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article imageLenovo's new modular tablet lets you switch parts at will

By James Walker     Jan 4, 2016 in Technology
Lenovo has unveiled the next generation of its range-topping Windows 10 tablet family, the ThinkPad X1. The new line-up includes a selection of modular optional accessories that can be connected to the tablet for extra functionality.
Lenovo announced the new products today, ahead of tomorrow's official opening of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The range is led by the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, a device Lenovo claims is a pioneer in the computing space.
ThinkPad X1 Tablet
The tablet has a 12-inch display and Intel sixth-generation Core m7 processor. The chip doesn't have the same performance as its heftier i3, i5 and i7 siblings but its lower-power consumption leads to greater battery life and less heat production, eliminating the need for a fan.
A small kickstand on the back of the device lets the tablet be used as a laptop. It can be paired with Lenovo's classic full-size ThinkPad keyboard and positioned at three different typing angles.
There's more to the ThinkPad X1 than meets the eye though. An expansion slot on the bottom of the device lets users snap in additional modules as required, adding extra functionality to the tablet depending on the work it is being used for.
At launch, three different clip-on modules will be available: "Productivity," which adds an extra battery to increase total runtime to 15 hours; "Presenter," including a pico projector and HDMI port, and "3D Imaging." The latter mounts an Intel RealSense depth-sensing camera to the device, capable of creating 3D scans of objects in seconds.
The ThinkPad X1 starts at $899 and will be available from February. The optional Productivity module will cost an extra $149 and will also launch in February. The Presenter and 3D Imaging modules will go on sale in May for $279 and $149 respectively.
ThinkPad X1 Yoga
The refreshed ThinkPad X1 range also includes updates to other popular Lenovo products. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga now weighs just 2.8 pounds and has slimmed down to 0.66 inches. The LCD screen of older Yogas can now be optionally replaced with an OLED panel for more saturated colours and enhanced clarity.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2016)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2016)
The X1 Yoga also includes an "active stylus" that can be used for note-taking, drawing or annotating. The body of the tablet now has a special housing for the pen that automatically charges it when not in use.
Traditional LCD Yoga models will be available this month from $1,449. Lenovo says it will reveal more details on OLED pricing and availability closer to launch, currently expected in April.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a 14-inch ultrabook laptop for business users. Lenovo says it's "one of the most refined and elegant notebooks available today" as the company has added additional display, memory and storage options over last year's model. Starting at $1,299, pre-orders will be offered from next month.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2016)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2016)
The new ThinkPads are aimed primarily at professional customers who require high-performance systems for their daily work. Lenovo says its customers expect it to "keep pushing the boundaries" by expanding its products to include more power, connectivity and security.
Dilip Bhatia, Lenovo's VP of Worldwide Marketing and User Experience for its PC and Enterprise group, said: "Today's progressive customers are open-minded, energetic and enthusiastic tech influencers who continually seek technology that will help them push the boundaries. ThinkPad has a heritage of engineering for the future, with an instantly recognisable design that has endured."
He added: "Our expanded X1 family stays true to that heritage and has been designed and engineered for these forward thinkers. Brilliantly adaptable with super-thin and ultra-light premium designs, the new products will help professionals embrace cloud computing, mobility and security to build the companies of tomorrow."
Lenovo ThinkCentre X1 AIO (2016)
Lenovo ThinkCentre X1 AIO (2016)
Additional Lenovo products unveiled today include a 23.8-inch all-in-one PC, the $1,029 ThinkCentre X1 AIO, which has bezels only 11mm wide. Even slimmer is the 7.5mm ThinkVision X1, a 27-inch 4K Ultra HD monitor that will cost $799 and be available from March.
Lenovo's announcement ahead of the official start of CES 2016 means it has got ahead of the crowd this year. The show is set to start in just a few more hours though so it will soon be faced with waves of rivaling laptops and tablets from other leaders in the tech industry.
More about Lenovo, Tablet, Laptop, Performance, windows 10
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