It’s rare that a new offering in the ultra-mobile PC space races to the top of the charts so quickly but that’s what has happened with the new Acer Aspire Switch 10 over the last two weeks. The previous generation Iconia W510 is about to drop off the bottom of the top 10 so it’s perfect timing for Acer. They’ve got some competition though and there’s little information out there about the finer points of the device like disk performance and screen quality…apart from one that’s just been published by the good people at Tabtec.de.
There’ll be a 4GB option too! Lenovo have launched the Thinkpad 10 along with a number of accessories. Based on the Intel Baytrail-T Z3795 the Thinkpad has almost all the specifications you could wish for. It’s targeted at the mobile workforce but the for ultra-mobile PCs fans this 60 gram, (1.31 pounds) PC is one to take a close look at.
The Thinkpad 10 is shown above with the Ultrabook’ keyboard, a $129 accessory that we don’t think has a battery inside but looks to offer a high quality working area. There’s a dock available too. (UBS 3.0 we believe) The digitizer is said to be optional so expect something in the region of $100 for that and the digitizer pen. 128GB and 4GB could take prices very high too. A fully loaded Windos 8.1 Pro model with Ultrabook keyboard is likely to be around $1000 but it could be the only PC some people will need. At under 600 grams it’s going to be a lot lighter than the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Baytrail) which is very important for a tablet. It will be fanless and with the USB3.0 port, microHDMI and separate charging port, very flexible in terms of connectivity and usage.
Like all Windows 8 tablets on Baytrail it will have a TPM module inside, will support basic Bitlocker disk encryption, support InstantGo and, with the Windows 8 version, will come with free Microsoft Office Home and Student.
The Yoga 2 11 isn’t just a Yoga-for-the-masses or an Ultrabook without the sticker. It’s a look into the future of Ultrabooks
It’s a fanless, lightweight, convertible, touchscreen Windows PC and costs under 600 Euro. It’s the latest incarnation of the Lenovo Yoga 11 Ultrabook but it’s running a Baytrail processor. There’s four cores instead of two, and no fan. There’s a USB3.0 connector and a total weight of just 1.45KG. This is looking like a pretty smart 2-in-1. Notebookcheck have just given it an 80% rating in their review.
600 Euro isn’t exactly mainstream pricing for a little notebook. The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10, a slightly smaller but lighter Baytrail-M (N3520) based laptop with ‘tent mode’ and touch is under 300 Euro but I would expect that 600 Euro to drop by 10-25% fairly quickly and for short-term offers to appear around 450 in the future.
In the detailed review at Notebookcheck we see that it has a 500GB HDD inside. Of course I’m immediately thinking of SSD upgrade possibility here but it’s a 5mm 2.5” SATA drive so options are limited. The performance of the Celeron Baytrail-M CPU is better than the one I’ve just tested on the Intel NUC so it’s in an acceptable area but the user experience would be vastly improved with an SSD.
A 35Wh battery returns about 5 hours of web-usage.
A fanless, lightweight, convertible touchscreen notebook at a consumer-friendly price is, in my opinion, exactly what the market needs in order to make notebooks interesting again. The Lenovo Yoga 2 11 shows some weaknesses in the processor department and a higher-resolution display would be appealing but this is still a capable device and with an SSD upgrade (and a $100 discount to pay for it!) could be a real winner.
It’s a brave reseller that breaks what we assume would be an NDA in order to gain the SEO advantage so hats-off to Brack in Switzerland who give us the first real detail about the Acer Aspire Switch SW5. This Baytrail-T based 2-in-1 is clearly on the production line and looks to be the upgrade to the W510 that we had running on Clovertrail last year.
The original Medion Akoya P2211T/P2212T has been around since the end of 2013 but the version available in Germany since the beginning of March and coming to Australia at the end of March has a faster CPU and 4GB of RAM. This 2-in-1 Windows 8 tablet has been getting good reviews and, because of the 399 Euro price (about US$ 460 in pre-tax equivalent,) it will probably sell well. Baytrail-T is doing well in the tablet space and Baytrail-M seems to be hitting the mark in the modern-netbook space too.
This 11.6-inch 2-in-1 update to the P2212T came to the ‘Aldi’ supermarket chain in Germany on the 6th March for just 399 Euros which puts it in line with the big-selling ASUS Transformer Book T100. Aldi are likely to have shifted many thousands of units across their German outlets in an offer this month, just like they did with their early netbook in 2008.
The 11.6-inch screen 2-in-1 is a FullHD model so it leans towards more mainstream use than the smaller ASUS T100 competitor. In sizing it sits side-by-side with the Dell Venue 11 Pro which is a lot more expensive.
Netbookcheck gave the original P2211T an 83% score in a detail review and a quick glance through the review reveals that not only is there 64GB eMMc flash storage on board (SSD) but there’s a 500GB drive in the keyboard and AC support on the WiFi. The battery is good for about 10 hours. The updated P2212T has 4GB RAM and the faster N2920 CPU.
The weight is a little disappointing. The tablet is 830 grams which is a lot heavier than a consumer will be confortable with for long-term consumption. Add the keyboard and you’ve got 1.7KG (3.75 pounds) which is 300gm heavier than the Dell Venue 11 Pro. It’s a unique product for the price through and perfect for 2-day conferences, weekend holidays, long journeys and even to be your ‘one’ PC. ASUS will be watching closely but it’s Acer that are likely to be watching even closer as they plan the launch of their updated W5 2-in-1.
If you’re thinking of the single-PC solution though do be aware of the CPU and GPU limitations. This Celeron N2920 (Baytrail-M) at 1.8Ghz with 4GB is powerful enough to get you through web-based work, YouTube, Office and even some basic video and photo editing but there’s not much power in reserve here. The graphics power won’t let you play too many Windows PC games although you’ll definitely find something to keep you amused in the older PC and flash-based games. It also sips more power than the Baytrail-T (Atom Z3000 series) variants.
Overall we’re talking about a lot of PC value here. The Medion Akoya P2212T update is the best of the variants if you can find it. 4GB RAM is going to be worth spending money on if you plan to use this as PC for more than just web browsing.
The bigger story here though is that Windows 8 touch 2-in-1’s have reached mainstream markets and, together with the 8-inch tablets it’s not difficult to work out that they are selling like the netbooks did too. Across the tablet and ‘modern netbook’ space the Baytrail platform appears to be hitting consumer requirements at the right price.
Note: Not all P2212T’s have the new CPU and RAM configuration. We have seen one P2212T in Switzerland being offered with the N2910 and a P2212T with N2920 and 2GB RAM in Denmark. Double-check on specifications before buying.
UK: P2211T: 349 pounds. P2212T not currently available.
DE: P2212T: 399 Euro (Aldi. Now difficult to find.)
At MWC last week I had my first chance to go hands-on with the Dell Venue 11 Pro. Yes, it’s been on sale for a while, I know, but it’s one of the devices I just haven’t got round to testing yet. I wish I had done this earlier because it’s a nice bit of kit with an excellent keyboard. It feels high quality and the tablet isn’t too heavy. Video hands-on below.
The Lenovo Miix 2 10 is a 2-in-1 Windows 8.1 tablet with a keyboard dock, not a laptop with detachable tablet! You’ll find out why in the detailed Lenovo Miix 2 10 review below along with details on performance, battery life, usability and quality. We’ve also included a comparison with the ASUS Transformer Book T100.
A lot of you have asked about the differences between the Lenovo Miix 2 10 and the ASUS Transformer Book T100 so I’ve been onto Intel Germany and they’ve helped us out with a T100 for us to test with. All your questions will be answered soon!
You might get the impression that I like the Lenovo Miix 2 10 when you see how much time I’ve spent with it recently. I’ve just produced 3 new videos, in addition to the unboxing video and there’s lots of testing going on. The truth is that I am really enjoying this tablet-first device. Like the ASUS Transformer T100 I think it’s going to be a big seller as a secondary PC that extends from the sofa to the desktop and includes the holiday, car and hotel in between, both for business and pleasure.