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.

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 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.


Disclosure: Lenovo sent me the Stack as part of the Lenovo Community Advocates program and did not provide additional compensation. All opinions are my own.

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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

Back 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.
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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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