Lenovo, Dell, HP Roll Out New PCs, Chromebooks, Tablets

At the IFA 2014 show in Germany, Acer officials also unveil new tablets, two-in-ones and smartphones.

IFA 2014

Lenovo, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Acer were among the PC makers that introduced new systems as the IFA 2014 show got underway in Germany.

A day after announcing an Intel-based tablet and two gaming systems, Lenovo officials on Sept. 4 unveiled five more systems, including the ThinkPad Helix, a two-in-one Ultrabook that can be used as a traditional laptop or a tablet.

The 11.6-inch Helix is thinner (by 15 percent) and lighter (by 12 percent) than its predecessor and comes with such features as Intel's new 14-nanometer Core M "Broadwell" processor, 60 percent better battery life (up to 12 hours), and such security options as a biometric fingerprint reader, a military-grade smart card reader and three-factor authentication. It comes with Microsoft's Windows 8.1 and, like the previous system, can be used in five modes—tablet, stand, tent, laptop and desktop.

Andrew Barrow, director of consumer product marketing at Lenovo, said the Helix was an example of the company's efforts to develop systems that can be used however the user needs.

"What we wanted to do was develop the most complete two-in-one that adapted to the user," Barrow told eWEEK. "It will be able to adapt to you, to how you want to work."

In addition, Lenovo rolled out two tabletop PCs that give customers the option of using a system that is thin and light or more budget-friendly. The Horizon 2s—"s" for "slim"—comes in at .059 inches thick and at just more than five pounds, about 10 pounds less than the original Horizon 2. The Horizon 2e, with a 21.5-inch screen, starts at $749, compared with the Horizon 2s' $899 price.

Both come with Intel's 4th-generation Core processor and run Windows 8.1, and both can be used in either stand or flat mode for business and consumer use.

"They're super-easy to pick up [and] move from the office and study to where the family is," Barrow said.

The world's top PC vendor also unveiled the ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One 23 modular all-in-one (AIO) that businesses can use with current ThinkCentre Tiny PCs. A problem with most AIO systems is that often the hardware itself—such as the CPU and chipset—needs to be refreshed after three or four years, while the display is good for seven to 10 years, Barrow said. With the Tiny-in-One 23, the system is powered by a Tiny PC that locks into the back of the 23-inch monitor. When it comes time for the Tiny PC to be replaced, it can be popped out of the monitor and a new one put in, enabling businesses to only refresh the technology that needs changing, he said.

Lenovo's Edge 15 is a convertible 15.6-inch laptop that can be transitioned into stand mode due to a 300-degree hinge. The system is powered by a 4th-generation Core i7 chip from Intel and also includes the option of Nvidia GeForce GT840M 4GB graphics.

Lenovo's new systems will be available in October.

Also at IFA, Lenovo announced the Vibe X2 (five-inch) and Z2 (5.5-inch) premium smartphones. The Z2 is Lenovo's first 64-bit smartphone and is powered by a Snapdragon 64-bit quad-core 1.2GHz processor from Qualcomm. The new smartphones come as Lenovo continues to pursue its $2.9 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google, a deal that Lenovo officials expect to close by the end of the year.

HP on Sept. 4 unveiled five new consumer PCs including two Envy X2 detachable systems in 13.3- and 15.6-inch form factors. They run on the Intel Core M chips and come with backlit Bluetooth keyboards. In addition, the Pavilion x2 is an Intel Atom-based tablet that runs Windows and can be used as a laptop when attached to a keyboard that also can be used as a cover.