Lenovo is at again, mixing form factors and melding product categories like a mad scientist.
The PC fast-growing PC manufacturer introduced its newest product, the IdeaPad Yoga, which essentially marries the Intel Ultrabook concept with a Windows 8 tablet.
The IdeaPad Yoga's 13.1-inch display has a 360-degree flip-and-fold design that allows users to convert the Ultrabook into a multi-touch tablet using Lenovo's patented dual-hinge case. The Yoga can be used as a traditional notebook or as a fully-functional tablet in tent or stand mode.
Lenovo says the Yoga is the world's thinnest convertible Ultrabook at just 0.67 inches thin and 3.1 pounds. The Yoga features Windows 8 and Intel Core CPUs, as well as up to 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid-state drive. The Ultrabook also supports eight hours of battery life.
Two years ago Lenovo turned heads at CES with its ThinkPad U1 Hybrid, a Windows 7 notebook that had a detachable screen that served as a separate tablet device, complete with its own open source operating system. While that product was never release in North America, the prototype kicked off a new era for Lenovo and gave birth to other sleek PC models.
"Lenovo was the first company to introduce hybrid computers [with the U1 Hybrid]," said Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing. "Now we have taken that concept to the next level."
Lenovo says the IdeaPad Yoga was designed to meld personal and professional lifestyles into one device. While Lenovo is known for its business-class ThinkPad notebooks, Yuanqing said the PC manufacturer has learned from the success of tablets and smartphones and brought more of that mobile functionality and ease-of-use to its PC line.
"Many think that innovation in the traditional PC is coming to an end," Yuanqing said during the press conference. "But we believe the opposite."
The IdeaPad Yoga is scheduled for release in the second half of 2012 with an estimated starting price of $1,199.