The word “modular” is being flung around a lot these days, and while we’re a bit apprehensive about drinking that particular Kool-Aid, Lenovo’s latest line-up of portable personal computers includes a modular tablet that we’re actually quite excited about.
It’s called the ThinkPad X1 Tablet, and it can add extra functionality via simple clip-on modifications.
At the moment there are three modules to choose from. The first two are a “Productivity Module” – which increases battery life to “up to 15 hours” – and a Presenter Module that adds a pico projector and HDMI port.
The third module will likely be of considerable interest for makers and artists: it’s a 3D Imaging Module which houses a rear-facing Intel RealSense camera for scanning objects onto your PC.
For connectivity, the slate supports LTE-Advanced and you can remove the back cover for maintenance and possible upgrades in the future. Be warned though, this slick piece of tech doesn’t come cheap with a starting price of R26 500.
We’ve been waiting for you
We first saw the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga at CES 2016 and it quickly climbed our list of “most anticipated gadgets of 2016”. You may recall that this is the world’s first notebook with an OLED display and that the keys retract into the body when you’re using it in tablet mode.
There is also an active pen which is stored in the body of the notebook so that it can charge up and, more importantly, not get lost.
Once again this doesn’t come cheap: Lenovo’s official press statement says that pricing for the Thinkpad X1 Yoga will start at R29 000. Ouch.
Lenovo’s crowning glory
The 14-inch Thinkpad X1 Carbon is an ultrabook for business professionals, not because we say it is, but because that is clearly who Lenovo wants to tempt over to its side of the fence.
As an example, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE modem should give professionals on the move the ability to connect to the internet at speeds of up to 300Mbps without needing use a certain brand of public, very spotty Wifi that never gets switched off, nudge nudge wink wink.
There is also a 1TB Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD drive which gives users five times the speed of regular SSD drives.
Obviously, a fancy modem and fast storage are great but security is especially important for business. Lenovo has fitted the X1 Carbon with a Touch Fingerprint Reader and Trusted Platform Module security chip to the ultrabook.
Add something like Microsoft’s BitLocker to the equation and you have a rather secure system in your hands.
As impressive as all of this is, it’s made even more incredible by the fact that Lenovo managed to pack it all into a shell that’s just 17.7mm thick, and which weighs just 1.31kg.
This is truly an insanely thin and light Ultrabook, but also one that doesn’t skimp on performance. Thanks, Skylake.
Once again, the price is big but it actually isn’t that bad at a starting point of R26 500, the same as the X1 Tablet.
You also will be happy to know that wait for these products is going to be a short one: Lenovo expects the X1 range to hit shelves in May.
Now we just need to save up some money.