The visual star of the show was the ThinkPad X1 foldable pill
Last week, I attended Lenovo Accelerate 2019 in Orlando, Florida. It was an thrilling occasion, and never as a result of it took me 13 hours to get there from Austin, however fairly, the content. This yr, Lenovo mixed its enterprise companion event, Accelerate, and its premier customer occasion, Rework, into one huge event around the theme of “intelligent transformation,” a spin on the oft-used tech business term, “digital transformation.” You’ll be able to see my Rework 2018 protection here. There was no scarcity of stories to comb by way of, notably on the shopper computing aspect. Let’s take a better take a look at what I assumed have been a few of the extra impactful announcements from the event.
Lenovo expands offerings for IoT
Lenovo showcased quite a lot of its ThinkIoT offerings on the event and highlighted the moves it was making within the sector. The company confirmed off its warehouse automation answer, which may utilize a package deal’s QR code to determine inside 200 milliseconds whether or not it’s put on the right pallet. Also highlighted on the occasion was Lenovo’s automated pc imaginative and prescient cashier prototype for retail, which is presently being piloted at Lenovo’s Beijing campus. Imagine with the ability to stroll as much as a self-checkout line and have all gadgets scanned mechanically. Not would you need to scan each single merchandise’s particular person barcode. That is big, for my part, and has the potential to totally revolutionize retail.
The massive ThinkIoT announcement from the occasion is that for patrons that deploy Azure for IoT, AI, and knowledge management can now make the most of the complete range of Lenovo’s IoT portfolio, such because the previously mentioned ThinkCentre Nano IoT, the ECP300 edge gateway, the ThinkSystem SE350 edge server, and the IOT510C sensible digital camera. All in all, it looks like a sensible collaboration that may increase both the corporate’s IoT efforts. Enterprise clients are on the lookout for IoT solutions, not a bag of elements with an instruction guide.
Strategically of word is that while Lenovo pledged “channel first,” Lenovo, in special circumstances the place channel partners don’t exist, it can serve as an integrator. I anticipate this to happen principally in China. I see this as an excellent transfer for Lenovo in that as extra worth is added, the higher the margins.
Hold your eye on what Lenovo is doing in IoT as I consider the company can be performing some huge issues here.
Lenovo Intelligent Insights with SAP Knowledge Hub
Of notice, I also needed to hit on is Lenovo’s new Intelligent Insights with SAP Knowledge Hub providing. Whereas officially announced at Sapphire, Knowledge Hub should permit companies to orchestrate and consider their knowledge across cloud, on-prem, or hybrid infrastructure, on both SAP and non-SAP methods. SAP’s Knowledge Hub orchestration platform primarily allows the solution to type and distribute knowledge from numerous disparate sources, which ought to allow quicker, smarter determination making for companies. Lenovo cited the example of airports, and the immense quantity of knowledge generated within—knowledge, weather, upkeep, flight information, and so on. Lenovo Intelligent Insights with SAP Knowledge Hub, in concept, can synthesize all this totally different knowledge collectively to make higher selections.
As part of an IoT Sensible Warehouse demonstration, Lenovo confirmed an SAP Knowledge Hub dashboard with the mixing of the forklift and pallet tracking info. Lenovo sees IOT knowledge streams as a key supply of latest knowledge that will get ingested by Knowledge Hub to allow new analytics and choice making. I feel that makes numerous sense.
Lenovo was awarded the SAP International Companion of the Yr
The SAP-Lenovo relationship is an fascinating one and goes again to the IBM X86 infrastructure days and was extended within the early Lenovo-IBM transition days. Examine what I wrote concerning the relationship here three years in the past and you will notice the 2 corporations are executing to what they promised. After talking to Lenovo DCG’s new COO Doug Fisher on the event, I am protecting my eye on this relationship extra intently than earlier than.
ThinkPad X1 foldable
The flashiest new product of the show was the new foldable ThinkPad X1. Lenovo took nice pains to insist this new gadget is a “full-fledged laptop”—not a pill, telephone, or hybrid. The gadget comes with a 13-inch OLED 2K show, a joint effort with LG, that Lenovo says can fold in half to chop its width in half. It can be folded right into a e-book, folded out flat, folded right into a clamshell (à la a standard pocket book), docked right into a multi-monitor setup, used as a full-screen tablet to take notes on, and so forth. Multi-functionality to the max.
Christian Teismann, SVP of the Business PCSD enterprise
I acquired a few minutes to play with the prototype ThinkPad X1 on the event. It was undoubtedly a prototype, with all the issues that come along with that. Still, it felt extra sturdy than I’d anticipated, in typical ThinkPad trend, and it felt like I used to be carrying a e-book when it was closed. It felt snug in hand and very moveable.
I look ahead to spending extra time with this gadget as soon as it hits the markets in 2020.
I consider the determinants of the platform’s success shall be particular gestures that get the system to do what it must do shortly, software software program that makes use of these gestures, and of course, sturdiness. A foldable telephone value proposition is clearer to me than a foldable tablet, however I see class value in few major areas:
- A better tablet that may do more issues, more naturally. Think about in case you might fold your 13” iPad Pro and use one half as a keyboard whenever you wanted it at the right keyboard incline.
- A brand new class system that may extra naturally match into areas like a purse. Pop it out and work once you need it, whenever you’re finished, throw it into your purse.
- A new category system the place a multi-modal finger enter provides worth. Assume games, music mixing, engineering, and so forth.
- A new sort of modular computing answer the place the consumer carries the foldable pops it in a stand and uses a transportable and even built-in laser keyboard. I purchased ten external keyboards, together with the laser keyboard when utilizing the Samsung Galaxy Fold and discovered some useful classes.
New Windows 10 units
The event also showcased the brand new ThinkPad X1 Excessive Gen 2 15”-inch pocket book, focused at superior enterprise users. While maybe not fairly as head-turning as the foldable X1, this pocket book appears fairly impressive. It features up to 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processors and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU with Max Q design. It comes with the option of a 4K OLED touch show, and up to double the quantity of storage as its predecessor. I’ll, in fact, need to spend some time with the system to offer an endorsement, but on paper, it seems to be like quite the powerhouse.
Lenovo also announced ThinkBook on the occasion, a brand new sub-brand of notebooks targeted in the direction of SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses). The niche Lenovo says it’s trying to present for are companies who’re drawn to shopper laptops, for his or her design and worth advantages, but who need the prolonged providers and warranties of enterprise units. The ThinkBook sub-brand consists of the new ultra-slim ThinkBook S Collection, which is available in 13 and 14-inch models, with business-grade, built-in security measures, help providers and feature trendy wanting design parts, corresponding to an aluminum finish, sometimes present in shopper units.
The new ThinkBooks are super mild—the 14s weighs only three.3 lbs., while the 13s comes in 2.95 lbs. They are often folded flat, and their premium FHD displays function super-thin bezels. Security measures embrace a fingerprint reader power button for single-step authentication, a physical ThinkShutter digital camera cowl, and Discrete TPM 2.zero, which Lenovo says will allow Windows 10 security measures and knowledge encryption. The ThinkBooks all embrace eighth Era Intel Core processors, Built-in Intel UHD 620 or discrete AMD Radeon 540X graphics, and normal SSD.
In the almost 30 years I’ve watched many manufacturers do particular SMB strains which have been shortly discontinued in the same of operational efficiency. I have to drill into most of the specifics, but I do like that the road isn’t 100% reinvented because it borrows capabilities from each Lenovo shopper and business strains. I consider ThinkBooks have been designed to satisfy the wants of channel companions versus, let’s say, the differing wants of SMBs.
A aspect notice on security I needed to share- All the prime three PC makers, including Lenovo, now say that they deliver probably the most safe PC. I discover this safety arms race finally good for the enterprise, albeit confusing at occasions. The safer, the higher.
New ThinkCentre Desktop PCs
In addition to the new pocket book offerings, Lenovo also announced a number of new desktop PCs to its ThinkCentre portfolio. These embrace the ThinkCentre M90n-1 Nano, which Lenovo calls probably the most compact business desktop collection on the earth, and the M90n-1 Nano IoT, which contains a extra rugged design geared in the direction of IoT environments like manufacturing, with larger tolerance of heat and vibration.
ThinkCentre nano is tiny
Lenovo additionally introduced at the event a brand new sub-brand it calls ThinkReality, that seeks to provide the business a solutions-based strategy to AR/VR, together with both software program and hardware. The platform is gadget and cloud agnostic, which Lenovo says will permit companies to undertake and handle AR/VR purposes across units, cloud providers, and operating methods. Finally, Lenovo needs to allow businesses to utilize AR for collaboration, training, repairs, remote help, and more.
ThinkReality is an enormous chew for Lenovo to chew, nevertheless it is sensible as we are many years into the AR and VR lifecycle. Successful and unsuccessful AR and VR ecosystems have gotten evident, and the timing is true for the company. All we’d like now are extra apps, which as we have now seen, is tough. Colleague Anshel Sag will probably be drilling more deeply to offer more detailed analysis.
On that notice, Lenovo also introduced the first ThinkReality gadget at Accelerate, a hands-free cellular headset it calls the ThinkReality A6. The A6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Cellular XR Platform, and sports activities waveguide optics from Lumus housed inside an Intel Movidius Imaginative and prescient Processing Unit. It is lightweight (at .83 lbs.), and includes a 1080p decision in every eye, with 40-degree diagonal FOV. Lenovo says these specs allow the system to deal with both easy and sophisticated AR business solutions. The experience simply keeps getting higher.
Datacenter group replace
While the Lenovo datacenter group (DCG) didn’t announce any new products publicly at Accelerate, it’s essential to say that the majority of its new products this yr have been announced at Cellular World Congress here and consists of the ThinkSystem SE350 edge server as well as information on the Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) platform and 5G virtualized O-RAN answer demoed on the event. Lenovo introduced new servers coincident with Intel’s Cascade Lake launch. I did need to say a number of things as the group is on an absolute roll. I spent a day with DCG’s executives about what their plans are for the longer term but can solely speak about it after the new capabilities are introduced publicly.
Over the previous yr, Lenovo has:
- outperformed the market in HCI, storage, all-flash arrays, and outperformed the hyperscale server market by 7X
- develop into the #1 share in supercomputers and are in 140 of the techniques on the Prime500 Listing, shifting from a 182 place deficit to 56 place advantage in four years
- in response to ITIC, is #1 in x86 server reliability, six years operating
- in response to TBR, is #1 in server buyer satisfaction
- generated 74% of its income outdoors China
In 2019, I anticipate to see aggressive moves in answer stacks, storage penetration with NetApp, and much more features in hyperscale. I have to go away it at that.
All in all, it was a great displaying for Lenovo with its business and datacenter aspirations to its channels and enterprises. Each companies, units and the datacenter, are doing properly, growing and I anticipate extra progress sooner or later. Whereas I might have liked to have seen some DCG announcements, the corporate had a flurry of them at MWC and coincident with Cascade Lake.
Word: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors might have contributed to this article.
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