Lenovo doubles down on convertible PC bet; Yoga-tizes lineup

Summary:Lenovo is betting that all laptop buyers will go multimode and meld tablets and PCs. To Lenovo, Yoga DNA should go everywhere.

Lenovo is making a big bet on convertible PCs and betting that consumers and businesses want one device that can do a bit of everything. Bottom line: Lenovo is taking its approach with its Yoga PC and infusing that DNA throughout its lineup.

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Yoga 2 Pro.

You could say Lenovo is Yoga-tizing its product portfolio.

CNET Reviews: ThinkPad Yoga; IdeaPad Yoga 2 | Larry Seltzer:  Windows 8 Hardware 2.0

Speaking on a conference call, Nick Reynolds, executive director of Lenovo Business Group, said that the company's goal is to reinvent the traditional clamshell laptop and make multimode devices the norm.

Here's the bet: PC buyers everywhere want to flip and fold their laptops as they use them for work and play.

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ThinkPad Yoga.

The move is a bit gutsy given Windows 8 hasn't lived up to its advance billing and multimode devices are more of a novelty act today, but then again Lenovo is playing with a lead. It's the No. 1 PC maker now and branching out into mobility more than ever. Meanwhile, Lenovo has seen success with its hybrid PC-tablet approach and has been absorbing customer feedback on the Yoga.

Lenovo has 45 percent of the Windows 8 convertible market and now wants to own it. Here's a look at Lenovo's multimode army:

The Yoga 2 Pro. The Yoga, which appeared to be quirky but garnered a following, is now 10 percent lighter and can go into four modes with a higher resolution screen and software to optimize apps with the way the device is being used. The Yoga 2 Pro, which starts at $1,099, weighs 3.49 pounds and is 0.61 of an inch thick.

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The ThinkPad Yoga. Lenovo plans to take the Yoga corporate. The ultrabook will have a 360 degree rotation and adds features such as a lift and lock keyboard that sits flush on surfaces with keys locked into place in multiple modes. The difference with the ThinkPad Yoga is that you can go spec happy and get up to 1 TB of hard drive capacity as well as a digitizer pen.

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Lenovo's business Yoga also has the key ports for enterprises and starts at $949.

Flex. Lenovo is launching two laptops that can swap modes to be a stand or laptop. The tagline for Lenovo, which will launch a holiday campaign for the fourth quarter push, asks: Why would you buy a traditional laptop when you can get multiple modes?

The answer to that question largely depends on price and Lenovo is being aggressive. The Flex will start at $629.

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Rounding out the multimode fiesta is the Flex 20, which is a 19.5 inch HD all-in-one PC that's designed to sit flat on a table was well as be a PC. Reynolds called it the little brother to the Horizon 27-inch all-in-one PC that doubles as a coffee table tablet.

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The big question is will these convertible pyrotechnics with Windows 8.1 and Intel's latest chips juice the PC market or be too quirky for the masses. Lenovo is pushing the design envelope and has been for a while---at least relative to other PC makers. And why not? Just because Lenovo has a lead doesn't mean that it has to play like it's out front.

Should Lenovo's convertible bet for everything it makes work it will extend its lead and perhaps just reinvent the PC into something people lust over.

Previously: 

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Lenovo, Mobility, PCs

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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