LAS VEGAS – Lenovo announced 20 new products at the 2012 International CES here, and used the show as an opportunity to rebut the assertion that the PC is dead.
Speaking at a press briefing at the AquaKnox restaurant at the Venetian here, Lenovo CEO Yang Yauanqing said that while some have decried the end of innovation in the PC world, Lenovo sees “the exact opposite.”
“The PC will continue to evolve through innovation, to learn from the success of the tablet and the smartphone, like touch and always-on,” Yauanqing said. “Wintel is no longer the only platform, Android and other platforms have given us more choices and more possibilities for innovation.”
While the Ultrabook movement of Intel-speced thin and light notebooks is a good example of that innovation, Yauanqing had on hand what he called the next innovation, a product that straddles the line between laptop and tablet.
The new IdeaPad Yoga is what Lenovo calls a hybrid PC, marrying the design concepts of the Ultrabook for laptops with touch screen and a hinge that allows the screen to be used as a traditional notebook, as a tablet, or anywhere in between for use in a variety of situations.
In this video, Lenovo’s Nick Reynolds provides a quick overview of the transforming capabilities of the Yoga.
“Yoga offers a simple user experience: the best of the traditional PC with the best of the tablet,” Yauanqing said. “We were the first to introduce the concept of the hybrid PC, and now we’ve taken it to the next level.”
The Yoga offers eight hours of battery life, and is set to launch at the same time as Windows 8, later this year.
For those who like a little more tablet in their PC/tablet hybrid, Lenovo introduced the IdeaTab S2, a 10-inch tablet can include a keyboard docking station, giving it a PC-like experience on an Android device. The keyboard dock also has the dual effect of increasing battery life substantially – bringing it up to about 20 hours between the tablet and the keyboard.
The company also unveiled its latest innovations in the all-in-one desktop field, debuting the IdeaCentre A720, a 27-inch flatscreen all-in-one that adds the ability to pivot the screen anywhere from vertical to horizontal. Peter Hortensius, president of the PC product group at Lenovo, used it to demonstrate tabletop style games, but partners might well see opportunities for the A720 with kiosks and touch applications for business customers.
Altough the focus was largely on new types of products, the company also bolstered its lineup of Ultrabooks here at CES, introducing its first IdeaPad Ultrabook in the IdeaPad U300s and a new business Ultrabook with the ThinkPad Edge T430u. Lenovo also debuted an update of the ThinkPad X1 lineup that adds a hybrid component to the mix, offering both the traditional Windows experience and a Instant Media Mode for battery life savings when the device is being used to consumer media or for simple Web surfing.
The presentation featured all of the screens in Lenovo’s “four screens” strategy, with many new announcements in its PC lineup as well as tablets and smartphones, although the smartphone business remains a China-only venture for now.
“The purpose of the PC is transforming from personal computing to personal connecting and personal content,” Yauanqing said. “The PC is no longer limited to traditional forms, but also extended out to tablets, smartphones and a variety of other new forms.”
Lenovo debuted the latest form it’s building on, introducing the Smart TV lineup of products, also a China-only business for now, but one that should prove interesting. The current offerings, 44-inch and 55-inch TVs, feature Snapdragon dual-core processors and run Android 4.0. The company showed off a variety of applications for the smart TV including a video-on-demand application and the ability to remote control the TV with a Lenovo tablet or smartphone.
Yauanqing made it clear that just as has been the case in the smartphone and tablets market, Smart TV will be made by the applications developed for it.
“We will be the first to develop those key applications and then create the devices that take advantage of them,” he told assembled press.
The company also previewed its Lenovo Cloud, which has been running in preview form in China since last fall. The demos on hand in Lenovo’s lounge here in CES show it not only as a way for personal data and preferences to be synchronized across devices, but a way for small businesses to keep data and experiences synchronized. I’ll be delving more into the potential of Lenovo Cloud in the B2B world with members of the team today.
“Lenovo believes in the new world, all of your smart devices will have a very similar architecture and they will be connected to and powered by the cloud,” said Liu Jun, president of Lenovo’s Mobile Internet and Digital Home group. “The best user experience is a combination of hardware, software and cloud service.”