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Lenovo celebrates the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad

Lenovo is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad brand with two new products that are aimed at business users. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is Lenovo's most recent vision for the ultrabook platform while the ThinkPad Tablet 2 is an x86 based touch-enabled device for Windows 8.
 
As its name implies, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon makes extensive use of carbon fiber to enhance strength while still providing a lightweight platform for business travelers (it weighs less than three pounds). The machine packs in a 14" display (1600 x 900), third-generation Intel Core processors, RapidCharge technology (allows the battery to recover up to 80 percent of its capacity within 35 minutes), glass touchpad, and built-in 3G connectivity.
 
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with the usual array of ports including two USB ports (only one of which is USB 3.0), a 4-in-1 media reader, and mini DisplayPort.


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
 
“Very few brands are fortunate enough to become an industry icon with loyal fans who are passionate about each generation of ThinkPad products,” said Peter Hortensius, president, Think Product Group, Lenovo. “With that in mind, we’re excited to debut the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the pinnacle of our ongoing quest to push the boundaries on great design and engineering. It meets the demand for an extremely thin and light laptop with the performance users need to accomplish their professional and business goals.”
 
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon starts at $1,299 and will be available later this month from Lenovo.com.
 
The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is built on the tried-and-true formula of a 10.1" screen (1366x768), 10-hour battery life, and a relatively thin profile (0.39" thick). The tablet will be powered by Intel processors (sorry, ARM) and will come in Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G LTE models. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 will also be available with a keyboard dock that features Lenovo's redesigned keyboard layout (for better or worse).


Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2
 
The ThinkPad Tablet 2 will be available in October to coincide with the launch of Windows 8. Pricing will be revealed at that time.

Source: Lenovo



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RE: .
By dagamer34 on 8/9/2012 2:10:51 AM , Rating: 2
The reasons they didn't go for a higher resolution:
1) Requires more backlights - less battery life.
2) Requires a more expensive display.
3) Requires more GPU power - again, less battery life.

More people will balk at the price than care what resolution the screen is.


RE: .
By rudy on 8/9/2012 4:44:40 AM , Rating: 3
But how much does it affect the battery life? A 10 inch display is a 10 inch same surface to light. I dont know why you need much more back lighting, then there is the resolution. I would be surprised if 2D workloads really affect battery life that much. How about how much batter it takes to do alot more scrolling?


RE: .
By Souka on 8/9/2012 11:57:38 AM , Rating: 2
Higher resolution affects battery life by:

1. Need stronger backlight to achieve equivalent brightness level of a lower resolution backlight.

2. More pixels = more power draw to iluminate those pixels.

3. As noted above, higher resolutoin results in the CPU/GPU working harder, especially playing games at native resolution.

These three factors are the biggest impact to using a high resolution panel screen.


RE: .
By Mint on 8/12/2012 10:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
Aside from #3 (which is actually the least important factor), you didn't really explain it well.

Basically, the thin film transistor and capacitor needed for each pixel is not particularly tranparent, and even the ITO lines absorb a decent amount of light. Finally, there's a minimum space needed between pixel electrodes, so more pixels means more wastage.

Add it all up, and high DPI panels probably only let ~5% of the backlight through even with a white image.


RE: .
By Solandri on 8/9/2012 6:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A 10 inch display is a 10 inch same surface to light. I dont know why you need much more back lighting,

In between the transparent subpixels in an LCD pixel, there's a certain amount of opaque space needed for borders and wire traces. The minimum width of these is pretty much the same regardless of your resolution or display size. This means that on a higher res screen, the transparent subpixels must get smaller while these opaque regions remain the same size. So a greater percentage of the display area is taken up by these opaque regions on a high-res screen.

Consequently you need a brighter backlight on a high-res screen for the screen to have the same brightness as a low-res screen. Or if you use the same backlight for both, the high-res screen will appear dimmer.


RE: .
By Arsynic on 8/9/2012 9:55:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The reasons they didn't go for a higher resolution: 1) Requires more backlights - less battery life. 2) Requires a more expensive display. 3) Requires more GPU power - again, less battery life.


So a less quality product? This is why MS made Surface because of excuses like these. They didn't want to invest a lot of IP and capital into the tablet. They want something cheap with good margins.


RE: .
By Reclaimer77 on 8/9/2012 10:02:16 AM , Rating: 2
How does that make it "less quality". For such a small screen, anything over 720p is just an added bonus. Not a MUST HAVE feature or else the entire product is crap.

I'm getting so tired of seeing every new product trashed outright simply because of screen resolution, regardless of anything else. Lenovo ThinkPad's, for those in the know, are the best things out there. If you want an overpriced toy to show off to people, fine, go get your high res Macbook for twice the money.


RE: .
By Apone on 8/9/2012 12:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm getting so tired of seeing every new product trashed outright simply because of screen resolution, regardless of anything else.


I agree as well but also I think screen resolution is one of those factors that seem to be neglected when customers are mulling over whether or not to pull the trigger. Customers I've spoken to admit they look for raw CPU speed (ugh, the gigahertz race has been over), HDD storage size, thinness factor, cost, and RAM.

When I'm at SBUX, I always see at least one or two people struggling to navigate between overlapping program windows because they do cut & pasting, comparing data/research side by side, etc. and I think computing productivity could be increased if there was less jumping between windows which is what a higher resolution would remedy.

quote:
If you want an overpriced toy to show off to people, fine, go get your high res Macbook for twice the money.


Agreed and it's possible to get ultra-high resolution on a reasonably-priced Windows notebook. It's also funny you mention Macbooks, considering their ridiculous prices, I checked and you can't even get WUXGA 1920 x 1080 resolution for their 15.6" MB Pro; That tops out at a mediocre 1680 x 1050 res and you would have to opt for the 17" in order to get 1920 x 1080.


RE: .
By TakinYourPoints on 8/9/2012 8:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree as well but also I think screen resolution is one of those factors that seem to be neglected when customers are mulling over whether or not to pull the trigger.


Another thing that gets overlooked is aspect ratio. The fact that Macbooks and only a few other high end notebooks are 16:10 while the bulk of the industry goes 16:9 is ridiculous. The loss of vertical desktop space on anything smaller than a 27" 1440p display is a huge negative, and it is exponentially worse once you get to laptop screens.

The only thing I really dislike about the Lenovo x220 is the 16:9 ratio, if it was 16:10 it would be so much better.


RE: .
By amosbatto on 8/10/2012 8:07:37 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately all PC makers (Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc) have now dropped 16:10 on their laptops. Only Apple continues to offer 16:10 screens on their laptops, but I wonder how long it will last, seeing as some of its laptops are now 9:16. It seems that there was a plot to switch everyone to 9:16 to promote HDTV. I investigated the claims that 9:16 is cheaper to produce than 10:16 because you can cut more screens from the same sheet, but found that it isn't true. It is clear that consumers want taller, not wider, screens, but the industry refuses to offer them. I searched everywhere for a new 14 inch 10:16 laptop with a high resolution screen. Apple does offer a 14inch 10:16 screen, but it is low resolution (1280x800), so had to buy a used Thinkpad T410 to get a 1440x900 screen. I really miss the 3:4 screens of a decade ago. I have an ancient Dell Latitude with a Pentium III processor which has a beautiful 1400x1050 screen. It was so much more productive to use that tall screen. I just can't stand working on 9:16 screens with their cramped vertical space.


RE: .
By TakinYourPoints on 8/10/2012 5:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
The only Apple laptop that is 16:9 is the 11" MBA, and that seems to be because they tried to get as small a chassis as they could without shrinking the keyboard. Everything else is 16:10.

There are also a few HP laptops with 16:10, but those cost more than higher specced machines like the rMBP. It is a shame that 16:10 is going away for so many other companies, it really is important in something as small as a laptop display.

Regarding your search for a good 16:10 display, yeah, the 13" Macbook Pro does have a bad display, but that laptop is the redheaded stepchild of Macs.

The 13" Macbook Air does have a 1440x900 display. It is a great laptop, better in practical use than the standard 15" MBP in many ways. It is light, screaming fast thanks to the SSD, and OS 10.8 is a nearly perfect OS for laptops when combined with the multitouch trackpad.


RE: .
By TakinYourPoints on 8/10/2012 5:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
The only Apple laptop that is 16:9 is the 11" MBA, and that seems to be because they tried to get as small a chassis as they could without shrinking the keyboard. Everything else is 16:10.

There are also a few HP laptops with 16:10, but those cost more than higher specced machines like the rMBP. It is a shame that 16:10 is going away for so many other companies, it really is important in something as small as a laptop display.

Regarding your search for a good 16:10 display, yeah, the 13" Macbook Pro does have a bad display, but that laptop is the redheaded stepchild of Macs.

The 13" Macbook Air does have a 1440x900 display. It is a great laptop, better in practical use than the standard 15" MBP in many ways. It is light, screaming fast thanks to the SSD, and OS 10.8 is a nearly perfect OS for laptops when combined with the multitouch trackpad.


RE: .
By Belard on 8/9/2012 10:42:21 AM , Rating: 1
Yet Apple is able to do it for the $500 iPad... that is thinner (0.37 inch) with a higher res (2048-by-1536) that'll run about 9~10 hours.

So even the Windows8 Pro tablets will be considered non-standard out the door. Wonder if Apple will run ADs making that point?

You can bet on it.


RE: .
By Varun on 8/9/2012 1:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are missing that the Lenovo Tablet will be an Intel processor, so it will smoke the iPad in every performance benchmark you can think of. AND it will do this getting the same battery life as the iPad.

I actually think that is pretty darn impressive.

As long as the screen is of good quality (ie, not the junk TN that Lenovo seems to love) then the resolution will be fine.


RE: .
By tayb on 8/9/2012 1:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
I am highly skeptical of the 9-10 hour battery life claims for a Windows 8 Pro tablet with an intel chip. If it turns out to be true, kudos to Microsoft and Lenovo, but as of right now I'm skeptical.

With Windows it has usually been performance, battery life, form factor... pick any two. I'll believe it when I see it.


RE: .
By Varun on 8/9/2012 2:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'll agree with you that I will believe it when I see it, but don't forget some kudos to Intel as well!

It's amazing how far they have come since Prescott.


RE: .
By RamarC on 8/9/2012 9:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
let's be sure to distinguish between an atom and a core i3 processor. the atom will be competitive with an arm processor, but it will not be a straight "smoke" on the ipad since apple's had 3 gen's of optimizations and their sOc is no slouch to begin with (especially the gpu).


RE: .
By Varun on 8/9/2012 9:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes the article didn't say, so I somehow forgot about the Atom. Turns out this will be an Atom device. It will still be faster, just not as much faster as an i3 would be.

I think Atom will be fine next year when it finally (after almost 5 years) gets a CPU refresh. Sure it's gotten die shrinks but it is basically the same architecture as the original Atom from 2008.


RE: .
By zephyrprime on 8/9/2012 11:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
Having a higher resolution should only require a little more backlight power.


RE: .
By Varun on 8/9/2012 1:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
OK so I guess you are now a display engineer...

The iPad 3 (henceforth known as the new iPad) has a battery that is 65% larger than the iPad 2. All of this is to run the new display.

So, sorry but it takes more than a "little more backlight power"

And for those that are going to argue this, I know that they have a faster GPU blah blah blah, but all of that new horsepower is to feed the higher display res.

In fact it would be a lot more if they hadn't done a die shrink from 40nm to 28nm.


RE: .
By TakinYourPoints on 8/9/2012 8:37:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The iPad 3 (henceforth known as the new iPad) has a battery that is 65% larger than the iPad 2. All of this is to run the new display.


It isn't entirely for the backlight, a good chunk of that is for the A5X. The A5X physical die is almost as large as an Ivy Bridge mobile CPU, which is huge for an SoC! It is needed given that it is driving a 2048x1536 resolution display. By comparison, my 27" desktop monitor is 2560x1440 and being driven by a GTX 680 (a 670 could also do the job but it came out weeks after I got my 680).

Look at the performance numbers here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6126/glbenchmark-25-...

Obviously you need more power to backlight higher res displays, but the additional juice for LEDs is only one part of it. That SoC needs a ton of horsepower to drive that resolution and it is a big drain on power.


RE: .
By Varun on 8/9/2012 9:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
I said that exact same thing in my post...


RE: .
By TakinYourPoints on 8/9/2012 10:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a much higher emphasis in your post on the LED backlight than the GPU, that's all. The increase in LED brightness seems to be outweighed by the much higher TDP of the A5X over the A5 (or any other SoC for that matter)


RE: .
By Mint on 8/12/2012 10:21:26 AM , Rating: 2
Even with minimal CPU/GPU activity, the run time is unchanged. He's right in saying that it's mostly the display consuming the extra power.


RE: .
By Apone on 8/9/2012 11:56:47 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about that; I have a Dell XPS 15 with WUXGA 1920 x 1080 res and I average 5-6 hours of non-gaming battery life.


RE: .
By Varun on 8/9/2012 2:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
That's not even close. That is a PPI of less than 150. The iPad is about 250.

Perhaps it wasn't explicitly stated, but he meant greater resolution on the same size panel. Not a panel that is 50% bigger.

Plus the battery in your laptop is 65 watt-hours vs the 42.5 on the iPad 3.


RE: .
By TakinYourPoints on 8/9/2012 8:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The reasons they didn't go for a higher resolution:

1) Requires more backlights - less battery life.
2) Requires a more expensive display.
3) Requires more GPU power - again, less battery life.

More people will balk at the price than care what resolution the screen is.


One more reason: Resolution independence on the Windows desktop is still not fully baked. You can set 150% or 200% larger scaling but it just isn't the same, proportions and layouts don't look correct compared to when it is at 100%.

Hell, OS X still isn't 100% there with the rMBP. Their own applications and the main desktop works great but third parties still have to do their own work to get their UIs to render properly at such a high resolution. Right now you're getting blurry static UI elements, like if you are running a not-yet upscaled iPad application on a 2012 model.

Bottom line: Go too high a resolution with Windows and the UI becomes too small to use comfortably. Just look at what Windows looks like running on the rMPB for an extreme example.


RE: .
By RamarC on 8/9/2012 9:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
wrong! a 1600x900 display would have neglible battery impact. no additional backlights would be necessary and hardly any additional gpu power for desktop display (this has been proven when vista/aero first debuted).

price would go up a bit but that's already reflected in the msrp. not everyone wants a kia (x768 display) and likewise not everyone can afford a mercedes (retina display). so the middle ground (x900, x1080) will definitely sell.


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