Lenovo just announced their answer to the Surface Book and a 27” tablet. No that’s not a typo on the size but it is more like a 27” battery powered all-in-one than a tablet because there aren’t a lot of folks strong enough to hold and use this thing as a tablet. The two products are the Yoga 900 2-in-1 and the Yoga 900 Home portable all-in-one or humongous tablet and they’ll be available before month end. Let’s talk about both of them this week.
YOGA 900 2-in-1 Halo Product
A Halo product is a showcase for what you can do as a company and typically it falls into the premium category of products. The Lenovo Yoga 2-in-1 is a halo product and it is a showcase for both technology and design. The key design element is the unique watch band hinge that looks like something you’d see in a high end watch and defines this product both in appearance and capability. In contrast to the Surface line which separates the tablet and keyboard into components the Yoga 900 is a fold over product where the keyboard in tablet mode sits behind the screen and is never separated.
This is a laptop as art and it is one of the most beautiful products that has yet hit the market. It has a QHD (3200x1800) IPS display (good off center viewing) and the fold over design allows you to tent the product (use the screen and keyboard as support) to turn it into a pretty decent movie or presentation viewing screen this is enhanced with the JBL speakers for those of us that use our laptops as TVs when we are traveling and can’t find the damned HDMI port on the back of the hotel room flat panel TV (which seems to be happening to me a lot of late).
It starts just below $1,200.
YOGA Home 900 Humongous Tablet
OK it is really a portable All-In-One and really addresses the need to have a current generation replacement for the portable TV that we moved between rooms when I was a kid. The idea is for something you can grab and easily move to any room you are in which is not only be a PC but be a gaming system. Using a SkyLake Intel Processor and NVIDIA GeForce 940A graphics this box should be both good for watching movies and for playing most games.
For something in this size class, 27”, it actually has pretty decent battery life in line with last generations notebook computers at around 3 hours which is rather impressive given this uses both desktop parts and has a huge screen. The most interesting use for this is for digital board games where you place the screen flat on the table and use it much like you’d use an old boxed game but with the potential of animating the game pieces and moving game play into this century from last.
This would be a great product for driving vacations though likely so you can watch your stuff at your destination unless you have a motor-home and have the room to watch it while on the road. Though, if you could figure out how to do it, popping this out on a plane would be a YouTube moment.
And in a “mine is bigger than yours” competition against a Surface or an iPad whoever has this puppy will certainly win. Price isn’t cheap at just under $1,550 but if you have the need for desktop PC that can play movies and travel both on the road and room to room there really isn’t much else in the market that will do the job.
These two offerings clearly showcase that Lenovo is in this race to win. The big thing for me is that, for once, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Dell are all giving Apple a run for the money on design and products like the YOGA 900 is arguably better looking and more practical than Apple’s boxes. I’ve pushed for that for years because I believed that everyone wanted laptops they could be proud of and now the market is awash with firms competing on who can make the best looking and most functional PC products. Finally we need more companies coming up with innovative ideas like the Lenovo YOGA Home 900 because it is that innovation that makes the market exciting. If everyone just builds the same old form factors talking about this stuff gets dull and since I live it, I’m personally pleased that doesn’t seem to be happening this year.