Lenovo aims for SA glory with ultrabook, tablet

2014-04-04 14:29
Lenovo is targeting premium customers with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch ultrabook. (Lenovo)

Lenovo is targeting premium customers with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch ultrabook. (Lenovo)

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Cape Town - Lenovo is aiming at the premium market in South Africa with a new range of notebook and tablet launched on Thursday.

The company released the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch and ThinkPad 8 in SA as the company hopes the new devices will attract customers with deep pockets.

Graham Braum, Lenovo Africa General Manager said that the "unique premium design" of the Carbon Touch justifies the nose-bleeding price of R21 999, while the ThinkPad tablet retails at a more realistic R8 499.

Still, prices are way above the clever Yoga 10 Android hybrid which retails on Orange SAfor around R3 499 or on a 24 month payment plan from FNBfor R249.

The ThinkPad X1 has a 35.5cm display and weighs in at just 1.2kg, and Lenovo boosts that the touch device can be charged to 80% in under an hour, with a nine hour total battery life.

Clever technology

Clever technology in the ThinkPad is the OneLink connector which provides cable internet connectivity, power and a connection to a secondary monitor in one cable.

The laptop market took a huge hit in 2013 as customers turned toward mobile devices like tablets and manufacturers have raced to meet customer expectations.

Industry tracker Gartner found in preliminary results that the PC market has declined consistently for nearly two years. The decline of 10% in 2013 is the worst in the history of the industry with some manufactures being hit hard.

Lenovo was a winner among losers by maintaining a slim 2.1% growth rate over 2012 numbers. It shipped 52 million units in 2013, the results show.

The fact that the Lenovo device has a touch screen bodes well for consumer tastes, as the latest Microsoft operating system works best with touch.

"The share of PCs with touch interface also continues to grow, especially within the consumer segment," said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.


The ThinkPad 8 tablet also targets the premium market with an aluminium case and connects to a keyboard to play in laptop mode.

The tablet has an 8 megapixel camera and a 21cm display. Content can be shared via Miracast technology or with the microHDMI port.

The device is powered by a quad core processor and is driven by Windows 8, and, unlike most of the competition, it features a USB 3 port as well as the ability to connect to LTE2 networks - SA has just begun rolling out LTE (Long Term Evolution).

By the end of last year, Lenovo had 16.9% of the global PC market.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch should be available in April and the ThinkPad 8 tablet should be on the shelves by May.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
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