At an event in New York City, Lenovo today revealed launch details for four new tablet and laptop convertibles running Windows 8. First on the list was Lenovo’s screen-bending IdeaPad Yoga 13, but it now has a smaller cousin, the 11-inch IdeaPad Yoga running Windows RT — Microsoft’s more limited version of Windows 8 made to compete with Android and the iPad. Outside of the pair of Yogas, the IdeaTab Lynx was also shown. The Lynx is a dual-core Intel Windows 8 tablet that snaps into a keyboard dock, much like the Asus Transformer tablets. Finally, the ThinkPad Twist is a new convertible tablet (also Windows 8) with a spinning screen.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 and 13: Since its initial debut at CES this past January, the Yoga was the first Windows 8 device to truly draw our attention. The Yoga is a laptop with a special hinge that allows its screen to fold all the way flat, and then just keep folding, allowing it to take four different forms. It can be put into a Tent Mode, Laptop Mode, Tablet mode, and Stand mode. This gives it more range than almost any other computer I can think of, without the need to attach or detach peripherals. The new 11-inch brings the same flexibility to Windows RT, meaning it won’t have the classic Windows 7 desktop, but it has a fast Tegra 3 processor, 13 hours of battery life, and will cost about $800 when it launches Oct. 26. The Yoga 13 will retail for $1,100 and goes up for pre-order Oct. 12. Both will be sold at Best Buy.
Check out our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 tablet review.
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist: The ThinkPad Twist is a 12.5-inch Windows 8 full Ultrabook, meaning it runs Windows 8 Pro and meets several standards for battery life and overall petiteness. It also boasts some impressive internals. It runs on an Intel Core i7 processor, has a hard drive as large as 500GB (or 128GB solid-state drive), and a 720p HD display. The big gimmick here is that the screen can spin around. While we’re worried about hinge-breakage on this laptop even more the Yoga, the spinning motion accomplished most of the same things as the Yoga’s bending does. You can use this as a full tablet or in “tent” or “stand” modes as well. The Twist will be available on Oct. 26 at Best Buy for prices starting at $850.
Check out our full review of the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx tablet.
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx: This is a full Windows 8 tablet with a dual-core Intel Atom processor, but the selling gimmick here is a snap-in keyboard, similar to the Transformer tablets by Asus and Lenovo’s own S2110 Android tablet. The keyboard dock just about doubles the battery life, but will likely set you back another $150. Without a keyboard, the Lynx will cost $600.
Pricing for the ThinkPad Tablet 2 was also revealed. It will cost $650.
We spent some time with each of the convertibles and came away impressed, but mostly with the Yoga. While Lenovo’s entire lineup offers solid performance, the Yoga remains one of the coolest Windows 8 laptop/tablet hybrids around. Of course, the elephant in the room here tonight is price. None of these devices comes anywhere close to the $500 price of an iPad, which begs the question: Will people pay extra for Windows 8? Lenovo is hoping that offering a keyboard and full PC functionality will convince people to make the jump. We’re not convinced, but we have to say, that Yoga is pretty tempting.