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YOGA 900 and the Windows 10 Adventure - Part 3, Windows 10, Round 2

by Community Moderator on ‎11-03-2015 06:14 PM - last edited on ‎11-12-2015 06:26 AM by (314 Views)

Yes, Virginia.... there is a real desktop in Windows 10 - but there is something you need to be aware of in order to find it on a Yoga 900.  Read on for the detail on what to watch out for, and much more!


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Outreach: Teaching tech and touching lives

by ‎11-03-2015 04:53 AM - edited ‎11-03-2015 04:59 AM (176 Views)

We are truly proud of our forum advocates, who go out of their way to help those less privileged and fortunate. Our latest hero is John Polanco or jcpolanco (in red t-shirt below) who is a Forum Moderator in our Spanish community, and he shared with us this amazing story of how he helped some kids back home.




"In my country, Dominican Republic, there are many children and young people of limited means who regularly do not have access to technology. That's why I'm always willing to offer my services on a voluntary basis, to reach out to and teach and help them learn about computing and the digital world.


Some time ago I chatted with the Spanish community lead for the Lenovo Forums, Miguel_Lenovo, who said he had access to some t-shirts for children and asked if I could do anything in my country with the clothing, that it was possible for him to send them to me to be used. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and planned it such that I would co-ordinate with an institution locally (that worked with underpriviledged kids) to do a presentation about technology, get them some hands- on experience and exposure to devices, and gift them the t-shirts, as well as treat them to some snacks.


After much planning and co-ordination, I conducted a presentation "The History of the Personal Computer" to an awesome bunch of kids. In addition to the food and t-shirts, I also took several pens, notebooks and other souvenirs that I had received on my visits to different events I had attended, and gave these away as prizes.  It was fun to answer the many questions the innocent kids pose and hearing their point of view about how tech works, such as how they thought a CD-ROM operated or how the world of technology has evolved over time. 


It was truly a blessing to be able to interact with them. Just look at the beaming smiles on their faces! Makes everything just so worthwhile."














YOGA Home 900: An initial review

by Community Moderator on ‎10-25-2015 04:52 PM - last edited on ‎10-25-2015 10:48 PM by (704 Views)

This review is an analysis of a (then (yet-to-be-released) large-format, all-in-one computer that visually resembles the Lenovo Horizon 27” multimode computer. The target audience is the home user. The computer can serve as a focal point for sharing various kinds of multimedia content and also provides a platform to run single and multi-player games. From my experience with the YOGA Home 900 I found that it  is also very capable of running normal business and home applications.


The machine I was seeded was based on an ultra-low voltage Intel i7-5500U CPU and came with 8GB of DDR3 memory. It has a large, bright 27” touchscreen. The system automatically switches between integrated (Intel HD Graphics 5500) and Discrete (nVIDIA 940a) graphics. The only ports are three USB3 connectors, a headphone jack, an HDMI-in port and a power connector. The USB3 ports can be connected to a hub for additional expansion options. Networking is handled by a Realtek 8821 AE, which supports wireless 802.11ac connections. It also has Bluetooth and an NFC reader. The machine was loaded with Windows 10 Standard Edition. The hard drive was a 1TB Western Digital WD10S21X-24R1BT0-SSHD-8gb, a hybrid drive.


Since I am not a game player and am more of a business or technical power-user, I am not part of the primary audience, so my review is more of an assessment of the hardware from a technical point of view, than an assessment of how well the machine runs full-motion, high-speed games.   However, the idea of an all-in-one to replace my desktop was attractive, so one of the items I wanted to include was what features, if any, would be needed if I were going to use the machine as my primary computer. 


My first impressions were positive.  The computer was well packed in a large shipping box. I opened and unpacked it and found that it came with a soft carrying bag, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. I thought that the physical design was good.  The stand seemed very sturdy and easy to use.  I started it up and, as I always do with a new machine, I took an image backup.  I then looked through the installed programs to see what was there.  I looked under Device Manager to make a list of what hardware devices were present, and what I thought I should test.  I let Microsoft Update install any important updates, and then I downloaded and installed Lenovo System update.  Since I am primarily a business user, and I had a spare Microsoft Office license, I installed that next.  As I had hoped, all the common software worked without issue.  At the end of the first day, I needed to get the computer off the dining room table, so I shut it off and put it into the included soft bag.  The bag has 2 straps with reinforcements and briefcase-type handles in the center.  I tried to pick it up by the center handles and one of them immediately tore out.  Luckily, the bag was on the floor when I lifted it, otherwise, it could have fallen and broken on the first day, which would not have been a good beginning.  I think the straps are fine and necessary, but I suggest leaving off the center handles; they are simply not sturdy enough to support the weight.


I had expected problems related to the video driver because the nVIDIA 940a is a new (not yet released) device, and new chips generally need frequent driver updates. I tried to force several applications to use discrete graphics, using the nVIDIA control panel. All the mainstream software ran without issue. To be honest, since I was not testing applications that ever really stressed the video, it would have been hard for me to know if I were really using the discrete video chip. When I did the temperature stress testing described below, the video testing software that I used certainly did exercise the nVIDIA graphics chip without issue.


One unusual feature is the video capture (HDMI-in) port.  It seemed to work fine.  Since it is uncommon, and many users are probably unfamiliar with it, I tried to test it fully. I included a brief description at the end of this review. There is no video-out port; I found that fact interesting, but probably not a problem for the intended audience.  I ran slideshows and movies on smaller machines, connected to the YOGA via HDMI (connected both by cable and Wireless Display), and everything worked without issue.  The YOGA Home 900  made an excellent presentation device.


I also wanted to test the NFC chip (Near Field Communication), but I had the same problem that I had when I tried to use the NFC reader on my desktop.  I was never interested in using it for authentication, which seems to work, but when I tried using the feature to establish a transfer process to move pictures automatically from my phone, it “worked” exactly the same way it did on my desktop.  The devices recognized each other; the connection was established, but nothing was ever transferred. I am yet to find a use for the NFC technology that helps me with anything.


The YOGA Home 900 also has an ambient light sensor that automatically controls the screen brightness based on how light the room is. I have never cared for that sort of device and I find automatic brightness changes distracting. I turned the feature off.


When I ran video and CPU stress testing software, I was never able to get the machine anywhere near overheating.  My primary laptop is a quad-core ThinkPad W540, and my desktop is a generic, mixed-breed tower with a quad-core 4th generation i7 chip. The YOGA Home 900 ran cooler than my W540 and about the same as my desktop.  I wouldn’t expect heat to be a problem. For my tests, I used Furmark to test the graphics chip, and the Intel Burn Test to stress the CPU.


I did find the disk to be a little slow in running benchmark tests, but for the business-type software I generally use, it would not be an issue.  Again, I am not a game player, but I would expect that games might be a little slow to load, but most things (screen maps, etc.) would tend to be kept in memory.  For me, the slow speed was only noticeable at startup.


I opened the machine to do two things: I wanted to learn about expansion options, and I wanted to swap hard drives so I could try testing a clean install of Windows 10 (described below). For the clean install, I wanted the safety of testing the install while retaining the original, working drive. Having a spare drive also let me test backup and restore. There was no Hardware Maintenance Manual (then) to describe splitting the case, but since the machine is similar to the Horizon 27, I used that computer’s manual. I think there is an error in the description, so I will provide a clarification. The Horizon 27’s manual talks about putting a screwdriver into a slot and pressing with a lot of force until the case starts to split. Actually, the slot is fairly large, and you need to press against a particular part of the slot. If you press anywhere else, nothing will happen until you press hard enough to break the whole thing. When you look at the slot, it is all black inside so it is hard to understand what is really there. After I got the machine apart. I laid the back cover onto a piece of white paper and shined a flashlight in. The area to press shows up as white in my picture. I pressed against the right spot with a fairly large-sized screwdriver and as soon as the case just barely began to split, I used a rigid, sharp putty knife to gently separate the 2 halves.


The machine is heavier than smaller laptops because of the weight of the screen, and the force needed is significant. The job requires more dexterity than what is needed to open most computers, so I would hesitate suggesting that a user open his or hers, unless that user was experienced in doing repairs. In any case, I would provide a warning.




As far as expansion, the YOGA Home 900  has a single memory slot with no memory soldered to the motherboard. Since it has a 5th generation core i3/i5/i7 CPU, it would be expected to support 16GB on a single DIMM.   The memory required is standard, unbuffered, 1.35V, 1600 mHz (PC3-12800), CL11, non-ECC, 204-pin DIMM. I tried a generic (no-name) DIMM meeting those specifications, and it worked without issue. 




The YOGA Home 900 has a single SATA slot that seems to work with any standard 2 ½” drive that is 7mm thick.  There is no internal slot for an mSATA or M2 drive, or a WWAN card.  The lack of such a slot would probably be expected in a machine designed for home use.


The inside of the machine seems well-designed and there are three cooling fans, which may help account for the cool temperatures.








Even though I am not in the target market, there would not be many necessary changes to make me consider using the Yoga900 Home to replace my desktop computer, even though the configurations are very different.  My desktop is a quad-core I7 and the YOGA Home 900 is a dual-core, low-voltage i7 CPU.  Also, my current desktop has 32GB of memory, while the maximum RAM in the YOGA Home 900 is 16GB.  I would seldom, if ever, notice the memory, but I would be more affected by the CPU.  I can see that the heat generated by a standard-voltage quad-core CPU would be incompatible with the thin profile of the YOGA Home 900.  I would need to run more extensive tests to understand whether it would be a large or small issue.  For me, it would be worth a small loss of performance to get rid of my desktop’s tower.  My current desktop has large hard drives that I use to hold online backups.  I expect that I could simply migrate to network-attached storage.  Optical drives and ports could be connected via a USB hub.  I find the hard drive slow when Windows is starting or shutting down. (Drive speed is most noticeable when reading or writing a lot of small files. When that is happening, head movement and rotation time or latency times are more significant than transfer rate. Startup and shutdown are the most common times for such activity to occur.)  I would probably have the machine configured with an SSD.  The feature I would miss the most relates to my monitor, which, at first glance looks exactly like the YOGA Home 900’s screen.  Both are clear, bright 27” touchscreens.  My current monitor is attached to a swing arm that allows it to be 6” (15cm) above my desk, so it is at eye level.  That monitor has VESA standard mounting holes (4 holes on 100mm or 75mm centers), so it can be attached to an arm via thumb screws, allowing quick attachment and removal.  Looking at the internal design of the YOGA’s stand makes me think holes could be added. 


Overall, I would rate the machine very high.  I am not well equipped to test the gaming, but everything I tried worked fine, and I was surprised how cool it ran, for a high-performance machine.  I expected to have driver and software problems, because of the newness of the hardware, but that was not the case.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a large-format gaming machine.


Using HDMI-in Port for Presentations

One of the unusual features of the YOGA Home 900 is the HDMI port that allows the machine to be used as a remote, secondary display. When connected, the YOGA Home 900 becomes the equivalent of a high-definition television, and all control is passed to the connected (sending) computer. An operator doing the presentation can sit in the back of the room with a laptop and drive the YOGA Home 900 sitting in front of a group. The group can be a business meeting, or it can be friends and family viewing photos or videos on a large, clear screen, while the slideshow or video can be managed remotely.




The photo shows the YOGA Home 900 showing a movie that is controlled on a remote computer, connected via wireless display adapter.



The setup is simple. If you use an HDMI cable, you simply plug it into both computers and the YOGA Home 900 display shows a copy of the other computer’s screen. Having a cable limits where the devices can be located, but it is as easy as plugging a cable.


There are also wireless options. The most common is the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. The device is plugged into the HDMI-in port and there is a USB cable that is plugged in to provide the power. The sending computer must be running Intel integrated graphics; it must have free software installed, and it must have one of several Intel wireless cards. I could not get it to work with my desktop computer that has a Broadcom wireless device. Setup was fairly simple. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter comes with instructions for pairing the 2 computers.


Windows 10 Clean Install from Generic Microsoft Media

The first step in any clean install is to be sure to back up your existing installation using whatever tool(s) you prefer. Having too many backups is better than missing something. I am probably overcautious, but my preference, whenever it is reasonable, is to remove the hard drive physically and keep it in a drawer until I’m sure I won’t need it. I then put a new drive into the computer. In case things go bad, you can swap the old drive back in.


If you wish to or need to install Windows from a generic Microsoft image without Lenovo applications and drivers, the process is easier if you do things in a certain order. I downloaded a new image from Microsoft right before the install, to get the latest drivers included. Be sure to get the edition that matches your license key that is embedded in the BIOS. You can determine the edition by looking for the sticker on the bottom case. The key should be picked up automatically during a clean install, but I always suggest that people extract their key so it can be entered if requested during the install, or for later activation. (If you don’t have the key and need it, you can install an un-activated copy and you will have 3 days to get the key and activate.) I like to use RWEverything to get the key. The program is free and widely available. When you run the program, choose the ACPI table icon at the top. Scroll to the right to the MSDM (Microsoft Digital Marker) table, and you will see your unique key.


Clean installs work best if you delete everything from your hard drive. If you are reusing your old drive, use whatever wiping program you like.   I use Active Killdisk, free edition. Your BIOS might be set to boot from UEFI only. That setting complicates booting from utility DVDs or USB sticks. You can boot into the BIOS and go to the “Startup” tab. Turn on “CSM” (compatibility support module) and select the option to boot from “Legacy First”. (Be sure to boot into the BIOS again after wiping in order to set the startup options back.)


Unless you are getting rid of the machine and need to wipe any sensitive material off the disk, you can interrupt the wiping program after it erases the first few tracks, where the boot sector and partition tables are located. The program I suggested, does that part first. I let the program run about a minute.


Now boot from the Windows 10 medium. Choose “Custom: Install Windows only”. Now, make a cup of coffee and wait. I installed from a DVD and was never prompted for a windows key. There is a process that is used by large organizations with cloned drives and a group of keys stored in a certain format on a USB stick, and used one at a time. I have seen problems where installations from USB sticks have had complications in which the installation process tried to get a key from the install medium, rather than getting the key from the BIOS. If that happens, install without providing a key and activate later. DVDs don’t ever have that problem.


After the install completes, go to device manager and check for problem devices. I had a few. I simply selected each one and clicked the driver tab and chose the option to search for the driver using Windows Update. All the missing drivers were found using this method, but my display adapter, while not a problem device, was still listed as a generic Microsoft video adapter, rather than the nVIDIA 940a.


I then searched for and downloaded the latest version of Lenovo System Update. For some reason, the install took minutes, rather than seconds to start, but it did start and install. Running System Update updated six drivers, including the one for the nVIDIA video.


Finally, I ran Microsoft Update to get all the latest changes, and I made another backup.


I would come back with a later review further down the road. 







Yoga 900 and the Windows 10 Adventure - Part 2, Windows 10, Round 1

by Community Moderator ‎10-24-2015 09:11 PM - edited ‎10-26-2015 02:42 AM (240 Views)

Join me on my voyage of discovery about WIndows 10 - is it as good, or bad, as many claim?  Is it going to work for me?


Watch this space!


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YOGA 900 and the Windows 10 Adventure - Part 1, First Impressions

by Community Moderator on ‎10-20-2015 01:15 AM - last edited on ‎11-12-2015 06:19 AM by (672 Views)

About a year ago I wrote a series of articles on my Android Adventure, on then new Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 tablet, running Android 4.4 (aka kit Kat).  This year its brand new adventure - this time with a Yoga 900 convertible and Windows 10.


Join me as I work through the practical aspects of learning a new laptop model,and tweaking the latest version of Windows to meet my needs.


The New Machine.jpg


The Lenovo YOGA 900 - Evolution & Refinement

by Community SuperMod on ‎10-19-2015 11:21 AM - last edited on ‎11-12-2015 06:29 AM by (1,315 Views)

Several weeks ago I received a pre-release YOGA 900, with Lenovo’s streamlined Windows 10 Professional factory software preload, to test and review. Now that the product has officially launched, I can share my thoughts on it.


The YOGA 900 is the next generation of the YOGA "Pro" series of convertible laptops, and follows comfortably in the footsteps of the YOGA 3 Pro (Y3P), while nicely building upon the heritage of its predecessors. Upon opening the box, you can see that heritage immediately with the watchband hinge carrying forward from the the Y3P.





Quite noticeable on the LCD cover are the new-style Lenovo logo, and unlike the Y3P, the Yoga marque is also prominently, but tastefully, displayed. These create very clear brand and "franchise" identification.





My review unit has the following technical specifications

  • CPU: new, 6th Generation Intel i7-6500U (Skylake) operating at 2.50 GHz
  • Graphics system: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 520
  • Display: 13.3" 3200x1800 QHD+ IPS display (carrying forward from the Y3P)
  • Memory: 8GB / DDR3L
  • Storage: Samsung PM871 512GB m.2 SSD (MZNLN512HCJH-000L2)
  • Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 with Bluetooth 4.2r
  • Audio: Dolby Home Theater with JBL speakers
  • Webcam: 720p @ 30fps
  • Battery: 66 Whr (up 50% from the Y3P) with an estimated run time of up to 10 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Professional
  • Footprint: 324 x 225mm (slightly smaller than the Y3P: 330 x 228mm)
  • Height: 14.9mm (slightly thicker than the Y3P: 12.8mm)
  • Weight: 1.29kg (slightly heavier than the Y3P: 1.19kg)


My first walk-around of the YOGA 900
Left- and right-side ports and controls are fairly similar to the previous generation, yet with some very notable differences.


Left side:



  • Closest to the hinge, the YOGA 900 features the same type of proprietary combination power inlet / USB 2.0 port as found on the Y3P. Cable fitment in the inlet feels more secure.
  • Next to that is a familiar USB 3.0 port, which also supports always-on charging for attached devices (cell phones, tablets, etc).
  • Just to front of that is a new addition for the YOGA line, a USB Type-C port! I do not currently have any adapters or devices that can utilize the port, so there is not much more I can say about it, other than to note its presence. I am sure, though, that people will be happy with its addition. Note: this takes the place of the mini-HDMI port found on the Y3P, but adapters are available.
  • Finally, closest to the front edge, is the 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC) carrying forward from the Y3P. Similarly, though, it still does not allow for flush insertion of the cards. I am not sure what is just inboard of the slot and its connections that preclude design of the slot enabling flush insertion, but as UltraBooks get thinner, I am sure that system board real estate is all the more at a premium.

Right side:



  • Closest to the hinge is the YOGA 900's second standard USB 3.0 port.
  • Next to that is the combination headphone / microphone jack. No surprises here.
  • Just forward is the rotation lock button, which functions as expected when the laptop is transitioned into Tablet mode.
  • Next is the Novo button, which functions just as in previous models. Pressing it from a power-off state boots the laptop to a pop-up menu offering access to the UEFI/BIOS setup screens, a boot device choice menu, or invoking a system recovery with the One Key Recovery program.
  • Closest to the front edge are the Power On / Off button and status indicator light. Again, no surprises.
  • *** Note: quite noticeably absent from the YOGA 900, though, is the physical volume rocker control, which was placed between the headphone jack and the rotation lock button on the Y3P. I am not sure what design or technical reasoning is behind this deletion.


Physical details show the heritage, and the evolution of the YOGA "Pro" series

  • The YOGA 900 keyboard now sports a sixth row, which makes using the Fn / multimedia keys much easier than the prior arrangement on the Y3P, where these functions were combined with the number keys. Two levels of backlighting rounds out the evolutionary changes to the keyboard, and it is quite welcome.
  • At first glance I thought that the YOGA 900's TouchPad was slightly larger, but it measures the same as the Y3P. It has an added styling detail around its perimeter, which is a nice touch.
  • A noticeable change in the physical LCD panel is that the glass extends completely to the edges. No more plastic bezel along the lower edge gives it a sleeker and more refined appearance.
  • As in the Y3P, there is a "grippy" edge / bumper around the perimeter of the lower and upper shells, which make using the laptop in Tent mode very stable / non-skid. The new model's bumper is nicely textured, also, which is a change from the Y3P's smoother edges.
  • The power block is a bit larger in size, and its output is increased to 65W (vs 40 for the Y3P), presumably to support the higher performance CPU offerings. The prong pivot mechanism feels much sturdier, also. One item to note, though, is that the placement of the prongs, in the middle of the block, may cause the block itself to interfere with adjacent outlets on a dual wall receptacle or on a power strip.
  • The watchband hinge looks very similar to the previous generation's design, yet it is subtly different. As I understand, it has been internally redesigned and enhanced, and I can confirm that there is noticeably less wobble in the LCD when in Laptop and Stand modes.





Impressions... so far

  • Ever since buying my first high resolution, IPS display equipped machine (a ThinkPad A31p with 15" UXGA LCD), I have been hooked on them, and the YOGA 900 does not disappoint. Like its predecessors, the Y3P and Yoga 2 Pro (Y2P), the QHD+ IPS display is beautiful. It's very crisp and bright, rendering photorealistic reproduction, at least to my eyes. While my Y3P and Y2P exhibited a bit of backlight bleed, which is common in IPS displays, the display on my Yoga 900 appears to be devoid of this artifact.
  • The trademark watchband hinge introduced in the Y3P has always been an eye-catcher. I have had many people comment on its uniqueness. At the same time, while the hinge never felt weak, there was noticeable back-to-front play in its motion when using the touchscreen in Laptop or Stand modes. The internal modifications to the hinge of the YOGA 900 have resolved that. It has the same distinctive appearance, but gone is all but the slightest movement of the panel under touchscreen usage regardless of mode. It really has a greater feel of strength and solidity.
  • I do not pay much attention to artificial benchmark tests. Instead I rely on the subjective "feel" of a machine's performance. The YOGA  900's switch back to Intel Core I CPUs is a welcome evolution. The Core M CPU in the Y3P was friendly to battery life, but it did run out of horsepower on occasion. Not so, at least so far, in my usage, with the YOGA 900.
  • Compared with previous models, the factory software loading, based around Windows 10 Professional on my review unit, has been significantly lightened. This is much appreciated follow-though on Lenovo's part, from communications earlier in the year.
  • *** Reduced are the number of value-add programs that come preinstalled on the laptop. This is a welcome change as many consumers have widely differing opinions of what constitutes a "value-add". Other than the usual antivirus and Office trials, I only see a couple of applications that I need to decide on whether to keep or remove. A completely new one, to me, is Stagelight.
  • *** The Lenovo Companion and Settings applications seem more useful to me. There was an application named: "One Key Optimizer" preinstalled on my Y3P, of which I was never a big fan. The few functions in that application that I found useful, Battery Conservation Mode as but one example, have moved to the new and improved applications.
  • The Y2P and the Y3P (and the original YOGA 13 prior to both) were my first exposures to non-ThinkPad Lenovo laptops. Frankly, I was unsure exactly what to expect from them as far as look, feel and perceived build quality were concerned. I have been quite pleased, though, with the high-quality feel of the Yoga machines that I have been able to review and use. The YOGA 900 does not disappoint and, in fact, feels even more refined.





In conclusion...

The YOGA 900 is very nice evolution of the "Pro" line of the YOGA series of convertible laptops. It does very well maintaining the heritage of the models that preceded it, while at the same time, building upon the things that have made "YOGA" the machine that everyone loves to copy!


Well done, Lenovo! Thanks for, once again, listening to your customers!



(Disclosure: Lenovo provided the hardware. The words are solely mine.)

Lenovo and the Joy of Gifting It Forward!

by Community SuperMod on ‎09-28-2015 09:04 AM (1,356 Views)


I am fortunate to be a member of Lenovo's tech advocacy program.


From time-to-time, I get to play with new hardware. What tech geek wouldn't love that? Smiley Wink

Oftentimes I'm asked to write reviews, and other times I provide feedback, internally, about hardware or processes. Sometimes, when I have completed those tasks I send the hardware back to Lenovo, but in other cases I get to do, actually... I have been encouraged to do what I like best. I get to gift it forward to a person or organization that I feel is deserving of help. It might be like what Dave did as described in the recent Spotlight article, where he sent a ThinkPad (among other tech goodies) to a distant family. Others have gifted tech forward to non-profit organizations. I have done this a number of times, and it is a really great way to share our good fortune.


In addition to Lenovo's advocacy program, I'm also fortunate to be a member in one other tech advocacy program. As with Lenovo, I reach out via social media and other channels, to share reviews and often to help users. Through these interactions in the advocacy programs, I've become "cyber"-friends with a number of great people all over the world. Especially with Facebook, once friend-ed, I see items from these folks cross my newsfeed.


Late on the Friday afternoon prior to the Labor Day holiday weekend, my newsfeed lit up. I was seeing post after post & share after share from a new friend in the other group about an animal rescue & shelter emergency in Georgia. I was seeing the real power of social media at work. Networks of people, and networks of networks, all rallying to a cause. More importantly to me, though, I saw humane humanity. Several days later the story was picked up by Georgia Public Broadcasting, and it was dubbed the "Macon Midnight Miracle" ( It's really a great story, and truly a miracle!


josh1-bh-psr.jpg pups-bh-psr.jpg alice1-bh-psr.jpg

(Brian with some of his recent rescued fosters: Josh, Darth & Vader, and Alice)


In chatting with Brian, I learned that he and his wife, Jessica, work very closely with Pawsome Southern Rescue (, and that they foster many rescued shelter dogs. Indeed, they have seven of their own, and they're fostering seven more until "forever" families adopt them! We chatted a bit about tech and in the course of the discussion, I asked him about what kind of PC he used. It turns out that my asking was fate, or serendipity, or something. His laptop had taken a hit during a summer lightning storm, and he'd been doing all of the rescue work via his cell phone, which makes it all the more amazing!


Well... I bet you can guess that a light bulb went off in my head!

I had found a new home for a nice Yoga 2 Pro that I had received a while back. I had been considering several other options for gifting it forward, but none were quite the right fit. This, though, just felt right! With their new laptop, I'm hopeful that Brian and Jessica Hardy will be able to do their humane work just a little bit easier.


emma1-bh-psr.jpg   emma2-bh-psr.jpg

(Emma checking out the happenings at Pawsome on her new Yoga 2 Pro)


I am thankful to Lenovo for letting me help make a difference in the lives of others.



(Josh... the eyes of a rescued dog)

Passing it on: The Gift of Regifting

by ‎09-20-2015 11:48 PM - edited ‎09-21-2015 05:42 PM (689 Views)

The 29-year-old lives in a rundown hut, toiling singlehandedly to raise her two children, bringing home about 3,500 pesos monthly in return for hours of hard labor in a rubber plantation. Maricel Pelayo could have been just a statistic, but to Good Samaritans like Dave Topmahof, she is someone whose life he could make a difference to. And he did, in the most unexpected of ways.


IFA 2015 - Our roving reporters at #LenovoIFA #LenovoLaunch

by on ‎08-30-2015 11:58 AM - last edited on ‎08-30-2015 09:27 PM by (1,311 Views)

The countdown to IFA 2015 begins, as community advocates AtliJarl and Agotthelf get the chance to hobnob with Lenovo execs, and get a chance to get a look at some of our latest offerings. 


#RetroThinkPad survey #4: And on everything else....

by on ‎08-02-2015 06:53 PM - last edited on ‎08-02-2015 06:55 PM by Community SuperMod (1,703 Views)


We've asked you what you want under the hood, and gotten your thoughts on what you want the #RetroThinkPad to look like, so what's next?


First up, thanks for the overwhelming support and feedback from you ThinkPadders from all around the world, for telling us what you want for the Retro ThinkPad.


Just what were some of you saying? Here's some quick charts that capture some of your comments. 



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For the full story, click on this link.


Last call to action: here's the final #RetroThinkPad survey, on everything else. Do let us know what you think!


Thanks in advance!

X1 Carbon Touch 3rd Generation-Running Windows 10 and Android Lollipop

by Community Moderator ‎08-02-2015 06:18 PM - edited ‎08-02-2015 07:08 PM (2,525 Views)

I'm fortunate to have received a  X1 Carbon from Lenovo to install various operating systems and see how they run. You can see the detailed specs. on this machine in sarbin's earlier article here.


he X1 Carbon is a culmination of a 10 year odyssey of Lenovo acquiring IBM's PC division and this PC lives up to its ThinkPad name with flying colors. Here is an X32 and an X41T circa 2005 alongside the X1 Carbon.




The Innovative ThinkPad Stack

by Community Moderator Community Moderator ‎07-31-2015 01:41 PM - edited ‎08-02-2015 07:42 PM (2,819 Views)

IMG_2555 40_wr.png
Several days ago Fed Ex arrived at my door with another of Lenovo’s creative and extremely functional products to review.  This time it was the ThinkPad Stack that was a big hit at CES 2015.



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The Stack or “Kit” is formed by up to four different interlocking units that can be switched to meet the needs of the user. The modules can be used independently of the others. Therefore, each person’s mix-and-match setup may be slightly different. The magnetic design contains four components: a 2x2 watt Bluetooth speaker with noise-canceling microphone; a dual port 10,000 mAh power bank that can charge two USB devices simultaneously and provides power for the rest of the Stack’s modules; a 1 terabyte portable USB 3.0 external HDD, and an access point to connect to mobile data.




Setup and use is fairly easy. However, for the photo above, I positioned each module as pictured on the cover of the presentation box.


As soon as I read the instructions I learned that if used wirelessly (remotely) that the router and the hard drive should be together in whatever configuration they are used. Three scenarios are pictured in the hardcopy user manual, and two in the online .pdf as shown in the images below.





I decided to proceed slowly, by testing the Stack’s components with their USB cords. However, the more I thought about it the more the wireless approach made more sense. I eliminated the cables by following instructions in the user guide, downloading the software from Lenovo, and I was ready to maximize my productivity on the go. The ThinkPad Stack Assistant for Windows, iOS, or Android manages the Stack’s components. Downloading and installing it is very easy. Should there be a problem with the software, uninstalling and reinstalling the Assistant is straight forward.


 The Power Bank takes a while to charge to 100% so for the business traveler I suggest making sure it is charged ahead of the time when it is to be used, or remembering to pack the charger and cord for the trip. All can be kept in the handy bag provided with the Stack.
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So far I have used the Power Bank to power the Stack and to charge my phone; the HDD for backing up data; and of course, the Router.

As far as possibililties for Lenovo to consider and suggestions for future Stack modules, I think a projector would be handy.

I look forward to the Stack’s functionality and mobility to help get the most out of my productivity at the home office and on the go.

Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 on the Yoga 3 Pro

by on ‎07-29-2015 01:01 AM - last edited on ‎07-29-2015 08:16 AM by Administrator (9,274 Views)

Just what was it like for forum guru XBrav to carry out the upgrade of Windows on his Yoga 3 Pro from Windows 8 to Windows 10? Read on to find out how he found the experience.




Deep-dive on the #RetroThinkPad - What do you want under the hood?

by on ‎07-26-2015 06:40 PM - last edited on ‎07-26-2015 08:05 PM by Community SuperMod (2,991 Views)


Your say is needed, more than ever. Let us know what you want!


You have shared with us your thoughts and wishes for the #RetroThinkPad, and now, David Hill, Vice President, Chief Design Officer & Distinguished Designer, wants to know what exactly you want under the hood of the #RetroThinkPad.


Read about it here.


Do share with us again your thoughts - and make this Dream Machine a reality!

David Hill published his second Retro ThinkPad survey on the Lenovo Blog today!


Read the article here:


Lots of responses (4000+) to the first survey, which is tremendous, so let's keep up the momentum! Towards the bottom of the article, you'll find the link to the second survey diving into display choices and a bit deeper into the keyboard!


Please take a few moments and make your thoughts known.

Let's let David and Lenovo continue to hear our collective voice!

It's Time To Talk #RetroThinkPad Design!

by Community SuperMod ‎07-10-2015 03:20 PM - edited ‎07-13-2015 07:18 PM (3,283 Views)

David Hill published his follow-up Retro ThinkPad article on the Lenovo Blog this morning!


Read the article:


The response to the first article far exceeded anyone's expectations, and now it's time to take the next step!

Towards the bottom of the article, you'll find the first of what's being described as a series of surveys designed to drill into and quantify the optimal design for a Retro ThinkPad, as we, the customers, see it!


Please take a few moments and make your thoughts known.

Let David and Lenovo hear your voice, once again!


Edit to add: If you were having difficulty with Captcha, please use this link to do the survey:

We are listening, and we want to hear more from you #RetroThinkPad

by on ‎06-25-2015 05:02 AM - last edited on ‎06-25-2015 10:52 AM by Administrator (14,683 Views)

Lenovo is always listening to what you want, and what you need.

Here is another chance for you to tell us what you want, specifically, in a special edition of the ThinkPad - a #RetroThinkPad.

Please go to David Hill's blog article to comment and make your voice heard in comments there. Mr. Hill is Lenovo's Vice President of Corporate Identity and Design.

We look forward to listening to you, so please post there where it has the best visibility.

Your comments really do matter!



Lenovo TechWorld - oh what a fab world it was

by on ‎06-23-2015 02:47 AM - last edited on ‎06-23-2015 07:17 PM by (3,423 Views)

Tech World: Day 1

My first trip to Beijing was on a holiday trip with my family and relatives, about 10 years ago. This trip, my second to the capital city of China, couldn’t be more different; I would be travelling with a bunch of likeminded friends I had made over the interweb through my interactions with the Lenovo brand, to try new products the world hadn’t yet a chance to see, at a tech event the company was organising and flying me to for the very first time. 



TechWorld 2015: All's set, and Peter's ready to go!

by ‎05-19-2015 08:13 PM - edited ‎06-08-2015 07:57 PM (3,576 Views)

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, with the trip's cost borne by the Lenovo Group, of course.


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!

ThinkPad T450s: SSD migration & OS Installation: Clean, Clone, and Recover

by Community Moderator ‎05-16-2015 08:56 AM - edited ‎09-11-2015 02:59 PM (16,255 Views)


The Laptop




A T450s on loan from Lenovo.  It's a nice machine.  A really nice machine.  I wouldn't quite call it an ultrabook, but it's lighter and thinner than previous generations and still has that burly ThinkPad feel.


Best of all - the buttons are back Smiley Happy  A TrackPoint and physical buttons are part of what makes a ThinkPad a ThinkPad.




This loaner is a well-spec'd machine:  i7, 12GB of RAM, Intel Wireless 7265AC(2x2)+BT4.0 M.2 Combo, 1920x1080 multitouch display, ... and a 512GB 5400RPM hard drive.  Excuse me?  5400RPM?  Well, it was a loaner - off an engineer's bench - and had whatever drive was handy as an OS delivery medium.


Seems like a great excuse to test some SSDs and look at ways to migrate the OS to the new drive(s).  Read on...


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