Lenovo announces 9 new ThinkPad laptops ahead of CES 2017

CES 2017 begins next week, and Lenovo seems prepared for the oncoming storm; today, the company announced nine new laptops that are (mostly) refreshing the existing ThinkPad line-up.

The new laptops also include one convertible; these laptops cover the entire spectrum: from low-end to high-end.

There are some things common in all nine laptops: they all come with the 7th generation Intel Core processors, though Lenovo won’t confirm the exact models just yet; they also come with precision touchpads – thanks to Microsoft – and a bloatware-free “Signature Image” of Windows 10.

In addition to that, there’s also a discrete “Trusted Platform Module” for hardware-level security, and all of these laptops are rated for MilSpecs – the durability rating that must be passed for devices used at U.S. Department of Defence.

The Push

Lenovo is clearly pushing the boundaries with these announcements; the features mentioned above are a hint.

Inside these laptops, however, there’s something bigger; some of these laptops feature the brand-new Optane drives from Intel.

Optane is merely a brand name; these drives are built using the 3D Xpoint technology developed by a collaboration between Intel and Micron.

These memory chips can be ten times denser than regular DRAM, yet are non-volatile, and hence can store data. They are also good at doing that, as they are about one-thousand times faster and durable than regular flash storage.

For now, Lenovo is using the Optane drives for caching; it’s brand new technology, therefore expensive. This could also be a good trial run of these drives in the real-world.

There’s also an extensive push for USB-C and Thunderbolt 3; many of these laptops comes with these two technologies and can make use of the docks and displays announced by Lenovo today.

The Nine Laptops

ThinkPad Yoga 370

Let’s start with the only convertible released today; the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370 – much like its name – is a marriage between the ThinkPad and Yoga line-ups of Lenovo.

The convertible comes with a 13-inch 1080p FHD display, has touch and pen input support and a hinge that can “fold” the other way – making it a convertible.

Inside, is 16 GB of RAM, a 1 TB SSD, and support for Thunderbolt 3; the battery can last up to 10 hours, per Lenovo.

Lenovo plans to sell this thing for $1,264, starting from March 2017.

ThinkPad T470

Lenovo ThinkPad T470 also has two variants ThinkPad T470s and ThinkPad T470p, but let’s talk about what’s common between them before going into details.

The ThinkPad T470 comes with a 14-inch 1080p FHD display with touch support; the body is 20mm thick and weighs 3.49 pounds.

On the inside, there is 32 GB of RAM along with a 1 TB SSD and a discrete NVidia GeForce 940MX graphics card. This one also has the above-mentioned Intel Optane 16 GB cache drive.

Additionally, Lenovo has also packed in an IR Camera and a fingerprint reader – giving the laptop full support for Windows Hello.

Now for the variants, the ThinkPad T470s removes the discrete NVidia graphics card and relies on the integrated Intel graphics. The Intel Optane cache drive, fingerprint sensor, and IR camera are also removed, to make room for a WQHD display and a slimmer body. This also brings the weight down to 2.9 pounds.

On the other hand, the ThinkPad T470p increases the weight to 4 pounds and thickness to 24mm; the gain being a bigger battery that lasts 12 hours.

The ThinkPad T470 is expected to ship for $914 starting from February 2017, while the T470s will cost $1,099. The T470p, with its larger battery, will cost $1,049 and be on sale starting from March 2017.

ThinkPad T570

Lenovo’s ThinkPad T570 is something for those who prefer a bigger screen; packed with a 15.6-inch display, Lenovo is offering two options: 1080p FHD with touch support, or 4K UHD without touch support.

Inside it, Lenovo has squeezed in 32 GB of RAM, a 16 GB Intel Optane cache drive, a 1 TB SSD, and a battery that – Lenovo claims – can give 16 hours of battery life.

There’s also the inclusion of an IR Camera, and a fingerprint reader, for full Windows Hello support.

Lenovo plans on selling the T570 from March 2017, for the cost of $909.

ThinkPad L470

This one stands out from the crowd: Lenovo ThinkPad L470 is a laptop that comes out in 2017, with a VGA port. The laptop offers a 14-inch FHD IPS display, with two graphics cards: the integrated Intel one, along with an AMD Radeon R5 M430.

The laptop is somewhat on the heavy side, weighing 4.23 pounds. There’s also 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD on the inside. Optionally, you can add an Intel Optane cache drive as well.

Lenovo expects to sell this one starting from March 2017, at the price of $799.

ThinkPad L570

The Lenovo ThinkPad L570 is full of options – some of them quite outdated; with a 15.6-inch display, Lenovo is offering two options: a 1366×768 TN, or a 1080p FHD IPS display. The wise choice, of course, will be the latter.

The laptop weighs 5.25 pounds, has an optical drive, a dedicated number pad, 32 GB of RAM, and two options for storage: a 1 TB HDD, or a 512 GB SSD. Additionally, you can also get an Intel Optane cache drive as an option.

Lenovo claims 11 hours of battery life for this one and plans to start selling them beginning March 2017 for $809.

ThinkPad X270

Lenovo ThinkPad X270 is the lightest model announced today; at 2.9 pounds, the laptop offers HD IPS, FHD, or FHD with touch support options for the 12.5-inch display.

Inside, there’s 16 GB of RAM for memory and options for a 2 TB HDD or a 512 GB SSD for the storage. Lenovo also claims that this laptop can give up to a whopping 21.4 hours of battery life.

The price is $909, and Lenovo expects this laptop to hit the shelves by March 2017.

ThinkPad 13

Finally, the last laptop announced today. The cheapest option of them all, Lenovo ThinkPad 13 has a 13.3-inch FHD IPS display with touch support, an SD card reader, and 32 GB of RAM. For storage, there’s a 512 GB SSD.

The laptop weighs 3.17 pounds, and the thickness is at 19.1mm. ThinkPad 13 is expected to hit the stores by January 2017 and cost $674.

That’s a lot

These nine laptops should be able to satisfy the needs of almost every type of consumer. There’s a convertible, one with a number pad, and many with some revolutionary technology inside.

Lenovo’s focus on implementing Microsoft features like Windows Hello, Precision Trackpads, and extensive touch support, will help Microsoft push its software to even more consumers. The Signature Edition Windows 10 is a cherry on the top.

Technologies such as Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C are also gain some momentum with this refresh, especially considering the other announcement Lenovo made today.

The prices are fair; the specs are impressive. Someone just needs to test those battery life claims now. Hopefully, with an extensive review.

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