Lenovo (China) “Smart Cast” projects a touchscreen onto any surface

In recent years, smartphone innovations have plateaued; screens have gotten bigger, features more advanced, but no company has created an industry shifting technological or functional leap in any way. Lenovo has grown tired of waiting for that leap. They’re moving forward themselves with a smartphone that brings something legitimately new the table: a projector that beams a touchscreen or virtual keyboard onto any surface.

Lenovo’s Smart Cast – the world’s first smartphone with a built-in laser projector – can project onto walls much like similar projector devices, but it goes a step further with “surface mode.”

Activated when the Smart Cast is propped up on its kickstand, “surface mode” beams a variety of virtual keyboards or a full touchscreen onto the surface in front of it. Want to play the piano? Type an email on the go? Shoot some zombies in Dead Trigger 2? The Smart Cast gives you a new way to control anything you want on your smartphone. It’s bold, and highly ambitious, but genuine innovation – after years of incremental upgrades – is always welcome. The Smart Cast has just been announced at Lenovo’s Tech World, expect further details to drop soon.

Lenovo (China) Vibe Shot 16 MP Camera-Centric Android Phone

The Vibe Xtension Selfie Flash by Lenovo (China)

The selfie cements itself ever further into the global consciousness with each passing day, and with each passing day comes a new accessory to spur the trend ever further. The latest is the Vibe Xtension Selfie Flash from Lenovo, which aims to solve the plague of badly-lit selfies the world over with its ring flash composed of eight diffused LEDs in a round metal casing that fits into your Android phone’s headphone jack.

A button on the back acts as the shutter button. The gadget doesn’t actually emit a flash but rather a steady light when you press the button, and can also be turned the opposite way as a flash for the rear-facing camera. Lasting for up to 100 selfies on a single charge, pick up this selfie game-changer for $29 USD from Lenovo’s website when it releases this spring.

Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo (China) unveil new YOGA collection

Image of Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo Unveil New YOGA Collection

 

Lenovo has recruited Ashton Kutcher as its latest product engineer to push the release of the newest iterations of its YOGA tablet and laptop series. The YOGA 2 Pro differentiates itself from the current tablet market by its in-built projector that can project displays of up to 50 inches. It also features a rotating kickstand that can support the tablet on a flat surface or allow it to be hung from a hook, alongside other features such as twin front-facing JBL speakers and an Intel Atom processor that runs Windows 8.1 or Android 4.4 KitKat and supports 4G LTE networks.

The YOGA 3 Pro laptop features even more flexibility in that its “watchband” hinge allows the laptop to lay flat, folded into tablet form or bent to sit on a flat surface, among other features. Head to Lenovo for more details on these devices.

 

Image of Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo Unveil New YOGA Collection

 Image of Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo Unveil New YOGA Collection

Image of Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo Unveil New YOGA Collection

Image of Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo Unveil New YOGA Collection

 

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Lenovo To Buy Motorola Mobility From Google For $2.91 Billion

TechCrunch

TechCrunch has confirmed reports that Lenovo is buying Motorola Mobility from Google. This is the division within Google that the company purchased in 2011 for $12.5 billion. Motorola Mobility will go to Lenovo for $2.91 billion.

Of that $2.91 billion, $1.41 billion will be paid at the close of the deal. $660 million will be comprised of US cash and $750 million in Lenovo ordinary shares. The remaining $1.5 billion will be paid in the form of a three-year promissory note.

Google will maintain ownership of the vast majority of the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio. Lenovo will still receive 2,000 patent assets and the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark.

According to a separate report published by Reuters, Lenovo is being advised by Credit Suisse Group while Lazard Ltd advised Google on the transaction.

As part of Lenovo, Motorola Mobility will have a rapid path to achieving our goal of reaching the next 100 million people with the mobile Internet. With the recent launches of Moto X and Moto G, we have tremendous momentum right now and Lenovo’s hardware expertise and global reach will only help to accelerate this,” said Dennis Woodside, CEO, Motorola Mobility, in a released statement.

According to our source, Google wanted to dump the asset for some time. The company had to hold off selling the division for tax reasons.

Motorola Mobility’s performance has yet to live up to its purchase price. Since Motorola split and its consumer division went to Google, it has been a constant source of red ink. Motorola lost quite a lot of money: $248 million in the last quarter alone. Google sums this well, noting that the loss was “-21% of Motorola Mobile segment revenues.” Motorola lost $192 million in the year-ago quarter, so the trend here isn’t positive.

Google previously sold off the cable box division of Motorola Mobility for $2.4 billion.

This comes just weeks after Google purchased the hot hardware startup Nest. Since then, Nest’s role in the budding conglomerate that Google is turning into has been widely speculated about. With Motorola gone, Nest’s superstar team that includes many former Apple engineers seemingly has an empty playground.

It seems this complete’s Lenovo’s quest for an established cell phone business. It was rumored back in October that the company submitted a bid for BlackBerry. That deal clearly didn’t pan out.

Simply buying its way to the top worked for Lenovo in the past. In 2005 Lenovo purchased IBM’s personal computer division for $1.25 billion. That purchase alone caused Lenovo to be the world’s third-largest computer maker. But, using the established brand, Lenovo scaled the PC division to become the largest shipper of PCs in the world. In the last months of 2013 Lenovo overtook HP.

Just last week, Lenovo announced a plan to buy IBM’s x86 server business for $2.3 billion.

As the dust settles on this deal, it’s clear that Google took a large loss on its venture with Motorola Mobility. Google acquired an established brand with a vast portfolio of patents, a mature distribution system and a knowledgeable manufacturing arm. Even after pouring money and resources into the historic American brand, Google couldn’t make lemonade with Motorola. Maybe Lenovo, the now-leader in personal computers, will have better luck.

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Lenovo To Buy Motorola Mobility From Google For $2.91 Billion

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Toshiba’s 5-in-1 laptop concept debuts at CES with a detachable keyboard

Toshiba's 5-in-1 laptop concept debuts at CES with a detachable keyboard

Sure, notebook makers crow about their 2-in-1 hybrids, but Toshiba‘s brought something to CES that’ll humble its competition: a 5-in-1 laptop. The transforming device comes with a slick magnesium alloy case reminiscent of a MacBook, and a 13.3-inch touchscreen. So, just what can this laptop transform into? On the tamer side of things are a run-of-the-mill notebook configuration and tablet mode, the latter of which is achieved by pushing the display all the way back, much like with Lenovo‘s Yoga line of devices. The next three forms are where things get interesting, and they’re made possible by a detachable keyboard and a bit of metal left attached to the screen’s hinge, which acts as a stand and houses stereo Harman Kardon speakers.

In “canvas” mode, the laptop is lifted from the table at an angle helpful for drawing, particularly handy since the hardware’s display packs a digitizer and its top half holds its own stylus. “Presentation/TV” mode is the fifth and final form, which props the display upright. When it comes to connectivity, the laptop sports two USB ports, a microSD slot and a spot to jack in a mini-HDMI cable. Since the hardware’s still in concept phase, there’s no word on detailed specs, price or if and when it’ll see the fluorescent lights of your local electronics store.

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Toshiba’s 5-in-1 laptop concept debuts at CES with a detachable keyboard