Rendezvous with Brian Leonard, Vice President of Design, Lenovo


The most remarkable thing about interacting with someone from Lenovo is learning about the world – how advances in technology, automotive and healthcare are all intertwined.

Our founder, Nikhil Chawla also a proud Lenovo Insider got a chance to interact with Brian Leonard, Vice President of Design, Lenovo to discuss what drives people at Lenovo. What is it that makes team Lenovo come up with unique designs like industry leading YOGA, legendary ThinkPad and the most recent Legion series of notebooks.

This Interview was an email interaction between the two.

Q1A: We can see the lines blurring between the iconic ThinkPad series and path breaking Yoga series of products. Products like ThinkPad Carbon X1 or the X1 Yoga are an example of ultraportable machines with flexing powers. Is it possible that in the future we will see both the product line merging into each other?

We are consistently looking to our customers to provide feedback in regards to their specific computing needs, allowing us to make improvements to our products based on their input. This is in fact how it led to the development of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga. After seeing the success of our consumer version of the Yoga PC, we saw that our enterprise users also craved the same flexibility and functionality as the Yoga. However, we also recognized each user group has different computing needs, so while we may see some similar features across our consumer and commercial offerings, we’re also aware that different computing needs require varied options of product offerings that best fit each user’s taste.  


The ThinkPad X1 line was designed with commercial-ready specs to take on tasks such as heavy duty processing and for forward thinkers who are engaged with how technology can improve their business. Lenovo’s Yoga line was designed to redefine the laptop category for trendsetting consumers, recognizing that they seek a versatile device for work and play. Both audiences want a device that offer fluidity in computing no matter where they are yet still have distinctive styles that differentiate the features they value in a device.  

Q1B: Also, do you see a consumer trend where business users are also wanting what Yoga series offers?

We are finding that the overall line between work-life integration is blurring. It is with this in mind that we recognized there are some features, like the four usage modes of the Yoga PC, benefit our enterprise customers as well, offering them more flexibility than ever before.


Q2: In the age of infinity displays, where smartphone and notebook makers are trying to give more display real estate. By when do you think Lenovo ThinkPad series will offer a product with a 4K infinity display like in the Yoga 910? 

Our strategy is to respond to our customers’ needs to deliver a seamless, clean, and compelling user experience, and display innovation is an area of focus that is high on our radar. In fact, our survey shows that a great display is the number one feature PC users want. Moving forward, you can expect to see more innovation around edgeless and curved screens and better touchscreens for more intuitive input. We don’t rule out exploring new features or emerging trends, like 4K infinity displays, when developing new products as long as they fit our customers’ needs.


Q3: Will we ever see metallic unibody notebooks from the Lenovo stable?  

We’re already ahead of the curve with devices offering all-metal unibody casings. The Yoga 910, for example, is available with an all-metal unibody casing in Champagne Gold, Platinum Silver and Gunmetal.



Q4: Legendary ThinkPad, Millennial Yoga and the Lenovo Legion gaming sub-brand each offer diverse design languages. What next should we expect from Lenovo in terms of design? 

We craft unique design strategies for our customers based around the usage models. Designing for a Lenovo Legion gamer is much different than a mobile traveller needing the thinnest, lightest and fastest ThinkPad available. Thinner products will become the expectation across every category and will drive deeper consideration into the product experience as we make tradeoffs to ensure we have the best total solution that meet differing customer needs. As we move forward, we are putting intense focus on the customer to drive richer experiences and more innovation into our products. We are committed to making beautiful high-quality products that delight and enrich our customers every day.

 Lenovo Yoga

Q5: Can we expect a breakthrough product design that aides AR/VR and Mixed Reality possibilities in a portable machine?

TECHnalysis Research predicts that VR and AR will outgrow wearables this year into a $4 billion global market, and our own global PC gamer research found that VR is shaping up to be one of the biggest gaming trends of 2017.  At Google I/O this year, we announced with Google a standalone Daydream VR headset for immersive VR experiences. We’re committed to give our customers innovative, groundbreaking experiences in AR/VR across a variety of devices as a leading player in the AR/VR market, pioneering content-driven AR/VR platforms and business models and building ecosystems together with strategic partners.

Lenovo Legion 

To further emphasize portability within AR/VR, many of our gaming PCs, including the new Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, are already VR-ready with the latest graphics to power the amazing VR experiences people want. VR and AR content developers can rely on the power and reliability of our ThinkPad P71 mobile workstation. We are continually optimizing our laptop designs and I/O connections to support VR and AR HMDs, making AR/VR more portable and accessible than ever before.


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