I’ve had some time with a production sample of the Lenovo Yoga 710 and while I can’t bring you a full review there’s a lot I can tell you about it. The Yoga 710 is an 11.6-inch ultramobile Windows convertible (laptop-style with 360-degree hinge) running on a Core M CPU. Bloggers had unlimited access to it at CeBIT earlier this month and were able to draw a lot of conclusions. Here’s my summary review.
The Lenovo Yoga 710 is incredibly slick, has a great screen and the keyboard is working very well, at least for me. It’s Macbook-like for sure but not quite the fasion-piece and it’s likely to be offered at a lower price, according to reports. For me it’s one of the most important subnotebooks of the year.
Note: All information here based on the pre-production sample shown at CeBIT.
Among a long list of announcements from HP today was the HP Spectre 12 X2 detachable which spins a now-familiar design into ‘an irreplaceable companion’. HP’s take on the Surface Pro design includes the Core M processor, 12-inch Full HD screen, two USB-C ports and of course a keyboard and pen. It looks good and it’s well-priced but it will go right up against the Lenovo Miix 700. It has other competition too.
It seems that the world and her husband have written their thoughts on what could happen at the Microsoft Windows 10 event on October 6th. My thoughts on Surface Pro 4, anchored in engineering rather than floating with rumors, are here. The poll results so far say that 50% of readers, given the option of having both a 12-inch and 14-inch Surface Pro 3, want a silent 12-inch model based on Core M and a high-powered 14-inch model based on 6th-gen Core U-series processors. If that were to be the case on Oct 6th it means that a 12-inch Surface Pro 4 won’t out-perform Surface Pro 3 in high-power scenarios. But there’s enough ‘showtime’ potential in the new Core M to keep anyone happy. Maybe it’s time to take ‘Pro’ to a higher level?
Hopefuly you’ve seen the news that Microsoft has sent out invites for an Oct 6th Windows 10 event in New York. No-one doubts that we’re going to see Lumia, Surface and Band products along with an official launch of Windows 10 Mobile which makes it an extremely important event for anyone who reads UMPCPortal. Lumia, with Continuum, could form an important part of an entry-level ultramobile PC set-up. Surface sits at the very high-end of ultramobile computing solutions.
It seems certain that we’ll see a Surface Pro 4 with much the same sizing as the previous model but two questions remain unanswered. 1) Will it be fanless? and 2) Will there be a second, 14-inch model? The reason I ask the latter is that there have already been rumors about a 14-inch model and in a recent search I found screen covers for a 14-inch Surface Pro 4. If a 14-inch model is coming how can Microsoft position the two devices ? There’s a poll below and i’d like to see what you think would be the best constellation of Surface Pro 4 devices. But first, some thoughts on what’s possible and what it brings to a 12-inch and a 14-inch Surface Pro 4.
IFA 2015 was as fun and as busy as ever. I managed to get quality hands-on time with a lot of new ultramobile PCs (mostly without the pressure of press-event chaos) and had some great conversations, both public and private, with companies working in the sector. Thanks to Intel for their blogging facilities and an amazing party, Acer for the bright and spacious video-friendly booth and Microsoft for a good evening of networking. Having said that, I didn’t see what I wanted to see.
IFA 2015 has brought us a range of new and upgraded convertible PCs but the one that I’ve had at the top of my list for a while is the Acer Switch 11V which seems to offer just the right balance of features for a Core M 2-in-1. The problem is that Lenovo are launching the Miix 700 which might be an even better option because it uses the latest Core M generation. The Acer Switch 11V has taken so long to get to market that it’s still using the first generation. Acer might need to adjust some pricing on the 11V if they want to see it compete successfully.
Acer have done a reasonable job of keeping the looks and plastics from feeling cheap but the Switch 11V isn’t a style-statement. Inside you’ll find a ‘proper’ SSD connected via a SATA port. Speeds aren’t known at this stage but expect it to outperform something like the Surface 3. The performance of the Switch 11V can’t be determined by Core M model number because, as with all Core M builds, it depends on how well the Acer engineers have designed the internal airflow and heat-sinking. A full test will be needed to determine that.
I liked the keyboard but the trackpad needs longer term testing before it can be evaluated.
A 28 Wh battery inside the Acer Switch 11V is a little small when you compare it to the 41 Wh of the Lenovo Miix 700 and that’s going to really affect battery life. If you’re looking for an all-day battery-powered mobile PC solution the Switch 11V isn’t it.
Take a look at the video to get a good overview of the Acer Aspire Switch 11V.
There’s no name for this product but given the history of Toshiba Write tablets it could be that this is going to launch as the Toshiba Write convertible. It was teased on stage at the Microsoft press event here at IFA a short while ago and it we’re told that information will be available over the coming weeks.
Toshiba pen-enabled 2-in-1
The tablet looks incredibly thin and we were led to believe that it’s based on a Core m processor. The rest is speculation based on what we see here. 12.5-inch screen?
We’ll have to wait and see what Toshiba launch over the coming weeks but the question is, why not now?
The very interesting Acer Aspire Switch 11V that was announced in April is now shipping. The Acer Aspire switch 11V SW5-173-614T comes with an Intel Core M, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 500GB hard drive and Windows 8.1 although some retailers are showing Windows 10 as the operating system. The price on the Amazon Germany website is €699 (566.19 before tax = $US 632 approx.)
Acer Aspire Switch 11V. Expected at Computex, 2015 (June)
A Core M-based Intel Compute Stick will be launched later this year and by including SATA storage and MHL it will solve a couple of issues that the current Atom-based stick has. Cedar City,as it is codenamed, and Windows 10 could make the ultimate streaming solution.
The design is very unique with its see-through top panel and the port selection good too although I don’t see any consumer IR support. The front-mounted ports seem a little over the top too. Surely a single USB and audio ports would be better? At the rear you’ll find another USB 3.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 HDMI ports and a headset port. There’s no dedicated digital audio port.