When I was in art school ten years ago, I walked to school every day with my hulking generic Toshiba laptop and a separate USB Wacom Bamboo pen tablet, wishing a manufacturer would hurry up and marry the two devices. I needed something that allowed me to digitally sketch and paint my illustration assignments, while also allowing me to do the usual laptop-ish activities at the same time.
I obviously went to art school ten years too soon, because the market for hybrid tablets today is flooded with a ton of legit options.
This morning, Lenovo announced its newest offerings to the world, the Yoga 900 Convertible and the Yoga Home 900, with more details to be revealed during a press event this morning in downtown San Francisco.
The Yoga 900 Convertible (available today for $1,200) is an ultrabook, rocking a 13.3-inch display and attached to a keyboard body via a flexible watchband hinge that allows the unit to go into laptop, stand, tent, or tablet configurations. Consumers will be able to choose a package that includes an Intel 6th Gen Core i7 processor (no word on specific model numbers), and up to 16GB of memory. All versions will come with a solid-state drive, JBL stereo speakers, and Windows 10 Continuum preinstalled. Lenovo is claiming that the new battery in the Yoga 900 Convertible is capable of 50 percent more life compared to earlier Yoga products, clocking in at nine hours running local video.
The Yoga Home 900 (available later this month for $1,600) is a completely different beast, packing a hulking “portable desktop” package inside a 27-inch display. The Yoga Home 900 line will come with an Intel 5th Gen Core i7 processor (again, no word yet on specific model numbers) and the option of a NVIDIA GeForce 940A for the GPU. No word yet on memory or hard drive options, but the Yoga Home 900 will come with Windows 10 preinstalled and Lenovo’s Aura 3.0 touch interface.
Of the two products, it’s the Yoga Home 900 that has teased my curiosity. It’s not that the Yoga 900 Convertible doesn’t sound like a cool portable tablet option, which I am always game for, but the Yoga Home 900 seems to be trying to fit a niche I am not totally familiar with. It’s trying to be a portable desktop unit situated between a static hardcore work machine and a portable laptop solution. On paper, I see this concept going one of two ways: Either the Yoga Home 900 is a convenient middle ground that I never considered, or it is a mediocre substitution for both. I’ll have to wait until I can get my hands on one to see where this product lands.