Lenovo Finally Gets it Right With Outdoor Viewable Screens
Lenovo is releasing Tablets and notebooks with multi-touch to take advantage of Windows 7. Xavier will have some video of how the multi-touch is implemented later today. But that’s not all Lenovo has up its sleeve.
I’ve got a review unit of the X200 Tablet PC with an outdoor viewable screen, and I have to say that this time Lenovo finally got it right. As I hope you can see from the pictures, the screen works wonderfully outdoors in bright sunlight. You an see the screen clearly, and there’s none of that gooey mess that accompanied earlier attempts from Lenovo. The screen brightness is listed as 400 nits. The viewing angle is excellent and whether you are indoors or outdoors the screen offers excellent viewing. For those who need to be outside this is going to be a real boon. Prices are listed between $1654 and $17o4 depending on options. Lenovo continues to make great quality Tablet PCs, which is certainly welcome news, and if you’re looking for a sturdy, reliable, performer that you can work with outdoors, I don’t think you’re going to find a better option currently.
Of course the X200 will also offer multi-touch, but I don’t have one of those in my hands to comment on, but we’ll see some more on that from Xavier later today.
Here’s a video comparing the outdoor screen with an earlier screen from Xavier. And there are more pictures and a press release after the jump.
Lenovo Adds Touch of Simplicity to New MultiTouch Screen ThinkPad PCs
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC Ã¢â‚¬” September 15, 2009: Lenovo today is bringing business users a new way to work with multitouch screen technology1 on the versatile and portable ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC and slim and powerful ThinkPad T400s laptop. Lenovo is also introducing SimpleTap, an application that brings simplicity to the multitouch screen experience.
““We see now as the right time for multitouch screens on PCs,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sam Dusi, vice president, worldwide ThinkPad product marketing, Lenovo. ““With touch screens increasingly becoming part of more devices we use routinely and continued improvement of the technology including the integration of touch in the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, the environment for making touch part of our Tablet PC and ThinkPad T400s laptop experience couldn’t be better. We’ve also extended the touch experience with SimpleTap to make frequent hardware-based functions touch-enabled and simple.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lenovo also today announced a new defense against the sun for outdoor workers with a new super bright optional screen on the ThinkPad X200 Tablet.
Personalizing Productivity on the PC with Touch
Users can now interact with their ThinkPad PC in a more personal way with multitouch screen technology. Designed for highly mobile users, the optional multitouch screen ThinkPad X200 Tablet caters to individuals in fields such as sales, health care and education. Already supporting one finger touch, these users can now use two-finger touch to perform a variety of gestures, including pinching, zooming, tapping and flicking through documents, web pages and photos instead of using a mouse.
The high performance ThinkPad T400s laptop serves professionals in engineering and design. Now these users can manipulate four fingers on the ThinkPad T400s laptop’s optional multitouch screen to not only replace the mouse but transform the way they work. They can now use four fingers to manipulate objects, move images with two hands and even have another person touch the screen to collaborate simultaneously. As new multitouch applications are introduced, there will be new possibilities for using multitouch screen laptops.
Using advanced capacitive touch, the screens are sensitive and responsive to even the slightest touch of the finger. Lenovo also optimized the firmware to help compensate for slightly imprecise taps on the screen, such as when closing a window or navigating the Start menu, helping make navigation easier for Tablet users. To combat fingerprints, an anti-fingerprint coating helps keep smudges at bay and the screen clean. The multi-touch screens also allow users to enjoy ultra long battery life with up to nine hours on the ThinkPad X200 Tablet.2
With upcoming ThinkPad X200 Tablet models supporting the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, these mobile users can also take advantage of improved predictive text over previous operating systems, improved handwriting recognition in more languages and formula input features for math and scientific equations.
More details on the ThinkPad T400s and X200 Tablet are available at www.lenovo.com.
Adding a ““TouchÃ¢â‚¬Â of Simplicity to Touch Screens
Touch screens are designed to make interaction with a PC natural and intuitive, however, often users must switch between touch screen gestures and pressing hardware buttons. Lenovo designed SimpleTap, a ThinkVantage Technology, to enable uninterrupted use of people’s touch screens by giving them access to hardware-based functions that may be more easily accessed via touch input. For Tablet users, that means staying in tablet mode longer while on-the-go, saving time and being more productive.
To use SimpleTap, simply double tap anywhere on the screen to launch the application. A clean and efficient grid of colorful and transparent square tiles, inspired by the classic 15 Puzzle, opens on top of the work beneath and allows users to choose several hardware-based functions including: turning on or off the wireless radio, ThinkLight and microphone, previewing the camera, enabling mute, adjusting the volume or screen brightness, locking the screen or putting the PC to sleep. To exit SimpleTap, just tap once anywhere on the screen to close the grid and continue working. As a quick access interface, SimpleTap allows users to get in, perform a function and get out quickly.
Designed to be highly customizable, individuals can create their own tiles to enhance their personal productivity. For example, a sales professional could create a tile that launches a sales presentation with just the tap of a finger. A health professional could similarly create a tile that pulls up a patient’s medical information instantaneously. Or a consumer could quickly access his or her favorite website. Users can arrange the tiles however they choose by dragging and grouping them together, and designed to be fun to use, the tiles can even be flicked around the screen.
Click here to see a video demonstration of SimpleTap and here to read more about the design and inspiration behind the application.
Brightening Tablet PC for Outdoor Light
To further extend tablet computing outdoors, users can now choose a super bright outdoor screen that displays images even in direct sunlight. For field engineers, sales professionals, students and others who work outside, outdoor viewability is critical. The new optional outdoor screen on the ThinkPad X200 Tablet offers excellent viewability with a bright 400 nit screen, low 1.2 percent reflectivity and wide viewing angle. Coated with a thin anti-reflective layer, the screen provides crisp and bright images that can easily be seen indoors or outdoors. Mobile workers can also stay productive with the Tablet’s all day battery life.
A photo of the ThinkPad X200 outdoor screen compared with a standard screen can be viewed here.
Pricing and Availability3
The ThinkPad T400s with the multitouch screen and the ThinkPad X200 Tablet with the multitouch screen and the outdoor screen will be available starting immediately through business partners and www.lenovo.com. Pricing starts at approximately $1,999 for the ThinkPad T400s with the multitouch screen and $1,654 and $1,704, respectively, for the ThinkPad X200 Tablet with the multitouch screen and outdoor screen. SimpleTap will be available for download after October 22.
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Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building exceptionally engineered personal computers. Lenovo’s business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information see www.lenovo.com.
1Multitouch does not support all applications.
2With an 8 cell battery. Battery life varies dependent upon user settings.
3Prices do not include tax or shipping and are subject to change without notice and is tied to specific terms and conditions. Reseller prices may vary. Price does not include all advertised features. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice
09/15/2009 at 11:18 am
Simple tap looks great too for existing single touch x200s! No more small button to try and touch :)
09/15/2009 at 5:21 pm
Interesting news on the outdoor screen… I hope the reference to “multi-touch” is not another one of Lenovo’s marketing gimmicks.
I have spoken to so many disappointed customers who purchased a “multi-touch” tablet direct from lenovo only to find that what they actually purchased was a “multi-mode” resistive touch screen (single touch point) and digitizer tablet.
They were expecting an iPhone style multi digit experience, and they were severely let down. Hope this is not more confusion marketing from them…
At least it’s a good warning for customs to get good advice before purchasing a tablet (i.e. don’t go direct!).
09/16/2009 at 6:16 am
It is a multi-touch, Gizmodo did a review on it – or at least the panel that will be in t400s: https://gizmodo.com/5359096/lenovo-thinkpad-t400s-with-multitouch-review-finger-flicking-fun
The question now is, when will an upgrade for the existing tablet be available?
09/16/2009 at 8:13 am
Good to see… However I doubt that the current model could be upgraded. lt seems to me that this there would be hardware limitations.
09/16/2009 at 8:28 am
Yes, the current X200t is resistive touch, which at best could approximate multi-touch with some funky drives and software… maybe… one day.
It looks like the new model may use the new Wacom capacitive touchscreen and digitiser combo.
A bunch of new Fujitsu Tablets will also use this touch/digitiser.
09/16/2009 at 11:10 am
If the screen is the only limit then i don’t see why the upgrade should be impossible.
What i meant was to replace the screen unit as a whole(basically unfasten the hinge and the cords that connects the screen to the motherboard), and not the screen only – it should be possible and a lot cheaper.
09/17/2009 at 12:08 pm
Im not sure if the X200T on the left is “old” SuperBright because it has frame design, its not framless.
09/17/2009 at 6:33 pm
@Charles: You’re right, its probably not the “old superbright”, but it could be the old CCFL 190 nits display. Perhaps they selected it to contrast the new superbright display. I wonder how the old superbright (frameless) compares.
Also, if you “scrub” through the video above (pause the video and move the slider along), you can see that there is a strange pattern of dark bands on the display on the left, while there are none on the display on the right. I don’t know enough about LCD backlighting to say if this has anything to do with CCFL or LED, perhaps someone could clarify.
09/18/2009 at 11:11 am
Noted that new indoor/outdoor screen is not offered with multi-touch. Would be most interested to find out if/when multi-touch will be available for order on a screen suitable for use outdoors.
TIA for any feedback.
09/25/2009 at 3:55 pm
Is the new outdoor screen for the X200t also flush with the bezel, as the older SuperBright option was? I don’t see why it wouldn’t be, but I want to double-check.
09/29/2009 at 11:35 am
Holding my breath for multi-touch Windows 7 tablet with new mobile Core i7…