CES 2014 Highlights Day 1: Top 7 Stories
The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show is underway and eager tech makers are revealing their latest, greatest wares. Just check out Lenovo. The major PC multinational's newly announced gadgets range from a set of Windows 8.1 tablet-hybrids with versatile keyboard docks to a quad-core, 5.5-inch LTE smartphone, a first for the company. Not to mention, the all-new Lenovo Y40 and Y50, two lighter-than-ever gaming notebooks. Speaking of feather-weight gamers, MSI got in on that action as well. That laptop-maker invited us to preview a 15-inch gaming notebook that could be the lightest fragger in the world. To learn where, when, and for how much you can get your hands on all of the above and more, check out our Day 1 wrap-up from CES 2014.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2014: Keys Shift by App
One of our favorite business Ultrabooks gets new specs for the new year. A unique touch-sensitive strip replaces the Carbon X1’s function row and -- get this -- it adapts to the active application. For example, the music app activates back, forward, pause and play buttons, and Skype displays mic and video controls. There’s also a WQHD IPS display option with a super-rich, 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution, and, thanks to Intel Core Series processors, a shot at 9+ hours of battery life. That’s not even the full list of this all-new system’s capabilities, either.
Lenovo Y40 and Y50: Nice and Light Gaming Rigs
It’s time gaming laptops started to get thin. The Lenovo Y40 and Y50, coming Q1 this year for a starting price of $699, are doing just that with svelte profiles that shed a half-inch off last year’s models. The new class is also light -- between 4 and 5 pounds -- compared to older systems’ that weighed in at 6.4 pounds. Don’t worry, there’s still room to pack the heat. That includes 1080p displays, JBL stereo sound, backlit keyboards, up to 1TB hybrid SSD drives, and either an AMD Radeon R9 M270 GPU or an NVIDIA GTX GPU.
Lenovo Vibe Z: One Special 5.5-inch LTE Phablet
What makes the Lenovo Vibe Z more special? Its massive 5.5-inch, 1080p screen, or the fact that it’s Lenovo’s first phone to pack LTE connectivity? The answer is all of the above. To power all that screen crispness and data speed is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU. Storage is a little light, just 16GB, but so is the phone’s weight of 5.2 ounces. That’s lighter than the 5.9-ounce Galaxy Note 3. Plus, we totally vibed with this phone’s cameras: its 5-MP front-shooter and 13-MP back cam captured sharp shots and packed plenty of fun extras.
Lenovo Yoga 2 11 and 13 Start at $549
Lenovo expanded its Yoga line of bendy, 4-in-1 laptops with new 11- and 13-inch mainstream models. Starting at $549 and $999, both new systems mimic their more professional inspirations by bending into four modes: laptop, stand, tent and tablet. The 11-inch system packs a 720p display, 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive while the larger version reaches to 1080p, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hybrid drive. What may be a stretch to believe is that these systems are somewhat larger and thicker than the Yoga 2 Pro we recently reviewed.
$299 Acer C720p Chromebook: All White, Ready for Touch
Chromebook fans have a new option for a touchscreen laptop. Meet the Chromebook C720p, the $299, all-white Google-only laptop from Acer. Its touchscreen is a low-res, 1366 x 768 pixels, but the deal sweetens with a USB 3.0 port, HDMI-out jack, full-size SD card reader and an estimated 7.5-hour battery life courtesy of a low-power Intel 4th-generation Core Series CPU. Plus, the only other touchscreen Chromebook is the $1,299 Pixel. That’s one big price gap.
MSI Concept 15-inch Gamer Possibly World’s Lightest
A gaming laptop that’s less than 3 pounds. We thought that impossible until MSI showed us a concept design for a uber-light gaming rig the company says will be released later this year. If it hits shelves, it will carry a 15-inch display with a 3k 2880 x 1620-pixel resolution, two mSata drives, and the world’s lightest carrying weight. We should mention it will be beautiful, too, what with fine touches such as a brushed aluminum palm rest and magnesium undercarriage. You’ll have to see its lightweight, Ford Mustang-inspired beauty to believe it.
Lenovo Miix 2 10 and 11 Triple Your Fun
Versatility spices things up and Lenovo’s latest two hybrid tablets, the Miix 2 10 and Miix 2 11, are versatile slates: they both work as a standalone tablet, with a tablet stand and as a notebook (via an included keyboard dock). They also pack 1080p displays with 178-degree viewing angles and JBL sub-woofered speakers, but only the larger tablet includes a USB 3.0 port and Core i3 processing power. The smaller Miix 2 10, however, wins on battery life. It’s rated for an 11-hour run-time thanks to Intel Atom processing power.