Lenovo at Mobile World Congress is launching a series of new devices--new VIBE smartphones, PCs and tablets--but the real win for travelers may be a service called Lenovo Connect that eliminates the use of separate SIM cards between China and EMEA.
The company has been a mobile virtual network operator, but is now connecting devices via Connect, which provides low-cost global roaming and connections to Lenovo's services.
Availability will depend on the device, but Lenovo is looking to cover various businesses and their employees. In China, Lenovo is adding a Lenovo Connect app on select smartphones and laptops starting with the LeMeng X3 and MIIX 700 tablet. The Lenovo service covers 50 countries.
In EMEA, Lenovo Connect will be available in 45 countries to start and channel partners plan to add the service to ThinkPads. Data plans will be customized with roaming in 110 countries. Lenovo's mobile virtual network has about 11 million users today and the company counts 400 million cloud service customers.
Lenovo Connect is available in China this month and EMEA in the first quarter.
Among other items from Lenovo:
- The company launched the VIBE K5 Plus, a 5-inch Android device that has a 13MP camera, a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and Silver, Gold and Graphite Gray color options.
- Lenovo also launched the Yoga 710 and Flex 4 convertible laptops as well as the Ideapad MIIX 310 2-in-1 tablet. The devices are targeting the prosumer market and emphasize the ability to travel. Prices range from $299 for the MIIX 310 in June to $799 for the Yoga 710 14-inch laptop, which is available in May.
- Three tablets with two, the Tab3 7 and Tab3 8, designed for families and one Tab3 10 aimed at business users.