All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go...
Ready, set, packed!
Just how excited is PeterTWJ about his upcoming trip to Lenovo’s inaugural TechWorld event, in Beijing next week?
Judging by how he’s all set and prepped, I would say pretty much stoked.
The youngest guru in the Lenovo Forums, Peter is also one of Lenovo’s Insiders, and this is the first time he has been given a chance to travel overseas to one of our events.
We catch up with the busy student, who is in his second year of studies in a Singapore polytechnic, before he flies off to China.
Serene: How did you feel when you heard you were going to be part of this massive event?
Peter: Super excited. I feel I am privileged to have been invited to a grand event like TechWorld. I am all excited about his event as I will be able to be right smack in the thick of the action and have first dibs and access to the latest Lenovo products, and even demo them!
As a current student this is an even greater opportunity for me to be exposed to new tech, and of course, learn more about innovation.
Serene: What are some of the things you are looking forward to doing when you are there, and who you are most excited to meet, and why?
Peter: How many people have the chance to hobnob with the CEO of a big tech company? I am so looking forward to meeting with the Lenovo CEO – I have so many questions to ask him! I am also excited to be able to interact with other top level executives from the company as well.
Also, on a personal note, this being my second visit to Beijing, I am excited to look around to see the differences in the city from 10 years ago.
Serene: Awesome. So how have you been preparing for the trip?
Peter: Well, it’s the school term so I have been studying really hard, cramming as much learning as I can as I would be missing some lessons. I have also been thinking about the #ihackedlife challenge, particularly for mobile devices such as the Yoga 3 Pro and the Vibe phones.
As you can tell, I have already got my bags packed, and equipment checked for the trip!
The all important camera bag
The Yoga Peter is bringing to Beijing
Have a question for PeterTWJ about his upcoming trip? Post your questions here! Also, have a lifehack you want featured? Tweet or Instagram your hacks with the hashtag #ihackedlife for a chance for it to be featured in TechWorld next week!
Have a Lenovo product and wish to tell us what you want changed, or what you love about it? Here's a call to action from Sarah Kennedy, who is from the User Design and User Researcher Team, where we are inviting your say!
Calling all Laptop, Desktop, and Tablet owners: We need to hear more from you!
We are listening and taking actions! Our product design and engineering teams are listening to our customers, we hear your input and we are taking action. Whether it is through our social media channels, our forums, blogs, or fan clubs around the world, your input matters and we are tracking it. We heard you loud and clear on our ThinkPad clickpad design, and we’ve reacted – the buttons are back! More changes are in the pipeline, each driven by deep customer understanding from around the globe. When you give us your feedback you are personally helping to influence the next wave of technology that Lenovo puts onto the market.
The User Experience and User Research Group would like to hear from you.
Our User Experience and User Research group is one of many teams at Lenovo using customer feedback to impact change on future generations of products. The team is comprised of User Experience Hardware and Software Designers, Concept Developers, Strategy & Branding Designers, as well as User Experience Researchers.
The UX/UR team wants to hear from you, one way to express your opinions regarding Lenovo PC products is to take part in our Product Ownership Survey described below. Your open and honest, constructive feedback is more than welcomed.
Product Ownership Survey
If you have recently acquired a Lenovo PC or Think PC, you’re invited to weigh in by taking our brief, 5-10 minute Product Ownership Survey.
For this round, we are seeking those of you who are actively using your Lenovo, Think, or Idea Laptop, Yoga, Desktop, Workstation, All-in-One PC, Tablet or Detachable Tablet PC.
If this is you, click on the following link and help Lenovo design the future!
Thank you very much in advance!
[Back row: T42 – T21 – T60p. Front row: W520 – W540]
I‘ve been a die-hard T-series and later, W- series ThinkPad enthusiast ever since I got my first T42 and upgrading through the product cycles, the next logical step to my venerable T60p was a W500 where I found my ThinkPad series of choice, the Beasts, or rather, the ThinkTank, as I choose to call them.
I‘ve not been upgrading my daily drivers each product cycle, although I do fill in the gaps in the series as time passes, but I usually skip a cycle before upgrading. For the W- series, I upgraded the W500 with a W520, a wonderful piece of art that serves as my secondary workstation today. As usual, I skipped the W530 and decided to wait for the W540, but when it was announced, I put that plan on hold as I do not like full-size keyboards and the off-centre TrackPoint / TrackPad really seemed like something I didn‘t want to work on. Also, I had no experience with the new ClickPad, and wanted to try it out a bit first before investing in such an expensive machine that I possibly might not like. But upgrade I did, as I went for a T440s for lighter tasks and travel and a i7-4800MQ / 16GB T440p with a 2 HDD setup for the heavy lifting and through them I got to know, and appreciate, the ClickPad as well as they greatly impressed me regarding hardware quality and performance.
Last October, I got a W540 unit sent to me through the forum advocacy program, and in the last couple of months I‘ve been putting it through its paces and getting to know it better. Being a W-series machine, it will put you through some paces as well, as these are immensely powerful machines with vast configuration options and even greater field of application. I work as an independent computer technician, specializing in laptop and desktop refurbishing and repairs, but I also take most other IT tasks that come my way, including network- and system administration, Windows and Linux server setups, configuration and maintenance and data recovery, to name but a few. That is why I rely heavily on having a powerful machine like the W-series, which can pretty much do everything, and through the years they‘ve provided me with a rock solid foundation for all my work.
Part 1: Hardware Upgrades
I usually buy all upgrades and accessories at the time of purchase, but as this one kinda snuck up on me, I got the essentials to start with, which is an upgrade from 8GB to 32GB RAM and a secondary HD in a UltraBay IV caddy. Before configuring the BIOS and installing Windows and Fedora for a dual-boot setup, the hardware upgrades need to be installed. As with every other computer repair, never, ever open an access panel before unplugging the machine from AC and removing the main battery. I keep myself grounded through an antistatic floormat and heelstraps, but there are many other ways to prevent electrostatic discharge while working on system internals.
True to the ThinkPad legacy, the W540 is a real pleasure to upgrade and maintain, and this one access panel for all the SO-DIMM slots and the main HDD is a great improvement compared to the older models, where 2 SODIMM slots are under the keyboard, 2 SODIMM slots in a small access panel on the botton and third access panel for the main HDD. The access panel on the W540 is therefore much bigger than the ones on the earlier models, and as I‘ve seen it‘s relatively easy to snap of the latches if brute-force is applied. Using the method above, the panel door came off with ease.
Starting with the RAM, this is the SODIMM slot configuration. For the older 4 slot models you would pair the modules in slots 0-1 and 2-3, see the guide here: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Lapt
I'm using a pair of Transcend TS1GSK64W6H and a second pair of Crucial CT102464BF160B.C16, both DDR3L 1.35v PC3-12800 @ 1600Mhz and here are the details from HWiNFO64:
A small change to the xx40 series UltraBay is that the small locking latch and slider mechanism from the earlier models have been replaced by a simple locking screw, which is not as convenient and practical, but easily workable nontheless. As I am not very keen on opening up my machine on-site should I require to swap out my secondary HDD for the ODD, I removed the locking screw from both my T440p and my W540. The drives sit quite firmly in the UltraBay, and not once have I experienced them becoming loose during my travels, so it‘s quite safe to remove it if you need to hotswap your drives. For my UltraBay IV caddy, I opted for the one from Lenovo, found here: ThinkPad T440p/T540p/W540 Ultrabay SATA Adapter, but there are 3rd party ones you can readily find through various online outlets. Then I just keep my ODD‘s and a the xx40‘s locking screw in a handy little carrying case in my computer bag should I require them.
In Part 2, we‘ll take a look at the BIOS configuration and OS installation. Stay tuned!
SHAREit is an intuitive and a necessary tool in today's wide world for data sharing and transfer. I have been very pleased to finally see a software work this seamlessly across platforms and devices. Take a look at my experience with this app.Read more...
Came across our Lenovo Design Studio and wondered what it is all about? Here's the reason for its birth, by one of our most passionate marketers, Bryan Ushijima.
Over the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Lenovo’s Consumer Design team to build design culture through digital and social media, and give our fans and creators the chance to get involved in the design process for next-gen PCs (the project is called Lenovo Design Studio).
For those of you who might not be familiar with Lenovo’s Consumer Design team, they are the team behind the award winning Yoga 3 Pro and Horizon 2s, as well as a slew of other great tech, such as the A740, Miix 3, and the U300s. And…as you might expect from creatives, they are enjoyably eccentric. They are odd and quirky, sometimes abstract in conveying their ideas, but undeniably brilliant and passionate about evolving tech design.
From the time I’ve spent with them, it’s clear they have a vision for what the PC experience should be. They refuse to see technology as just another tool, and strive to design beyond ‘standard’. In fact, there is a strong understanding among them that they should push the boundaries of expectation, function, and experience. Evolve human-technology interaction and you can change the role of tech in our lives— you can make technology meaningful.
As one of the lead designers once told to me…
One of the biggest failures for us would be in designing a PC that’s merely a tool. A PC doesn’t have to be just another cold machine. It can be a part of a user’s identity and a part of that user’s life. A PC should be relevant and enticing, and always deliver a meaningful experience.
So how does a designer attempt to do this? How does a designer build technology that has the potential to shape our experiences?
From my understanding, the key is in talking to real users, listening to real feedback, and striving to evolve the product from there. Every piece of feedback is as important as the last, and all of it can inspire top-notch tech that enhances the lifestyle of our users.
That said, after several months spent working and learning from the design team, I’m excited to announce an initiaive that we hope will bring you closer to our team, and closer to the process of design.
I’m excited to open the doors to Lenovo Design Studio, and I hope you will enjoy it. Please tell us what you think or share a suggestion if you’d like. Everyone is welcome.
For more information on Lenovo Design Studio, our Consumer Design Blogs, or the #DesignWithUs Campaign specifically for social media, you can find more here.
Bryan Ushijima, Digital Marketer @Lenovo | Exploring typography, design, and creative, future tech.
About a month ago, I was fortunate to receive a pre-production, 3rd generation X1 Carbon Touch to use and review. Since it was revealed at CES 2015 last week, I'm now able to share some of my thoughts about it.
As a side note, if you have been following Lenovo at CES this year, you may have heard that the 100 millionth ThinkPad has rolled off the production line and that ThinkPad was at Lenovo's product exhibition in Las Vegas. Quite fittingly, it's a Gen3 X1 Carbon and her name is Eve. You can follow her on Twitter as @ThinkEve (https://twitter.com/thinkeve). She's quite witty, actually!
The unit I received, while described as pre-production, certainly looks completely polished and ready to ship. Nothing appears rough or unfinished. The specs, as far as I can tell, are top-of-the-line.
CPU: 5th generation Intel Core i7-5600U (Broadwell)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 (integrated)
Memory: 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3L 1600 MHz (soldered to system board)
Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe solid state drive
(Samsung MZHPV512HDGL-000L1: http://www.thessdreview.com/daily-news/latest-buzz
WLAN: Intel 7265AC Dual Band with Bluetooth 4.0
WWAN: Sierra EM7345
LCD: 14.0" IPS WQHD @ 2560 x 1440 with 10-point multitouch (270 nit)
Keyboard: Six-row, backlit (2 levels)
Webcam: 720p with dual noise-canceling HD microphones
Ports (left): Power, OneLink, full-size HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, Always-on USB3.0, Headphone/mic combo jack
Ports (right): Security lock slot, Ethernet extension connector (w/cable), USB3.0
Ports (rear): micro-SIM card slot
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro Update 1 x64
It will be very interesting to see how the options list expands as production and shipping ramp up.
(Current info at: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/x-se
Other than the newer specification components, the Gen3 X1 Carbon differs from its Gen2 predecessor in a number of very significant ways:
- First, the adaptive key row of the Gen2 X1 Carbon has been replaced by more traditional and familiar Fn keys. The key spacing is a little tight, but their return is enthusiastically welcomed.
- Next, the key arrangement has reverted, so much of my built-up muscle memory is useful again.
- Finally, and most importantly to many, the TrackPoint buttons have returned! One of the things I learned at CES this year, was that Lenovo took the time and opportunity to make the buttons even better. I won't delve into the minutiae here, but the click and feel really is better than in any other ThinkPad in my collection. Lenovo listened!
- With the i7 + PCIe SSD combination, this machine flies! I don't do CADD, video rendering, compile million-line source code files or work with billion-cell spreadsheets, so I can't comment on how those kinds of use cases would fare, but in my opinion that's not the purpose of this type of machine. While I don't rely heavily on synthetic benchmarking tests, preferring instead subjective "feel", I did run CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD Benchmark as I was curious about the results for the new PCIe-attached drive. For reference, the AS SSD score for the 512GB Samsung 840Pro in the main drive bay of my X220 (SATA3-6Gb/sec interface) is: 1106.
- The LCD is bright and crisp. I see no indication of light-bleed around the edges as is often the case with IPS panels, nor am I seeing image retention.
- The fit and finish is perfect, as far as I can tell. No rough edges, bezel gaps, or the like.
- The 6-row keyboard is fast, crisp and accurate. As I mentioned above, the Fn key group spacing is a little tight, but their return is very welcome. The traditional navigation keys are much better placed.
- I haven't explored the battery life in depth, yet. I'm generally never more than 3 hours from a power source, so it's not the most critical factor for me in any of my ThinkPads. The 50Whr battery is spec'ed at >10 hours and features RapidCharge capability. YMMV.
- I'm unable to test the WWAN functionality as I don't have a suitable micro-SIM card nor service plan.
- So far, the number, type and placement of available ports is working well for me.
- I would like the option of 16GB of RAM. Well... just because.
- Indicator lights would be welcome in a future iteration.
In a nutshell, this ThinkPad is gorgeous!
( so superlative, in fact, that Annie photobombed one my picture attempts )
From the WQHD IPS touch LCD, to the return of the dedicated function key row, and most importantly to some of you, I'm sure, the return of the TrackPoint buttons, Lenovo has hit a grand-slam home run. All IMHO, of course. Everything that I (and many others) did not like about the 2nd generation X1 Carbon has not only been addressed, but in the case of some things, improved.
Many long-term ThinkPadders consider the X300/301 machines as the pinnacle of mobile design and functionality, and I'm one of them. The Gen3 X1 Carbon, though, is a contender for taking the crown!
Well done, Lenovo... very well done, indeed!
The Yoga 3 Pro is a remarkable machine. Thin, quick, and quiet, with a gorgeous display, an amazing hinge, and that Yoga gymnastic ability. Bonus: it supports virtualization
(Illustration credit: supermod Erik - who also came up with most of the Communities' graphics and our 5th year anniversary logo.)
Slightly more than three years ago I was approached about a role within the Lenovo Forums Community, and being a non-techie, was fascinated by the folks I saw active here.
There was just so much being shared, and people weren't selfish at all about helping others; in fact, there were (and still are) community users who spend most of their time here, just wanting to help - with no strings attached or expectations whatsoever.
I was amazed then, and am still amazed now - and salute you.
As we enter our seventh year of operations, and grow even bigger, on a personal note I am really looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends from around the world. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being on the journey with us. I am truly blessed to be working with the group of moderators and gurus (and the community at large), and have really learned a lot the past few years here.
And I am not the only one. Here's a few thoughts from some of the very special people who have grown with us along the way:
“It’s not easy to be where we are today which was from zero to 400k+ registered users, and we grew from initially 18,000 topics first year to now 32,000 topics, and this sheer volume is growing still.
It’s like watching a baby growing into a young adult. There is now more attention given to Lenovo Forums by online users, and I am so proud to tell others that I’m part of the forum team. More and more great volunteers have joined our squad and become forum advocates and I am so happy to work with them.
With anything there will of course be growing challenges and there is no finish line so we have to keep moving forward. There are 4 language communities at the moment and we are looking at expanding even more.
Can't wait. Hang in there Lenovo Forums. Happy 7th birthday.”
- English Community Lead, Cleo_Lenovo
"Like most of my work, the idea came to me late at night during a bout of insomnia. A lack of sleep can be quite inspirational—even if unintentional. The original graphics from the early forum days surrounded a birthday cake concept. As the forum matured I felt a more grown-up design was appropriate. Maybe we'll see another TrackPoint cake next year. It's good to mix things up.
I can only hope that my contributions—both graphical and technical—have improved users' experience in visiting the forum. Much of my design work is outdated at this point so it's probably time to put pen to paper and draw up something new.
Having been with the forum from pre-launch to today, it's reassuring to see close to half a million user IDs registered. While numbers aren't everything, it shows that forums still provide an important, interactive and relevant experience different from other social media channels. The other channels might be more urgent and immediate in nature but forums remain the granular, technical repository for archival-quality material. I see forums as a long-term solution for technical content where blog-style content such as Facebook and Twitter are better geared for marketing purposes. None, however, are mutually exclusive and each has their place in a product owner's opportunities to interact with a brand and its user base."
"This big community is great and unique! It can offer so much help and enable so much contact and feedback between users like no one else. The vast amount of knowledge from their members can help from the easiest set up question up to serious hardware modding.
I haven't done much "moderator work" but mostly helping users with tech problems and informing them about how to keep the notebooks working cool. I'm mainly active in the Spanish and English communities (with some visits to the German community as well) and it's very interesting to see that many times the questions and problems users have are the same, despite language, cultural differences and geographical location.
I like helping users, specially when I see they can really profit from my tips and/or answers. That said, one of my main grunts with the forum software is the limited capability to upload pictures, I see some room for improvement there, like allowing external links from Picasa or other photo hosting companies. Also the Avatars could be bigger.
- moderator Tasurinchi
"The challenge of answering the questions to help other users, since February 2009 - that was my intention to join this community. I was then made a guru, then moderator, and helped out with the Knowledge Base creation in both the English and later, German communities.
I found that this structure, a peer-to-peer support community is an advantage as everyone is participating. What’s more, I am happy being a member of this quickly expanding world-wide community! So keep going on!We willl together do a big THINK ...now and in the future!"
- moderator KalvinKlein
"Congratulations to the Community, which is made up of a very professional team. I didnt read the forum before 2010 as havn't seen the needs for that - I used another branded PCs and laptops, including "self made". At the end of the 2010th....beginning of 2011 I looked for a new laptop for my personal usage and daily mobile work. As I had several mandatory requirements for laptop I've came to the Lenovo forum for solution, examples - my friends on our Russian forum, of course, mentioned about Lenovo forum. I've registered here one week later the laptop was bought. The reason was an error 1802 (yes, whitelist) I've faced with after BIOS upgrade. To be honest, my first post here seems a bit exacting but Bill (billbolton) and Aryeh (goretsky) were very friendly. That won me over.
I think nothing has been changed for me since I've became a guru. I can't say "responsibility has risen" or "I have access to a secret knowledge now". Probably my relation to any work I'm doing is clear in my forum profile signature.
I'm closer to the Community team now, gurus, mods, Lenovo staff. I see their attitude and trust. It's invaluable. "
- moderator, x220forme
Thanks again, one and all for your conversations and help these seven years. Here's to more!
- Serene Siew, Lenovo Community Advocate Program Manager
I’ve revisited the Bluetooth issue I reported on in Part 6, and found something that works. There is also a comparison of the JBL ear buds to some studio headphones, plus a mystery about software update versions..
First of all, the touch response within Windows 8.1 is excellent. I do physical labor and my hands have a lot of calluses and scars on them and I've always had problems using touchscreens. It's thus a joy to use this tablet with Windows, as I must say that the touch response is excellent.
Clerking an auction in the company I am with using Android and Windows are pretty much similar. However, the differences come at the end of the auction during checkout. Using Android, the bidders still have to queue up at the checkout counter to have their credit cards scanned and their pick tickets and receipts printed. With the Yoga 2 with Windows, I can scan their cards with a Windows app and the camera and print their receipts wirelessly through our wireless printer.
We recently opened a store in the auction facility and decided to use the auction program as a Point of Sale application. We figured we could use tablets and the program would give us a good accounting of sales and expenses and inventory control. It worked!! We've been using tablets for awhile now and was able to do away with all the paper except for the pick tickets and receipts.
To start with, we have to enter the inventory in the system. It's time consuming with pen and paper, it all has to be counted and then transferred into the computer. Using the tablet, it's counted and entered into the system all at once and there's even the ability to take a picture of the item being counted and entered also. Each item is assigned an item number which is labeled on that item. We also take consignments, we have the ability to list the products by consignors and generate a report so we know what we need to pay the consignor at any given time.
(The Yoga Tablet 2 with the dashboard open. The Yoga Tablet 2 is on the left.)
Anybody who wants to purchase an item in the store or bid on an item at one of our auctions has to register and be issued a buyers number or a bidder number. We can enter their email address on this form and send them coupons or sale notices. A buyer or bidder can opt out of this if they so desire.
Once a buyer is registered, they are now free to purchase an item in the store or bid on an item in an auction. For the most part, this is the window that a clerk will see.
Once the items are sold to the buyer, then it is time to check out. Enter the buyer number in the box and options will come up to pay, either by cash, check, credit card or Paypal and this is where a tablet with Windows comes in handy because Windows will recognize a credit card scanner and will print receipts wirelessly to an online printer. Android will also scan a credit card, but I haven't been able to get Android to print from an online printer yet.
The Yoga 2 makes an excellent Point of Sale device, it is light, fast, small, and it runs cool. There is a video below that shows the hands on experience.
Thank you Lenovo for giving me the opportunity to try this out.
The Yoga Tablet 2 as a Point of Sale device.
Connectivity is very important for any mobile device, so in this instalment I’m looking at Bluetooth, WiDi and printing, plus a couple of odds and ends. Find out what worked and what didn’t!
I’m just over a week into the Android Adventure and I’ve finally had a bit of time to actually simply play with the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro for several hours without a specific need to get anything setup, or particularly achieve anything.
While doing that I found a few things worth mentioning, and also some things unexpectedly disappointing, with Android.
The writing of these Android Adventure pieces involves using the screen capture feature on the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro and also the Lenovo ShareIt software, that is available on Android, IOS and Windows platforms.
In this instalment I'll walk though how I am using those tools.
I got hold of the Yoga Tablet 2 10 and I promised myself I was going to hold out until the second generation Yoga Tablets was released. And yes, here it is. It is a great all-round tablet that delivers great audio quality, display quality, battery life and performance. I couldn't find any weaknesses in the Yoga Tablet 2 10.
Read the article to know why I praise the Yoga Tablet 2 10 to heaven and back!Read more...
Its time to get WiFi connectivity and power-on security set up.
This installment walks through the process on an almost step by step basis to get to this....
And you get a peek at my LAN map too...
I thought that the getting it running part should be easy, given that I've told many, many times that Android and IOS are supposed to be broadly equivalent mobile device user environments.
However, I came across a Clear Only If Known (COIK) problem which stalled my progress for a while. Fortunately I was able to overcome it and found the Setting App and User Guide App after all!
Read all about the mysterious thing on the home page.....
....that turned out to be the solution, learn more about what a COIK problem is, and why this one trapped an otherwise experienced mobile device user. You'll probably recognise that you've been unwittingly caught by a COIK at various times as well!
There are tons of articles telling you why this password manager is better than that one. But they are all written from the viewpoint of the author. What this article does is to tell you what features you may want, then lets you decide for yourself which tool to use. Why? Because everyone's requirements, usage and what you understand are different. I could give you the most perfect tool ever written, but if you do not understand it, or can't use it, then it is worthless. So in the end it is up to you.Read more...
I've been a ThinkPad user for decades, and an iThing user for a while now but have NEVER used any Android based device. Join me on a without-fear-or-favour journey of discovery of the Android world, using the new Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro. I'll be posting something every few days, for a couple of weeks
The first instalment is unboxing!