Lenovo Flexes Innovation At CES 2023 With Dual-Screen Laptop, Smart Paper, And More
Given its stewardship of the ThinkBook brand and its origins at famously-stodgy IBM, one could assume that Lenovo is a prosaic company, but that's never been the case. At CES this year, Lenovo's debuting a hoard of hardware that really serves to set the record straight—from the world's first dual-screen OLED laptop, to the new ThinkBook Plus with a rotating screen, and even the fascinating Project Chronos wireless motion capture.
We'll start right from the top with the Yoga Book 9i. This is basically a 13.3-inch laptop, except that both halves are screens. What gorgeous screens they are, too, in terms of specs: 2880×1800 OLEDs that can reproduce 100% of the DCI-P3 color space and shine at up to 400 nits. As you'd expect, you can use the Yoga Book 9i in a few different ways: like the two halves were dual monitors, like a regular laptop, or like any other 360º hinge convertible.
The hardware inside the Yoga Book 9i isn't going to blow away your usual HotHardware reader, but it's surprisingly capable considering the form factor. You get a 13th-Gen Core processor and its associated Iris Xe graphics, hooked up to 16GB of LPDDR5X memory, and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. There's a built in FHD IR+RGB webcam, and the battery is a whopping 80WHr. External connectivity is provided by a trio of Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Every CES for the last few years Lenovo has brought along a fascinating new ThinkBook model in the ThinkBook Plus line. This year is no exception; the fourth-gen ThinkBook Plus Twist has two displays, but you wouldn't know it at a glance. On the front of the top panel is a 13.3-inch OLED just like the Yoga Book 9i's above, but on the back is a 12-inch e-Ink display with a 12Hz refresh rate. Both screens support touch input using fingers or pens.
As you've probably guessed from the name, the ThinkBook Plus Twist can rotate its display so that either side is available. This gives you a lot of options: you can close the machine to draw on the vivid OLED as if it were a drawing tablet, or you can flip the e-Ink display around to use the machine in "typewriter" mode for drastically improved battery life and reduced eyestrain.
The Twist isn't the only e-Ink device Lenovo's got. The company is also debuting what it calls Lenovo Smart Paper. It's essentially a tablet with advanced pen input on its 10.3-inch e-Ink display. Lenovo refers to the device as a "digital notepad," and that's certainly appropriate. The company says that the included stylus supports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt detection, and that latency on the pen is just 23ms.
If you're after a tablet but want something a little more versatile, it doesn't get much better than the Tab Extreme. This premium slate has a 14.5-inch OLED screen in 3000×1876 resolution that refreshes at 120Hz. The MediaTek Dimensity 9000 eight-core CPU should shred Android 13 easily, especially with 12GB of RAM at its disposal. It comes with 256GB of storage, but you can add a microSD card or hook up a device to one of the tablet's two USB Type-C ports. Lenovo promises "three OS upgrades and four years of security patches," too.
Numbers aside, this tablet has some pretty cool capabilities. One of the USB Type-C jacks supports DisplayPort input, so you can use the tablet as a high-DPI screen for another device. The Tab Extreme also apparently includes eight separate speakers configured for four-channel output. Lenovo says that the battery in the device will last for 12 hours of video playback, which is incredible considering the display it has.
Folks looking for a seriously potent laptop with something special should pay attention to the new ThinkBook 16p. This is a 16-inch laptop that comes with 13th-Gen Core "H" (45W) processors, GeForce RTX 40 graphics, 32GB of DDR5 memory, and a pair of M.2 SSD slots. The big display is a 3200×1800 IPS LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate, and it includes an FHD IR or FHD RGB camera, too.
The ThinkBook 16p includes a magnetic pogo-pin connector on the back of the display that Lenovo calls the Magic Bay. Using the Magic bay, you can connect a variety of accessories, including a 4K webcam, a 4G LTE modem, or a soft white light to improve the look of your face when teleconferencing. If you use the webcam, Lenovo says you can have it work in tandem with the built-in camera to perform face tracking and whiteboard recognition.
Lenovo's also bringing along a collection of more conventional laptops. The Lenovo Slim 7 is a 14-inch laptop with 13th-Gen Core processors and up to 16GB of dual-channel LPDDR5 memory. The most notable thing about this machine is the screen, which is a 2880×1800 IPS LCD with a 120 Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision support, and touch input support.
The Yoga 9i is a very similar machine, though rather more upscale. It supports Intel processors from the "P" family (28W), 16GB of LPDDR5 memory running at 5200 MT/s, and PCIe 4.0 for its 1TB M.2 SSD. The real star of the show here is once again the screen: a 3840×2400 OLED that can display 100% of the DCI-P3 color space and is VESA DisplayHDR TrueBlack 500 certified. It also supports touch input, and you can use the Precision Pen 2, too.
Meanwhile, the latest Yoga 6 is a thin & light 13.3-inch laptop with Ryzen 7030-series processors from the "Rembrandt-R" family. You get your choice of 8 or 16GB of LPDDR4X running at 4266 MT/s, a PCIe SSD up to 1TB in size, and a 1920×1200 IPS LCD with touch input. Lenovo says that the Yoga 6 can run for an incredible 17 hours while playing back video, and you can get it with a classy fabric cover, too.
Desktop PCs are largely relegated to workstations and gaming PCs these days, but even outside of its Legion gaming lineup, Lenovo has a couple of desktops it'll be showcasing at CES. The first is the Yoga AIO 9i, a visually-striking machine with some pretty capable specs to match.
Core i7 or i9 processors from the 45W "H" family, GeForce RTX 40-series laptop graphics, and up to 32GB of LPDDR5 memory are the highlights there, but the 31.5" 3840×2160 screen with DisplayHDR 600 certification is also impressive. There's a wireless phone charger in the base, and the AIO includes both speakers and webcam, too.
While it's not nearly as impressive visually, the Thinkcentre Neo 50Q impresses with its size: just one liter. This is an absolutely minuscule machine, yet despite that, it can have a 45W Raptor Lake processor, 32GB of socketed DDR4 memory, a 1TB SSD, a 1TB 7200-RPM HDD, Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6.
Finally, the most curious item in Lenovo's grab bag: Project Chronos. It could easily be mistaken for a portable projector, but in fact it has the nearly-opposite function of capturing the user's full-body movements not unlike the Xbox Kinect. Where that was mostly a gimmick, though, Lenovo says that Chronos is detailed enough to capture fine movements and even facial expressions.
Lenovo says that "Chronos" isn't the final name of the project, just a working title. It's not ready for release and may not be any time soon, but we're going to keep an eye out for it all the same.
Aside from that, the rest of this equipment should be available this year. Here's Lenovo's expected release date and pricing for the new hardware:
- Yoga Book 9i (13-inch) will start at $2,099.99 and is expected to be available starting June 2023
- ThinkBook Plus Twist will start at $1649 is expected to be available starting June 2023.
- Lenovo Smart Paper will start at $399.99 and is expected to be available later in 2023.
- Lenovo Tab Extreme will start at $1199.99 and is expected to be available later in 2023.
- ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 will start at $1349 is expected to be available starting May 2023.
- Lenovo Slim 7 (14-inch) will start at $729.99 and is expected to be available starting April 2023.
- The refreshed Yoga 9i (14-inch) will start at $1,499.99 and is expected to be available starting April 2023.
- The refreshed Yoga 6 (13-inch) will start at $729.99 and is expected to be available starting April 2023.
- Yoga AIO 9i (32-inch) will start at $1,799.99 and is expected to be available starting in Q3 2023.
- ThinkCentre neo 50q Gen 4 will start at $499 and is expected to be available starting October 2023.