Lenovo Rolls Out $49 Cast Streaming Video Hub

The company also announced a new ThinkPad Tablet 10 business tablet and two new data storage appliances for small and midsize businesses.

Lenovo, Cast, video streaming, Chromecast, SAN, ThinkPad tablet

Lenovo is getting into the streaming video marketplace with its new Cast streaming video hub, and introduced a new business-aimed ThinkPad tablet and two new data storage appliances aimed at business users.

The four products debuted on May 27 at the first Lenovo Tech World technology innovation event at company headquarters in Beijing.

The Lenovo Cast wireless device is particularly interesting, as the company moves to take on Google's $35 Chromecast dongle, several streaming devices from Roku, Amazon's $40 Fire TV stick and other competitors.

The Cast is a streaming hub that can deliver content wirelessly from Android, Windows and iOS devices to a big-screen television. The $49 Cast, which will be available in August around the world, can be plugged into a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port of a TV and then linked wirelessly to a content source for playback. The Cast, which looks like a black rubber hockey puck, will play media from a DLNA or Miracast-enabled tablet or smartphone using dual-frequency WiFi, and it can transfer content over distances up to 65 feet, including through walls.

"Today people want more from their devices—the freedom technology gives them to accomplish more," Liu Jun, executive vice president and president of Lenovo's mobile business group, said in a statement. "They want to share a variety of content from their smartphones and tablets such as online videos and games with friends and family on a larger screen. The new Lenovo Cast is our latest device created to enable such personalized experiences."

ThinkPad Tablet 10

Lenovo's latest business tablet, the ThinkPad Tablet 10, lets users add accessories like a clip-on keyboard whenever needed so they can configure the device to meet their needs at the time. The new ThinkPad Tablet 10, which starts at $549 and will be available worldwide in August, includes an Intel Atom quad-core processor, a 10-inch WUXGA 1920x1200 In-Plane Switching (IPS) touch display, Windows 10, enhanced enterprise security capabilities, a 5MP camera and built-in 3G/4G LTE support. The tablet promises 10 hours of battery life on a charge.

Also included is a ThinkPad Pen Pro feature, which allows users to experience richer and more accurate pen experiences on the machine. The ThinkPad Tablet 10 offers PC-like performance for enterprise users, according to Lenovo, and can be used with an optional $110 ThinkPad 10 Folio Keyboard or with a $119 Ultrabook Keyboard for a full typing experience. It also can be used with an optional $129 ThinkPad Tablet Dock so users can easily plug in other peripherals.

"Best in class, the ThinkPad 10 highlights our extreme focus on innovation and responding to the diverse needs of our customers and tablet usage scenarios," Luis Hernandez, vice president of Lenovo's ThinkPad business unit, said in a statement. "Now the most mobile of users can enjoy the best of both worlds with the convenience of a tablet and the function of a full-PC style experience without compromising mobility, connectivity and security."

Lenovo Storage S2200 and S3200

With these new devices, Lenovo is targeting small and midsize businesses to help them simplify and centralize their data storage requirements. The Lenovo Storage S2200 and S3200 (pictured) storage arrays are easy to integrate into any network environment and can simplify data management for a variety of applications, ranging from Web serving and data management/analytics to video surveillance and streaming workloads, according to Lenovo. Both units offer dual and single controllers in 2U-12 and 24 drive configurations. The S2200 supports up to 96 drives, and the S3200 supports up to 192 drives to easily support storage growth. The S2200 and S3200 support Fibre Channel, iSCSI and SAS, with the S3200 supporting multi-protocol connectivity that can work with Fibre Channel and iSCSI at the same time.

Prices for the storage devices, which will be available worldwide in June, have not yet been announced.