How quickly time flies – it’s that time of the year again – our forums’ anniversary, and what a ride it has been for us as a whole.
As you know, ours is a peer-to-peer technical support community run by volunteer moderators and gurus, who form the backbone of our family, as not only do they help alongside you with the questions, they also help us keep the community going by ensuring that discussions are kept on track and conducive for exchanges.
As we celebrate our sixth birthday, we catch up with some of the moderators and gurus, who share a bit about themselves and get their thoughts on how the forums have changed or evolved the past six years.
In 2007, even before the English community went live I was invited by Jane L as I was (and am still) active in other ThinkPad forums, even before the official Lenovo Forums were opened to the public.
The same reason drew me to stay here and on other platforms – a simple love for the ThinkPad.
As time passes, I stayed on because I found myself being able to help others, and this urge to do so has kept me going over time.
Looking at the forums over the past six years, I must say that the community has evolved tremendously, and I am hoping it will just continue to grow and flow on its own.
I got onto the forums by chance, when I had an issue with my ThinkPad, and was not able to solve the issue on my own. I did a search on the internet, and the Lenovo forums came up as having a solution. I tried the proposed solution and it solved it and later, encountered another. I then registered as a forum member and posted a question on the new issue to ask for help. I then stayed on because I found myself being able to help others despite having a limited knowledge then of ThinkPads, as most of the problems posted were simple and could be resolved quite easily (if you knew what you were doing.)
As my knowledge on the subject of ThinkPads grew, my compulsion to stay and help others likewise grew stronger. Visiting this community to help others has become somewhat of a hobby for me.
I came looking for advice in setting up my first ThinkPad. I started first at ThinkPads.com and found a reference to the forums. I saw some posts that I knew the answer to. My first solution made me feel good, so I tried to help out more.
Over time, I find this community and its members have become family, and which I belong to.
The community has evolved big time over the years. I saw Lenovo weaning away from IBM and standing on its own two feet. It continues and I'm just caught up in it. I'm just happy that I can be a part of it in my own small way. All the changes I've seen have all been for the good. There will always be a few growing pains along the way, but that's life.
In May 2011 I bought an IdeaPad Y560p laptop at a retailer in Thailand, but unfortunately discovered a sound dropout fault in this machine. Searching the net I found a thread in Lenovo Forum concerning this dropout issue... but without a solution, i posted asking for help anyway.
Next I contacted Lenovo Thailand Tech Support and discussed the problem with the very competent and helpful support-tech. A few days later he called me with the good news, that he found out that an older version BIOS would solve the sound dropout and then downloaded this BIOS file to my machine... problem solved... I was impressed by the excellent fast service and was very happy.
Subsequently I adopted the above mentioned Lenovo Forum thread just to help other Y560p users, who suffered from this very sound fault, by providing them with the BIOS version I had received from Lenovo Thailand. At that time there was no BIOS offered on Lenovo’s driver download page for the Y560p model laptop. A new fixed version BIOS was only available about six months later.
I was then later invited to become a guru, and found it to be fun to answer users’ questions in the forum and offer possible solutions to problems with their Lenovo laptops.
As time passes, I find the Forum community is steadily progressing for the better and I think it's very good the way it is.
I got my hands on a Lenovo K1 tablet two years back and was fascinated by the discussions in the English community. I was aware there was a sister Spanish language community and then decided to lead a discussion on the device there.
As time passed I made more and more friends as I met more people from all over the world through this platform. While I am glad to have helped the community, I would like to say thank you to the people who have helped me as well.
As time passes I honestly find the questions getting more challenging, with as technology changes, and different issues surface. That said, I am very happy to help in whatever ways I can here.
Have some idea or suggestions about how our community looks and feels? Tell us your suggestions here. And thank YOU for being a part of this awesome family as well.
I just received one of the Yoga #betterway tablets to try out and review.
Join the discussion >>> HERE and I might choose YOU to receive a Yoga Tablet of your very own! An early holiday present!
Posting on behalf of agotthelf (Andreas Gotthelf)
The long wait finally comes to an end. Lenovo just revealed their newest member to their Yoga family, the Yoga Tablet. The new Yoga Tablets, which come in 8" or 10 " (hence Yoga Tab 8 or 10) have 1.2 GHz quad core processors, 1GB Ram, 1280x800 pixel display resolution. So regardless of what screen size you need, Lenovo has got a device for you.
You don´t have to carry much weight with you also. The Yoga Tablet 8 weighs 401 grams and the 10.1 inch model just 605 grams.(note: for WiFi only models; the 3G models weighs approximately five grams more).
Because of the special hinge design the amount of force needed to hold it in your hand is minimized. It's so easy to carry the tablet around.
I think absolutely great is the news about 18 hours of battery life on the new Yoga Tablet. So will have enough time to consume, create and share that content you want.
As you know certainly know the Yoga family is famous because of their flexibility and their different modes. The new Yoga Tablet offers three modes.
The tablet mode, I´m sure everyone knows how to use this.
The second mode is called Hold mode, which is designed for reading stuff, looking at your photos or just to share content with your friends.
The last one is called Tilt mode and is designed for web browsing, gaming and typing.
On the back of the tablet there are two slots: the right one is for a 64 GB micro SD card and the left one is a micro SIM card slot, which offers the opportunity to connect to 3G networks as well.
The Wifi only version will hit the market right now and the Yoga Tablets with Wifi+3G will come end November.
The sound coming from the stereo speakers is great, because it is enhanced with Dolby Digital Plus DS1. I watched some videos on Youtube and have no complaints at all. The sound is clear, crisp and loud enough.
If you need the tablet for writing your stuff, it is recommended that you then order the Bluetooth 4.01 keyboard, which is only available for the Yoga Tablet 10. You can charge it in only three hours. It´s only 5 millimeters thin and sports a smart Sleep and Wake function in order to save battery time. If you carry it around with your tablet, you can easily attach it to your tablet screen and it works then as a screen protector.
A lot of accessories, like sleeves or colorful back covers are available, too. So it is really easy to customize your tablet or fit a cover to a color that you like at a particular moment. There will be a wireless display adapter available too.
All in all, I think both models offer a powerful way to consume, create or share the content you want to. The price for the Yoga Tablet 8 is 229 € and for the 10 inch model it is 299 €. The keyboard for the 10 inch model cost 99 €.
So it is really an affordable device which fits in every mode of your life.
Best and greetings from Milan
Have a #betterway in which you use your tablet? Share your nifty trick here and who knows? A surprise may come your way.
Welcome to the Lenovo Forums Community!
As you may be aware, ours is primarily a peer-to-peer technical support community where knowledge is shared and contributed by fellow product users, who through their use of our various products, lend their expertise and experience in answering the questions you may have, or issues that you may encounter.
So how should you ensure that your query gets answered as quickly as possible?
As you type, a list of related discussions or articles will then appear on the dropdown menu:
Click on SEARCH once you are done.
You can also choose to pull Search results from the Community threads or discussions, or from our Knowledge Base articles, or refine your Search results through the various filter options by clicking on Advanced Options.
2. Provide details about your product
Say you searched , but found that no one else has the same issue. What you can do now is to register an account with our community so that you can post your question. (Or just log in if you already have an account)
During the registration process, we ask that you tell us your country of residence, so that our community may provide you better and more suitable suggestions on resources closest to your location.
Once you registered and verified your account (check your inbox of the email address you provided during your registration; click on the link sent there by us), use the following guidelines when you are posting:
- Tell us what laptop/ desktop you are using and its operating system
If you are asking about, for instance, an issue regarding a T420 laptop, look for the ThinkPad board. In this case, post inside the Discussion of T400 / T500 and newer Txx series ThinkPads section. Tell us if you are using Windows Vista/ 7/ 8? 32 bit or 64 bit? Linux? Ubuntu? This gives our community a much better idea of the platform on which you are running your system so they can help diagnose your problem/ issue. If possible, try also recalling and providing information on when you had updated the drivers of your machine (if ever.)
P.S We ask that you do not 'hijack' existing discussions - if you have a new issue related to an old topic, please start a new thread instead. If you have a similar symptom but a different model system, please start a new thread but include a link to the discussion you found that may be related. This will help others in the community "connect the dots" .
3. Be specific about the symptoms, and include them in the thread title.
By choosing a good thread / topic title that is specific for your system and your symptoms, you will increase the odds that other members of the community will respond to your thread. This matters for several reasons. First, it helps others understand the system and issue while scanning the board. Secondly, it helps others who are using search within the community. Lastly, it helps other customers who are using Google, Bing, or Yahoo find your question (and hopefully the subsequent solution) even if they weren't specifically looking for this forum.
As you begin posting, tell the community about your system and the issue you are having. Try to recall what were you doing when the issue or problem occurred? Specifying this shortens the time needed for our community to make a diagnosis and help you carry out troubleshooting.
The following is a pretty good example of what to do:
We understand your frustrations when it seems as if no one has the answer to your question. But returning a few hours later and typing in ‘BUMP’/ ‘UP’ or any similar comments in response to your thread doesn’t really help. Re-read your post. Are there additional details you can provide so the community can help you? Were there other things that you did after you posted that did/ did not work?
Instead of "bump", try posting a follow on comment with additional details that you might have remembered, more troubleshooting that you have tried in the elapsed time, or perhaps links you found to similar discussions elsewhere in the forum or even on other sites. This moves your thread back to the top, gives the community more information to help solve the problem, and shows that you are actively working on the issue.
Remember ours is a peer-to-peer technical support community – everyone is here to help!
Hope the above helped you in getting your answers more quickly! Also, if there is a special someone in our community who went out of his/ her way to help you, or provided an excellent tip, give them a kudo, and let us know in the Forum Housekeeping board!
Avid gamer and community guru ColonelONeill test drives the C540, and shares his thoughts on gaming on the touch-enabled system here.
The C540 is an immediately likeable machine, with an appropriate form-factor, and a humble, muted physical design. Out-of-the-box experience was a quick and smooth experience, and Windows 8 makes beautiful use of the hardware; gestures were snappy, and programs loaded quickly. It was almost dead silent; you can barely hear the noise of the fan and hard drive even in a silent room.
One of my first orders of business was to try surfing the net using the touch-screen instead of a keyboard-mouse. Commands missed much more rarely than I expected, which I later found out was due to Windows 8’s fancy new fuzzy targeting algorithm. Desktop Firefox behaved a bit strangely with touch; half of the time it couldn’t figure out if I was selecting text or scrolling the page.
As a desktop/media station crossover, it seemed appropriate to install XBMC. The HD2500 integrated graphics handled it splendidly, and responses to touch gestures were very fluid. After tweaking the screens calibration a bit, it became a great media consumption device.
The i3-3120 clocks in at 3.40 GHz on two physical cores, so I figured it was time to try some heavier tasks. As such, I loaded up one of my favorite games, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance. This game is quite demanding on systems, despite hailing from the technologically ancient year of 2007. The graphics chip faltered here, and I had to turn visual effects way down to make it playable. However, the simulation speed (entirely CPU based) never dipped for a second.
Furthermore, seeing as touch-screens weren’t mainstream in 2007, the game was built entirely for keyboard and mouse interaction. Nevertheless, I set out to play exclusively with the touch-screen controls. Testing the waters, the game responded fairly well to touch input, zooming in-and-out with pinch zooming, and box selecting units successfully. Tap-and-hold also properly indicated a right-click. With the basic commands out of the way, my first issue was with the lack of the idea of ‘hover’ with touch-screens, which made it difficult to place a building in an exact location. Zooming didn’t trigger a little more often than I would’ve liked, but was generally well-behaved. Certain actions still had to be keyboard-triggered though (e.g.: holding Shift is necessary to issue waypoint orders). I’d like to see Lenovo include a configurable on-screen button overlay program, the same way physical buttons are emulated on mobile devices.
In the end, I did get two main takeaways from the effort. The first is that playing with a touchscreen isn’t quite feasible. While the gestures were smooth and well-behaved, holding ones hands up to a vertical screen for an hour is quite an exercise in endurance. Secondly, the surface of the screen too much friction for repeated dragging; it burns the surface of the finger. A different surface texture would be nice, or perhaps a screen protector.
Putting the games away for productivity, the conventional keyboard comes back into play. For extended typing, the touch-screen is less than practical. Saying that, typing accuracy is pretty good with the on-screen keyboard (despite the awkward angle). The keyboard that ships with the C540 types a lot like the keyboard on my X100e, which is a good keyboard all around. While nothing to write home about, the stock keyboard and mouse don’t get in the way.
All in all, the C540 is a good media, work, and even light gaming machine. It offers lots of bang for the buck, and has no major flaws. It would have been nice for a discrete graphics card option, but that’s just the gamer in me talking. Ultimately, it’s a great choice for a shared family computer.
Technology journalist Michael Archambault, otherwise known as Marcham93 in our forums, experiences, for the first time in his life, gaming and writing on a touch-screen desktop, and tells us how the B540 has improved the way he consumes digital content here:
A few weeks ago, Lenovo shipped out their multimedia IdeaCentre B540 desktop to my front door; since then, I have been putting the 23 inch touch screen all-in-one desktop through its paces. To my happiness and Lenovo’s honor, the B540 is an incredible system to work with.
When I go to sleep at night I leave my machine in Sleep mode for fast access in the morning. As a technology journalist I need to have access to the latest content as fast as possible and the IdeaCentre’s Intel Core processor and 8 GB of DDR3 RAM make that a reality.
After I pull myself out of bed and start up the IdeaCentre I’m welcomed by the touch friendly start screen of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8. Before testing out the IdeaCentre B540, I had never interacted with Windows 8 on a screen size of such magnitude and let me tell you – it makes all the difference.
As I scroll through my morning news, whether via an RSS client or an official publication house’s application, the B540 responds perfectly to my touch and never lags behind. The edgeless design of the unit is not only beautiful, but also allows for Windows 8 edge gestures to be picked up correctly and this makes the machine all that better to use.
Being able to interact with a large touch screen monitor is like a dream from science fiction movies of long ago come true; the Lenovo B540 helps to connect consumers and make those dreams a reality. Scrolling through content, checking my email, and interacting with friends is only a touch away – literally.
One of my favorite uses of the touch screen, outside of work purposes, is playing some of the hot new games from the Window’s Store. You really haven’t played or experience Angry Birds and Jetpack Joyride until you’ve played them on a gorgeous touch screen display such as this one.
When I’m not playing games, the IdeaCentre B540 has certainly helped pick up my productivity and get me what I need more quickly. Touch is the future of user interaction and Lenovo has certainly nailed it down here. Swiping through my never-ending list of emails, flicking through PowerPoint presentations, and working in Photoshop have become an enjoyable experience.
Let’s not forget that this machine is a multimedia All-In-One loaded with an NVidia GeForce 615M 1GB graphic card, a whopping 8 GB of RAM, and a speedy 7200 RPM 2TB hard drive. If I want to watch a movie or go dungeon questing in World of Warcraft – this machine can handle it. I was quite surprised at the level of detail the built-in speakers achieved and for once, I felt I didn’t have to demand the speakers be thrown aside for external ones.
My only wish for a future iteration of the system, would be the inclusion of a more powerful graphics card. The NVidia GeForce card placed within the Lenovo B540 is a mobile card designed for laptops and while it can handle games, as I mentioned above – I want to be able to up the detailed settings as much as I can. Hopefully Lenovo will either add a more powerful GPU down the line or we will see an all-in-one touchscreen desktop from their gaming line of IdeaCentre PCs.
That said, all in, I was excited to try out Lenovo’s latest all-in-one desktop and I was not disappointed. The unit’s 23 inch touchscreen could not be overlooked and to my surprise – improved my productivity. Couple the touch features with an NVidia graphics card and Dolby Advanced Audio and you’ve got the ultimate machine – Lenovo’s IdeaCentre B540 Desktop.
Lifelong ThinkPadder Jeremiah lands an IdeaPad for the first time, a Yoga11S, and comes out so impressed by this new guy on the block that before he wrote this review, actually thought of running his car over it to see if the convertible can survive.
Here's what he thinks about the Yoga11S:
I was never a fan of the IdeaPad series.
Having been a loyal and steadfast supporter of the ThinkPad line, the Yoga 11S was the first Idea system I ever owned. I’m impressed so far, as the Yoga screams quality and innovation.
‘Mature’ is the last word I expected to use to describe an innovative product; maturity just doesn’t fit. Nevertheless the Yoga 11s exudes maturity. It is strange, considering this is the first product cycle of its life. But we aren’t talking about product cycles really, are we? Remember Pokemon? This, to me, is the final form.
The Yoga’s purpose is simple - it’s engineered to be an instrument marrying work and play, a union of what you want and what you need. If you had just one device to exist in our connected world, this is it. I’ve used it for about a month as a replacement for every gadget in my bag of tricks (besides the cell phone) and found it did the trick.
I’m not going to talk about software much in this review, when it really comes down to it Windows 8 it is pretty much the same across the board. What I’m deep diving into is the hardware. I tested a Yoga 11s with the following specs: i7 3689Y, 256 GB SSD, and 8 GB DDR3.
The hardware reminds me of the ThinkPad line. The outside of the Yoga is more striking than I’d expected, covered in a finish that I can only describe as metal leather. This, I find, is very reminiscent of the original Pocket Yoga design. And this feature itself is enough to start a love affair with this laptop for me.
The palmrest was the next thing that I immediately noticed. See the grainy texture going up and down? Better than a ThinkPad. That’s right. I said it. No horizontal movement or temperature change. I really didn’t think that was possible. No more freezing palms in winter, or sweaty mitts in summer. As a former service manager for a computer repair shop I’d like to think that I’ve handled close to 100% of the laptops out on the market and this is THE BEST palmrest I’ve ever put my hands on. I did not expect this much attention to detail put into in what I had thought in the past to be a low-end product. This one feature forced me to rethink my entire view of the Idea line.
While my love for and loyalty remain with the classic Thinkpad keyboard (7-rows FTW), I recently made the switch to a 6-row and I must say it was easier than I expected. I’m not going to feed you a load of drivel and tell you that the Yoga’s six-row keyboard is the bomb. It isn’t. It’s not meant to be. Key-presses are clean, travel is short and the layout is good, really good for an 11” Laptop. I had zero issues with drivers when changing to different modes, even when running multiple hefty programs in an attempt to throw it for a loop. It reliably turns on or off when flipping the screen around (which I do with much gusto). All in all, the keyboard is easy to use and is very quiet.
The Yoga’s trackpad is large – it’s a tiny bit smaller than that of an average laptop hard-drive.
Clicks, taps and gestures are all well recognized. I have no complaints here; the surface is smooth yet tactile. The keyboard is the same – operation of and on it is smooth - just flip the screen around and the view/ orientation is adjusted accordingly.
These are the ports available on the Yoga 11S: 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI out, 1 SD/MMC reader and a charging port. No more than you need, except for an Ethernet port. I miss that, but if you pressed me, I couldn’t tell you a time over the past month that I’ve needed it. Weird, as at one point in time I would have considered it indispensible.
My biggest complaint: speakers. At first I thought it was something wrong with Netflix. Then I was sure that the stock Windows 8 audio driver was used in the system. I poked around for a good half hour and I came to the realization: my cell phone is twice as loud as this laptop. That said, fidelity over headphones was great but the laptop absolutely cannot be taken to a party without a set of external speakers, with it emitting WEEB WEEB WEEB instead of WOB WOB WOB (embarrassing, much?). The fan is in the back near the speakers so it’s not overly loud but kind of like the speakers. Bah-dum-dum-tish!
The webcam works great – with a resolution of 720p it’s one of the best I’ve ever used. I used the Yoga during the G+ Hangout with Lenovo if you caught it last month. The picture and colors were extremely clean and tracking was good.
Download/ Wi-Fi speeds
I downloaded Steam and Portal 2 within 20 minutes over Wi-Fi.. Download and upload speeds average just above 40mbps down at home (throttled from the cable company). At Startup or Resume the Wifi reconnects to my router before I can get to the setting. The Yoga’s range is impressive; reception deteriorated only after a distance of 60 ft from my Netgear N600. I took the Yoga with me to a local coffee shop and had a excellent connection as it was more than enough for me to have a video chat with my Dad on Hangouts really quick, and I could surf the web at the same time.
The screen is very colorful, and a super bright 320-Lux. That’s way higher than the industry’s ultraportable average of 234-Lux. Deep, rich color and an excellent contrast ratio make up for the screen not being 1080p. The 10 point Touch is fluid and responds very well to stimuli, even to my toddler’s grubby little hands.
Better yet, I was impressed by the viewing angles provided by the laptop as it was wider than expected, and the IPS screen is fantastic for gameplay.
Graphics and Gaming
Intel’s new 4000 graphics chip is, IMHO, excellent or at the very least it runs Portal 2 like a boss. I ran everything at the highest setting the screen would allow and enjoyed smooth- as- butter play. I actually got a little sidetracked from this review and played for three to four hours. Oops. Then not 24 hours later, one of my wonderful friends gifted me Borderlands 2 on Steam. (Why do they do this when I have work to do?)! I dived into setting up the GPU settings for Borderlands and was delighted to run everything at the max but bullet decals and anisotropic filtering. All I’ve seen up to level 11 is very minimal lag during splices between cut scenes and Boss Battles. Now it’s time to see if this sucker sets my pants on fire…
Well thankfully I didn’t need a new pair of pants (heat dissipation is nominal), but I did grab a pair of headphones for Teamspeak 3. More players equals more loot, don’t you know!
I was initially very concerned about the build of the Yoga; as soon as I got it I was determined to break it, thinking that it did not deserve to sit near my ThinkPad collection so I let my three-year-old use it. I have thrown it (seriously!) and still do so into my car every day on my way to work, slammed the lid down, flexed it hard moving the screen back, and dropped it from the kitchen table to the floor. Twice.
And the machine still works beautifully.
There’s not a lot else I can do to the Yoga without throwing gross neglect or negligence into the picture. Color me impressed.
I really don’t think this is an IdeaPad; I am convinced that this is a ThinkPad in sheep’s clothing.
Know what it’s missing? That little red dot I love so much.
Discovered a nifty trick on our Touch-enabled laptops, such as the Yoga11S? Share your expertise and knowledge in our community!
Missed our first ever Tweetout on the Yoga11S? Or the Google Hangout we had?
Fret not – here’'s a quick summary of the questions answered by our panelists and participants, which include the likes of Jeffrey Witt, who is Lenovo’s Director of Product Reviews, and forum advocates Nate Sarbin and Andreas Gotthelf. We also had Lenovo advocates such as David Gross, Jeremiah White, Chris Collins, tech blogger Michelle McGraw, and even Intel come in to answer questions on the new Yoga 11S.
To view the video of the entire Hangout, click on the video below.
What are the key differences between the Yoga11 and Yoga11S?
All three Yogas – the 13, 11 and 11S offer the ability to contort and be flexible, due to the innovation of the Yoga hinge, where testing took a long time (systems were put through more than 25,000 times of opening and closing).
The Yoga 11 is powered by Nvidia Tegra 3 that runs at a maximum clockspeed of 1.3GHZ and features an integrated graphics processor. It runs Windows RT and runs apps designed for the new Windows 8 interface. It comes with 2GB RAM weighs about 2.79 lbs (1.26 kg) and has a 11.6 inch glossy, five-point multi-touch screen. It does not come with a vent.
The Yoga 11S, on the other hand, is powered by the Integrated Intel HD4000 processor and runs full Windows 8 (or, if you want, Windows 8 Pro). As a result of this, it weighs slightly heavier and is slightly thicker than its earlier counterpart as the Intel CPU requires vents. The Yoga 1S has a 10-point capacitive multi-touch display with IPS technology with 300-nit, 1366 x 768 resolution and it also offers up to 8GB of RAM.
The display glass for the Yoga 11S, as shared by Jeffrey Witt, is also thinner, yet sturdier and stiffer due to the One-Glass-Solution, which allows touch sensors to be embedded.
What are the various modes in the Yoga good for?
The Yoga folds into four modes – the laptop mode, the tent mode, stand mode, or tablet mode.
Advocates shared that they liked using the Yoga in tablet mode when they are on the go, especially watching videos whilst in commute. Video viewing and web surfing are also easier, according to Nate Sarbin, in stand-mode, especially when aboard planes. Michelle McGraw, whose favorite app is AllRecipes, loves to use the Yoga in tent mode as this allows her to follow the instructions listed in the various recipes easily, and even watch the videos while cooking for her family.
Just got your hands on a Yoga and have a nifty tip for our community? Share your knowledge here.
Missed our first ever Tweetout event on the Yoga 11S? Fret not - here's yet another chance for you to learn more about our latest offering.
JOIN US for our upcoming live hangout on 17th June, 9pm EST.
Lenovo team & insiders will be going deep on the new Yoga 11s – Features, Modes, Evolution..and a lot more.
Users can send in queries via Twitter or G+ during or before the session using @Lenovo,#lenovohangouts
Learn more about Yoga - www.lenovo.com/yoga
A little info about our hangout participants:
Having been always fascinated by computers and all things related to the internet, avid ThinkPad supporter Jeremiah White beefed up his computing knowledge though his experiences in computer sales, and tinkering with and troubleshooting other people’s systems. Jeremiah now works in the field of Heavy Equipment Construction and spends much of his time helping out other users in the various Lenovo social media channels.
“I have had a passion for technology my whole life. Continuously excited to see how it changes, grows and to what new limits it can be pushed. I love to get my hands on every new piece of hardware I can and test it to its limits. Keeping up with both the computer and mobile spheres I have seen how they have changed over my life and how they are starting to converge in many ways. This love for technology has driven me to pursue a degree in computer science and I hope to move into programming.
Another area of interest for me outside of technology is music. I enjoy rock/metal and have more recently taken an interest in house/dance music though I am open to all types of music. I played guitar for several years in a band and had a blast doing it.”
Michele McGraw (ScrappinMichele) is the creator of ScrapsofMyGeekLife.com, a lifestyle technology blog offering daily commentary, advice, reviews and shared experiences of how her real life and the digital domain connect. Michele’s motto is “Digital, not diamonds and gadgets, not gold.” She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
Currently is the VP of operations for a small biotech startup in central Virginia focusing on diabetes therapy, and hopes one day to find a cure. Loves working for a small company as this still allows him to be the techie geek jack-of-all-trades. He faces new challenges daily, which keeps him young, at heart at least
Nate also finds time somehow to help out in the Lenovo Forums English Community, offering tech advice in his capacity of a Community Moderator.
Want to find out more about the Yoga11S?
Make a date with us this Jun 7, 6 pm EST (To check the time the event is taking place in your area, please visit this site.)
Our English and German community moderator, Andreas Gotthelf (@agotthelf) will be one of the four featured guests, and will be sharing his experience with the Yoga11S' predecessor, the Yoga 13, during this event.
Founder and maintainer of LockerGnome, Inc, Chris Pirillo (@ChrisPirillo), and Lenovo Insider Chris Collins (@CollChris) will also tweet about how the Yoga machines fit their lifestyles, and how to get the best of this nifty tool. And better yet, if you have a question about the Yoga's processors, tweet your questions to @Intel then.
Best of all, twitterers with the best answers and responses to questions tweeted out during the event stand to get surprise Lenovo treats!
So make a #Yoga11S date with us during #LenovoTweetout @lenovoforums @lenovo
Getting answers or references from existing topics just got easier, as we rolled out a new forum feature today.
Previously, users had to do a keyword search to search discussion topics within the forum.
Now, when you want to start a new thread, type in the key words and a list of posts similar to your subject will appear, thus saving you valuable time and effort.
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My heart skipped several beats last year after I ran a scan on my laptop, only to be greeted by these results:
The scan eventually revealed I had a grand total of 22 threats.
That explains why my laptop was behaving weirdly- programs would close by themselves; I couldn’t launch some browsers, and it took forever and a day to boot up.
I have always ensured that my system was protected , religiously downloading updates and running scans on my machine. But evidently this wasn’t enough as some got through (which I suspect was a result of my surfing habits.)
It thus pays to be in the know about what threats there are out there.
Recently we held a Google Hangout with two anti-malware and security experts, Kevin Haley, of Symantec Security Response, and Aryeh Goretsky, of ESET North America, and this was hosted by Lenovo Forums English Community Lead Cleo Lee.
The session saw the experts sharing their knowledge of what ‘ransomware’ and ‘watering hole attacks’ are, as well as talked about the additional security features in Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8.
What was most interesting was how increasingly, people are putting their systems at risk because of their behavior and browsing habits. Criminals now have a bigger playground as there are more and more social media platforms and apps.
All it takes is a wrong click, on an email or chat attachment, or on a dubious link, on that free giveaway from your favorite coffee joint and your system, your identity, your address and bank accounts could be compromised.
So if you missed the Hangout, fret not. Click here to learn more about keeping your systems safe.
About our Featured Speakers
Kevin Haley – Director of Product Management for Symantec Security Response
Kevin Haley is Director of Product Management for Symantec Security Response, where he is responsible for ensuring the security content gathered from Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network is actionable for its customers.
During his 12 years at Symantec, Haley has leveraged his security expertise in the development of the company’s antivirus solutions for endpoints and mail servers, and in creating network and system management solutions. Haley managed a global team of technical product managers who evangelized Endpoint Security Products and were responsible for field enable and technical training for SAV, SCS, SEP v11.0 and SNAC 11.0.
Before joining Symantec, Haley was part of the OpenView group at Hewlett-Packard, working on the company’s software distribution tools. Prior to Hewlett-Packard, Haley was a product manager at Sun Microsystems, where he managed the development and delivery of network and server software for Solaris on Intel.
Aryeh Goretsky – Distinguished Researcher from ESET North America
Aryeh Goretsky is the Distinguished Researcher at ESET, a global security provider. His areas of research include analyzing emerging threats, observing customer behavior, and helping to design and test the next generation of ESET’s software. Aryeh joined ESET in 2005 to manage its support department. The following year, he moved to managerial role within its research department and was promoted to the position of Distinguished Researcher in 2009.
Aryeh started his career in computer security as the first employee at McAfee Associate in 1989 and has worked at a variety of hardware and software companies.
Aryeh is a Microsoft MVP, and is very active not only in the Lenovo Forums Community, but also on other technical support forums sharing his expertise and his knowledge of security, antivirus, Windows and networking.
Have a question about malware? Join the discussion on our Forum’s malware and security board!
Most of us would not have even seen a Lenovo IdeaPhone, much less touch one. Lucky, lucky buddinggeek then, who got hold of one - the K860 and he shares his review of the smartphone here.
Sometime during the first week of January this year I managed to get my hands on one of Lenovo’s smartphones – the Lenovo IdeaPhone K860.
The Lenovo IdeaPhone was previously known as the LePhone and at present, sales of the phones are only available in some parts of the world such as China, India and Russia.
I was excited to be able to test out this handset as this was the first time I had held anything but a laptop or PC by Lenovo.
The IdeaPhone K860 comes with an Exynos 4412 Quad Chipset, a quad core cortex GPU pumped to 1.4GHz and Mali 400mp, which is the world’s first multi-core GPU from ARM. This provides 2D and 3D acceleration with resolution performance scalable to 1080p, and makes it easy for users to multi-task without lag.
The phone is fitted with a 720p high-definition screen, 1Gb RAM and 8Gb (expandable) storage. It also runs on a 2250mAh battery and has a 8 mega pixel rear camera and with dual LED flash.
Being an Android user I found navigation to be familiar and fast, as Lenovo stuck close to the way other Android devices work, such as the use of the swipe and pinch gestures, as well as use of the Home button. However, one distinction was made – users can customize the placement of apps on the home screen and preset most frequently used apps and widgets to appear in what is called the ‘Idea Desktop’.
As this was the first time I was using a Lenovo phone, I wanted to really put it to the test. I carried out the AnTuTu benchmark test (one of the most used benchmarking suites for mobile platforms.), and the phone, which runs on Vanilla ICS, returned a score of 15,009. This was quite decent when making a comparison against other devices of similar specs.
Apart from the standard AnTuTu benchmark test, I wanted to see how some other functionalities like HTML, graphics and hardware worked compared to the other phones out there with similar specifications. I then carried out the Vellamo mobile benchmark test from Qualcomm, which gauges a mobile device’s performance in three categories: browser performance on HTML5, graphics, and other tests like multi-touch and advanced video tests. For the full test list you can visit Vellamo’s website here.
One of my favorite parts in the test suite is the Touch analyzer benchmark, which is interactive. It tests the phone’s touch sensitivity while taking certain parameters such as refresh rate, display resolution and latency into consideration. Needless to say, the phone passed the test.
I really like that the phone has a five-inch IPS display with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution, and with a pixel density of 294ppi. This makes reading e-books a breeze – since I got the phone, I’ve been on a reading marathon. The glossy IPS screen, coupled with high pixel density, also makes watching full screen videos fun, making it an ideal traveling companion.
However, there was something missing from the phone, which I hope the brand will look into incorporating into its line of smartphones - LED indicators to alert users about social media notifications, missed calls or incoming text messages. I feel this is really essential as else, the user will have to keep checking the phone to see if anything had been missed.
Oh - it is also fun to game on the phone;; games such as Grand Theft Auto, FIFA and the preloaded Asphalt HD run very smoothly and well. For fans of the Lenovo brand such as myself, the discovery of the hidden Easter egg in the driving game (SPOILER ALERT: the cars are Lenovo-branded) gave me such a thrill.
All in, I am pleased with how the K860 looks, feels and operates. Now, if only there could be more noise about Lenovo’s smartphones in my country!
Have a question about Lenovo's IdeaPhones? Pose them here for our community to answer!
So we recently held a poll about which Lenovo products unveiled at CES 2013 got you excited and drooling.
An here are the top three results of the poll!
1. The ThinkPad Helix
Coming in first place is the beautiful Helix, which performs as well as it looks! You get a business Ultrabook™ married with the mobility of a Windows 8 tablet. And battery life is impressive as well as, with up to 10 hours on keyboard dock.
Better yet, it comes with a digital pen option for users who want to sketch, write, and navigate with precision. And it's even got a ide-view 1080p 400-nit IPS multitouch Corning® Gorilla® glass display. Check out the full specs of this monster of a machine here.
P.S. We aren't the only ones loving this. The Helix garnered many awards, such as
• Tech Radar Best of CES Awards 2013, Best Laptop
• Gottabemobile, Best of CES 2013 Best of Show
• Black Enterprise 2013 CES Best in Show, Best Laptop for Business
• Laptop Magazine Best of CES 2013 Finalist: Best Laptop/Convertibles
• Tom’s Mobile Innovation Award
• PC Pro Best Tablet of CES
• Wirecutter CES 2013, Best Windows 8 Hybrid/Tablet
• Digital Trends Best of CES 2013: Computing
• The Verge Awards: Best PC hybrid
• GDGT: The Best and Most Interesting Gadgets from CES 2013, Laptops
2. IdeaPad Yoga11s and Lenovo smartphones
The IdeaPad Yoga11s
Both the IdeaPad Yoga11s and our newly released smartphones were equally loved by the participants in our poll.
The Yoga 11s, like its predecessor the Yoga 11, is a convertible and can be used in four modes - clamshell laptop, tent, slate and stand. The differences between the two? The Yoga 11s' Nvidia Tegra 3 chip has been replaced with an Intel Core - i processor. This means users are able to run more Windows 8 apps on their systems, like other standard Ultrabooks. There is also an additional USB 3.0 port of the newer system, which makes the transferring of files even quicker.
Click on this link to find out more about the Yoga 11s.
The Lenovo K900
The Lenovo K900 has a 5.5 inch 1080p IPS capacitative touch display, runs on Android Jelly Bean, and has a Gorilla Glass 2 screen. It even has a 13-megapixel front camera, with an f1.8 focal length lens. The 2-megapixel front camera also boasts of a wide 800 viewing angle.
The S890 is a 5-inch smartphone with a qHD (540 x 9 60 resolution) screen. It has an 8-megapixel back camera and a 0.3-megapixel front camera. The S890 runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).
Lenovo LePhone S720
The Lenovo S720 has a 4.5-inch, five-point multi-touch IPS display. The front camera is 8-megapixel, and it has a 1-megapixel front camera. The phone runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Lenovo P770
The P770 has a 5-megapixel camera, and runs on Android Jelly Bean. It has a 4.5-inch qHD IPS screen, and its battery can last up to 29 hours of usage on a single charge.
The Lenovo A800
The Lenovo A800
The Lenovo A800, which comes in black and white, has a 4.5-inch IPS, 5-point touchscreen and a unique textured back. It has a dual-core processor that operates at 1.2GHz and a battery with 20 hours of talk time. It also has a 5-megapixel front camera.
3. The IdeaCenter Horizon
The 27-inch IdeaCentre Horizon not only provides users with a multi-mode option, it even comes with three awesome gaming accessories to make your gaming experience even better. It can be used as a desktop or a table PC!
To keep abreast of the release dates for the above products, do stay tuned to announcements made in www.lenovo.com.
In the meantime, do check out our advocates' report in the Special Events board!
On the first day in Las Vegas, JaneL and I had the chance to take part in a meeting with Lenovo´s Chief Marketing Officer, David Roman. Before our meeting, we had asked the users in our forum and fans elsewhere to pose some questions for us to ask David in the meeting. Below are David´s answers to our questions. Please note: I am far away from being a stenotypist, so some topics/ answers might be missing here.
What are customers looking for?
Customers are looking for a great experience - computing solutions thus play an important role in achieving this. To meet these demands, we don't just look at rolling out new hardware and software. We had gained a lot from the takeover of IBM's hardware division and from making other acquisitions like Medion in Germany, which for the latter, helped to create powerful gaming systems such as the PC X700.
We are focusing more and more on software and other solutions, too. An example of this is the Lenovo Cloud Services, which we introduced last year at CES 2012. This in turn led to Lenovo´s acquisition of Stoneware, a maker of cloud-computing software to meet the demand for cloud-based technologies, which will continue to rise.
How would you describe the future market?
New technologies are being rolled out, including voice recognition, touch, gestures, or cloud services. More innovative devices will be produced, such as the likes of the new convertibles that make the PC experience more fun. We have, for example, transformed the user experience from that of a 'personal' computer, to 'interpersonal', as seen in the table PC Horizon.
Tablet sales at the moment are skyrocketing - but the normal PC is not dead; our production of ultrabooks and other products thus places Lenovo in a good position against its competitors. The market constantly demands new and different products. Our goal is therefore to move quickly and develop new products. We believe in innovation, as well as authenticity - key features of Lenovo´s personality, to make products Do for Doers.
We go for stuff that really works, taking into consideration functionality and not just the 'cool' factor. The new Yoga 11s and the new ThinkPad Helix are examples of this.
How would you describe Lenovo´s strategy in general?
One of our goals is to be successful in coming up with new products and even categories, or attaining growth in more markets. We are also aiming to more effective in these new markets. Our products are also targetting the youth and to do so, we will have to be consistent in what we do. There is still work to do, for instance, in the naming of our new products.
Lenovo is really a global company with ideas and products coming from different places of the planet. We think of the company as a whole. We are moving into a new era where we have the next generation of international enterprises, and we are looking at every country to see what products and services make sense there. This will take time, but we have made a lot of progress.
Why has Lenovo decided to split the business into two parts - the Lenovo Business Group and the Think Business Group?
We believe in planning long term and this is a matter of efficiency. We have become pretty large so our organization must evolve too, that we not only focus on products but also be cohesive. That’s the idea behind the new facilities in the U.S.
The challenge is that there are now too many products and we have the situation where sales and support don’t scale. Premium and consumer have different expectations and different needs with regard to support and supply. An end-to-end responsibility within a particular business unit ensures the ability to create the type of products our customers expect and appreciate.
Is there some sort of a master brand behind this restructuring process?
No, there is no master brand. We are just recognizing the reality of groups becoming business units with end- to- end responsibilities, and not different brands in general.
We have to send a BIG “Thank you” to Lenovo´s Global Social Media Team for being our host during one of the greatest consumer electronics show in the world. It was truly a very unique, emotional and exciting experience for us to be a part of their team!
Photo credit: Special thanks to Craig Goldstein for taking these awesome pictures!
For more details on our new products and concepts shown during the CES 2013, go to our Special Events board here.
The greatest Consumer Electronics Show is here once again, and this time, we have two representatives from our Lenovo Community, who will be on-site for the next couple of days to give you reports and commentaries about what they have seen and experienced.
We ask the two (very excited) participants what they hope to get out of their experience, and hoiw community members can get in on the action as well (though you may be far far away).
Supermod Jane L
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to go to CES with Lenovo. I'm looking forward to being able to see and touch the new models like the Twist, the Yoga and the X1C Touch, and I'm eager to meet the Lenovo team and other advocates in person.
Looking at the preliminary agenda, I think we're going to see and learn a lot. And there's some
free time built in to see the rest of what's being introduced at CES.
I'm looking forward to having a wonderful time!"
I"I have to say I feel very honored to visit the CES in 2013. I´m looking forward to have a great time with the WW social media team, who made our journey possible. Further I´m excited to meet all the Lenovo staff from different departments and coming from all around the world. Starting with a highlight , we´ll have the chance to meet Lenovo´s CMO Mr. David Roman, on Tuesday. Here we´ll have the opportunity to ask questions to him and discuss strategies and particular trends in product developments.
I hope we´ll see a lot of new and exciting products. For example to touch the recently released X1 Carbon Touch or ThinkPad Twist. The Lenovo booth will be located inside the Aquaknox restaurant, inside the Venetian hotel, like last year, and usually they create an awesome and unique experience!
I´ll take some inside pictures for sure!
The convertibles, like the IdeaPad Yoga and ThinkPad Twist, have created a big fan base, in very short amount of time and so I expect Lenovo will deliver and we´ll see some new convertibles. There are some rumors about a new ThinkPad, too.
It will be called ThinkPad Helix, a 11,6 inch tablet with Windows 8, equipped with a docking station and full HD resolution display gained a lot of attraction inside the German forums. Generally I expect an increase of higher screen resolution displays, fitted into the new models. They will be faster, thinner, lighter and show more battery time.
AND! Perhaps we´ll got the chance, to be part of a Google Hangout, too. So stay tuned. More will come soon, just take a look into our forums! We´ll start our reports on Tuesday, January the 8th.”
Can't wait, Jane and Andreas!
Have a question for our two advocates to ask our Lenovo executives? Or have a query about a new unveiling? Join the discussion here!
Painting, sketching, and even making sculptures – such is forum moderator yigit’s dedication to the arts. The volunteer in our community even has his own website where he showcases his diverse range of work, and even finds time to dabble in another interest – photography. He shares his thoughts in this quick interview blog.
Serene: I am ever curious as to how our advocates discovered our community. So… how did you end up here?
Yigit: I have been on the forum for almost three years. I have pretty much the same story as the other advocates . When I tried to restore my system (an IdeaPad Y550) by pressing OneKeRecovery, the process started but after two hours I noticed it got stuck. Then I tried to do a reset it by pressing the power button.
I got an error code and did a search online for a possible solution and that was how I ended up here. Other issues piqued my interest: I wanted to install Windows from scratch so I stayed at the forum to find a solution. Meanwhile, I started to reply other questions. I couldn’t find an answer for myself but I guess that was a good thing for other people that I was here to help.
After a while, I received a message from AndyP. He was asking me if I would be interested in being a “Guru”. Of course I said yes and became part of the advocate family. Around 15 months after joining the forum I became a 'Moderator'.
Serene: Interesting bit of history there. What do you do while you are not here helping out with our community’s questions?
Yigit: I’m kind of still –art student- but It will take pages to tell what happened before. I’m planning to go back to art school and complete my education this time round as it is something I really enjoy. I taught myself web coding and design whilst I was at high school and am currently working as a freelance web and graphic designer.
Serene: Show us some samples of your work - online gallery? Which are your fave(s)?
Yigit: I have couple of oil paintings but to be honest I like working with pencil. Cleaning the brushes kills the creativity.
For the past three to four months, I have been busy with more graphic/web design and illustrations. I want to keep updating my website with my new art work in the next few months. You can see my favorite works in this page.
Serene: What are some of the tools that you use in the course of creating your art pieces?
Yigit: The use of pencil/paper is enough for old school art. For digital, all my ideas start on paper, I find sketching to be an easy way to get an exact replication of the idea in my head. When I feel the design is complete, I will use software to draw it out, with Freehand before exporting the graphics to Photoshop or Illustrator. In a way, I think technology is a great tool as it often allows me to create something virtually when it is impossible to create a physical representation of an idea that I have.
Serene: A little bird tells me that you have managed to get hold of an IdeaPad Yoga 13. What have you done with it, and what are some of the places the machine has been to with you? Can you share your Yoga 13 experience?
Yigit: As some of you may know, I have couple of IdeaPad systems but I can say this system heralds a new era in computing. At first, to be honest, I was a bit confused when using Windows 8 for the first time as I was so used to Windows 7. One major difference I noticed was that start-up was really quick – all it took was a mere five to seven seconds for my system to load. The other first thing about the Yoga 13 that stood out to me is its weight. It is light and you will probably forget that you’re carrying your computer with you. Please, be careful. You can lose it anytime
Tent mode makes it easier to watch the movies and videos. It comes with Dolby Surround Sound System and with just one click, you can transform it to Video/Music player via HDMI port. It’s a fabulous feeling knowing you can do so much with just one device. About graphics, the Yoga13 comes with Intel HD. Playing games in Tablet mode by just touching the screen is pretty awesome - If you haven’t experienced anything before, start it by playing Fruit Ninja.
Because of what I do, I usually can’t find time to play games; I can only do so during summers and maybe holidays. For this reason,, I haven’t really found any chance to test any game yet but it’s on my to- do list.
The touch screen could really help me with my art and design work as I can even draw on it directly. I have since installed Photoshop and Illustrator – and am really in love with the new design and features.
Serene: Based on your experience with the Yoga13, what would you hope to have changed in future variations of convertibles?
Yigit: I hope the graphic card can be changed, such that the next version will come with a switchable graphic card, such as NVIDIA or AMD cards, so that avid gamers can play the latest games on the market.
I also hope that the wireless card can be improved; currently it is working fine but I hope that the new version will provide a stronger wireless connection ( I am using the IdeaPad Y570 as a benchmark.)
In summary, it was awesome unboxing the Yoga13, which I strongly recommend for users looking for an all-in-one as you can use it as a netbook, notebook or even a tablet.
What improvements would you like made in future Yoga machines? Tell us in this thread.
Happy fifth birthday to all our Lenovo Forum members!
Dec 1, 2012 marks this particular milestone, as the English Community was officially launched on this date five years ago. We asked some of the pioneering forum members to share their thoughts about how the Community has grown and changed, along with what they hope can be changed and achieved in the months and years ahead.
One of the biggest changes to me for the Lenovo Forum over the past five years is just the sheer amount of traffic the forum has received. It has hundreds of thousands of messages (if not more) and I would imagine easily ten or twenty times as many pages views, as not everyone is going to post or reply to a new message. It is a far cry from the day when there were just a few tens of messages scattered around various sections in the forum.
I think that growth in itself is really a measure of the forum's success: Lenovo's customers can come into this space, and more often than not, get an answer that solves that problem, whether it be from another customer, a volunteer, or one of Lenovo's staffers. The fact that the forum has grown to such volume without imploding is commendable as well, and I think Lenovo's employees deserve a little bit of credit for such as task.
Coming from other well-established forums, building this one's user base/interaction from scratch was an interesting, challenging, and at times overwhelming experience.
It has been, for the most part, enjoyable and I am very happy to have been a part of the whole process, no questions asked.
Having been invited in as an early-adopter I can only echo the thoughts of goretsky and ajkula66 and add that watching the forum develop over the past years has been an amazing and rewarding experience. It’s a privilege to have been able to take part and be part of the exponential rise in the number of members partaking, and also being involved with the designs of the forum’s functionality. For instance, at the very start we had a rating system which didn’t prove to be at all popular and this was shelved pretty quick. This was later replaced by the Kudos function. I can’t remember all of the “newer” features such as the Knowledgebase, "the Accept as Solution” button, Twitter and Facebook integration and a totally re-vamped Search option which have been introduced over time asI guess I just take them for granted today as if they had always been there.
To me, the definite landmarks in the growth of the community were the introduction of the Spanish and German language forums, demonstrating Mark_Lenovo’s determination to reach out to and assist as many of Lenovo’s customers as possible. Of the two the launch of the German forum was more significant to me as I was asked to assist with creating its structure along with moderators Agotthelf and KalvinKlein.
There has, no doubt, been a plethora of solutions which will remain in members’ minds for different reasons; one of the most memorable for me was meeting up with a member from Holland, whose ThinkPad had been stolen and he was unable to recover his computer files with the means available to him. After spending a day playing around with different options I was able to successfully recover a complete image, including files from his system’s Rescue & Recovery backups. The smile on the member’s face when I handed him his hard drive complete with files was for me a massive reward and pertinent reminder of why I still partake in the forums and the words of thanks are always what motivate me to continue.
The biggest changes are in terms of contents, the volume of information that is created by people over the years is simply amazing.
I have not been here long, so I have no idea how you all have progressed over the past five years, but there is one of the highlights about the forum here - that Lenovo is still involved technically with their forum, and all of the volunteers and staff have done an exemplary job of maintaining a professional atmosphere here.
I helped get another forum off the ground a long while back. It soon devolved into a fight club because the company no longer really cared about it. I have been involved in a competitors’ forum, and a year or so ago it was basically hijacked by the social media arm of the company, and the technical content took a header, as well as the civility of the members.
I have not been here as long as some of the others, but I can say without a doubt that I am impressed with the professional environment of this community.
It was after an open invitation for Microsoft MVPs to participate in one of Lenovo's events that I registered here. On my first day I felt welcome and sensed an aura of teamwork. I was made to feel as if I was of some value to the community, no matter how much I contributed or how much I still needed to learn.
Long live Lenovo Community Forums. I consider it the best of all the OEM communities.
All I can say is I've been lucky to be a part of such a dynamic and ever growing group of super users who participate along with community extraordinaires like Mark_Lenovo. The forums has in many ways bridged the Knowledge divide and this I think is due to result of efforts of people like Serene_Lenovo, ExJamJus and Cleo_Lenovo (who form the triumvirate of the forums) and along with the zeal and enthusiasm of Lenovo's loyal followers . May the forum reach greater heights!
Five years ago, I wanted to create a place where all the disparate, grass-roots support venues could come together in a joint effort to support the overall community regardless of their origin. I think we achieved that as I see the same people posting here, at TPF and at NBR, other forums, Twitter, FB, etc getting help and sharing information across the boundaries of their "turf".
While the forum was never billed as an official support channel from the get-go, I had hoped that by the 5-year milestone it would be staffed on a consistent basis with support personnel assigned here permanently. I think getting dedicated support would go a long way. I hope also that we would have:
1) Dedicated support personnel assigned here permanently.
2) Mobile access functionality added (the forum is terrible on a smartphone screen, and the world is going mobile). When someone's notebook or tablet is down, a mobile format on a smartphone allows them to have a better experience getting help in the forum. If other forums can provide that, the world's #1 PC maker should be able to do so as well.
Have a thought about how to make our peer-to-peer support community even better? We welcome comments here.
Community Moderator Agotthelf got his hands on an IdeaPad Yoga 13 set a few weeks ago, and shares his review of one of our latest convertibles.
I had the chance to get the new Lenovo Yoga 13" as a review unit. It came in a classic black box, see the picture below. I can tell you, I was very excited and unboxed this new model immediately.
Below you can read about my experiences and I added some links which I found quite helpful.
Touch and feel:
The feel is really great overall. From the palm rest with its leather finish to the metal base and lid covers it is a joy to use it on your lap or a different mode. And it's really thin.
For me, the 13-inch Yoga's most outstanding attribute is the remarkable 1600 x 900 IPS display. Combined with the flip function, the 10 finger touchscreen, the screen is really awesome as it is very sharp and very bright. Honestly it is one of the best Lenovo screens I have seen so far. Hint: Some users are reporting a stylus is working with the display, also. Please refer to this forum post.
The Yoga is a convertible tablet and you can use it in four different modes:
Laptop mode: I think everyone knows in which situation it is comfortable to use the laptop mode :-)
Tablet mode: for reading papers and playing games
Stand mode: for watching videos in a plane or skyping
Tent mode: for setting it up in the kitchen to reference recipes or cooking video shows
I like the tablet mode most, it is great to read scientific papers, news or playing games, while sitting in a plane or railway when I go to work. I like the pinball game really.
CPU: 1.70GHz dual-core Core i5-3317U (you can upgrade to a 1.9GHz Core i7-3517U)
RAM: 4GB DDR3 (upgradable to 8GB)
Storage: 128GB SSD (upgrade to 256GB coming soon)
Ports: 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 combo jack, 1 HDMI, 1 SD/MMC reader (able to read SDXC cards)
Webcam: 1.0MP 720P front camera
Weight: 3.4 pounds (1,5 kg)
It is very fast! I was impressed to see a boot up time which is under 10 sec, resume from stand by needs 1-2 sec only, shut down in 3-4 sec. I LOVE it! This experience is rounded up by a very good battery life. Charging times seem to me quite short, too. For browsing I use Firefox normally, but on this machine Chrome works faster and the scroll function seems a lot smoother. Navigating in this forum has become easier and faster. Oh, I forgot to mention the feel of the leather feeling palm rest and magnesium chassis - really awesome! The sound from the speakers are good and are much better than my X220t.
The battery meter shows 92% just right now and 6:50h to go. Brightness is set on Step 4, Power Manager is set to "Balanced Power" mode, Browser (Chrome) with four open tabs, Facebook, Twitter, forums and writing this text.
The Yoga's six-row keyboard is very responsive and it's a joy to tap on.
The special keys are very handy - I like the the dedicated PrintScreen key, the special key for closing Apps and the refresh page button.
Note: When you flip the Yoga's screen back, the keyboard gets disabled automatically.
Read the User Guide to learn about the particular function keys, like the hardware Volume up and down switch on the left, rotation lock button right or how to use the touchscreen.
I have to say, as a heavy Touchpad user, I like the Touchpad very much; it was smooth and not bumpy. I tweaked it a little, by turning the pointer and scrolling speed nearly to max.and disabling some gestures, which I don´t need.
For the SSD speed see the ASS bechmark below, I can say the SSD works pretty fast and there were no hiccups.
*Note: The above WEI score is based on this machine's set-up. Different configurations will affect individual machine's scores. For more information, refer to this link.
RAM and HDD is part of CRU (Customer Replaceable Unit) . Rule of thumb: If it's more than 2 screws then the part isn´t a CRU, if 2 screws and below have to be removed, then its mandatory CRU. If you want to upgrade components the check out the Hardware Maintenance Manualor the RAM Upgrade Video. Another website: IdeaPad Yoga inside pictures, I found very helpfully.
If you have a question about whether to upgrade to 8GB RAM, please check out this thread.
At first I had to get comfortable with the modern UI (User Interface) in Windows 8. You perhaps want to customize Windows 8 for your purposes: Uninstalling unnecessary software, installing Start button if needed, choose the Apps you want and learning how to close, move and install apps. To get started into WIndows 8, I found it very helpful to check out CNET's complete guide to Windows 8.
Windows Experience Index is as follows:
Gaming Graphics: 6,2
If you want to wipe the SSD in order to get more free disc space and do a clean install, and you are asking yourselves where the Windows product key is, the Windows 8 product key is stored into the bios.
The 8GB drive is for iRST while the 20GB drive is for One Key Recovery (Press Novo Button then choose recovery or press Novo Button to power on). Other drives of smaller sizes are just considered as Windows 8 system partitions.
If you need more information how to gain space on your Yoga, just refer to this thread: Information about Hard disk allokation
How to get BIOS version in Windows 8: Hit the Windows key + R --> cmd, then write into the command line:
wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion
How to get into the bios: Just press the Novo Button to power on. (User Guide)
Please refer to the Driver Matrix to get the appropriate drivers for your Yoga.
You want to upgrade to WIN 8 pro? Then check out the solution given in this thread.
In Windows 7 there was always a reminder in the right task bar, that an antivirus program should be installed.
In Windows 8 and Windows RT, Windows Defender provides the same level of protection against malware as Microsoft Security Essentials. You can't use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8 or Windows RT, but you don't need to, Windows Defender is already included and you are ready to go.
Push the little round button (Novo Button) next to the power one when it is powered off. (User Guide). You should create a restore thumb drive from within Windows 8. Note that you´ll need at least 8GB of free space on your thumb drive.
All in all, I had much fun in the last two weeks, while exploring this exciting new piece of hardware with Windows 8.
The 13" model meets my needs perfectly as it is a lightweight convertible device, with an awesome screen, good battery life and easy to use input devices. There are still some glitches, but they are to be expected methinks, because hard- and software both are really new. But there will be more and more solutions to known issues, also. Just check the Yoga board frequently.
Have a question about the IdeaPad Yoga? Post your questions in the Yoga board or make a date for our first Hangout on the two time slots:
Happy 20th Birthday, ThinkPad! We were very privileged to catch up with Mr Arimasa Naitoh, who is otherwise known as the Father of the ThinkPad. He kindly spent some time answering some of the questions posed by our forum’s moderators, gurus and Microsoft MVPs.
The story of ThinkPad is very much a story of broad innovation and continuous innovation over the past two decades, but what ThinkPad concepts or technologies, if any, do you feel have reached their apex and cannot be refined any further? Or, in other words, what element is perfect?
Naitoh- San: The ThinkPad successfully allows customers the chance for location-free productivity in their businesses. What’s better than this? The ThinkPad creates more free time in our customers’ lives as better efficiency is attained through the use of the ThinkPad productivity tools. The ThinkPad’s process won’t reach the limit, as we keep having newer technologies and make more innovation.
What was your favorite obsolete technology that is no longer used in the ThinkPad line?
Naitoh-San: The butterfly keyboard was a good example – it was the expandable keyboard with the screen lid opened. The idea was to provide a full sized keyboard in 10.1” screen size form factor. In recent years the PCs and systems we produce have bigger screens and so, we don’t have the opportunity to use it now.
On the future
How do you think the world will change over the next 20 years? And how will the ThinkPad change, design-wise?
Naitoh-San: Years ago, we did not have cell phones the size they are now; we did not have high speed network to home; we did not have the internet, and we did not have online shopping. We did not have digital TV and digital video content. Our lives have been so much changed since the past 20 years, so in the next 20 years, life as we know will be lived differently. In the PC environment, we have been with a physical display and physical keyboard for the past 20 years, which will of course continue to exist. I expect new user interfaces and technologies will give us alternatives ways for humans to communicate and interact with IT.
How will the upcoming technological developments affect the next generation, in your opinion? How will kids be learning and doing things differently?
Naitoh-San: When children are born, they already live with pad and touch which are their start point. Children will generate what we could even imagine now. Children will learn things faster and in the unique way beyond something you can tell them. We just need to help them to dream big.
We'll like to have your thoughts on how technology will affect our lives in other areas, such as the way we work? Is mobile the future? The screens found in smart phones and tablets keep getting bigger, denser, brighter and clearer. Are there plans to update/ change the ThinkPad displays/ screens?
Naitoh-San: 20 years ago, cell phones, the internet, and other IT devices/infrastructure you use daily today did not exist. You can tell how your life and work style have been changed by those in the past 20 years, and I am sure that we will see the same degree of changes in the next 20 years. With regard to screen technology, today you select resolution of PC screen when you purchase such as HD, HD+ or FHD. It is very natural to imagine that you will no longer care it in future as screen will be much denser so you can’t tell how dense.
Do you have any advice for the next generation to inspire them in the way you've inspired the evolution of the ThinkPad?
Naitoh-San: To be honest I do not know if I can tell them something useful. I would maybe say ‘Watch, listen, take care of everything around you as that suggests to you what you should do.’.
On ThinkPad specs
Much thought obviously goes into each design revamp of the ThinkPad, where in its 20 years of history, there have been different variations of, for instance, the keyboard. Have you tried the various changes, from the butterfly, to the current island design? What are your thoughts?
Naitoh-San: I have used almost all of past ThinkPad keyboard. Currently I am using X1 Carbon Island keyboard, and I like it.
The ThinkPad models in the 1990’s had documentation stating that they are to be made in black cases, in accordance with Richard Sapper’s guidelines set in his collaboration with the Boca Raton Team. Why were there variations from this, where, for instance, the 700/ C, 720C and 300 are in grey?
Naitoh-San: In the 1990’s, we had the retail models of ThinkPad painted in grey to be distinguished from the original enterprise models.
Join in the celebrations with us! Check out this interview with ThinkPad design lead Mr David Hill here and go on this quick trip down memory lane in this living museum exhibition of ThinkPads held recently in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
They think nothing about spending copious amounts of time online helping ThinkPad users with technical support questions in the Lenovo Forums Community and other forums, and even traveling thousands of miles around Germany, giving on- the- spot hardware fixes to machines for free.
And get this – as a result of their participation in such activities and together with the other users in the independent german ThinkPad forum, close to €14,000 (or US$17,000) in total has been raised to date since the very first meeting held, and the funds have been channeled to various charity organizations including a Children’s Hospice, and an aid association for cancer.
Serene: How did the meet-ups come about?
Mornsgrans: The sessions started in 2007, when another ThinkPad user suggested having a meet-up in Kiel, Germany. It proved such a success that other ThinkPad users who heard about this wanted one as well. We have had sessions all over Germany, including Berlin, Stuttgart and Duesseldorf, which are attended by passionate fans, ourselves and fellow Lenovo Forum advocates agotthelf and andyP, who also help out with their expertise.
Participants hard at work helping one another.
Klaus: While most sessions occur in specific cities targeting users who live in an area, we also have special ThinkPad gatherings meant to draw participants from all over Germany – the ‘ThinkPad Woodstock’ and ‘Northstate Community Meetings’, which have both been held twice. The next meeting will be held in Hannover on Sep 29, 2012 so we are really looking forward to that.
Serene: What goes on at such gatherings, and how exactly do you get word out to people?
Klaus: Our meetings usually start with breakfast, where we get to know one another and match the ‘real’ people behind their forum handles. Once the meal is over the hard work of disassembling machines begins, followed by the replacement and installation of damaged parts. We also do simple diagnostics of a machine that is not working. Participants also make use of the meetings to sell parts and older systems, as well as show off new ThinkPad models they have, and even their modded systems.
Mornsgrans: Meetings generally do not exceed eight hours, but our meetings in Berlin can go up to 20 hours! We usually post the meeting announcements in the german ThinkPad-Forum and Lenovo Forums (German) Community. In special cases we even organize help for individuals, where we pair him/ her up with an experienced user in the person’s area.
Real-life Santa Claus-es
Serene: Do participants have to pay to take part in such gatherings?
Mornsgrans: All personal costs for travel and food are borne by participants; we do not charge a cent for our services. Participants are, however, free to donate to our charities. Since November 2008, we have worked together with members of the independent german ThinkPad community and raised close to US $17,000 through such meetings, as well as auctions, where the money is channeled to various charity organizations, including a children’s hospice and an aid association for cancer and leukemia. Most of the donations come from regular participants and organizers.
Klaus: If I hadn’t covered 20 ThinkPad meetings last year and spent more than US $2,000 the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon could have been mine! I am kidding of course - it’s all worth it; I love meeting all the wonderful ThinkPad enthusiasts in real life and helping them.
Serene: What has been the most memorable outing so far?
The Traveling Bear - the furriest participant EVER.
Klaus: See the furriest participant ever - a man-sized teddy bear that literally 'took' the train from Munich as its owner had collected it after purchasing it off eBay to Dusseldorf, where both joined the meeting. It was such a sight!
Klaus Feige was an L2 support engineer for 13 years before he started work for an urban transportation company and is a Lenovo Forums Moderator. Mornsgrans* (real name withheld by request) is an administrator in a chemical plant and is a Lenovo Forums Guru. Say hi to them when you see them in the forums!
EDITED for clarity - thanks Alroar!
He owns more than a dozen ThinkPads at any one point in time and, like the literary character Victor Frankenstein, embarks on secret projects to soup up these super machines, which he quite aptly names his ‘FrankenPads’. Meet forum guru ajkula66, or George, whose biggest challenge is to create enough spare time to share between his immediate family and his ThinkPads, as he shares a little about some of the little 'monster machines' he has put together in his romance with the ThinkPad brand.
Serene: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
George: Had someone told me 25 years ago that I'd be living here in the U.S. employed by a telecommunications giant, being married to the woman I am (and yes, I knew her back then, LOL) while calling computers my main hobby, I would've told them to seek immediate psychiatric help. But life happens...
Serene: Heard you have amassed quite a collection of ThinkPads. What sparked this off?
George: ThinkPads are addictive. There are just so many different things to love about them. I treasure the ability of my 15" units to deal with anything I throw at them, but they are not meant to be carried around a lot. That's when the smaller machines - mostly X-series tablets - come into play. The actual number of laptops in this household usually fluctuates between 6 and 10. It used to be a lot more, but I've sent all the ones that were not getting the attention they deserve - including some fairly rare examples - to good homes where they are now being showered with affection.
Serene: Cool! We know you are on secret modification projects to create monster hybrid systems which you lovingly call ‘FrankenPads’. How did this hobby come about?
George: I have always been interested in modding, rebuilding, customizing things. Over time I have gone from guitars and amps 30 years ago into rebuilding classic cars and hi-end audio systems, to ThinkPads. My philosophy? Take a good concept and make it better...
Serene: What were some of your most memorable projects?
George: Before I go any further, do note that in sharing what I have done, all modifications that I'm discussing here were done based on out-of-warranty machines. Community members who wish to do likewise should check the warranty status of their systems before attempting any of the following before proceeding with any work.
Three modifications that we'll discuss here today:
1. LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: EASY - Creating an R60F FlexView FrankenPad
A 'Level 1' Mod of the R60e ThinkPad
Take an R60e unit - one of the least expensive Lenovo products at the time of its announcement - and turn it into a workstation for a family on the budget, for a price that one could fill their gas tank two or three times over. All I needed was a replacement 15" SXGA+ IPS LCD, a Core Duo or Core 2 Duo CPU (all of the above can be had for a song nowadays), an open HMM, one Phillips screwdriver and a couple of hours of spare time. (for comparison shots between two identical R60 e units, one with a TN panel (on the left) and one with an IPS FlexView LCD (pic above) The end result was a desktop replacement with a beautiful screen that's easy on the eyes, perfectly capable of competently running Windows 7 (even today), or almost any flavor of Linux.
2. LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: INTERMEDIATE - Creating a T601 FlexView FrankenPad
This looks like a T60p right? Not quite. Read on...
The following modifications were made based on T60/p 15" frame containing a 15" SXGA+ or UXGA (as seen in pictures) FlexView LCD, while the motherboard was "borrowed" from a 14" T61. This mod can extend the life of T6x range of products for several years to come... I had done plenty of research before trying to build this hybrid and would advise anyone interested to do so to do likewise. Some frame modification is required, and also, the virtue of patience and of course, precision. The machine in the pic above is a T60p, right? Even the label says so, so why are we questioning the obvious? Well, not quite...
The BIOS page reveals specs from a T61 motherboard. Beat that.
3. LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED- Creating a Monster R52/ T43p
One word of fair warning: do NOT try this at home, unless you have the proper equipment and experience with board-level repair. The chances of you damaging the motherboard while performing the mod in question are fairly high, and it's best left to the professionals. So what's the "big deal" with this particular mod? The original design for R52, T43/p and X41/T models apparently called for (at the time "up and coming") SATA hard disk drives, but a decision was made to revert to PATA/IDE drives, and a converter chip was added to enable the native use of PATA drives on boards that were not initially designed for them. What this particular mod involves is the removal of the converter chip in question, as well as replacing the IDE connector on the motherboard with a SATA one, therefore unleashing the full potential of these machines.
The above pic shows the stock Hitachi 60GB/7200rpm PATA hard drive that the higher-end T43/p normally shipped with: And here's a Crucial SSD from my own, SATA-modded T43p:
A comparison reveals that there's NO comparison ...
Serene: I am amazed. And shocked. What keeps your passion going?
George: I love challenges. Of all sorts. I just relish taking ideas implemented on ThinkPads from different eras and building a machine that encapsulates all of them. I'm currently working on what I deem to be the Ultimate FrankenPad: the frame/housing came from a 15" T60 unit. A very rare QXGA (2048x1536) IPS FlexView LCD from a R50p. The motherboard came from a 14" T61 with nVidia graphics. I'm still debating which processor to use, but it will likely be a X9000 - CPU that no ThinkPad ever shipped with from the factory, rescued from an Alienware laptop with a dying motherboard. It's one very vicious FrankenPad, to say the least. I could've easily bought a well-equipped W530 just for the price of parts that went into this machine - labor and time not being considered for one split second - but this is way more fun...
Serene: Sounds like tough labors of love. Which has been your favorite project to date?
George: That's a very tough call, but if I had to choose just one it would be my personal, SATA-modded T43p. Years have been shaved off the original design when everything was said and done. My T43p is seven-year-old platform that still gets a WEI of 3.8 in Windows 7, which is not bad at all. If I were to make an adjustments or improvements, all I have to do is swap the screen for one with a different resolution. However, personally I think this is as far as the T43p can be further modified as it is a completely finished project that really can't be challenged.
Serene: As you will know, this year marks the 20th birthday of the ThinkPad. What are your thoughts on this?
George: I'd love to see the 701C "butterfly " keyboard re-born with new internals. Or an A31p with a planar from T530. I also wish for a W530 with an IPS screen and a "classic" 7-row keyboard, in traditional ThinkPad finish, which would be highly appreciated by silly old me... (Serene: NO YOU AREN’T!)
Have a penchant for pushing the boundaries of your Lenovo systems further? Share your FrankenPad stories here as well.
Having spent more years with the Idea and 3000 series, forum moderator vijaysaradhi pens some thoughts about his experiences with his very first ThinkPad back in 2009, and how the iconic line of machines has changed the way he blogs:-
"I started blogging during the latter half of 2009 after being inspired by a community member who shared his blog with me. Then, I was not really sure if blogging was my thing, or that it was something that I would pursue for a long time to come. Anyhow, I decided to take the plunge and started my blog, which I found that it was absolutely cathartic, as I am able to share my thoughts and views with my friends and readers, and keep them abreast of the developments in my life.
Then, my instrument was my trusted Lenovo desktop, which served me well (and is serving me still), but I wished for something more mobile, being inspired while I am on the go, and a portable system would allow me to jot down my thoughts as I go on my daily commute on the Indian railways.
It was as if someone up there heard my wish; a sudden surprise came in the form of a loaner machine from Lenovo India – an X200T – and I was over the moon as the lightweight but tough system gave me the opportunity to publish my blog posts on the go, or at least for me to take notes while I am travelling. I also took the opportunity to really get to really know more about the ThinkPad, as it was the first time I was using one of the machines in the iconic line (which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year!) , and I ‘experimented’ with it, porting over some of my favorite Linux applications, for instance, and chronicling my experiences/ experiments on my blog.
Despite my relatively short experience with the ThinkPad line (in comparison with the some of the other advocates in this community) I am sold on it, like the rest of the large cult following I have come across in the four years I have spent in these forums. I am so used to the TrackPoint now and the keyboard as well, and can absolutely understand why everyone else is also a fan.
‘Cos I am one now as well!"
Love the ThinkPad as well? What was your favorite? Tell us here as we celebrate its 20th anniversary!
Guess what's so special about the picture above.
Believe it or not, it was drawn entirely on a ThinkPad tablet- with the help of the stylus, of course. Forum guru MrPeter1985 got his hands on one a few months ago, and recounts his experience:
“Seeing other users’ sketches on the ThinkPad tablet threads made me want to sketch something myself. I didn't have a clue as to what to draw, so I figured -- why not something Lenovo. So I did an online search of Lenovo images and this nice bright orange laptop stood out. I also noticed the Olympics in the corner of the screen, so I figured this was perfect for this entry, given that the iconic Games just ended recently.
"I had never done much drawing on tablets before – aside from a quick doodle every now and then, the above sketch was my first sit-down attempt at doing so. I have been sketching for many years. My mum even claims that I was drawing stick figures when I was one. I can only recall getting compliments for my sketches when I was nine. But I digress.
Now onto the actual drawing itself. I must say this – anyone who can draw on paper can get the hang of the use of the stylus on the ThinkPad tablet. I used the Sketchbook Pro App from the Google Play Store and drew this using only three layers. One was a quick sketch and coloring. The second was the more detailed pinch zooming with extra detailing. The last layer contained tweaks to the background and my signature. I found the app easy to use as the layout and functions were similar to Photoshop so it was not hard to get the hang of it as all the options do it for me.
While drawing was relatively easy, I had to hover over the tablet a few times to sketch when the tablet was in Pen Only Mode, and when palm rejection set in. But I got used to this after awhile. Moving forward I will be getting me one of those tablet gloves to fix this touch issue so that movement will be smoother and my hand can then glide.
I can't wait to sketch some more on this tablet in the near future and will be adding my sketches to the ThinkPad tablet or photo submissions. So keep a lookout for them.
This cat sketch on paper (above) is my absolute favorite, which I drew when I was nine years old. I thought it would be a nice challenge to take this on. What do you think of my efforts below?"
A few days ago we announced that the release of the ICS build for the IdeaPad K1. What you won’t know that this would not have been possible if not for the collaborative efforts of the community, notably Khanning, aleafonthewind and also gmarkall, who also helped test, debug and improve on the ROM before the release.
We catch up with Khanning, or Kreg Hanning, who shares with us a little bit about himself and sheds some light as to what sparked his interest in Android development.
Serene: Hi Kreg. Thanks so much for your help. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do in real life.
Kreg: I'm currently working as a full time Technology Specialist for a university in Cambridge, MA. I am leading technology management of a three-year partnership initiative with a public elementary school to begin to integrate technology into the classroom. I also attend the University of Massachusetts where I am working towards my Bachelor Degree in Computer Science.
Serene: Sounds like you have a lot on your plate – what do you do besides working on Android codes?
Kreg: Well, Android is a big one, along with other various software/hardware programming. When I'm not working on Android you can find me kayaking on the Charles, catching a Red Sox's game, or tearing something apart to put a microcontroller in it.
Serene: That’s amazing. So what got you started on working on the K1?
Kreg: The project started with a custom firmware many are familiar with called, Cyanogenmod 9. It's a modified version of Android 4.0 ICS. My (K1) build had basic functionality, but it had some large bugs that caused most people to stay away (No Camera, No HD Video Playback). At the time it was only me and another user named krook1 working in an IRC chat to try to figure out the remaining issues. We were able to figure out what the fixes were, but since Lenovo already made a commitment to an official ICS release, we couldn't justify investing the huge amount of time it would have taken to try it. Forward to today and we have an official ICS release from Lenovo. I now have been able to compile a fully functional AOSP ICS build that I'm about ready to release. Then onto Jellybean…
Serene: Were you surprised when the code was shared with you to work on?
Kreg: It was nice to have the kernel source provided quickly after the release. A lot of Android devices are released without proper kernel source codes, which is a clear violation of its licensing agreement. I believe the open source nature of Android has played a fairly substantial role in its success, and it's amazing to see companies like Lenovo begin to reach out to the open source community. I was also very pleased with Lenovo's decision to release a completely "Vanilla" Android build.
Serene: As are many people, we hope. That said, thanks so much for working on this! Here’s to many more chances for collaboration!
Have a question about ICS? Or about our tablets in general? Join in our discussion here.
He proudly calls himself a Coder, Thinker and Dreamer. And he has the chops to back him up. Meet Michael Archambault, a multi-hyphenate who at 18, is already CEO of his own software company, and who still manages to find time to indulge in his favorite past-time of gaming, and entertain his one-year-old parrot on top of juggling school work/ projects/ work commitments.
We managed to tie down this entrepreneur for a few moments to find out what his experience with our Ultrabooks have been like (he owns a U300s), as well as his thoughts about how the future holds for this series of products.
Serene : Hey Michael, glad you could spare us some time to do this! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Michael: Hi, glad to be here! I'm currently a student studying at the New York Institute of Technology and I run a software development company, NARAUK, which works on various projects for consumer and enterprise use. I'm also a blogger in my free time.
Serene: What got you interested in Lenovo?
Michael: There is a ton of technology companies (both hard and software) out there trying to push the limits of computing today and Lenovo is strongly at the forefront. Its ThinkPad line has established for
itself a solid reputation for reliability and toughness, and with the wild designs coming out from the Lenovo Beijing team as seen in the IdeaPad line, Lenovo really is raising the bar for technology and innovation and catering to both businesses and consumers.
Have you seen the touchscreen IdeaCenter A720 and IdeaPad YOGA yet? They are amazing and I bet my bottom dollar that they will be two of the best machines available when Windows 8 is released later this year.
Serene: Your personal machine is a Lenovo U300s Ultrabook. Why did you pick it?
Michael: I was a ThinkPad user until recently, and only made the switch as I was drawn to the form and functionality of the U300s. I really needed a machine with an i7 processor, but also a light machine to carry around frequently.
In short, the U300s looked and felt good - it is tough (many people don't know it has a roll cage), powerful, and is a super thin machine like no other. Other manufacturers have had some decent Ultrabooks, but Lenovo was able to perfect a unique and strong design while instilling interesting innovation into the machine, such as the ultra silent fans and heat ventilation system that uses the keyboard to take in air -how cool is that?!
Serene: So what has it been like making the switch from Think to Idea?
Michael: So far my experiences have been wonderful. When I'm at my desk I connect the unit to my external 1080p monitor and USB Hub and it zooms along, compiling code and handling whatever I throw at it. And I can do my work on the go as it’s so light and portable. Plus the fact that it looks so good just adds on to the feel-good factor as it is such a head-turner – I have actually had people stop me and ask what machine I was carrying. People cannot believe just how small and light this machine is.
Serene: What improvements would you hope to see in the future? Do you think Ultrabooks will take over the world?
Michael: The U300s is a solid machine, but I would hope to see the addition of a backlit keyboard and a higher resolution display in the next model.
I think Ultrabooks will definitely obtain world domination! Ultrabooks are just the next step in computing - they are a bold attempt from Intel to take machines and thin them down while still keeping the specifications and standards high.
A good way to predict what is around the corner is simply to look to more expensive and larger machines. Today's premium and ultra sleek systems are tomorrow's standard, so I think we can simply look to more
powerful laptops in the two to three thousand dollar range to see what will be coming. For example as we move on in the future the idea of an Ultrabook with a quad core processor, dual dedicated graphic cards, longer battery life and an even thinner frame is closer than most people think.
Catch Michael Archambault as he shares his gaming experience… and on an Ultrabook no less, in the Lenovo Blogs soon (we’ll update this link when it’s live). And if you have a question about Lenovo Ultrabooks, stay tuned for something very exciting coming your way in the Lenovo Forums from Jun 20-22!
So you’ve gotten your hands on an IdeaPad A1 tablet and plan to tweak it? Here’s a handy tip on how you can create a custom ROM (Read Only Memory) by current PhD student gmarkall. Those of you who are active in the IdeaPad tablet discussion boards will probably find his name familiar. A hardware junkie- turned-avid- Android developer discovered a new passion for building apps after getting his first smartphone – and has never looked back.
So why concentrate on developing Android apps, and more specifically, why share this particular tip with our community? gmarkall reveals:
“One of the great things about Android is that it is open source - this means that anybody is able to download a copy of the source, and build a completely customized Android system (a custom ROM) from scratch. When you buy an Android device, you get it with the stock ROM – the Android system developed by the manufacturer for that device. By installing a custom ROM, you replace the stock ROM with the system of your choosing. Many devices have a number of custom ROMs available for them, usually maintained by individuals or small teams of developers from the community, completely independently of the manufacturer.
Above: Screengrabs of the Cyanogenmod 7
“There are several reasons why you would choose to install a custom ROM. Often the developers of a custom ROM will be able to respond quickly to bug reports as they have a direct connection to the community – they can often provide new features and bug fixes in a shorter space of time than the manufacturer. Custom ROMs are usually built from the very latest version of the Android source code, which means that the latest features are added to custom ROMs sooner than they appear in the stock ROM. Better performance or efficiency can be gained by using a custom ROM, since un-necessary features and bloat are not included, and performance enhancements and tweaks may also be added. Different custom ROMs will have had different features added or removed, so you can choose the ROM that is right for your needs, and get exactly what you want out of your device.
“From a developer's point of view, the Ideapad A1 is a great device to do development for in comparison to some other tablets that are currently on the market. First and foremost, Lenovo has provided the device completely unlocked – there is nothing preventing the flashing of custom ROMs to the device. It is often the case with other devices that some level of protection has been added that prevents the stock ROM from being modified – this protection is inconvenient for users who want to customise, and the protection is invariably eventually broken, but at the cost of time that could be spent doing ROM development instead. The A1 is built mostly from components that are open hardware, for which the full specifications and datasheets are freely available on the internet. These are invaluable resources because they explain how to control the hardware, so developers don't have to spend time reverse-engineering how the chips work, which is a time-consuming and complicated process. Finally, the A1 is very “safe” to do development for, as it is resilient against bad software being written to its internal storage – it has an undocumented feature that allows you to start up the system from an SD card, which allows you to repair the internal storage, much like booting up a PC from a live CD allows you to fix software problems on the hard drive.
“There are a number of custom ROMs and other modifications that have been created and are under active development for the Ideapad A1. Here's a short run-down of these projects:
Have a question for gmarkall about his tip? Join in the conversation below.
Do YOU have a handy tip that you want featured here as well? Shoot me a PM here and tell me more!