Lenovo unveils laptops, phablets and gaming brand at CES 2017

Alex Kidman 4 January 2017 NEWS

LenovoLegionY720_450

Don’t hold your breath for Lenovo’s AR-based phone in Australia.

Lenovo has made multiple announcements for new product lines at CES 2017, although as with much of the technology on the show floor, there’s a lot we’re very unlikely to officially see in Australia all that rapidly.

Lenovo isn’t a technology brand that you typically associate with gaming, but the Chinese tech giant plans to change that, launching a new gaming sub-brand for its laptop lines at CES 2017. Lenovo Legion will be the company’s gaming brand, with two new laptops, the Y720 and Y520, set to go on sale in February and April respectively.

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US list prices start at US$899.99 for for the Y520 and US$1399.99 for the Y720. That money will buy you 7th generation Intel Core i7 processors, NVIDIA GPUs and Dolby Atmos sound for your gaming experiences. Options will include integrated Xbox One Wireless receivers and RGB backlit keyboards.

For its X1 Carbon line, Lenovo is doubling down on losing weight, claiming that the 2017 Thinkpad X1 Carbon model is the “world’s lightest” at 1.13kg for a 14-inch screen model. Lenovo’s claim is that it will be able to run for up to 15 hours from a single battery charge. The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon will feature Thunderbolt 3 ports and the option for LTE-A Wireless WAN connectivity, although it’s not clear at what time or what price we’ll see new Lenovo laptops in Australia. Lenovo expects to ship the new Thinkpad X1 Carbon laptops in February with a US list price of US$1,349.

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On the phone front, Lenovo’s big push is for the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, which it’s claiming as the world’s first phone to support Google’s Tango AR technology. The Phab 2 Pro truly lives up to its phablet naming, boasting a 6.4 inch display, although it’s only an Android 6.0 (“Marshmallow”) phone. It’s not a new announcement and as with all things specifically Lenovo-branded, the odds are very low of its official release in Australia. We do tend to get Lenovo’s Motorola phones such as the Motorola Moto Z and Motorola Moto Z Play, although never terribly rapidly, but the company’s own branded phones have never officially hit Australian shores. In the US, the Phab 2 Pro retails for US$499.99.

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One of the other key technologies that nearly everybody is spruiking in one form or another at CES 2017 is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance consumer’s lives. For Lenovo’s part that takes the form of the Lenovo Smart Assistant, a home hub that uses Amazon’s Alexa technology to deliver voice commands wherever you are in the home. Again, we’re still waiting on Amazon to officially deliver Alexa tech to our shores, so don’t hold out hope for the $US129.99 Smart Assistant to launch in Australia soon. It’s due to launch in the US this May.

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Keeping with the home consumer entertainment focus, Lenovo is also showing off the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller, a small wireless keyboard and mouse combination device intended to be used both as a physical keyboard and Windows 10 enabled touchpad. It will sell in the US from March at US$54.99.

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Alex Kidman travelled to Las Vegas for CES 2017 as a guest of Dell.

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