Lenovo is one of those companies who has had a lot of success with Windows and their CES 2015 displays reinforce their commitment to the platform. Did you also know that Lenovo has a joint venture with the Japanese computer brand NEC? Normally, Lenovo keeps those NEC devices in their native market in Japan, but even they could not resist the LaVie.
What is the LaVie? Just a 2 pound 13-inch Ultrabook with a Core i7 processor and QHD+ touch display. Even better is the fact that Lenovo will be releasing this absurdly light Ultrabook in North America come this May. Read on for our notes.
- 13.3-inch IPS QHD
- Intel Core i7 (Broadwell, 5th generation)
- 8 GB RAM
- 128 GB Storage
- 2.04 lbs. (0.92 kg)
- Up to 8 hours battery life
- Flip design (tent and tablet mode)
How did they do it?
The NEC LaVie, which will be branded under Lenovo's name in the US and elsewhere, is made from a Magnesium-Lithium alloy. Yes, that means it is metal, but you would not be able to tell when holding it. Indeed it feels as light as plastic, but much more sturdy. For instance, there is no flex or bend in the device's chassis.
I do not want to mince words here: when you first pick up the LaVie, you think it is a dummy device with no 'guts' on the inside. Instead, it is a fully functional laptop with a Core i7 on the inside! I used an exclamation point because at the very least I thought this would be an underpowered Core M with a fanless design. Instead, this thing packs one of the most powerful mobile processors around.
Touch and Non-Touch
Even though the touch version of the LaVie is light, there is also a non-touch option that is 1.9 pounds (0.86 kg) that may also be brought to market. Increasingly, manufacturers are offering both as options to consumers, and I like that a lot. For one, not everyone likes touch displays and if you can lower the price point and add battery life, why not offer that as a choice?
How good will it be?
NEC is a very well-known company in Japan, which is why Lenovo bought them. However, here in the West, their laptops are not at all common. As such, we will have to reserve judgment until this thing hits this May to see if it fits the bill. The good news is since Lenovo is taking over this project from NEC, so if you like Lenovo, you will probably like this hardware.
Pricing is still undetermined, but expect this to come in the higher-end of Ultrabooks, not the lower. That could put this laptop up north of $1600 for the Core i7 version, or even more. Still, once you feel this thing in your hands, do the double-take and think about how much easier this will be to carry around in the city, you may reconsider.
Windows Central will, of course, keep you posted on future developments of this fascinating device.
Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Lenovo "owned" NEC. In fact, it is a joint-venture with a 51% of the stake being held by Lenovo.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.