Before CES, Lenovo updates thin X1 Carbon laptop, adds ThinkPad 8 tablet

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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