoy cinema-quality sound with Dolby® Home Theatre® and easily connect to printers, hard drives and other accessories with a full size USB port when attached to the base.
ThinkPad Twist makes it easy to choose one affordable device that can do it all. Use it as a full-performance Ultrabook, and then twist the top to switch to a convertible tablet. The 12.5-in ThinkPad Twist gives professionals the technologies they need for both their business and personal computing.
For exceptional business-class productivity, ThinkPad Twist packages up to 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors, up to Windows 8 Pro, optional 3G3, large storage up to 500 GB or 128 GB SSD and the ThinkPad-brand’s legendary keyboard and quality and reliability features.
Users can work for hours with nearly all-day battery life and tablet-like quick resume from standby. This powerful machine also includes dedicated software tools specifically for small business including Lenovo Solutions for Small Business powered by Intel Small Business Advantage and Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync.
ThinkPad Twist’s luminous high definition 350nit IPS display and Dolby® Home Theatre® audio produce a stand out multimedia experience. Whether it’s a client video presentation or action-packed movie, simply connect to high definition video with Twist’s mini-HDMI or DisplayPort jack and turn up the volume. Like Yoga, Twist can convert into new modes like Stand, a great position for work collaboration via the multi-touch screen.
“Lenovo was one of the first to embrace convertible design coupled with touch interaction in a big way and the Yoga 13 and ThinkPad Twist are both remarkable devices that are sure to wow consumers,”
said Kirk Skaugen, corporate vice president and general manager, PC Client Group, Intel.
“These designs fueled with powerful Intel 3rd generation Core processors will deliver the key attributes of the PC and tablet into a single system—essentially people are getting ‘two for one’.”
The previously announced ThinkPad Tablet 2, designed for Windows 8 and powered by Intel’s next generation CPU technology, will also debut this month alongside the new convertibles. This multi-use tablet lasts over 10 hours on a single charge, weighs in at 1.3 lb– lighter than its leading tablet competitor – includes an optional digitizer and pen for precision input, offers 3G and 4G4 (US only) wireless for virtually anywhere, anytime connectivity and runs Windows 8 apps and familiar desktop applications.
This versatile tablet lets users work the way they want to with multi-finger touch support, pen input or the ability to connect to the optional ThinkPad Tablet 2 keyboard and dock for a PC-like computing experience. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 includes a host of IT manageability, security and corporate-level service and support to help IT managers easily deploy it in their business environments.
Source: Lenovo Press Site.
1To put in Stand mode, open device into laptop mode then flip Yoga keyboard 180° under display. Place display closest to use to watch content. Mode resembles a picture frame. Other convertibles achieve Stand mode differently.
2To put in Tent mode, open device into laptop mode then flip display 180°. Place display closest to user to watch content. Mode resembles a tent. Other convertibles achieve Tent mode differently.
3and4Only AT&T in the U.S.
Author: Samuel J. Tan
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