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

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.

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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

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17 comments
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  • Few weeks ago

    I met with two executives, gladly sporting Yoga. I guess that it is a nice concept with quality manufacturer.
    Andrej.G.
    • I Have Also

      But at the meeting one person had a Sony Duo. I watched from the side as both crossed swords with their new toys. I have an old Surface Pro so no one cared. The winner was because of the touch display. I did not realize it before but noticed during the fight that Sony uses the Wacom system the same as Surface Pro Using Microsoft OneNote with a pen the Yoga failed miserably. From now on I will look for the Wacom touch before buying a tablet.
      MichaelInMA
  • Lenovo's Helix Needs a Refresh Too!

    The ThinkPad Helix with Haswell will be my choice. A much needed refresh like the Yoga 2 Pro is in order. Also, a better price point could help also.
    ITMedCEO
    • Agreed!

      I love the Helix, but it would be sweet to have a Haswell based one as well. I also wouldn't mind seeing a Helix Lite that uses Baytrail, is a bit thinner and no fans but keep the nice hi-res screen, nfc, pen and all the other goodies. I appreciate that Lenovo is working hard to bring unique innovations to the Market. Before the Helix was announced, I almost bit on a MacBook Pro, but I am so glad I waited for the Helix. I can't imagine a laptop without a touchscreen now. Hopefully Apple will awaken from its slumber and join the rest of us in this century.
      gomigomijunk
  • Sigh

    Can we just stop using the phrase "double down" to describe EVERY tech companies decision these days?
    beau parisi
    • Maybe...

      we should just say they are going "All in"? ];>
      Putertechn
  • The Swiss Army knife?

    A Swiss Army knife is a good tool for going camping, but few people use one to prepare dinner in the kitchen at home nor does the cook in a restaurant. When it is time to do work in the house or in the office, there is no substitute for a computer with a large screen. By and large I mean bigger than 20 in. When out and about or relaxing on the couch, who needs to lug around one of those "convertible" monsters when a big phone or small tablet will suffice? Most people who need to do real work, are in a situation where they can sit at a desk in front of a big monitor. A number entry pad and a large keyboard also greatly enhance productivity. Just like there is a market for Swiss Army knives, I suppose there is one for these convertible devices.
    arminw
    • Large Screen

      I use a 28" monitor with my Surface Pro.
      Foreseen
    • Right, because nobody wants hybrid devices... like an SUV

      or smartphone or any other devices that are completely acceptable replacements for unitools while also offering extended capabilities of other devices.

      Not every wants to buy a different computing devices for every area of their house. Some people are going to be thrilled to have one device that suits all of their needs.

      Computing is rapidly becoming about convergence.
      Emacho
      • kind of funny

        and sad in a way.
        67cougargt
        • try this again

          I do have different units spread throughout the house. Each for a different purpose.
          67cougargt
  • Touch is the future

    So it makes sense that more laptops will be hybrids rather than merely laptops. I like the variety, keep it coming Lenovo (and step it up everyone else).
    grayknight
    • Maybe better "Touch is the future for laptops"

      I hardly see myself sitting at may desk and touching the screen all day long.
      pupkin_z
  • Thinkpad keyboard and trackpoint does it for me....

    If my old T60 Thinkpad ever dies, I'll be a customer...
    Bill_SixPack
  • Smart move on Lenovo's part

    I took a leap of faith and ordered a Yoga direct, right after Windows 8 was released.

    I love it! One of the best purchases I've ever made.
    If anything happened to it I'd replace it in a heartbeat.
    Wayne.P.
  • Yoga is the best strategy, other PC makes should learn from it

    Instead of complaining and blaming Microsoft for their failures, they should introspect and figure out why their outdated designs are failing. Lenovo increased their share, while the whole PC market lost.

    Windows 8, and now 8.1 is the best OS in the market which can take advantage of touch-mouse-keyboard-pen, is fast, secure and maintains full backward compatibility to Windows 7 applications.

    The shortsighted bloggers have no clue what the platform has achieved, without multi-windows, multi-user, mouse-keyboard support any "creation" effort is inefficient. Touch is not a replacement to mouse-keyboard but it augments, and makes it easy to "consume". Microsoft knows it and eventually everyone will as well.

    Go Yoga!
    soulxfer@...
  • 15" yoga?

    I sure wish there was a 15" yoga. the problem with a 13" is that the keyboard is a bit too small for me. I would buy the 15" flex, but it is not available in a high res screen.
    Tom_the_Realtor