New Thin, Foldable ThinkPads Have, Like, a Gazillion Ports
Since it bought the ThinkPad brand from IBM in 2004, Lenovo has spiced up the straight-laced lineup with new tricks. There are also a slew of ThinkPad sub-brands, which can get confusing: There are now hybrid ThinkPads that split into detachable tablets, ThinkPads with flip-back touchscreens, ThinkPads that come in colors other than all-black, and even ThinkPads that don’t have that little red TrackPoint nub.
Still, Lenovo hasn’t fully strayed from the laptop family’s traditional strength. ThinkPad has always been synonymous with “workhorse,” even if the workhorse laptops in question are becoming slimmer, lighter, and more MacBook Air-like every day.
The latest road-warrior portables in the lineup are the ThinkPad Yoga 260 and 460, two mid-range models announced today in the run up to IFA in Berlin. That Yoga nomenclature means that both of them have screens that flip all the way around to the back. You can position them as an A-frame stand for kicking back and watching Netflix or flip them all the way back to use as a thick touchscreen tablet. When you do the latter, the keys cleverly recess into the keyboard housing, deactivating themselves to cut down on accidental presses.
Both of these business-casual laptops are pretty light, although the lower-end Yoga 260 wins the thinness game. That one weighs in at just under 3 pounds, while the 460 clocks in at a tad under 4 pounds. There are options for both models that let you surf in the park or other areas away from a Wi-Fi hotspot: They’re the first Lenovo laptops that support LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) connections via a SIM card slot, which the company says can reach speeds up to three times faster than normal LTE.
The 12.5-inch, 512GB SSD Yoga 260 is the lowest-end model, and it’s a wee bit heavier than the newest MacBook and MacBook Air. However, that extra weight comes back to you in terms of ports and connectivity options. Despite its 0.7-inch-deep frame, the Yoga 260 comes stocked with two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out, a mini DisplayPort, a microSD slot, up to 16GB RAM, and a proprietary OneLink+ dock connector that supports transfer speeds of up to 33Gbps. That’s enough to drive a 4K display, even if the Yoga 260’s own screen options top out at 1920×1080; the base configuration sports a 1366×768 screen.
The higher-end 14-inch Yoga 460 comes in 1920×1080 and 2560×1440 versions, and the LTE-A flavor of the laptop has a carbon-fiber back. It packs even more ports built into its slightly thicker frame, adding an extra USB 3.0 and a full-size SD/SDHC/SDXC reader as compared to the Yoga 260. A step-up configuration of the Yoga 460 also offers discrete graphics with an Nvidia GeForce 940M card, as well as a 1TB hard drive.
Both Windows 10 laptops get up to 10 hours of battery life, according to Lenovo. Itemized prices for each configuration haven’t been announced yet, but Lenovo says the Yoga 260 will start at $950 in November (Intel Core i3, 512GB SSD, Wi-Fi only), while the Yoga 460 will start at $1050 in October (Intel Core i5, 512GB SSD, Wi-Fi only). Both laptops will be available with Intel Core i7 chips in their highest-end configurations.