CES 2013: Lenovo Bets Big On Windows 8 - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

CES 2013: Lenovo Bets Big On Windows 8

Lenovo shows off 39-inch tablet behemoth and 11-inch mini-notebook at CES 2013.

Windows 8: 8 Big Benefits For SMBs
Windows 8: 8 Big Benefits For SMBs
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Lenovo previewed a trio of Windows 8 systems at CES that showed the operating system's versatility and flexibility -- a pair of coffee-table sized tablets along with one of the smallest Win8 hybrids in production.

Lenovo branded its 27-inch IdeaCentre Horizon Tablet PC as its first "interpersonal" personal computer. Lenovo said its tabletop size makes it ideal for multi-user applications such as collaboration and gaming.

"We've seen technology shifts across the four screens, from the desktop to the laptop, tablet, and smartphone, and yet, while people have more computing power than ever before, there is still room for technologies like Horizon that bring people together," said Peter Hortensius, president of Lenovo's products group, in a statement.

[ Will Microsoft introduce more hardware products beyond Surface? CEO Steve Ballmer suggests it's likely. ]

"Now many people can enjoy different photos, music and video on the same screen, and they can play games with our special accessories that blend physical and digital interaction. Horizon reflects our commitment to delivering the innovative products that define the PC Plus era," said Hortensius.

The Horizon comes with customized entertaining and gaming apps from Ubisoft and Electronic Arts. It can be used as a tablet, and it also converts to traditional laptop mode, with keyboard. The system also provides users with access to the Lenovo App Shop, which offers more than 5,000 multi-user entertainment apps.

Lenovo said the IdeaCentre Horizon will be available in "early summer," starting at about $1,699.

Not content at 27 inches, Lenovo also demonstrated a concept system called Gamma -- a 39-inch gargantuan that Lenovo said "illustrates the outstanding multi-user experiences such a large screen can provide and is indicative of Lenovo's future direction in tablet PC computing."

Also at CES, which is this week in Las Vegas, Lenovo showed off the IdeaPad Yoga 11S. Cousin to the Yoga 11, the 11S runs full-blown Windows 8 as opposed to Windows RT. It also features an Intel Core processor, which means it's fully compatible with new and legacy Windows software.

The system features an HD display at 1366 pixels by 768 pixels, Dolby Home Theater Audio and 256GB of Flash storage. Lenovo said it expects the Yoga 11S to be available in June, starting at $799.

Lenovo, meanwhile, is now taking orders for its ThinkPad Tablet 2, a Windows 8 convertible based on Intel's new "Clover Trail" Atom chip. Like many Clover Trail-based systems, the tablet did not become available until several weeks after Windows 8's debut. PC makers are having trouble building Clover Trail drivers that are stable enough to pass Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) testing, sources have said.

Lenovo was promising a ship date of Jan. 13 for Tablet 2 orders placed as of Monday.

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