Rumor: Lenovo working on a Windows RT convertible tablet

Lenovo  is no stranger to the convertible tablet space. The company has been cranking out business-class ThinkPad tablets which shift from tablet to laptop mode for years. And later this year the company plans to launch a Windows 8 laptop called the IdeaPad Yoga which has a screen that you can push back nearly 360 degrees until it’s resting on the keyboard, allowing you to use the computer like a tablet.

Now it looks like the company may also be working on a Windows RT convertible tablet with a similar design.

 

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

The Wall Street Journal reports that Lenovo is working with NVIDIA to produce the computer. It will run Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system, which is basically a stripped down version of Windows 8 designed to run on devices with ARM-based processors.

Windows 8 and Windows RT are both set to launch in late October, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see this new Lenovo tablet before then.

Lenovo’s convertible tablet won’t only be competing with similar products from other PC makers. It will also go up against Microsoft’s Surface tablet — the first tablet computer Microsoft is manufacturing and selling under its own name.

via The Verge

  • George Sandoval

    I doubt that Win RT tablets will take off. They’re a no man’s land type product. The ARM CPUs are still too wimpy for desktop grade work, and even the latest incarnations aren’t anywhere near the capability of the latest Atom products.

    • jm2c

      I think the WinRT tablets are aimed toward the people who buy iPads. People who mainly use it to browse web sites, listen to music and check email. For those types of tasks WinRT should work ok, though it remains to be seen how well it performs.

      I also believe Microsoft is banking on their new development framework. They expect Windows 8 to sell a lot. Windows is still the major OS and with that volume they expect developers to develop apps for Don’t-call-it-Metro. Those apps will carry over to WinRT tablets. How that ends up is anyone’s guess, but as a developer it’s obvious to see what they are hoping devs will do.

  • timmymac

    @George: I agree that WinRT will (or at least should) be doomed to failure. The only reason to choose WIndows over Android or Linux is to be able to run legacy Windows software, or because the interface is familiar for the user. Neither of these apply to WinRT for people coming from Windows 7.
    I do have to disagree about the Arm processors though. I just bought an Asus Infinity tablet and it’s quite speedy and multitasks efficiently. While I don’t have a current generation Atom laptop to compare with, the Infinity is meeting my needs quite admirably. Without Windows, I might add! ;)

    • CyberGusa

      Yes, the top of the line ARM chips are rivaling Intel ATOMs. Though whether that stays the case next year remains to be seen as Intel is coming out with the 22nm Silvermont update, which combines another FAB shrink with the first major architectural update since the ATOM was first introduced.

      So potentially it could mean as big a update as say if ARM had gone straight from Cortex A8 to A15 and skipped A9 altogether. Though even if it turns out to be less than that they’re going to update again in 2014 with the 14nm Airmont update.

      Meawhile, Medfield proved good enough to hold its own against dual core 1GHz Cortex A9 devices and the upcoming Clover Trail is basically a dual core version that also should be clocked a bit faster.

      Basically, the Medfield is a single core ATOM clocked at 1.3GHz (1.6GHz with Burst Mode). While the Clover Trail is replacing the Oak Trail for a probably 1.5GHz dual core solution.

      Both are SoC designs and Clover Trail is getting similar power optimizations as Medfield introduced. So we can likely expect pretty close to ARM like run times.

      While performance may not exceed top of the line ARM but being able to run x86 software and generally being more flexible should still give them at least a small edge until the next gen 22nm Silvermont can come out by med 2013.

      As for WinRT, mind that they’ll likely be used like netbooks and Metro apps can be configured to run from WP8 on up to full Windows 8. So depends on how popular and useful those cross compatible apps will be.

      You don’t really need to do everything you can with a more power system when on the go after all and having something a bit more useful than a Smart Phone can be a viable product category.