ThinkPad 13 With Windows 10 Pro

 

A few weeks ago, I was the recipient of a ThinkPad 13 Ultrabook in the traditional ThinkPad black color. I’m like a kid on Christmas Morning when Lenovo sends me review units.


Out of the box, I noticed the ports. 3 USB ports is definitely a plus.


Lenovo states:
“The ThinkPad 13 is built to military specifications, and can withstand punishing treatment – humid environments, extreme temperatures, sustained vibration, dust, fungus, solar radiation, and more. Intel® security features and optional vPro step up protection and enhance manageability when deploying upgrades. And a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip further encrypts your critical information. The ThinkPad 13 is also available with fingerprint reader*, so the swipe of your finger becomes your password.*Fingerprint reader not available on silver model.”


I’m not in the military, but I have been putting it through the paces in my outdoor office area.

Specs for this ThinkPad 13

Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-6300U Processor with vPro™
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Graphics: Intel® Integrated Graphics
Webcam: 720p Camera
Memory: 8074 MB Usable Installed
Storage: 526.76 GB
Audio: 3.5 mm Combo Audio / Realtek High Definition Speaker and Microphone
Display: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 220 nits
Dimensions (W x D x H): 12.68″ x 8.78″ x 0.78″ (inches)/ 322 x 223 x 19.8 (mm)
Weight: 3.2 lbs (1.4 kg)
Military Specs: 12 military-grade requirements
Keyboard: Standard 6-row
Ports: 3 x USB 3.0
1 x USB-C
Full-size HDMI™
OneLink+
DC-in
3.5 mm Headphone / Microphone
4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
WiFi: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC(2×2) 8260 vPro
Bluetooth®: Bluetooth® 4.1
Security: TPM encryption and fingerprint reader (black model only)
Pre-Installed Lenovo Software (Utilities): Lenovo Companion and Settings App

I was disappointed that the ThinkPad 13 has no backlit keyboard, but considering that it is a budget laptop that is understandable. However, its comfortable, responsive ThinkPad keyboard and other features are a plus, so I can overlook the lack of backlighting.

As to my personalized setup, I chose to install 2016 Office Professional Plus, rather than using the trial or activating the Student & Home edition that had been pre-installed. Windows 10’s resident Defender along with Malwarebytes Pro 3 have been doing well for me on my other Lenovo products, so I decided to stay with those and a few other small security applications. Now that we have OneDrive, transferring personal files has been a breeze.

Lenovo has advertised that the ThinkPad 13’s battery will provide up to 11 hours of power. I was able to work for 9+ on a single charge. That’s still amazing.
The ThinkPad 13 awaits the Windows 10 Creators Update. At the time of this writing, it has not been listed at Lenovo as being one of the tested models for this update. I’m sure that it will be added to the list soon.  For more on that see: https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht503655

The fact that this ThinkPad is a “Signature Edition” saved me from having to remove some of the extras that I don’t need. At this point Lenovo Companion is still included to help with system information, hardware scans and software updates. However, while Companion may be a convenience for owners I had to deal with popup notifications requesting that I enter Lenovo’s Rewards program. While some folks may like that, in my case, I opted to disable notifications via Windows 10 settings.  In addition to the Rewards popup, Companion’s “Discover” feature showing various accessories, may seem to some users to be a bit like adware. I am hoping that Lenovo will rethink those components in the future.



I noticed that one of the Lenovo Shopping pages shows that the ThinkPad 13 is sold out. I hope that is only temporary because it’s been a great little ultrabook during my use. Even though the ThinkPad 13 was introduced in 2016, it still measures up to the needs of business users – commuters, especially. If you are fortunate enough to have one, you are a lucky person. For the price it has great performance, features, and reliability.

Bugbatter

Disclosure: Lenovo sent me the ThinkPad 13 as part of the Lenovo INsiders program and did not provide additional compensation. All opinions are my own.

ThinkPad T470s With Windows 10 Pro Signature Edition for 2017

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Several weeks prior to CES 2017 Lenovo sent me a pre-production ThinkPad T470s to review.

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The T470s arrived with a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Pro installed. Signature Edition PC’s are those without programs, toolbars, utilities, and screensavers that may be unwanted by the customer. This has been referred to by some as “bloatware”. Instead of Lenovo’s installing time-limited free trials for third-party software a Signature Edition results in a cleaner, faster experience for the customer. This also applies to an antivirus solution because the Signature Edition PCs ship with Windows Defender, Microsoft’s own antivirus/antispyware software that is included as part of Windows 10.

A couple of new features on the new ThinkPad are its processor, a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 “Kaby Lake” 7200U, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. The unit that I received for testing was without some of the optional features such as backlighting for the keyboard and a touchscreen, but all things considered, I was still able to experience the excellent T470s portability and performance. The T470s is perfect for business users who work on the go or for times when they take time off to enjoy music and movies. Mobile users who regularly work out of the office, having to rely on cloud services and portable devices will enjoy the T470s. With its fast LTE-A (4G) connectivity, if they are out of WiFi range, the T470s is easily able to access cloud data and apps.

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Lenovo gives users a choice of a silver or black exterior. The one I tested was black. People who are diehard classic ThinkPad users may need to get used to Lenovo’s modern keyboard. These Kaby Lake ThinkPads have a so-called “Precision Touchpad”.  New users will find the modern keyboard and trackpoint with accompanying trackpad easy to use.

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Pictured above are the sides showing the ports. I was glad to see that ThinkPad kept the “Kensington” type slot (not shown) on the right side. In addition to that, notice the array of ports: two USB 3.0 ports/ HDMI port /3.5 mm audio jack/ Ethernet port / SD card reader / Smart Card reader as well as the Thunderbolt 3 port.

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As the image of the bottom of the case shows, there is ThinkPad’s “emergency reset hole” on the left and center, a “Power Bridge” .

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Hardware Specs Provided By Lenovo:
PRODUCTIVITY
Operating System Up to Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
Processor Up to Intel® Core™ 7th gen i7-7600U
Storage Up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Memory Up to 24 GB DDR4 Memory
Audio Dolby® Audio™ Premium
Camera HD 720p Camera Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 620
Battery Up to 10.5 hours*

CONNECTIVITY
I/O ports 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ45 , 1 x Headphone & Microphone combo jack, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.0 (powered), 1 x Intel® Thunderbolt 3, 1 x Media Card Reader (4-in-1) (SD, MMC, SDHC, SDXC), 1 x Mechanical Docking Port, 1 x Smart Card Reader (selected models)
WLAN Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth® 4.1 Intel® 8260 (2 x 2 AC) and Bluetooth® 4.1 Intel® Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265 (WiGig + WiFi 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth®4.1) vProTM
WWAN Integrated Mobile Broadband 4G LTE-A (Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X7 LTE-A (Sierra Wireless EM7455)) Integrated Mobile Broadband 4G LTE-A (Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X7 LTE-A (Sierra Wireless EM7430))
WiGig Intel® WiGig Douglas Peak 18260 Comb

DESIGN
Display 14” FHD (1920 x 1080), 250 nit, IPS 14” WQHD (2560 x 1440), 300 nit, IPS
Dimensions (W x D x H) 331 mm x 226.8 mm x 18.8 mm / 13.03” x 8.93” x 0.74”
Weight 2.90 lbs / 1.32 kg
Colors Black / Silver

SECURITY
dTPM 2.0
Touch fingerprint reader option

To quote Lenovo: “From an everyday user to an IT technician, these business laptops make life (and work) easier for everyone.

Bugbatter

Lenovo Forum Advocate / Lenovo INsider

 

Lenovo YOGA Mouse Review

 

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After I received a YOGA Mouse for testing I was inclined to title this review, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”, but that one has already been taken so I had to come up with something else. Nevertheless, I’ll do my best to relate my journey with YOGA Mouse on YOGA 900 and ThinkPad Helix – both running Windows 10 Pro.

First of all, the specs:
Supports either Bluetooth 4.0 or 2.4GHz wireless connection
Adaptive touch display in flat mode to provide additional control for presentation and entertainment
Multilayer adaptive touchpad
1 month battery life from 2 hours charge
Ultra slim, 13.5mm design
180 degree rotatable hinge 4 colors options

Additional information and current pricing: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/itemdetails/GX30K69565/460/0E80436C80A748E6AA76791FC42C9CA3

When the YOGA Mouse arrived in its beautiful presentation box, it was easy to notice how nicely it would coordinate with my champagne gold YOGA ultrabook.

oob

It took me a few minutes to figure out how to free the device from its packaging though, but once that was accomplished the mouse was ready for charging. One plus for the mouse is that no batteries are needed. According to instructions provided in the Quick Start Guide, the Yoga Mouse can be charged using the included USB charging cable. However, for the new user it is not clear exactly how to accomplish this. One assumes that it is to be connected to a computer. All of my USB ports were occupied at the time, so I experimented with using the regular wall charger/adapter provided with my Yoga 900 ultrabook. That seemed to work. Charging took about an hour.

recharge

After charging and pressing the ON button, I had several options: Wifi mode, Bluetooth Mode, PC Mode, and Presentation Mode. I tried Wifi mode to make sure the receiver was working. Worked like a charm! However, I feel that for traveling, for many users Bluetooth is the most convenient. I replaced the receiver back to its notch inside the mouse and got busy pairing YOGA 900 and YOGA Mouse. I worked for an hour or so on the initial charge, but re-charged in order to be ready for the next day.

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The following day, I decided to try my hand at creating some November-December theme watchfaces for the Moto 360 watch.

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That went well for about an hour, but the mouse stopped responding before I was finished. I am not sure whether that was because of the online Facer application, or whether there was a disconnect between mouse and computer. Since then I have had a mouse disconnect while using Facebook chat. On the other hand, when in Wifi mode with the receiver (as opposed to Bluetooth), the YOGA mouse was quite quick and responsive. I’ve been using it in that mode for my artwork and fast-moving chat since then.
When I used the mouse on my ThinkPad Helix in both Wifi and Bluetooth modes for hours there were no disconnects. YOGA Mouse seemed to fly along with a rapid response to whatever the task at hand.

Pros
Great presentation
Beautiful color
Receiver conveniently “lives” safely inside the mouse for traveling so it won’t be lost
Bluetooth compatible
Rechargeable – Batteries not necessary
Stays on task for documents, forum and social media

Cons
Lack of detailed charging instructions in Quick Start Guide. There is mention of what to do, but the “how” is missing.
Bluetooth Mode had trouble staying connected when used with YOGA 900 / Windows 10 Pro.

Conclusion
The fact that the YOGA Mouse can be recharged, is an outstanding feature. That combined with the fact that it is compact and light makes it a good choice for business travelers and casual users.

 

 

 


 

A Comparison: Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro and Yoga 900

by Colin J
Junior Tech Reporter

 

AuthorColinWJPG

My name is Colin. I am in Third Grade. This is my first written technology review.  I received a Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro for Christmas 2015.  I borrowed a Yoga 900 so that today for my review I can compare my Yoga 3 Pro with the Yoga 900.

Modes:
900 ModesPhoto courtesy of Lenovo

Both Yogas in this review have Laptop Mode, Stand Mode, Tablet Mode, and Tent Mode.

Size:
Thin
Photo courtesy of Lenovo

The Yoga 900 is slightly smaller than my Yoga 3 Pro. Both are very thin.
The 900’s width dimension is 12.75″ and the Pro 3 is 13″ wide.

Colors:
900colorsPhoto courtesy of Lenovo

My Yoga 3 Pro is orange. The 900’s colors are orange, gold, or silver.

Display:
The screen display on the 900 is sharp so everything on it looks like the real thing. It seems about the same as the Yoga 3 Pro.

Keyboard:900-13-keyboard-7
Photo courtesy of Lenovo

The touchpad on the 900 has a reflective edge design around it. Keys are flat with some curve. The backlit keyboard on the 900 is not as bright as on my Yoga 3 Pro.

Hinge:900-13-gold-hinge-detail-6
Photo courtesy of Lenovo

The watchband hinge on the 900 comes in the color of the Yoga that you order, but the Yoga 3 Pro’s hinge is always silver.
Hinge demoWMR

Speed:
The Yoga 3 Pro seems a little bit faster and more powerful
[Editor’s Note: depending on the processor ordered and other variables]. Both models have SD card readers.

Battery:
The 900 has a longer lasting battery than the Yoga 3 Pro.

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I am enjoying my Yoga 3 Pro, but I REALLY  like the Yoga 900 in silver and gold.
The Yoga 3 Pro is no longer for sale at Lenovo’s Shopping Page. You can see the 900 at Lenovo or at your local Best Buy.
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/yoga/900-series/yoga-900-13/

Shopping_Yoga900

Lenovo Yoga 900 With Windows 10 Pro

 

It is always exciting to receive a package from Lenovo containing something new to review.

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The box was not much larger than a ream of copy paper, but what was inside the presentation box was a real beauty: a new Champagne-colored Yoga 900.

yoga 0penBox

I love the exterior colors and details, from the Champagne-colored case and famous watchband hinge to the platinum-colored logos and trackpad trim. As I learned with my Yoga 3 Pro, the hinge, allowing for laptop, tablet, stand, and tent modes is a design exclusive to Lenovo.

Yoga OpenBox_10 Start

A few specs:
The Yoga 900 is the world’s thinnest Intel Core 1 convertible at 14.9mm, 1.29kg. It can be ordered with up to 16 GB RAM.
The unit that I received had the following:
2.60 gigahertz Intel 6th gen Intel Core CPU i7-6500U
Intel HD Graphics
8098 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
6 row keyboard that includes a dedicated Function row. This has been improved for better productivity.
PCI SSD technology 256.06 GB
Ports: 2xUSB3.0, 1xDC-in with USB 2.0 function, 4in1 card reader (SD,MMC,SDXC,SDHC),
Watchband hinge seems to have more tension and moves better between modes.
Display: 3200×1800 QHD+ IPS with touch capability
Webcam: 720p, 30FPS
Dimensions: 324 x 325 x 14.9 mm
JBL Speakers with Dolby Home Theater v4
While the Yoga 900 is 14% thicker than my Yoga 3 Pro, it has 50% more battery density to provide an estimated 9 hours of battery real life use, as compared to fewer hours on the previous generation.
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The following are pre-installed applications that can be used or removed based on the needs of the user:

Windows 10 Pro
Lenovo applications:
One Key Recovery
Lenovo Utility
CCSDK
Lenovo Experience Improvement
Lenovo Companion
Lenvo Photo Master
Lenovo SHAREit
Lenovo REACHit
Lenovo Solution Center
Lenovo User Guide
McAfee Security
There was also a trial of Microsoft Office on the Yoga 900. I configured things to my liking, removed the Office trial and installed Microsoft Office 16 Pro Plus. Following that I installed my security applications, and my old Jasc PaintShop Pro 8.1 that was developed way back in the day for Windows XP. I was surprised to see that even though there are some processes that it cannot do on Windows 10, it will meet my needs for now. Ever since PSP Pro version 7 I have been a PSP user for 15 years. However, for the professional artist or power user it would be advisable to move up to a more recent version – perhaps Corel PaintShop Pro X or later, Adobe PhotoShop, or one of the applications reviewed here: http://graphic-design-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

I did not have any pending art projects, so I decided to try my hand at hacking the Lenovo logo with PaintShop Pro. It served me well on Windows 10 and with Yoga’s 3200 x 1800 display the images were crystal clear. I really prefer working on Yoga because of that, as opposed to using another laptop that has a non-glare screen.

Artwork_PrtSc

As one who has a tendency to spend too much time on artwork, and knowing that we were a few days into Fall, I decided to combine the modes of Yoga with some gardening and a shopping trip to find Fall flowers for the yard. If the Yoga had included a digitizer it may have made the job even easier — perhaps in a future version. I scanned a landscaping plan for my garden and combined that with my shopping list before making the trip to one of the best garden centers in the state.

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Off we went to the garden center and greenhouse.

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It was really convenient to have Yoga’s screen along to view both the list and plans at the same time — something that would have more difficult on my phone’s small screen.

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After making my selections, Yoga and I returned home to work on some work in the garden and some fresh potting projects.
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Shopping with the conveniences of Yoga 900 and Windows 10 was great fun. I am looking forward to finding more projects for the modes of Yoga.

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The Innovative ThinkPad Stack

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Several days ago Fed Ex arrived at my door with another of Lenovo’s creative and extremely functional products to review.  This time it was the ThinkPad Stack that was a big hit at CES 2015.

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 The Stack or “Kit” is formed by up to four different interlocking units that can be switched to meet the needs of the user. The modules can be used independently of the others. Therefore, each person’s mix-and-match setup may be slightly different. The magnetic design contains four components: a 2×2 watt Bluetooth speaker with noise-canceling microphone; a dual port 10,000 mAh power bank that can charge two USB devices simultaneously and provides power for the rest of the Stack’s modules; a 1 terabyte portable USB 3.0 external HDD, and an access point to connect to mobile data.

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 Setup and use is fairly easy. However, for the photo above, I positioned each module as pictured on the cover of the presentation box.

As soon as I read the instructions I learned that if used wirelessly (remotely) that the router and the hard drive should be together in whatever configuration they are used. Three scenarios are pictured in the hardcopy user manual, and two in the online .pdf as shown in the images below.Capture 40

 I decided to proceed slowly, by testing the Stack’s components with their USB cords. However, the more I thought about it the more the wireless approach made more sense. I eliminated the cables by following instructions in the user guide, downloading the software from Lenovo, and I was ready to maximize my productivity on the go. The ThinkPad Stack Assistant for Windows, iOS, or Android manages the Stack’s components. Downloading and installing it is very easy. Should there be a problem with the software, uninstalling and reinstalling the Assistant is straight forward.

The Power Bank takes a while to charge to 100% so for the business traveler I suggest making sure it is charged ahead of the time when it is to be used, or remembering to pack the charger and cord for the trip. All can be kept in the handy bag provided with the Stack.

IMG_2575 30_ wr

 So far I have used the Power Bank to power the Stack and to charge my phone; the HDD for backing up data; and of course, the Router.

As far as possibilities for Lenovo to consider and suggestions for future Stack modules, I think a projector would be handy.

I look forward to the Stack’s functionality and mobility to help get the most out of my productivity at the home office and on the go.

ThinkPad X240s: Durable Build and Good Battery Life

From the unboxing through the test drive and beyond, there is no doubt about it. This thin, light (2.84 lb.), durable ultrabook is perfect for the mobile business user.

unbox

Anyone taking a quick glance at the ThinkPad X240’s exterior might mistake it for an X1 because of its similar size, shape,  and smooth body.
x240 compare1

By comparing profiles could the X240 on the right be differentiated because it is slightly thicker than the X1. x240 compare2

 

After I received X240s from Lenovo for testing, I updated its Windows 8 Pro to 8.1 in order to make it more user friendly.  A full charge of the battery gave me 7 hours of battery life.  The X240s review unit featured the substantial ThinkPad “Chiclet” keyboard with great key travel.
X240 laptop

As with my X1 ThinkPad, the X240 also was able lie flat in order to share the screen with a colleague sitting or standing next to me.
x240 flat

The trackpad was buttonless “multi-touch” which some diehard TP fans might not like, but with practice I was able to adapt.

As far as other specs, the unit that I tested had a 500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm, 2.5″; 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4300U Processor (3MB Cache, up to 2.90GHz); 12.5” Anti-glare Touch(1366 X 768) LED Backlit display- good for a mobile device; 7 hr. (2 internal batteries); microphone; stereo speakers: Dolby® Home Theater®
Ports: 2 USB 3.0, miniDisplayPort w/ audio, SD card reader (card inserts completely), full size VGA and Ethernet; security slot; UltraNav TrackPoint; Fingerprint Reader; Intel Single Band Wireless 7260BN with Bluetooth 4.0.

The solid performance and durable design of this ultrabook make this ThinkPad model an ideal choice for a power user or business traveler.

Yoga My Way: Remodeling A Kitchen

Twitter_smBack in December, my Microsoft Windows 8.1 Yoga Tablet 2, nicknamed “Tab”, helped with appliance, counter, and flooring decisions for a kitchen upgrade.

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When Lenovo sent the Yoga Tablet’s sibling, a Clementine Orange Yoga 3 Pro, to me for a Yoga My Way project, it almost jumped out of the box onto the table. It seemed fitting that my first orange ultrabook’s name should be “Clementine”. The timing was perfect for her to document the construction work in the kitchen.unboxJPG

Clementine spied the first contractors bright and early the next morning.
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Clementine supervised and gave the Yoga Family a photo commentary of progress.wp counter

The project was looking good, but we had to wait for the plumber and floor installers to finish.
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Clementine and little brother, Tab, were good helpers. It was time to treat them to something special.  We went shopping and chose a shiny new stylus.
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After we returned home from our shopping trip, Clementine and I shared a snack as we planned for more Yoga My Way adventures.
orange crushCR

Yoga 3 Pro Specs:

OS: Windows 8.1 (x64) (build 9600)
Processor: 1.30 gigahertz Intel Processor 5Y70
Memory: 8.0GB DDR3L 1600 MHz
Hard Drive: LITEON IT L8T-256L9G [Hard drive] (256.06 GB)
Network Card: Lenovo AC Wireless (2×2)
Display: 13.3″ QHD+ LED Glossy Multi-touch with integrated camera (3200×1800)
Bluetooth: Version 4.0
Microphone: (Realtek High Definition Audio)
Speakers: (Realtek High Definition Audio)
Battery: Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery
Battery Life Up to 7.2 hours with standard battery
Ports 2 USB 3.0, 1 DC-in with USB 2.0 function, 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC), micro-HDMI out, audio combo jack

See the Yoga 3 Pro and Yoga Tablet 2 at Lenovo.

How would you use Yoga your way?

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