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Rendezvous with Brian Leonard, Vice President of Design, Lenovo

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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.  

lenovo-thinkpad-x1-yoga-2017

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.

lenovo-thinkpad-x1-yoga-iF-design-award-2017 

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.

lenovo-yoga-910 

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.

 lenovo-yoga-910-colours

 

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.

 

Social Media Evangelist | Gadget Guru | Model | Photographer | Ex- BlackBerry Boy - Now iOS | WP8 | Droid. Founder and Chief at ‘The Unbiased Blog’. I breathe in WiFi zone, prefer LTE over LIT. Ex MSFT, MCP, A+ and coder. I like news to be served to me on twitter.

Discussion4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Lenovo Yoga 720: Unbeatable Price and Performance - The Unbiased Review - The Unbiased Blog

  2. Pingback: Lenovo Yoga 520 - The Unbiased Review - The Unbiased Blog

  3. Lenovo Support Number

    What I love in this Lenovo yoga notebooks is it’s unique rotating, flipping display. This feature really won my heart, and it makes this device to stand out in the market.

  4. Hello Nikhil,

    I had a fun time trying my son’s Lenovo Yoga Book c930 recently. The experiencc yielded several thoughts and realizations. I have to agree with much on-line feedback that the typing experience using the Halo keyboard is terrible. “FOR GOD’S SAKE, IBM INVENTED THE GOD OF TYPEWRITERS – THE IBM SELECTRIC. ITS A BENCHMARK DESIG / MODEL GOAL – OF USER TYPING / KEY PRESSURE INTERFACE” What the hell is wrong at Lenovo? It is likely that sofware program writing of Yoga Book c920/c930 keyboard drivers is NOT a US Government Defense Advanced Research Project Agency “DARPA HARD” PROBLEM!!!!! LENOVO (IBM) throw out the lackluster keyboard driver programmers and bring in some heros!

    Lenovo – releasing the Yoga Book c930 product, with a keyboard in this state, was clearly an awful idea of Lenovo management to do.. It may bring in a burst of revenue to Lenovo on “Black Friday” sales; but probably, in the long-run, will negatively impact Lenovo’s long-term public perception of a company providing “EXTREMELY POOR QUALITY” products – as dissatisfied customers return the unuseable keyboard typing experience product. They will likely flock to another manufacturer for their next computer instead whos product expectations live up to the “hype”. I believe LENOVO customers will wait hopefully but likely fruitlessly, for a pressure sensitive keyboard software patch – that likely will never come.

    Lenovo management must take responsibility for accepting and allowing the existing human/keyboard interface software – to reach consumers in this poor state – and Lenovo Management is responsible for not setting the performance expectations of what is acceptable higher. Bless his heart, STEVE JOBS IS LAUGHING IN HIS GRAVE AT LENOVO! If Lenovo’s design engineers came to management crying that they could not make pressure sensitive typing work, Mr. Leonard should have turned them around and sent them back to the drawing board or done some of many other alternatives: set up parallel competing design teams; fired the lot and brought in fresh blood and minds with experience writing mouse-trackpad pressure detection / palm detection code, etc.!

    Nikhil, you need to speak honestly with Mr. Leonard that the Yoga Book c930 is beautiful, but if the keyboard driver is not immediately updated – to be instead PRESSURE SENSITIVE , then it is CRAP.

    It is RIDICULOUS!!! – that when typing, one cannot rest hands on the HALO surface without random characters appearing. The settings – Halo keyboard touch sensitiviey slider is completely worthless!.

    What to me is the most astonishing is Management signed off on accepting this very “Amateur” level of keyboard driver work from their keyboard software design team. The software lacks serious professionalism in that, really, now, in it’s current state of worth – this keyboard interface sofware is only really functional as just simply “diagnostic function check code” for a computer repair person – at this level of performance!

    What is the matter with Mr. Leonard? SERIOUSLY by now he has been away from Dell long enough now to have wandered over to the IBM Product Museum of past treasures and successes. He needs to sit down in front of the old era, industry standard and proven IBM SELECTRIC ball typewrighter for a day, then send duplicate IBM SELECTRIC typewriters to the Yoga Book Generation 3 Laboratory. Make each of them use those SELECTRICS as a “PRESSURE SENDITIVITY model” and have them revise the keyboard drivers to be PRESSURE SENSITIVE to make the typing experience mimic typing on an IBM SELECTRIC allowing one to rest your palms and fingers without unwanted characters poping up on the screen.

    It’s my hope that the Christmas 2018 sees the release of the 3 GENERATION YOGA BOOK c940. The world would love a machine with the same form-factor as the c930 but instead had Qualcom 950 processor options (WoS) – for long, LONG, LONG battery life; and next – have 8 – 16 GB internal RAM, up to 512 – 1 TB SSD options, with 5G ready LTE always on connectivity, fingerprint reader, WiFi and Bluetooth. And last to be available with tough – service rubberized outer clam-shell coating like, Mr. Leonard put on the DELL Inspiron 15-7568 – when he was over there. Other must-do options for the GEN3 Yoga Book c930 are colors -, rose gold, gold, and more Italian Art School – disigner decorated outer finishes.

    Lenovo should consider offering a military hardened version of the c940 to US Soldier; certified tested to pass Military Standard 810G; in colors of Desert Tan or OD Green Cammo shell version too. It must include a CAC card reader – that has stood up and passed the stiff Global Life cycle deployment testing standards of -40 degrees C/F, tropical 95% condensing humidity, fungus, desert temperatures, chemical contamination, shock drop/gunfire and wheeled and tactical tracked vehicle vibration profiles and other tests of this military environmental testing standard and Military electronic interference and suseptibility testing standards as well.

    Again, the number ONE ISSUE to fix on the YOGA BOOK C930 is “REVISING THE KEYBOARD DRIVERS to provide a – PRESSURE SENSITIVITY – EXPERIENCE OF AN OLD IBM SELECTRIC” – COMPLETE WITH THE SAME AUDIO FEEDBACK SOUNDS!

    Lastly Nikhil, request you please return my comments back to Mr. Leonard – at Lenovo Design, as I have found no-way, on the Lenovo company web-site, where the public can leave comments – to find their way back to management – to fix problems or improve products.

    Thanks, very much for reading my comments and accepting my reply,

    Richard L. Errhalt
    rlerrhalt@gmail.com

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