Lenovo last week announced five new models in its Yoga product line, some running Windows and the others Android.
Three are tablets — the Tablet 2 Pro and the Tablet 2 running Android, and the Tablet 2 running Windows. The others are the Yoga 3 Pro and the Thinkpad Yoga 14 laptops.
The Tablet 2 comes in 8- and 10-inch models, running Android or Windows. The Tablet 2 Pro runs Android.
Actor and producer Ashton Kutcher was heavily involved in the development of the flagship Tablet 2 Pro, Lenovo said.
“Ashton studied biochemical engineering and is in the business of technology, so he was actively involved in the development process,” said Jeff Meredith, vice president of marketing for the Lenovo Mobile Business Group.
Kutcher participated in focus groups with Lenovo and “worked with other Lenovo product engineers to incorporate multimedia features into the tablet, including home theater quality sound and software improvements,” he told TechNewsWorld.
Fun and Games
The Tablet 2 Pro runs Android KitKat 4.4 on an Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core processor.
It has a 13-inch Quad HD IPS display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, 32 GB of storage, a built-in projector, a micro USB jack, and a micro SD card slot that supports up to 64-GB cards.
It supports 802.11 b/g/n dual-band WiFi and is 4G-compatible in India, China, Indonesia and Thailand.
The tablet has an 8-MP rear camera with autofocus and a 1.6-MP HD front camera. Its battery lasts for up to 15 hours on one charge, according to the company.
The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has two 1.5W front speakers and a 5W rear JBL subwoofer for a total 8W surround sound system.
Its kickstand lets users hold the tablet, place it on a surface, tilt it, or hang it from a wall or projection.
“It looks like a nice tablet,” Brian Blau, a research director at Gartner, told TechNewsWorld. “They’ve loaded it up with features, but I don’t know that’s necessarily going to make it anything more than just another tablet.”
Kutcher Does Yoga
Lenovo’s positioning the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro as “adapting to the user for a unique home theater experience.”
That, perhaps, is another reason Lenovo hired Kutcher as a product engineer.
“If we agree that Lenovo is very much looking at entertainment and consumption, then having an entertainer such as Ashton is very much in line,” Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research, told TechNewsWorld.
Or it could be that Lenovo expects Kutcher to take its tablets to the next level.
“Yoga started with a simple premise — to adapt to the user,” Lenovo’s Meredith told the audience at the launch. “It has been our platform where we showcase our continuous and industry-leading innovation.”
Lenovo has “a different market for different audiences in different parts of the world — and to their credit, they’re continuing to push the Yoga brand as a distinct experience which offers the most versatility and flexibility,” Orr pointed out.
Yoga in a Time of Market Chaos
The tablet market is slowing, with overall growth for this year set at 2.5 percent. While Apple and Samsung account for nearly 70 percent of all shipments, Lenovo and Intel are the up-and-coming players, according to ABI.
“I don’t think you’ll see [Lenovo] taking over Apple or Samsung, but it’s taking a run,” Orr said. “Lenovo continues to make gains while others are faltering or trying to figure out what their strategies are.”
The Tablet 2 Pro will be available at the end of this month, starting at US$500.
The Android versions of the Tablet 2 are available now from Lenovo’s website at $250 for the 8-inch version and $300 for the 10-incher.
The Windows version of the 10-inch Tablet 2 will start at $400 and will be available later this month from Best Buy; the 8-inch version, starting at $300, will be available from Lenovo’s website in November.
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