Lenovo Debuts Yoga Successor And Oddball ‘Home’ Variant: Yoga 900, Yoga 900 Home

20 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Lenovo Drops a New Bendy, Twisty Yoga Laptop.

During the Lenovo Yoga event in San Francisco, I got a chance to sit down with the Lenovo Yoga Home 900, the company’s hulking ‘portable desktop’ solution.Lenovo, the company best known for its stoic ThinkPad business machines, has been enjoying a great deal of buzz over the last few years around its Yoga range of affordable consumer laptops.Laptop-tablet hybrids never quite took off, with consumers eschewing the all-in-one devices because they neither wanted an over-powered tablet or an underpowered work station.It’s been a few years since Lenovo first introduced its giant table-top PC as a kind of hybrid solution for both family fun and productivity, and safe to say, we haven’t seen many (or any) of these in the wild since then.

Key to the Yoga’s popularity is its hybrid design, with a bendy hinge that lets the touchscreen notebook operate as both a laptop and a tablet without detaching the keyboard. Lenovo launched two new devices Monday — the Yoga 900 convertible laptop and the Yoga 900 Home portable all-in-one desktop — muscling in on the territory of the likes of Microsoft with its Surface Pro tablet computers, Toshiba with its Radius 2-in-1s and, soon, Apple with its iPad Pro. Running Windows 10 and powered by Intel’s 6th and 5th gen i7 processors, respectively, the Yoga laptop and desktop are positioned as both powerful and portable devices; powerful enough to replace workstations, portable enough to double as a tablet.

It’s actually positioned as a home computer, meant to offer desktop-grade performance but with some ability to move it from location to location, while still getting three hours of battery life unplugged. But if you collapse the kickstand, you can lay the massive 27-inch screen flat, on your lap or on top of a table, said Dilip Bhatia, Lenovo’s VP of marketing. “The Yoga Home is a big computer that you can actually move around your house and get the whole family around,” Mr. It can be configured with a fifth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, an optional Nvidia GeForce 9420 graphics processor and up to a one-terabyte SSHD.

With the new 13.3-inch Yoga 900—a different name, yes, but a true successor to the Yoga 3 Pro—you’re getting the best Intel processor, namely a Core i7 Skylake processor, along with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM and a 256 or 512 solid-state drive respectively. Lenovo says the Aura app store now offers more than 500 apps, and this new computer has enhanced photo editing and facial recognition technologies, as well. When the stand is out and the monitor is standing upright, the screen can be tilted if significant force is applied, yet the unit is stable enough to stay in place when I jab or swipe the screen. We’ve seen a design like this before from Lenovo (the Horizon series all-in-ones) and while it’s peculiar, it likely works well in family rooms or offices where there’s a lot of touchy-swipey gameplay or collaboration. The touchscreen seems about as responsive as that of most tablets, although there were no apps installed (such as Photoshop or Sketchbook), that would have allowed me to test the sensitivity to pressure.

It looks largely the same as last year’s Yoga 3, replacing it with a new naming convention. (The “900” indicates a flagship model.) This year’s premium Yoga has more power, however. Using Lenovo’s Aura 3.0 touch interface, we were able to grab photos, but the unit seemed to have a difficult time telling if we were two people trying to snag separate elements on the screen, or a single user simply trying to resize an open image. I like the concept, but it seems figuring out who gets priority when touching the screen is an app-side challenge that software developers need to tackle. In order for it to become a substitute for a Wacom Cintiq, for example, the user is going to either need to look for a third-party stylus or enjoy finger painting.

Lenovo also says they’ve improved on the Yoga’s (arguably) stylish watchband hinge, adding more durability so when using the touchscreen in laptop mode, the screen doesn’t give under the pressure of your finger. Bhatia said it’ll be the thinnest “convertible” laptop/tablet hybrid computer on the market, coming in at 0.59 inches thick and weighing 2.84 pounds.

But the keys themselves keep the scissor-hinge design and pretty minimal key travel, which could be a plus or minus depending on your personal typing preference.

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