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Lenovo, the number-one PC vendor worldwide in Q4 2021, is among the large tech companies that have decided to attend Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 virtually rather than physically, due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19. Other notable absentees include Sony Mobile and Asus.
At MWC, Lenovo has unveiled an impressive portfolio of new ThinkPads, IdeaPads, Chromebooks, ThinkBooks, a portable monitor, and an updated tablet.
The third generation of Lenovo's Tab M10 Plus features an improved 10.6-inch 2K IPS display (2000 x 1200, 220ppi) with 400 nits brightness and narrow bezels resulting in a claimed screen to body ratio of 85%. Powered by an octa-core processor with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and featuring quad speakers with Dolby Atmos, the Tab M10 Plus G3, which weighs 465g and is 7.45mm thick, will be suitable for 'media consumption of all kinds', Lenovo says. To that end, mobile streaming at 1080p is certified for Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+.
The Tab M10 Plus, which has a signature two-tone rear panel, will ship with Android 12 and be 'Android 13-ready' by 2023. There's a new feature called Reading Mode, which turns the screen to greyscale for a more comfortable document-reading experience; there's also an option that mutes the on-screen colours, and a setting that auto-triggers Reading Mode when selected apps are opened.
The tablet is compatible with the optional Lenovo Precision Pen 2, which supports 4,096 pressure levels and delivers up to 200 hours of usage on a single charge, Lenovo says. There's also an optional case/stand with a slot for the stylus.
IdeaPads are Lenovo's 'everyday laptops for first-time users', and the Flex 5 and 5i are 360-degree convertibles powered respectively by the latest AMD Ryzen 7 series and 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processors with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Available in 14-inch and 16-inch models, the Flex 5/5i laptops have improved 16:10 displays (up to 2.8K resolution, 100% DCI-P3 support, 400 nits brightness, OLED options), upgraded 1080p webcams and a new drop-down hinge. Thunderbolt 4 is available on the Intel version, and rapid charging delivers 2 hours of video playback in 15 minutes, Lenovo says.
The drop-down hinge still supports 360-degree screen conversion, but when deployed in laptop mode it lifts the keyboard slightly to deliver a more comfortable typing angle (similar to Asus's ErgoLift hinge). You also get better airflow beneath the device with this hinge.
The IdeaPad Duet 5i is a slim tablet with a bright (450 nits) 12-inch display and a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. It has two full-function USB-C ports, a 5MP IR webcam for face authentication and rapid charging that delivers a claimed 3 hours of playback in 15 minutes.
Lenovo's new IdeaPad Chromebooks are the Intel Core-powered Flex 5i Chromebook, the Intel N6000-powered Flex 3i Chromebook, and the Snapdragon-powered Duet 3 Chromebook.
The Flex 5i Chromebook has a 14-inch 16:10 FHD display, a 1080p webcam with a physical privacy shutter, a larger touchpad, and optional backlighting for the keyboard. The larger Flex 3i Chromebook has a 15.6-inch FHD touch screen and fits a separate number pad to the right of the main keyboard array. As with its 5i sibling, there's also a larger touchpad on this model. Both Flex Chromebooks feature Lenovo's drop-down hinge that raises the keyboard to a more comfortable typing position.
The IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook has an 11-inch 2.2K-resolution screen – up from 10.1 inches in its popular predecessor – and offers an improved experience from its detachable keyboard. This 516.5g device is 7.9mm thick, is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chipset, comes with 8GB of RAM and has a 29Wh battery that delivers up to 12 hours of life, according to Lenovo. There are two cameras, 5MP at the front and 8MP at the back.
The detachable keyboard has improved water-resistance, has deeper key travel (1.4mm from 1.3mm), and freezes when rotated for use in tablet mode.
Lenovo's upgraded entry-level gaming laptops are available with 15-inch or 16-inch screens, and the latest AMD Ryzen (IdeaPad Gaming 3) or Intel Core (IdeaPad Gaming 3i) processors. Graphics are handled by Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3050 or 3060 and Intel's latest Arc A370M GPUs.
The new models have a gamer-centric look, a redesigned hinge, plus a quad-vent cooling system that delivers 15% more 'optimised cooling performance' and 20% more ventilation, according to Lenovo. Most of the ports are now at the back, apart from a USB-A port on each side.
SEE: Best Windows laptop 2022: Top notebooks compared
Screens are 16:9 (15-inch, 2560 x 1440) or 16:10 (16-inch, 2560 x 1600) with refresh rates up to 165Hz. Touchpads are larger, there's a separate number pad, and a keyboard air intake to help with cooling. Key backlighting is available, in different colours depending on the laptop's livery. You also get more immersive audio, a 1080p webcam with a privacy shutter, and rapid charging.
Lenovo also announced the Legion M600s Qi Wireless Gaming Mouse, which adds wireless Qi charging to the functionality offered by the company's other wireless gaming mice.
ThinkBooks are Lenovo's 'secure small-business laptops', and at MWC the company is introducing two new models: the ThinkBook 13s Gen 4 i and the ThinkBook 14s Yoga Gen 2.
Both ThinkBooks have a durable all-metal build and run on Intel's latest 12-generation Core processors with Iris Xe Graphics, and include Thunderbolt 4 support, optional Wi-Fi 6E and 1080p webcams.
The ThinkBook 13s G4 i is a conventional 13.3-inch thin-and-light laptop (14.9mm, 1.26kg), while the ThinkBook 14s Yoga G2 is a 14-inch 360-degree convertible (16.9mm thick, 1.5kg) that comes with Lenovo's Smart Pen stylus and Smart Notes app.
Lenovo's portable 14-inch ThinkVision M14 monitor gets an upgrade in the shape of the M14d model, which is thin (4.6mm) and light (<600g) enough to fit in your travel bag and extend your laptop's screen real estate when you're out of the office.
It's a one-cable solution, plugging into your laptop's USB-C port from either side, leaving a second USB-C port free for pass-through laptop charging. The case incorporates a kick-stand and houses a 2.2K IPS panel (2240 x 1440, 16:10) that supports 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. If you're using a 16:9 laptop, a button flips the M14d display into this mode to maintain a consistent look.
The ThinkPad T series is Lenovo's flagship business laptop brand, where the company strives to optimise a combination of features, connectivity, performance and mobility. For 2022, the T series is getting a redesign to cater for hybrid-working practices.
The 2022 ThinkPad T laptops are built around 16:10 screens and comprise the thin-and-light T14s G3, the T14 G3 and a new 16-inch model, the T16 G1. Processor choices include 12th-generation Intel Core and AMD Ryzen 6000 series CPUs, with GPU options up to an Nvidia RTX 2050. For on-the-go connectivity, there are 5G and Wi-Fi 6E options, while video calls will be improved by 1080p webcams and Dolby Voice noise reduction.
IT managers will appreciate a new bottom cover that provides easy access to the T series laptops' internals. Lenovo also said it had managed to shave half a pound (0.23kg) off the weight of the T14 G3, which now weighs in at 2.65lbs (1.2kg).
Heading up the powerful end of the ThinkPad range, we find the P series of mobile workstations, which are designed to run demanding ISV-certified applications covering sectors like architecture, engineering, energy exploration and media.
For 2022, Lenovo is introducing an upgraded thin-and-light mobile workstation, the ThinkPad P14s G3, and a new 16-inch model, the ThinkPad P16s G1. Both have 16:10 displays with 100% sRGB coverage and factory colour calibration, and offer many of the same ports and features as the mainstream T series. Of course, most workstation customers will require serious discrete graphics performance, which is provided by the (optional) Nvidia T550 Laptop GPU with 4GB of dedicated video memory.
The thin-and-light ThinkPad P14s G3 starts at 3.06lbs (1.39kg) and runs on 12-generation Intel Core processors. Meanwhile, the 16-inch P16 G1 gets AMD's Ryzen 6000 series CPUs.
Following the announcement of premium ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Nano and Yoga devices at CES, Lenovo is introducing the highest-performing X1 model in its line-up, the 16-inch ThinkPad X1 Extreme G5 at MWC.
Based on 12th-generation Intel Core H series processors (up to Core i9), the 2022 upgrade delivers a claimed 14% performance boost over the G4 model. It will support up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM and up to 8TB of storage, and have discrete graphics options up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080Ti.
Serious power in a laptop form factor requires serious cooling, and Lenovo builds in an air-intake keyboard and vapour chamber/liquid metal cooling for both CPU and GPU that boosts cooling efficiency by up to 10% over the G4 model, Lenovo says.
The 16-inch screen is a 16:10 panel with WQXGA (2560 x 1600) resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate. Starting at 4lbs (1.8kg) and with Wi-Fi6E and optional 5G connectivity, the X1 Extreme G5 is aiming this 'mobile performance dream machine' at multimedia professionals in video and photography editing, content creation and AR/VR development.
Lenovo's final MWC announcement is perhaps the most interesting: this is the ThinkPad X13s, which Lenovo describes as 'the first true business-focused Windows on Snapdragon laptop'. The Snapdragon in question is Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform, and Lenovo says it has been working with Qualcomm and Microsoft for the past four years, and with ecosystem partners, to bring native application support to the Windows on Snapdragon platform.
The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset delivers CPU improvement of up to 85% and a GPU boost of up to 60% compared to the previous generation, Lenovo says, all while delivering claimed battery life of up to 28 hours – a key USP of the low-power ARM-based platform.
The 13-inch ThinkPad X13s has a thin (13mm), light (<2.4lbs/1.09kg), minimal-bezel design, and is the first ThinkPad to support mmWave 5G. This high-frequency band (24-100GHz) can support fast data transfer (≥1Gbps), albeit over relatively short distances. The X13s also has a 5MP webcam with AI auto-framing and noise suppression for a better video call experience.
With a chassis built from 90% recycled magnesium and up to 97% post-consumer content for its speaker enclosures, battery packs and power adapters, along with sustainable packaging, the ThinkPad X13s seems to be the very model of a modern mobile device.