After Lenovo bought out IBM's Thinkpad business, they began to tinker with the classic and famously immutable laptop designs: in small ways at first, and then in much larger ones. I buy a new Thinkpad every year (I promised myself a new laptop every year as a dividend from the savings when I stopped smoking) and the first decade's worth were practically perfect: they ran various GNU/Linux flavors without a hitch, the hard-drives were swappable in two minutes by removing a single screw, and the keyboard could be replaced without any tools in less than a minute.
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The Federal Trade Commission has announced a settlement with Lenovo over the 2015 revelation that the company pre-installed malware called "Superfish" on its low-end models, which allowed the company to spy on its customers, and also left those customers vulnerable to attacks from third parties, who could exploit Superfish's weakened security. Read the rest
Lenovo's Yoga Book is the most striking personal computer I've seen in years. More than the original iPhone, or Sony's X505, or the Messagepad, here's technology that seems a few years ahead of schedule. It's compact, attractive and thinner than anything else that might be called a laptop. Imagine two hinged pieces of black glass, one of which glows with the internet and the other with Okudagrams, and you have the Yoga Book. Read the rest
After failing to install Linux on a recent Lenovo laptop, a Reddit user claims to have received a short reply from Lenovo's support team: "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft." Read the rest
In "shut up and take my money, maybe" news, Lenovo's new Yoga Book makes Microsoft's Surface look like ENIAC. It's a cheap, unbelievably slim tablet computer, yet promises the genuine utility of a laptop by unusual means: a Wacom-powered touchpad that doubles as a keyboard. The Verge is so impressed its got a longread up already.
But it’s the other half of the Yoga Book that makes it special and different from the many tablets already out there. Where you might expect there to be a physical keyboard or even a second screen, instead Lenovo opted for a specialized, touch-sensitive panel. Open up the Yoga Book, and you’ll see a flat, black expanse. Dimly glowing lights outline a keyboard and trackpad, or you can tap a button and it switches into a pen-recognition mode, powered by Wacom technology. Because it’s a Wacom surface, you can even put a stack of paper on top of the panel and write notes with real ink that are instantly digitized. The panel is attached to the screen with a hinge comprised of 130 different pieces and can be rotated behind the display entirely, similar to how the keyboard on Lenovo’s Yoga laptop line works.
Whether this thing is worthwhile will come down to typing on that flat, glassy panel. There's a mention of "haptic feedback." Either they nailed it or they didn't—and it would be the greatest technical feat in this thing by far if they did. Read the rest
A factory refurbished Thinkpad shipped with Windows 7 and a scheduler app that ran once a day, collecting usage data about what you do with your computer and exfiltrating it to an analytics company. Read the rest