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IDF 2013: Latest Lenovo notebooks hop to with Haswell, better battery


IDF 2013: Latest Lenovo notebooks hop to with Haswell, better battery

Lenovo had plenty to say at IFA 2013 earlier this month, and now the hardware producer has crossed the pond with even more goods to show during the Intel Developer Forum (IDF).

The company is sticking with notebooks, including refreshes of the T440s and T440 announced just a week ago, and gearing IDF’s ThinkPad offerings towards its commercial customers.

First up are the ThinkPad T440p and T540p business ‘books, powered by up to Quad Core i7 from Intel (a.k.a. Haswell). Battery can last a long 13.7 hours for the 440p and up to 12.6 for the 540p.

Nvidia GeForce GT730M fills the graphics void on certain systems, and up to 16GB SDRAM can be taxed for memory needs. SSDs and HDDs that top out at 1TB are also available for the machines.

Lenovo is throwing up a 4G/LTE connectivity option, plus mini-Display Port, VGA, four USB 3.0 ports and and an SD card reader, all to make the T440p and T540p (pictured below) hum along.

T540p

Putting in the work

Next Lenovo is out with a 15.5-inch 3K IPS panel machine, the ThinkPad W540. It’s portable and powerful, according to Lenovo, and interestingly it’s described as an independent software vendor (ISV) certified mobile workstation.

It weighs about five and a half pounds while measuring 27mm thick, so though it’s no MacBook Air, it won’t break your back carrying it around. The notebook too features a Quad Core i7 Intel chip (go figure at IDF) and houses a screen home to a 2880 x 1620 resolution.

Interested parties can purchase a W540 with up to 32GB of memory. Nvidia Quadro graphics with Optimus 2D and 3D content creation come stored inside, and users have the option of up to 2TB of storage.

With a W540 Thunderbolt port, users have access to high-speed data transfer, as well as an array of ports and connectivity via 4G/LTE WWAN.

The W540 along with the T440p and T540p will be available starting in November, though Lenovo won’t be ready to reveal pricing until closer to release.

Lenovo also went for a bit of alliteration with the L Series ThinkPads, the L440 and L540, an entry business brand.

The L series also feature fourth-gen Intel Core processors, plus vPro technology and easy integration into new or already up-and-running IT systems.

Users can tap into Wi-Fi, Ethernet and 4G/LTE with either tablet. The L Series features dual HD noise cancelling mics and an HD Camera. The L440 makes space for HD+ while the L540 comes equipped with Full HD.

The L440 will be available beginning next month starting at approximately $729 (about £463, AU$785), and the same price and release month goes for the L540 (seen below).

L440

Windows 8 value

Finally, Lenovo has the ThinkPad E Series, a pair of notebooks looking to provide small businesses with some value.

The E440 and E540 stack the “one of the best value full function Windows 8 notebook experiences,” so be warned (or rewarded) if you’re a fan of Microsoft’s OS.

The E machines are thinner, lighter and more elegant than before, Lenovo noted, and feature Haswell (up to quad-core chips), optional Nvidia discrete graphics and storage up to 1TB.

Memory can clock in at up to 16GB, but there’s an optical drive as well. The E440 carriers a 14-inch HD+ screen on its front, and the 15.6-inch display on the E540 is Full HD. Both have antiglare properties, and users can opt for touch screen or larger gesture trackpads.

Lenovo claimed there’s improved voice over IP with the E series, and Dolby Advanced Audio could turn any quarterly report into a presentation to remember.

Rounding out the E Series specs include Lenovo’s OneLink technology, which entails a single cable connection to the ThinkPad OneLink Dock. Not only does this channel power to the ThinkPads, it offers a driver-free video connection, USB 3.0, gigabit Ethernet and audio.

The E440 and E540 ThinkPads will be available in select markets starting in October, with the first priced at approximately €649 (about $860/£547/AU$926)and the second €629 (about $833/£530/AU$897).


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IDF 2013: Lenovo brings Haswell, better battery and business to latest notebooks


IDF 2013: Lenovo brings Haswell, better battery and business to latest notebooks

Lenovo had plenty to say at IFA 2013 earlier this month, and now the hardware producer has crossed the pond with even more goods to show during the Intel Developer Forum (IDF).

The company is sticking with notebooks, including refreshes of the T440s and T440 announced just a week ago, and gearing IDF’s ThinkPad offerings towards its commercial customers.

First up are the ThinkPad T440p and T540p business ‘books, powered by up to Quad Core i7 from Intel (a.k.a. Haswell). Battery can last a long 13.7 hours for the 440p and up to 12.6 for the 540p.

Nvidia GeForce GT730M fills the graphics void on certain systems, and up to 16GB SDRAM can be taxed for memory needs. SSDs and HDDs that top out at 1TB are also available for the machines.

Lenovo is throwing up a 4G/LTE connectivity option, plus mini-Display Port, VGA, four USB 3.0 ports and and an SD card reader, all to make the T440p and T540p (pictured below) hum along.

T540p

Putting in the work

Next Lenovo is out with a 15.5-inch 3K IPS panel machine, the ThinkPad W540. It’s portable and powerful, according to Lenovo, and interestingly it’s described as an independent software vendor (ISV) certified mobile workstation.

It weighs about five and a half pounds while measuring 27mm thick, so though it’s no MacBook Air, it won’t break your back carrying it around. The notebook too features a Quad Core i7 Intel chip (go figure at IDF) and houses a screen home to a 2880 x 1620 resolution.

Interested parties can purchase a W540 with up to 32GB of memory. Nvidia Quadro graphics with Optimus 2D and 3D content creation come stored inside, and users have the option of up to 2TB of storage.

With a W540 Thunderbolt port, users have access to high-speed data transfer, as well as an array of ports and connectivity via 4G/LTE WWAN.

The W540 along with the T440p and T540p will be available starting in November, though Lenovo won’t be ready to reveal pricing until closer to release.

Lenovo also went for a bit of alliteration with the L Series ThinkPads, the L440 and L540, an entry business brand.

The L series also feature fourth-gen Intel Core processors, plus vPro technology and easy integration into new or already up-and-running IT systems.

Users can tap into Wi-Fi, Ethernet and 4G/LTE with either tablet. The L Series features dual HD noise cancelling mics and an HD Camera. The L440 makes space for HD+ while the L540 comes equipped with Full HD.

The L440 will be available beginning next month starting at approximately $729, and the same price and release month goes for the L540.

L440

Windows 8 value

Finally, Lenovo has the ThinkPad E Series, a pair of notebooks looking to provide small businesses with some value.

The E440 and E540 stack the “one of the best value full function Windows 8 notebook experiences,” so be warned (or rewarded) if you’re a fan of Microsoft’s OS.

The E machines are thinner, lighter and more elegant than before, Lenovo noted, and feature Haswell (up to quad-core chips), optional Nvidia discrete graphics and storage up to 1TB.

Memory can clock in at up to 16GB, but there’s an optical drive as well. The E440 carriers a 14-inch HD+ screen on its front, and the 15.6-inch display on the E540 is Full HD. Both have antiglare properties, and users can opt for touch screen or larger gesture trackpads.

Lenovo claimed there’s improved voice over IP with the E series, and Dolby Advanced Audio could turn any quarterly report into a presentation to remember.

Rounding out the E Series specs include Lenovo’s OneLink technology, which entails a single cable connection to the ThinkPad OneLink Dock. Not only does this channel power to the ThinkPads, it offers a driver-free video connection, USB 3.0, gigabit Ethernet and audio.

The E440 and E540 ThinkPads will be available in select markets starting in October, with the first priced at approximately €649 and the second €629.


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Most workers want a keyboard alongside their tablet


Most workers want a keyboard alongside their tablet

A majority of information workers in Europe and North America want to use a keyboard with tablet computers, according to a survey of more than 1,000 carried out by Forrester Research.

It revealed that 35% want a keyboard that turns a tablet into a small laptop, such as Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet 2, or the keyboards offered by Logitech and Zagg for iPads.

There was a preference for wireless keyboards, such as those that Samsung offers for the Galaxy Tab line, among 27%, while 34% were quite happy tablets as touch-only.

The report says that information workers are likely to want a keyboard for the next few years because of the flexibility it offers, especially in allowing them input large amounts of information and to use certain applications.

Forrester Analyst JP Gownder said: “We know that a much larger percentage of workers (80%) would actually prefer to use a PC, a tablet, and a smartphone — all of the big three devices — for their work if they could,” he said. “This means that a large number of workers are open to both using a tablet with a keyboard and to using a laptop for their work.”

He added that keyboard should be detached or detachable so that it won’t make the tablet less portable.

The report also hints that voice commands will become increasingly important as 37% of information workers using smartphones are already taking advantage of the technology.


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Explained: What Windows 8.1 can do for BYOD


Explained: What Windows 8.1 can do for BYOD

One of the big questions around the prospects for Windows 8.1 in the workplace is how well it will fit into the management of employees’ mobile devices. Many businesses are ready to go along with the trend towards ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD), and they will have to think seriously about how they can manage devices that run on the new operating system.

The core issues are how existing mobile device management (MDM) systems will be able to manage Windows 8.1, and what else can be done if you also have Windows Server 2012 RS, the accompanying server and cloud platform.

IT admins will probably be encouraged by the provision of a lot more management options within Windows 8.1 than Windows 8. Some need upcoming versions of Windows Server, but Microsoft is building key mobile device management standards into Windows 8.1 (including Windows RT 8.1 for mobile devices), so it should provide more control for any MDM system.

This includes those already widely used to manage smartphones and tablets, such as MobileIron, AirWatch or Microsoft’s own Intune service, but there will be an advantage with Windows 8.1.

Using such systems usually involves installing a management client on a device, and Windows RT devices will only work with Intune. But Microsoft is building an agent that supports the open OMA-DM standard and the Simple Certificate Enrolment Protocol (SCEP that Apple uses for iOS management). The agent will be within Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, which will make it possible to manage the systems through the same software, and in many cases with the same policies.

This will include using the agent to change some settings in Windows, and although Microsoft hasn’t yet revealed which ones, it will be possible to distribute wireless and virtual private network settings, including the certificates needed for virtual private network connections. There will also be a function to run reports on which devices are connecting, and whether they have up-to-date anti-virus software and the latest Windows updates.

If a business has apps that it wants its employees to use, such as an expenses reporting tool, it will not have to go through the Windows Store but can sideload them into Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 devices and send out any updates.

Windows 8.1 Active Directory

If it runs Active Directory it can use it to manage 8.1 systems at two levels: it’s possible to simply place a certificate on a device to control access to company resources; or allow users to register their device with Active Directory through the new Workplace Join feature in PC Settings. Workplace Join also works with iOS devices and will support Android in time.

Windows 8.1 web applications proxy

The Web Application Proxy in Windows Server 2012 R2 can make file sharing on a server available over a secure HTTPS connection, so users can sync files through the Work Folders function to their devices and save them back to the server when they’re on the road. Admins will be able to back them up with the normal processes.

The main limitation of Work Folders is that everything has to be synced, rather than choosing which files to copy to a device as is possible with SkyDrive syncs. On a tablet that could take up a lot of space.

But there is a big positive in that, when anyone leaves the company or loses their device, it’s possible to wipe the synced files remotely – without having to wipe the whole system and their personal content – and to remove certificates, VPN profiles and apps.

Windows 8.1 Workplace Join

Both Workplace Join and the Web Application Proxy require the use of Active Directory Federation Services, which is easier to work with in Windows Server 2012 R2. If a business makes use of two factor authentication, it can make employees use it every time they connect from outside the company network, or just the first time they register on Workplace Join to prove their device is trustworthy.

Unlike Active Directory, which makes it possible to apply group policy to control almost every setting on PCs owned by a company, Workplace Join doesn’t provide for the control of any settings. For that, users have to allow the PC Settings function to turn on the built-in MDM agent.

This is the same on iOS and makes Windows 8.1 devices much more like other smartphones and tablets widely used in BYOD.

Overall, IT admins will get more tools to control employees’ devices that use Microsoft’s operating system, and this will help it fit more comfortably into a BYOD environment.


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New Nexus 7 will arrive in the UK on August 28


New Nexus 7 will arrive in the UK on August 28

Asus has confirmed that the new Nexus 7 will hit the U.K. on August 28.

The new Android 4.3-running tablet was unveiled by Google on July 24, and the tablet went on sale in the U.S. just six days later.

At a London event today, Asus confirmed that August 28 was the date for U.K. diaries. The new Nexus 7 will come in two versions – the £199 16GB Wi-Fi model and the £239 32GB Wi-Fi edition.

Give it here, Google

Google’s Nexus 7 follow-up flaunts a full HD (1920 x 1200) display, making it – as Google claims – the highest definition 7-inch tablet around.

Meanwhile, there’s a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor doing the work, with 2GB of RAM doubling the original.

That nice display is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, so no worrying about pesky scratches scuffing up your slab.

It’s expected that the tablet will be available on the Google Play store from August 28, as well as from high street retailers.

  • What did we think of the Nexus 7 in our first hands on? Why, you can find out right here.


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