Summary:

Maybe Lenovo is on to something with unique PC designs and fold-over keyboards. The company actually grew PC sales in a declining market and just announced a new 8.3-inch Windows 8 tablet and refresh of its X1 Carbon laptop.

New X1 Carbon

As one of the few PC companies to actually grow sales lately, Lenovo is trying to keep its momentum moving forward with a few new Windows 8 computers. Before the Consumer Electronics Show floor opened, Lenovo introduced a new tablet and a refreshed super-thin laptop on Sunday.

The ThinkPad 8 is Lenovo’s new slate, which the company calls a “professional-ready tablet with three modes.” The professional part likely refers to the 8.3-inch 1920 x 1200 display and quad-core Intel Z3770 chip based on the Bay Trail architecture. Configurations include 128 GB of available storage and an integrated LTE option.

Thinkpad 8

ThinkPad 8 works with an optional keyboard base like Desktop, on its own as a tablet or with a Quickshot Cover for use in Tent Mode. Output to an external monitor works through a microHDMI jack while media can also be shared wirelessly via Miracast. Pricing starts at $399 with availability later this month.

Lenovo also updated its flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop: A super-light and thin ultrabook that’s packed with power in the form of fourth-generation Intel Core chips. Although the laptop has a 14-inch display, it weighs just 2.8 pounds due to the carbon fiber casing and 0.68-inch thickness. Even so, it runs for 9 hours on a charge. Better yet, the Carbon X1 regains 80 percent of its battery charge in one hour. Look for the device later this month with a starting price tag of $1,299.

X1 carbon

Unique to the X1 Carbon is what Lenovo calls an Adaptive Keyboard. It’s essentially a strip of keys that dynamically change function based on what apps are currently in use. It’s an interesting idea that brings a bit of software smarts to hardware buttons. And maybe this is what the PC industry needs to regain its footing: Fresh ideas that push forward the idea of what PC is and can do.

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