Today’s laptops are used for far more than just Word docs and TPS reports. Between Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify, a laptop is as much a mobile entertainment studio as it is a productivity workhorse. Unfortunately, laptop speakers and screens haven’t historically been engaging or engrossing. Dolby aims to change that.
A result of a new partnership with Lenovo, first announced at IFA 2018, Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio technologies are making their first appearances in laptops and notebooks. Dolby Vision HDR support is now included on the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon and X1 Extreme, along with the Yoga C930 and C730 (via a future software update), while Dolby Atmos sound was announced for the stunning Yoga Book C930.
Dolby Atmos will work in various ways, depending on the device. In most instances, the technology is in place to get the best possible sound from the speakers built into the device. Dialogue clarity and stereo separation. along with balanced sound. are all part of Dolby’s custom tuning for each device. In some cases, such as the new Yoga 930 laptop, Dolby Atmos will take advantage of the multiple speakers available to create a virtual surround effect. Dolby’s technology can recognize the orientation of the device, too, so depending on whether it is set up like a laptop or a tablet, Dolby will route sound signals differently in order to make the best sound possible. It’s not mind-blowingly loud, but it is more powerful than you’d expect from such a tiny machine.
Perhaps more impactful and readily evident is the inclusion of Dolby Vision HDR. While the laptop displays stop short of offering the peak brightness levels seen in HDR televisions, Dolby Vision is able to maximize the displays’ potential to get a much punchier, richer image. Dolby Vision HDR has the distinction of carrying in its metadata very specific instructions on how to handle contrast and color. As a result, these laptops with Dolby Vision have better shadow detail and a wider dynamic range of brightness, as well as the ability to cover a much wider color space.
We went hands-on with the Yoga 930 for the video seen above and were impressed with the results. Don’t ditch your 4K TV and surround sound system, but definitely expect a better entertainment experience with Dolby at the helm of the audio and video processing.
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