Lenovo is using the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show to not only show why it is the world's largest PC vendor, but also to underscore its efforts to become a larger player in other computing realms, including smartphones and wearable devices.
The company on Jan. 4 unveiled its latest ThinkPads and then followed that on Jan. 5 with a host of announcements, including new systems that were developed in partnership with NEC and new Yoga convertibles and tablets.
At the same time, Lenovo unveiled its latest smartphones and the newest additions to its wearable wristband.
Lenovo was able to leverage its acquisition in 2005 of IBM's PC business to eventually overtake Hewlett-Packard for the top spot on the list of the world's largest PC vendors. With the $2.91 billion purchase last year of Motorola Mobility from Google—as well as the $2.1 billion deal for IBM's x86 server business—Lenovo is looking to expand its capabilities in areas outside of PCs. However, despite the deals, CEO Yang Yuanqing has said PCs will continue to be a central part of Lenovo's strategy.
That was apparent at CES. The day after it announced the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Lenovo unveiled two new mobile PCs—developed in partnership with NEC Personal Computers—that both weigh less than 32 ounces, including the LaVie Z HZ550, a 13-inch laptop that comes in at 1.72 pounds. The other, the LaVie Z HZ750 convertible system, features a hinge similar to what Lenovo offers in the original Yoga lineup of convertibles that can swing 360 degrees to go from notebook to tablet mode.
The systems are NEC's first PCs available outside of Japan. The two companies have been collaborating on PC development since 2011 and are now bringing the LaVie lineup of Intel-based Windows systems to the United States. They will be available beginning in May, starting at $1,299.
In addition, Lenovo rolled out new Yoga convertibles and tablets at CES, including the 11- and 14-inch Yoga 3 thin-and-light notebooks for consumers and the 12-inch ThinkPad Yoga for businesses and 14- and 15-inch models for prosumers, which also includes Intel's RealSense 3D camera technology as an option. In addition, Lenovo unveiled the Windows-based 8-inch Yoga Tablet 2, which includes Lenovo's AnyPen Technology that allows customers to use any pen as a writing tool on the device, eliminating the need for a stylus.
Both Yoga 3 models measure 18.3 mm or less in thickness and the two-hinge design enables them to be used in laptop, stand, tent and tablet modes. Like the ThinkPad Yoga, they're armed with Intel's 5th Generation Core processors.
"Our latest products fuse new handwriting technologies and 3D camera technologies with the flexibility, performance and a more adaptive computing experience" of the Yoga experience, Dilip Bhatia, vice president of worldwide marketing and design for Lenovo's PC Group, said in a statement.
The Yoga Tablet 2 will be available this month starting at $299, while the ThinkPad Yoga 12- and 15-inch models will be released in February starting at $999. The Yoga 3 models will be available in March starting at $799 and the 14-inch ThinkPad model will be released in May starting at $1,199.
Lenovo's P90 smartphone, available next month, is the first to run on Intel's latest 64-bit Atom Z3560 processor and the chip maker's 5-mode XMM 7262 modem, according to officials, who touted the device's processing speeds and support for LTE-Advanced high-speed connectivity. It sports a 5.5-inch display, a 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera.
The Vibe X2 Pro smartphone is powered by Qualcomm's eight-core Snapdragon chip and offers a 5.3-inch display. It also sports Lenovo's Vibe 2.0 user interface. It will be available in April.
The company's latest smart ban, the Vibe Band VB10, includes such features as E Ink display, seven-day battery life and always-on Bluetooth. It tracks the user's activity and fitness levels while also offering phone notifications, such as calls and Facebook and Twitter messages, while the display offers space for up to 150 characters. It works with any Google Android and Apple iOS device.
It will be available in April starting at $89.