Lenovo uses price to pitch multi-mode PCs

Will the masses go for laptop and tablet tweeners? Now the price is right we'll soon find out.

Lenovo is sold on its lineup of convertible and detachable multimode computing devices and now is using price as a carrot to get the masses to buy them.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Lenovo outlined the MIIX 2, a three-mode laptop, the Yoga 2, with four modes and the Flex 14D and 15D.

Like last year , Lenovo is betting big on multimode and the concept that tech buyers do want a PC that doubles as a tablet. The Yoga 2 is the most flexible of the bunch and has a 360 degree flip and fold design.

What's changing is that Lenovo has most of the price points covered. The MIIX 2 convertible laptop starts at $499 for a 10-inch model and $699 for the 11-inch version. The 10-inch, however, isn't available until March and the 11-inch won't arrive until April.

yoga2 CES


Price is the connective tissue in many of Lenovo's CES announcements. Lenovo's latest line of standard laptops are all competitively priced in the $600 ballpark.

Yoga 2, with a 13-inch display, starts at $999, but the 11-inch version is available in late January at $529. The Flex 14D and 15D, which use AMD processors, start at $499.

Nick Reynolds, executive director of Lenovo Business Group, said the plan was to improve multimode laptops and get the Yoga 2 "to mainstream price points." "People have a choice to come in and use a multimode device at an entry price," said Reynolds.

lenovo multimode miix2


Now the fun really begins. Lenovo's multimode PCs will be priced in the same ballpark as many standalone tablets. The issue is that multimode devices haven't been perfected enough to do everything well. Lenovo's bet is that people will choose the twofer over going with a laptop vs. a tablet. Pricing is a big step forward, but it remains to be seen whether tech buyers will go gaga for multimode overall.