Lenovo’s Surface Pro clone gets serious, while its ThinkPad X1 series goes on a diet

The second part of Lenovo’s massive CES 2017 invasion has begun with the introduction of a new Miix 2-in-1 device and the next generation of its ThinkPad X1 family of products. The new Miix 720 targets both business and general customers, while the updated ThinkPad X1 line mostly targets professionals. What users will see in this specific retail attack are features like Thunderbolt 3, Wireless AD (WiGig) connectivity, IR cameras supported by Windows Hello, and storage options supporting the OPAL2 certification.

So let’s dive in!

Lenovo Miix 720 with Lenovo Active Pen 2

For starters, we have the Lenovo Mixx 720, a 2-in-1 device with a detachable backlit keyboard. The company offers many different configurations, so the specifications listed below are more generalized. The device packs a seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” Intel Core processor, up to 16GB of system memory, and a nice 2,880 x 1,920 resolution that should be great for outdoor use due to an incredibly high level of brightness.

What’s notable about the Miix 720 is that it includes an IR camera on the front along with the 1MP camera. It supports Windows Hello so that users merely look at the Miix 720 to unlock the device without the need for login credentials. It also sports a USB 3.1 Type-C port and an included Lenovo Active Pen for writing by hand directly on the screen, to hand-edit photos, and more.

However, what customers won’t see here is a Signature Edition of Windows 10, which is a clean install of Microsoft’s latest operating system without all the bloat. Lenovo has loaded on the extra software with 15 software installs including Lenovo Photo Master 2.0, McAfee LiveSafe, Lenovo Cloud Disk, Yandex, Lenovo PC Manager, and more.

Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home
Display: 12 inches
Resolution: 2,880 x 1,920 @ 400 nits
Processor: Up to a seventh-generation Intel Core i7
Memory: Up to 16GB DDR4
Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage: Up to 1TB PCI Express SSD
Audio: Dual Dolby-enabled stereo speakers
Battery: 41 Watt hour up to 8 hours
Connectivity: 2×2 Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports: 1x USB 3.1 Type-C
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
1x Micro SD slot
1x Headphone/microphone jack
Colors: Champagne
Iron Gray
Cameras: Front – 1MP with IR camera
Back – 5MP with auto-focus
Size: 11.5 x 8.27 x 0.35 inches without keyboard
11.53 x 8.5 x 0.57 inches with keyboard
Weight: Starting at 1.72 pounds without keyboard
Starting at 2.42 pounds with keyboard
Included accessories: Full-sized backlit keyboard
Lenovo Active Pen v1 (first wave)
Lenovo Active Pen v2 (second wave)
Starting price: $999
Availability: April 2017

ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X1 Carbon hits the market with Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition, which is a clean install of Microsoft’s operating system without all the added bloatware OEMs love to install. It packs a seventh-generation Intel Core processor, up to 16GB of system memory, and six storage options, depending on the customer’s needs. Four of those options support OPAL2, a specification for securing data on storage devices.

Lenovo deems the X1 Carbon as its smallest, thinnest business ultrabook to date due to a slim, carbon-fiber reinforced chassis. It measures just 0.6 inches thin when closed and weighs only 2.51 pounds, making it a great solution for trips to a client’s office or for working on an airplane. There are plenty of connectivity options stuffed into the ultra-thin form factor too such as Wireless AD (WiGig) connectivity, 4G cellular connectivity, and Thunderbolt 3 for expanding the laptop’s capabilities with a single cable.

On the security front, the laptop has an IR camera option supported by Windows Hello, enabling users to simply look at the laptop to unlock the device. Adding to that is a fingerprint reader option also supported by Windows Hello for swiping a finger instead of manually entering a username and password. Both are great when using the laptop in public, in a client’s office, and so on.

Operating system: Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition
Display: 14 inches
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 (IPS @ 300 nits)
1,920 x 1,080 (IPS @ 300 nits)
Processor: Up to a seventh-generation Intel Core i7
Memory: Up to 16GB LPDDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage: 128GB SATA-based SSD
180GB SATA-based SSD (Intel)
256GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD (Intel)
256GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
512GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD (Intel)
512GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
Audio: Dolby Audio Premium
Battery: Up to 15.5 hours
Connectivity: Wireless AD (WiGig)
Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC (optional)
LTE-A 4G Cellular (optional)
Ports: 2x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
1x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
Colors: Black, Silver
Cameras: 720p Webcam
IR camera (optional)
Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
Weight: Starting at 2.49 pounds
Security: Discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0
Fingerprint reader (optional)
Starting price: $1,349
Availability: February 2017

ThinkPad X1 Yoga

The Yoga version of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 arrives with three display options: two with a 2,650 x 1,440 resolution and one with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. They’re backed by the latest seventh-generation Core processors from Intel and the company’s integrated graphics, such as the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 component. The battery provides up to 16 hours on a single charge, depending on the model’s display type.

Some of the notable features found on the new ThinkPad X1 Yoga are the two Thunderbolt 3 ports for expanding the laptop’s connectivity. There’s Wireless AD (WiGig) and 4G cellular connectivity for super-fast speeds and working on-the-go when an access point is not within reach. There’s also the 360-degree hinge too, enabling users to fold the screen back to create a makeshift tablet for hand-writing notes and drawing directly on the screen using the included pen.

On the security side, the new 2-in-1 includes a discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0 chip, and options for a fingerprint reader and an IR scanner. Four of the seven storage options support OPAL2, the standard for securing data on storage devices. Optional accessories arriving with the X1 Yoga include a special sleeve, a wireless touch mouse, and a Thunderbolt 3 dock.

Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Display: 14 inches
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 with Touch (OLED @ 300 nits)
2,560 x 1,440 with Touch (IPS @ 270 nits)
1,920 x 1,080 with Touch (TN @ 270 nits)
Processor: Up to seventh-generation Intel Core i7
Memory: Up to 16GB LPDDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Up to 16GB LPDDR3 @ 2,133MHz (Intel Iris only)
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage: 128GB SATA-based SSD
180GB SATA-based SSD (Intel)
256GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD (Intel)
256GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
512GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD (Intel)
512GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
1TB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
Audio: Dolby Audio Premium
Battery: Up to 10.5 hours (OLED only)
Up to 16 hours (all others)
Connectivity: Wireless AD (WiGig)
Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC (optional)
LTE-A 4G Cellular
Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3
3x USB 3.0
1x HDMI
1x Ethernet
1x Micro SD card slot
1x Micro SIM card slot
Colors: Black
Silver
Cameras: 720p webcam
IR camera (optional)
Included accessories: Dockable and rechargeable pen
Size: OLED version – 13.1 x 9.0 x 0.69 inches
All others – 13.1 x 9.0 x 0.67 inches
Weight: OLED version – starting at 2.99 pounds
All others – starting at 3.13 pounds
Security: Discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0
Fingerprint reader (optional)
Starting price: $1,499
Availability: February 2017

ThinkPad X1 Tablet

Despite the “tablet” name, this model is a 2-in-1 device built for business. It comes with Windows 10 Signature Edition for a bloat-free experience, and a detachable keyboard to create three devices in one: a tablet, a laptop, and a stand-up display for presentations. With this model, Lenovo is targeting progressive IT “decision makers,” creative professionals, and on-the-go customers who need the performance of a laptop in a super-slim form factor.

As with the other ThinkPad X1 models, the X1 Tablet offers plenty of storage options to meet the user’s needs, four of which support the OPAL2 standard for securing data on storage devices. Other security features consist of a discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0 chip, and an optional fingerprint reader for using a finger to log into Windows 10 instead of entering credentials manually.

The big selling point with the X1 Tablet appears to be the optional accessories customers can use with this device. For instance, the Presenter Module will turn the device into a projector for giving presentations whereas the Productivity Module will wake up all the connected devices when users sit down at their desk. Other notable features include Wireless AD (WiGig) connectivity, and a not-too-shabby screen resolution of 2,150 x 1,440.

Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home
Display: 12 inches
Resolution: 2,150 x 1,440 (IPS)
Processor: Up to a seventh-generation Intel Core i7
Memory: Up to 16GB LPDDR3
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
Storage: 128GB SATA-based SSD
256GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
256GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD (Intel)
512GB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
1TB PCIe-based OPAL2 SSD
Audio: Stereo speakers
Dual-array microphones
Battery: Up to 10 hours
Connectivity: Wireless AD (WiGig)
Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1x USB Type-C
1x USB 3.0
1x Mini DisplayPort
1x Micro SD card slot
1x Nano SIM card slot
Colors: Tablet – Black
Keyboard – Black, Silver, Red
Cameras: Front – 2MP
Back – 8MP
Included accessories: Stylus
Size: Tablet only – 11.4 x 8.2 x 0.3 inches
With keyboard – 11.4 x 8.2 x 0.55 inches
Weight: Tablet only – Starting at 1.69 pounds
With keyboard – Starting at 2.35 pounds
Security: Discrete Trusted Platform Module 2.0
Fingerprint reader (optional)
Starting price: $949
Availability: March 2017

Active Pen 2

One last thing to note with this announcement is the availability of Lenovo’s second-generation Active Pen. The peripheral will have a starting price of $59.99 when it arrives in February, but it won’t be included with the Miix 720 when the 2-in-1 device lands in April. As the specs show, the Miix 720 will ship with the current-gen Active Pen, as Lenovo likely needs to clear out its inventory of Active Pen v1 before packing the Active Pen v2 with the Miix 720.

“Our approach to innovation is to ensure we’re constantly evolving and understanding how technology is infused within every individual, business and home,” said Gianfranco Lanci, president and chief operating officer, Lenovo. “We’re dedicated to understanding our customers and will never stop creating better experiences, whether PCs for work, play or gaming, next generation AR/VR innovation or within the smarter home.”

As the specs show, Lenovo’s invasion begins in February starting with the ThinkPad X1 units and ending in April with the Miix 720.

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