We are big fans of the Lenovo Yoga series of laptops around here. We’ve reviewed a lot of Yoga laptops and have generally walked away pretty impressed. In Lenovo’s latest press release from IFA, they’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the birth of the PC and the upgrades in the Yoga 920. The press release talks a bit about the event where inventor Douglas Engelbert demonstrated the mouse and WYSIWYG text and graphics editor in 1968. It of course finally segues into the new features of the 920.
The 920 build quality has always been a point of pride for Lenovo. That watch band style hinge is back and looks just as sexy as ever. Lenovo is adding better microphones so you can use Cortana more effectively. They’re also adding in the Lenovo Active Pen 2 with 4,096 levels of pen sensitivity. There’s also Thunderbolt 3 ports being added and a whole bunch more. Read the full press release below.
FULL PRESS RELEASE
The Yoga 920 Convertible Laptop: 50 Years in the Making
Late next year will mark the 50th anniversary of an event many consider the birth of the personal computer. In December 1968, inventor Douglas Engelbart took the stage at San Francisco’s now-defunct Brooks Hall and delivered what would come to be known as ‘The Mother of All Demos.’ For more than 90 minutes, Engelbart dazzled his audience with a live demonstration of a computer mouse, WYSIWYG text and graphics editor, collaborative networking, hyperlinking and video conferencing.1 All of these had never been seen before.
Years later, Engelbart would explain that he and his fellow engineers were focused not on improving the automation of computational processes but, instead, their augmentation.2 To be truly useful, Engelbart believed computers should empower their owners to use information in ways that were more natural and intuitive. This would give rise to still newer forms of thinking and technological innovation.
We’d like to think those early pioneers would be thrilled to see what that early commitment to improved human-machine interaction looks like in the form of the new Lenovo™ Yoga™ 920 convertible laptop. From a digital smart pen capable of capturing our creative potential with pen-on-paper sensitivity and realism to a voice-controlled digital assistant using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn from our habits; from biometric-level security that recognizes you from billions of other human beings to mixed reality virtualization and augmentation of our immediate environment and surroundings… the new Yoga 920 illustrates the increasingly natural interface between humans and our machines.
Voice: the most vital of human interactions
The global market for voice recognition is expected to be valued at $6.19 billion this year, likely to grow three times that by 2023.3 In fact, more than 60 million people, or fully one-fifth of the US population, is expected to use a voice virtual assistant like Cortana® at least once a month this year.4 Not only will voice recognition technology be part of smartphones and smart speakers, Lenovo is bringing voice recognition to its PCs, starting with the new Yoga 920.
The Yoga 920 is equipped with Cortana, a voice-activated personal digital assistant that helps you get things done more easily and quickly, whether at home, at work or on the go, that works with the laptop’s applications. Better yet, we’ve expanded the Yoga 920’s ability to recognize voice commands in standby mode and from up to 4 meters away with Cortana.5 So whether you’re busy making dinner or getting ready for work, you can use Cortana to easily add items to a shopping list, send an email, search the web, track packages, launch an application – and the list goes on because Cortana’s capabilities continue to expand.
Equally important, Cortana uses AI to learn from its owners, meaning that over time the Yoga 920 can use contextual awareness (where the user is the context) to proactively anticipate our needs and prescribe a solution. For example, Cortana uses location and trigger-based notifications to remind a Yoga 920 owner of a school PTA meeting or to pick up milk from a nearby store. Similarly, it uses machine learning to scan its owner’s emails and identify language that references a commitment. If the owner has promised to send a report to the boss, for example, Cortana will set a reminder to do just that – no user interaction required.
The pen is still mighter
Despite the growing popularity with voice response, many of the tasks people perform at the office or in school – particularly when it comes to creativity and production – still require a keyboard or pen. In the case of the Yoga 920, an optional Lenovo Active Pen 2 with 4,096 levels of pen sensitivity dramatically expands the creative and cross-application potential of the PC.
Offering pen-on-paper precision designed to give you no discernible lag, the Lenovo Active Pen 2 with Windows Ink lets you sketch and paint original schematics or annotate existing graphics and documents on the fly. Working on a presentation? Use the pen’s shortcut button to open and check email for any last-minute contributions from the team, sketch them into the presentation, add some color and annotations, then send – all without setting down the pen.
Recent research shows that students are better able to learn and express themselves with smart pens than through keyboard-generated content alone. Furthermore, students using digital pens “made more diagrams, constructed them correctly, and made more accurate inferences about the content displayed” than did those using a traditional pen or pencil.6 The bottom line: digital smart pens are good for computer users and serve as a great complement to the keyboard and mouse.
Power, packaging, and presentation
In addition to more intuitive input like pen and voice, the Yoga 920 has up to Intel’s newest 8th Gen Quad Core™ i7 processor, Windows® 10 OS, and twin Thunderbolt™ 3 ports – each of which support the world’s fastest data transfers and the most video bandwidth available on a single cable, while supplying power.7 Adding to its performance is the convenience of an integrated fingerprint reader and Windows Hello™ for secure, instant biometric authentication.
Yoga’s signature watchband hinge offers incredible user flexibility, including typing in laptop mode, presenting in stand mode, browsing in tablet mode, or watching videos in tent mode.
When it comes to videos, the Yoga 920 arrives with a nearly bezel-less 4K IPS touchscreen offering dazzling visuals that bely its 13.9-inch size. Coupled with Dolby Atmos’ powerfully moving audio that flows above and around you when listening through headphones,8 the Yoga 920 offers immersive entertainment the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Those looking for even more immersive experiences on their Yoga 920 can plug in a Lenovo Explorer immersive headset for Windows Mixed Reality to try vivid virtual travel and gaming too.9
These premium features carry over to the Yoga 920’s design as well. Weighing in at just 1.37 kg (3.02 lbs) and an ultra-thin 13.95 mm (0.55 in), its case is all-metal unibody in distinctive platinum, copper or unique bronze color choices.10 We are particularly excited to bring to customers limited edition Gorilla® Glass cover designs: Yoga 920 Vibes, Star Wars™ Special Edition Yoga 920 Rebel Alliance and Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Galactic Empire.10
From past to present
When Engelbart gave his presentation, computers were massive, costly and largely irrelevant to a majority of the human population. Fast forward 50 years later, another technology visionary, Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yuangqing Yang said, “Today we are standing at the beginning of the fourth revolution [that] will transform how we work and live – in ways that no one could imagine in the 18th century – or even 18 months ago… It is Intelligent Transformation – a transformation that is driven by big data, cloud and AI.”
By incorporating voice recognition with AI capabilities, smart pen functionality, mixed reality options, biometric security, and other tools that empower users to make the most of their innate individual and collective potential, we believe PCs like the new Yoga 920 embody what Engelbart and his team set out to create so many years ago.
1 “The click heard around the world,” Wired, January 2004: https://www.wired.com/2004/01/mouse/
2 “40 years of icons: the evolution of the modern computer interface,” The Verge, March 2013: https://www.theverge.com/2013/3/21/4127110/40-years-of-icons-the-evolution-of-the-modern-computer-interface
3 “Speech and Voice Recognition Market Global Forecast to 2023,” Markets and Markets, 2016: http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/speech-voice-recognition.asp
4 “Alexa, say what?! Voice-enabled speaker usage to grow nearly 130% this year,” eMarketer, May 2017: https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Alexa-Say-What-Voice-Enabled-Speaker-Usage-Grow-Nearly-130-This-Year/1015812
5 Cortana with far-field voice-recognition technology supports up to 4 meters away and in standby mode, requires Windows 10 Fall Creators Update which will automatically update starting October 17, 2017.
6 “Pen? Keyboard? Voice? Touch? Computer interfaces and their impact on learning” Sharon Oviatt: https://msp2l1160225102310.blob.core.windows.net/ms-p2-l1-160225-1023-13-assets/Microsoft_Computer_interfaces_and_their_impact_on_learning_widescreen_en-US.pdf
7 Thunderbolt FAQs: https://thunderbolttechnology.net/tech/faq
8 Dolby Atmos on Yoga 920 requires Windows 10 Fall Creators Update which will automatically update starting October 17, 2017.
9 Mixed reality requires Windows 10 Fall Creators Update which will automatically update starting October 17, 2017. Also requires purchase of a Lenovo Explorer immersive headset for Windows Mixed Reality and Type-C to HDMI adapter.
10 Cover designs and color options may vary by geography and may only be available in selected markets. Bronze color option is not offered by any other convertible on the market based on Lenovo’s internal analysis of as of August 1, 2017 of 13-inch or greater 2-in-1 convertible laptops using Windows sold by major competitors shipping >1 million units worldwide annually.
11 Prices may not include tax and do not include shipping or options and are subject to change without notice; additional terms and conditions apply. Reseller prices may vary. On-shelf dates may vary by geography and products may only be available in selected markets. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings, features and specifications at any time without notice.