Lenovo's scattergun approach to Windows 8 bears fruit in down market

The Lenovo Group has managed to post strong fourth quarter numbers in a market generally down for PC sales. The company's PC line with its diverse form factors that take advantage of Windows 8 is an apparent winner.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor on
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ThinkPad Tablet 2 with keyboard-- Image credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet

Lenovo posted its financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full year ended March 31, 2013. In spite of a PC market that is generally down, the company managed to post records in sales (52.4 million PCs) and global PC market share (15.5 percent).

The company was quick to respond to the release of Windows 8 with its risky ability to cross the PC/tablet divide with a diverse line of products designed to take full advantage of the latest OS from Microsoft. Lenovo's line of Windows 8 laptops includes the now standard hybrid, tablets that dock into a laptop base that is now common for most OEMs. The just released Helix hybrid from Lenovo brings high performance to the hybrid.

It doesn't stop with hybrids, however, as Lenovo has several laptop models that bend and twist into a number of positions to work in a variety of user scenarios. These laptops can be used as tablets, laptops, and personal presentation devices to fit many work needs. Several Yoga models can be bent to suit the user instead of forcing the user to bend to the limitations of the notebook.

The ThinkPad line, long a mainstay for Lenovo in the enterprise, has evolved to handle the special properties of Windows 8. I am writing this article on the latest in the ThinkPad line, the T431s, one of the thinnest and lightest notebooks in this product line. It has build quality typical for the ThinkPad line and likely will be as popular as other models.

Lenovo extended the ThinkPad into the tablet space with the ThinkPad Tablet 2, a small tablet designed to firmly compete with the big guys in that space, Apple and Android. This tablet brings full pen support to a portable 10-inch form, while adding an optional keyboard lets it fill in as a laptop on occasion. 

While the company has been all over the laptop space with designs that take full advantage of touch in Windows 8, it has also pushed the limits on the desktop PC front. The innovative 27-inch desktop PC transforms into a huge table system operated like a tablet on the desk.

Lenovo's strong financial report shows the scattergun approach of building as many innovative PC forms as possible is apparently working. Windows 8 brings new capabilities to the platform with the handling of touch operation, and Lenovo is determined to produce different forms to take full advantage of that.


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