The Sunday Independent - - TECH AND BOOKS - @alan­q­cooper

SAY LEN­OVO to most geeks and its iconic ThinkPad range of lap­tops im­me­di­ately springs to mind. But the Chi­nese elec­tron­ics heavy­weight is no one-trick pony, as was ev­i­dent at the Tech Life event it hosted in Jo­han­nes­burg this past week, where it showed off a slew of in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy that in­cluded vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) and aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) head­sets, cam­eras and games.

There’s far too much to say, so I’ll fo­cus on my favourites – In­clud­ing ThinkPad, ar­guably the most drool­wor­thy ver­sion of this portable com­put­ing icon Len­ovo’s re­leased to date.

1. ThinkPad X1 Ex­treme

Road war­riors re­joice. At last there’s a lap­top both tough, light and pow­er­ful enough to take with on de­mand­ing trav­els, whether it’s a hu­man­i­tar­ian mis­sion to a dis­as­ter zone or a hos­tile cor­po­rate takeover.

Its mil­i­tary-spec test­ing means it can with­stand ex­tremes of heat and cold (Len­ovo showed it off perched on ice) while 8th Gen In­tel Core pro­ces­sors, in­te­grated gi­ga­bit wi-fi sup­port for up to four mon­i­tors makes it a pro­duc­tive, mul­ti­task­ing beast.

Se­cu­rity fea­tures in­clude a nifty shut­ter to cover the web cam, fa­cial recog­ni­tion and a fin­ger­print reader. The ThinkPad X1 Ex­treme is avail­able in South Africa with a start­ing re­tail price of R36 999.

2. Star Wars: Jedi Chal­lenges This col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Dis­ney and Len­ovo was the most fun kit on show. It com­prises a Len­ovo Mi­rage AR head­set, track­ing bea­con and one of the most re­al­is­tic replica lightsabres I’ve seen out­side a movie set.

The game in­tro­duces a new Star Wars char­ac­ter, the Ar­chiv­ist, who in­structs play­ers and guides them on their jour­ney and ways of The Force. En­gage in thrilling lightsabre bat­tles, strate­gic com­bat and that old favourite of Chew­bacca’s, holochess.

SA avail­abil­ity and pric­ing weren’t avail­able at time of go­ing to print. 3. Yoga C930

I’ve long been a fan of Len­ovo’s aptly named Yoga range of sleek lap­tops that bend them­selves into a va­ri­ety of use­ful poses de­pend­ing on whether you want to type an email, watch a movie or use it as a tablet, and the C930 is the best yet.

Pow­ered by 8th Gen In­tel Core pro­ces­sors and crafted from pre­mium alu­minium, this Yoga also boasts a Dolby At­mos speaker sys­tem in the ro­tat­ing sound bar as well as a clev­erly con­cealed “garage” to park and charge a dig­i­tal pen.

The Yoga C930 starts at R29 999.

4. Le­gion Y730

How about a lap­top with the graphics pro­cess­ing grunt, su­per­fast, mul­ti­coloured back­lit key­board, cool­ing and other fea­tures to make it a gam­ing go­liath, yet is light­weight, at­trac­tive and non­de­script enough to fly un­der the boss’ radar?

En­ter the Y730 from Len­ovo’s gam­ing brand, Le­gion. Made of alu­minium and an­odised in a so­phis­ti­cated iron grey, it has ul­tra­thin bor­ders around its full HD IPS dis­play and, in some mod­els, NVIDIA Ge­Force GTX 1050 Ti GPUs, 8th Gen In­tel Core i7 pro­ces­sors and Win­dows 10. Len­ovo says it’s the world’s first gam­ing lap­top with a Dolby At­mos speaker sys­tem with Dolby Sound Radar for im­mer­sive sound – PC speak­ers or head­phones.

The Len­ovo Le­gion Y730 has a start­ing re­tail price of R30 000 in SA.

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