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Posts tagged ‘Lenovo’

22
Sep

Some Lenovo PCs can’t run Linux


Lenovo just can’t seem to avoid troubles with its PC firmware. Linux users are worried that some of Lenovo’s PCs, such as variants of the Yoga 710 and Yoga 900, aren’t allowing them to install their preferred operating system. They note that the systems’ solid-state drives use a RAID mode that Linux doesn’t understand. That’s unpleasant enough, but Lenovo’s initial handling of complaints didn’t help. Its staff locked support forum threads discussing the topic, and a Lenovo Product Expert on Best Buy claims that a Yoga 900’s use of a pure, Signature Edition take on Windows 10 Home meant that it was “locked per our agreement with Microsoft.” If that was true, it’d be pretty damning — it’d suggest that at least some Signature Edition systems are purposefully set up to exclude non-Windows platforms.

But are they? Not so fast. In both a subsequent Best Buy comment and a statement to The Register, Lenovo says it “does not intentionally block” Linux or other operating systems on its computers. Linux compatibility is a matter of updating the OS kernel and drivers to recognize the SSD RAID configuration, the company says. This won’t be much comfort if you really, really want to run Ubuntu on your convertible PC, but it at least suggests that Lenovo isn’t trying to ruin your day.

We’ve asked both Lenovo and Microsoft for further takes on the situation, including whether or not there’s anything in the Signature Edition program that would make PC vendors clamp down. In response, Lenovo elaborated on its position in a new statement (below): it says the Yoga line demands “very specific, complex and unique drivers,” and not just the storage controller. Other features “would likely not work” with Linux, too. We’ll let you know if Microsoft has something to add about Signature Edition PCs, but it doesn’t look like any of its policies would change the reality for Lenovo buyers.

[Thanks, Dylan]

“As the world’s number 1 PC company, we continue to focus on bringing value to the PC user, and creating unique and innovative form factors such as Yoga. Our consumer Windows PCs are specifically designed for and extensively tested on Windows 10. Yoga 900 / 900S with their 360 degree hinges are specifically designed to maximise the touch functionality of Windows 10. Our Yoga design requires very specific, complex and unique drivers that require even greater amounts of testing, to ensure class-leading performance with Windows 10. To support our Yoga products and our industry-leading 360-hinge design in the best way possible we have used a storage controller mode that is unfortunately not supported by Linux and as a result, does not allow Linux to be installed. Beyond the controller setup limitation, other advanced capabilities of the Yoga design would likely not work with current Linux offerings.

“Lenovo does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems such as Linux on Yoga or any of its devices and is fully committed to providing Linux certifications and installation guidance on a wide range of suitable products. These products are listed on our support page:

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/documents/pd031426″

Via: The Register

Source: Best Buy, Reddit, Imgur, Lenovo

21
Sep

Lenovo’s sketch-ready Yoga Book ships on October 17th


When we first got our hands on Lenovo’s Yoga Book tablet, we found it to be more than just a Microsoft Surface imitator. The freeform touch field might make typing a bit to get used to, but it’s the ease of drawing on stylus or pen that makes it unique. As pre-orders open today for all models to ship out on October 17th, it remains unclear whether the novelty will be enough for the device to distinguish itself in a tanking tablet market.

The Yoga Book certainly has things going for it: At $500 for its Android version and $550 for Windows, it’s cheaper than the baseline iPad Pro and the Surface 3. Having a scribing tablet directly integrated will likely appeal to an artistic demographic more comfortable drawing on a Wacom-style pad than directly on the screen with an Apple Pencil. It even records your stylus sketches when the tablet is asleep, which should boost battery life at the expense of, well, not seeing what you’re writing or drawing.

But at the end of the day, the Yoga Book doesn’t have a keyboard. Despite haptic feedback in the pad and autocorrect in the Android version, our reviewer struggled to type accurately, and doubted Lenovo’s claim that it would take about two hours to adapt. If a user’s work depends on quickly and accurately getting words on a page, this might not be the tablet for them. Lenovo is betting big that the physical process of pen-to-pad has secretly been what many tablet users have secretly been missing. We’ll see whether it’s enough to carve market share away from Apple and Microsoft.

Source: 9to5 Google

13
Sep

It takes two: A visual history of dual-camera mobile phones


With the recent launches of the iPhone 7 Plus and the LG V20, the dual-lens smartphone camera is once again a hot topic. Of course, many other companies will want to remind you that they were there first, except some have long since given up on the technology. So what happened? And why isn’t this yet a standard feature on all flagship smartphones? For those intrigued, it’s worth taking a trip seven years back in time.

7
Sep

The £499 Moto Z and Moto Mod accessories come to the UK


This week may well be dominated by the launch of the new iPhone, but that doesn’t mean Apple’s smartphone rivals are holding things back. After a few months of US exclusivity, Lenovo has finally brought its super-customisable all-metal Moto Z to the UK.

The 5.5-inch quad HD smartphone is now available on the Motorola store for £499, offering a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 2600mAh battery with TurboPower charging and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. Oh, and it’s ditched the headphone jack in favour of a USB-C connector.

Like its predecessors, the Moto Z can be run through Lenovo’s Moto Maker service. However, if you’re looking to create a truly bespoke masterpiece, you’re going to be disappointed. Colour options are limited to White & Fine Gold or Black & Lunar Grey and there’s no scope to increase the onboard storage. The company does have an ace up its sleeve, though, and that’s Moto Mods.

Moto Mods are Lenovo’s answer to the LG G5’s swap-out modules. There are four magnetised modules — the Incipio offGRID Power Pack, JBL SoundBoost Speaker, Hasselblad True Zoom and Moto Insta-Share Projector — that attach to the back of the Moto Z and give it more battery, better sound or clearer optics. The accessories start at £60 and range up to £250.

It was only announced last week, but the mid-range Moto Z Play is also live on the Motorola store, although it is currently out of stock. The 5.2-inch £370 Android device houses an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 3GB of RAM, 16-megapixel camera and a 3,510mAh battery. More importantly, it does have a headphone jack.

If you put your order in today, your Moto Z should be with you by September 14th, just before the iPhone 7 hits stores. The Moto Z Play, on the other hand, should be widely available later this week.

Source: Moto Z

6
Sep

AMD ships its extra-efficient 7th-generation processors in PCs


While Intel is busy revamping its laptop processors, AMD is focused on the desktop side of personal computing. The chip designer has started shipping its 7th-generation A-series processors in desktop PCs, starting with machines from HP and Lenovo. The CPUs are based around as many as four Excavator cores, rather than the coveted Zen cores you’ve heard about lately, but that should still get you a lot of performance per watt. If you believe AMD, its 35- and 65-watt processors deliver the kind of speed that previously took over 90 watts — the A12-9800 is about as fast in a general computing benchmark (PCMark) as Intel’s Core i5-6500, and roughly twice as fast in graphics (3DMark) if you’re relying on integrated video.

As you might guess from the testing, visual performance plays a big role. On top of a newer DirectX 12-friendly graphics architecture, the new processors tout native video decoding for 4K video in both H.264 and H.265 formats, taking a large load off of your system while you’re watching Ultra HD movies.

The efficiency angle is a familiar one for AMD, and not surprising given that it’s the company’s main advantage. You’re still looking at higher-end Intel Core i5 and i7 chips if you’re focused on raw performance in a desktop. With that said, this may be worthwhile if you want a glimpse at AMD’s future. The 7th-gen A-series is the first processor line based on AMD’s new AM4 platform and the interfaces that come with it, including support for USB 3.1 and NVMe solid-state drives. At least some of the technology you see here will carry on for multiple hardware generations.

Via: VentureBeat

Source: AMD (1), (2)

6
Sep

The best of the rest at IFA 2016


Now that we’ve said goodbye to IFA 2016, it’s time to bring you highlights of the most interesting devices at the event. In this particular edition, you’ll find some that aren’t smartphones or wearables. We’re talking virtual reality massage chairs, fridges with built-in tablets, as well as adorable robots and drones. Acer’s ridiculous 21-inch gaming laptop is there too, along with its new convertible Chromebook. But that’s just part of it, so check out the slideshow and think about which items you want the most.

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

3
Sep

Hasselblad True Zoom Review


IMThe cameras in our smartphones are extremely versatile, to the point that many have ditched point and shoot cameras altogether, just because the performance and robust features set in smartphone cameras have exceeded their dedicated counterparts. Ironically, camera makers have been fighting back and have attempted on many occasions to encroach on the smartphone’s territory by coming out with eccentric accessories that try to deliver those DSLR-like qualities to smartphone cameras – like wide angle lens attachments, and even those dedicated lens modules that connect via Wi-Fi Direct. The problem with many of them is that they don’t necessarily attach seamlessly, often requiring unsightly tethers of some sort.

And then came the modular phone, which we’re inclined to say that Lenovo has perfected with its latest line of Moto Z smartphones.

The concept is brilliant with Moto Mods, as these accessories provide expanded functionality to smartphones. In fact, the latest one is a prime of example of how a renowned camera maker is once again fighting back for recognition by fashioning on a feature that’s not widely available to smartphone cameras – the optical zoom, for added range to get closer to shots.

The Hasselblad True Zoom is an attachment that adds a 10x optical zoom range for any of Lenovo’s Moto Z line of smartphones that are Moto Mods compatible, so think the Moto Z, Moto Z Force, and Moto Z Play.

Camera ergonomics in a smartphone

Attaching the Hasselblad True Zoom is a cinch, seeing that all that’s needed is to align the corresponding pins on the Moto Mod to those that are on the phone. Once that’s done, the magnetic connection ensures a tight grip, so that it can’t be easily removed by accident. When it’s attached to a phone, a Moto Z Play Droid in this instance, there’s no hiding the girth that’s tacked onto the phone in the process. It’s a beastly looking thing, making the phone’s overall thickness triple in size!

The beauty in Moto Mods, though, is that they don’t always need to be attached – only when a particular situation arises. Aesthetically, the Hasselblad True Zoom follows the styling of a traditional camera with its rubbery textured grip, Xenon flash, zoom controls, dedicated shutter key, and focus light assist. When it’s attached, it can be mistaken for a camera – not a smartphone with an accessory connected to it. The hefty size makes it impractical to discretely hide away in our pockets, but again we can’t stress enough about how Moto Mods are here for the convenience of the situation.

Our only qualms with the design is that it still lacks some controls and other conveniences we find in traditional cameras – like a tripod mount, a spot for a lanyard or something, and a ring control of sorts for manual focusing. These omissions indicate that the Hasselblad True Zoom isn’t necessarily targeting enthusiasts. Don’t get us wrong, the design is solid and super sturdy, but we would’ve liked to see more from a photo-centric accessory.

Hasselblad True Zoom Review 5

The specs are camera-phone caliber

Okay, we know what’s most outstanding about the Hasselblad True Zoom – its 10x optical zoom, which is something that few phones can attest to offer. Beyond that, and as we uncover its specs, it becomes more evident that we’re still dealing with specifications that are camera-phone caliber. Sorry folks, don’t think that it comes with a large sensor to match those found in today’s mirrorless or DSLR cameras.

Specifically, it features a 12MP 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor with 1.55um sized pixels, f/3.5-6.5 aperture lens, OIS for still shots, EIS for video, 2 microphones, Xenon flash, and up to 1080p video recording. The sensor size alone isn’t something worth bragging about, since there are phones out there, like the Panasonic CM1, that have even larger ones. And another glaring thing about the specs is how it tops out at 1080p resolution for video, which is a shame given that 4K is increasingly being adopted into mid-range phones, not just high-end or flagship ones.

Needless to say, the star of the show for the Hasselblad True Zoom is its 10x optical zoom. That’s better than some recent zoom-centric phones like the Asus Zenfone Zoom (3x zoom), so in that respect, there’s a level of versatility in being able to get close to the action – without having to be up close like that, of course.

Hasselblad True Zoom Review 17

The shooting experience

Activating the Hasselblad True Zoom is done by pressing on the dedicated button on its chassis, wherein it proceeds to launch the camera app. Our anticipation about using the Moto Mod is somewhat dashed when we realize that there’s not a whole lot to the camera app that we don’t already have in most phones. Yes, you can snap standard photos, adjust some controls using the manual setting, and even compose a panoramic, but we were expecting more. Instead, it’s lacking on some much-needed “fun” modes.

For photos, it’s nice to see that the OIS kicks in when the shutter key is pressed halfway, ensuring that the scene is as steady as possible to snap the shot. OIS really shows its worth the most when the zoom is at its maximum, mainly because even the slightest of movement can cause other cameras to become jittery. With this, however, there’s no concern because the OIS helps to compensate things for a steadier shot.

When it comes to videos, the EIS system in place desperately tries to adjust for the shake and jitter, but we find its approach to be delayed. You can easily see how it’s slower to react to the movements of us panning while walking with some of the footage. Now, this can possibly be attributed to the phone we’re using, a Moto Z Play Droid, since it doesn’t have what many would agree to be the most cutting-edge processor, but we’d be curious to see how it works with the Moto Z or Moto Z Force. That, of course, will depend on whether or not the processing is done by the phone, or locally by the Hasselblad True Zoom.

Zooming, that’s the one most defining perk of the Hasselblad True Zoom. This is useful if you’re trying to capture something in the distance, but not so much if you’re trying for a macro shot. The closest that the Hasselblad True Zoom can focus properely is about 1 meter in our experience, anythig less than that it won’t do.

Hasselblad True Zoom Review 3

How about the quality?

As we’ve mentioned already, there’s a 12MP camera in the Hasselblad True Zoom – while the Moto Z Play Droid we’re using it with has a 16MP one. Honestly, when it comes to standard shots when the zoom isn’t required, we find the quality of the Moto Z Play Droid’s camera to be superior. You can see for yourself in many instances how there’s more detail in its shots, while the Hasselblad True Zoom has a tendancy to be softer with washed out colors.

This is concerning right from the get-go, given that you’d expect better results from a photo-centric accessory like this. But then again, we’re not too shocked by this revelation because the specs of the Hasselblad True Zoom are very much on par to what we get in smartphone cameras. Obviously, its distinct advantage is its 10x optical zoom, which by itself is the only meaningful difference.

10x optical zoom with a hefty price

At the end of the day, we can say that the Hasselblad True Zoom is there for the convenience of zooming. Beyond that, however, we really can’t recommend it to replace the cameras in the Moto Z line – just because for standard shots, you get superior ones from the phones. And on top of that, it’s mind-boggling for us to believe that the Hasselblad True Zoom tops out at 1080p video recording.

Given the steep cost of the accessory, $250 if you’re buying through Verizon or a crazier $300 from Motorola directly, it faces an uphill battle in validating a purchase for it. Again, its only meaningful advantage is its 10x optical zoom, which few phones offer. The expense is really steep, making it hard for the average Joe to even fathom buying just to achieve such a lengthy zoom, but even worse is that it lacks the necessary tools and enhancements that could potentially entice enthusiasts to buy at that price.

2
Sep

The Engadget Podcast Ep 4: All Eyez On Me


Editors Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar join host Terrence O’Brien to talk about Intel’s latest CPUs, Dead or Alive’s controversial VR feature and Lenovo’s “innovative” take on the keyboard. Then the panel takes a look at Chris Brown’s standoff and how Instagram videos and Facebook Live fit into our modern media landscape.

Here are your Flame Wars leaderboards:

Wins

Loses

Winning %

Chris Velazco
3
1
.750
Devindra Hardawar
6
4
.600
Nathan Ingraham
3
4
.429
Cherlynn Low
3
4
.429

Relevant links:

  • Lenovo’s Yoga Book is part tablet, part sketch pad
  • Intel’s 7th generation Core CPUs will devour 4K video
  • ‘Dead or Alive’ VR is basically sexual assault, the game
  • Chris Brown turns to Instagram amid police standoff
  • Kim Dotcom hopes to livestream his extradition appeal
  • Kim Dotcom will be allowed to stream his extradition appeal

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

2
Sep

IFA 2016 warm-up: Pet treats, smartwatches and more


The IFA 2016 show floor doesn’t officially open until tomorrow, but companies didn’t wait to show off their new products in Berlin. Yesterday, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and Samsung announced a myriad of devices, including phones, smartwatches and hybrid laptops. There will be a lot more to see in the coming days, we’re sure of that. For now, here are some highlights from the event’s kick-off keynotes — and yes, of course we talked about the “Pawbo” pet accessories. Because why wouldn’t we?

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

1
Sep

We’re live from IFA 2016 in Berlin!


Like every year, we are back in Berlin for Europe’s biggest tech trade show, IFA. This year, as we previewed recently, expect to see many new devices from some of the usual suspects: Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sony and more. We’ve already checked out a number of fresh laptops, smartphones and wearables at the event, but that’s only the beginning since the show floor doesn’t open until Friday. Stay tuned, because there will be plenty of announcements to digest over the next few days. And you never know what kind of weird gadget we might find.

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

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