After reviewing the LaVie Z laptop, my biggest complaint was how used to a touchscreen I’ve become on Windows laptops and convertibles. Thankfully there is a touchscreen version, and today we’re going to take a look at Lenovo’s LaVie Z 360!
Microsoft’s dominance of the consumer PC market is largely due to system makers making entry level gear. This situation has been rough on Windows 8, as the OS is more fun to use with a touchscreen. This is exactly the market Lenovo is trying to crack open with the C260 budget All-in-One PC. Let’s take a look!
The mobile computing landscape is getting ridiculously competitive. Chromebooks, Netbooks, Tablets, proper latptops, and hybrids. The bang for buck ratio is disrupting-ly low. An incredible number of options for a variety of usage scenarios.
Acer is sweetening their Chromebook offering. The c720p is a refresh of their C720. The hardware is almost exactly the same, even down to the somewhat mediocre TFT LCD panel used on the screen. What’s nice however is they’re adding a touch panel to that screen. What’s even nicer is that touch panel isn’t going to increase the price. The C720p will retail for the same $299 that the original did.
Not too shabby.
ChromeOS doesn’t particularly need touch, but playing with it on my Windows 8 laptop, I think we’re just entering an era where adding touchscreens will be the norm. We’re all sort of learning to just interact directly with things on our screen. When I’m really tired, I have to remember that my desktop does not have a touchscreen… You’ll still see finger prints on my monitors though…
Sporting an 11.6″ screen, an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of flash storage it looks like it could be a decent seller this holiday season. Expect to see lappys shipping mid December.
At a reception in Germany, Elon Musk spoke to a crowd about Tesla’s investment in the German market. Germany is very forward on renewable energy, alternative fuels, and they seem like a natural fit for the Tesla vibe. Especially considering that Germany was the second place market for the Tesla Roadster (behind the USA).
While answering questions about their corporate plans, Musk was asked about developing apps for the huge touchscreen built into the dash of the Tesla Sedan. The Model S currently uses a build of Linux, so porting Android apps over, or running them in an emulator, should be fairly easy to do, and he does specifically mention updating the car’s browser to chrome.
Elon actually takes the stage at 14:47 in this video, and you can skip to 37:20 to hear him answer the question about apps and Android.
I still have some ergonomic and safety reservations about an automobile control surface comprised mostly of a smooth featureless touchscreen, but at least I might not have to learn a new and unfamiliar UI when I’m finally able to get my hands on a Tesla of my very own… Some day… It could happen… Sigh…
So all the hemming and hawing from the Chromebook faithful, that Chrome OS was SO much more than JUST a fancy browser slapped onto low power laptop hardware. It would seem like that’s not entirely true… In a good way…
The newest dev channel update of the Chrome browser for Windows 8 appears to essentially be the entire Chrome OS. When used within the ModernUI interface users have full access to the entire suite. Microsoft opened the door for this by allowing browsers other than IE to interface with the “Metro” ecosystem. Now you can have all the benefits of Google’s cloud OS on your Windows 8 machines. Loading it onto my hybrid also opens up some interesting possibilities. We haven’t seen Chrome OS on a proper slate tablet yet. That’s been Android territory, yet swiveling my Lenovo Twist into slate mode affords me a perfectly usable Chrome OS experience using a combination of Google’s UI and Microsoft’s virtual touch controls and keyboard. It’s kind of meta…
An app launcher at the bottom left gives you access to Chrome app, and Google favorites GMail, Search, Docs, and Youtube are docked at the bottom too. Performance has been solid for me after a couple hours of tooling around, but many are complaining of occasional crashes. Also, if you’re not running a lot of RAM, Windows 8 is very aggressive about shutting down Metro apps if you’re doing a lot of multi-tasking. In all though the experience has been very enjoyable, and updates to browser touch support make Chrome OS on Win8 almost as smooth as Microsoft’s native offerings.
It’s a pretty twisted end run around the traditional PC market. Now legit Chromebooks will face more competition from traditional PC’s in offering up the same OS, but still giving users access to legacy Windows software. This takes any potential risk out of using Chrome OS. Thinking generationally, a user could pick up a Windows Hybrid today, load up this new Chrome Browser, spend all their time in Chrome OS, and by the time they’re ready to shop another system, decide to walk away from Microsoft’s offerings altogether…
As a side note, now would be the time for Google to start unifying their app base. Bringing the variety of Android Apps to Chrome’s ability to handle things like documents and office software could put a serious hurt on Microsoft while they’re trying to unify their UI across all screen sizes.
Plus, Microsoft would have to compete for people’s attention on computers people already purchased. Wow.
Lenovo is waging an all out war on Windows 8 touchscreen laptops. Yogas and Twists for more portable, tablet style laptop computing, now they’re introducing a new line of bendy notebooks for people wanting larger screens.
The Flex will come in 14″ and 15.6″ flavors, and comes with the neat hinge trick of swiveling 300 degrees around to prop the screen up in “Stand Mode” to focus on touch apps. It’s a set up I use a lot with my Twist, especially when I’m eating to prevent junk landing on my keyboard. Maybe I Reddit too much, and should take more breaks. Who knows. Prices start at $629 for Flex Laptops.
Also, the Yoga is getting a refresh! Yoga 2 will now be sporting a QHD+ screen. At 3200×1800, it’s four times the resolution of the original Yoga in a 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s disturbingly close to a 4K screen, shocking at only 13.3″. It still retains the keyboard flip, where the base folds behind the screen to offer a tablet mode. All new tech, and it’s also thinner than the previous Yoga.
Lastly, a new version of Yoga will sport the ThinkPad moniker. For business folks looking for an ultra mobile touchscreen solution, a 12.5″ 1080p version of Yoga clad in classic Lenovo black will also be available. Along with Lenovo’s business grade tools like the fantastic Thinkpad keyboard, it’ll also have NFC on board for better connectivity with phones and other accessories. Expect to see Yoga 2 start at $1099 and ThinkPad Yoga around $949.
All of this new Lenovo gear is expected to be available Later this month.
Full PR after the jump.