Lenovo's popular ThinkPads speed up with Intel's Kaby Lake chips

Lenovo's popular ThinkPads speed up with Intel's Kaby Lake chips

Lenovo is starting its CES party a bit early, announcing new and upgraded ThinkPad laptops and a 2-in-1 with Intel's new Kaby Lake chips and a slew of new features.

The new ThinkPads are getting better screens, faster DDR4 memory and more storage capacity. Features like USB-C ports, optional LTE connectivity, precision touchpads and optional infrared cameras for Windows Hello are being offered across the ThinkPad X, L and T series.

Lenovo also introduced the ThinkPad Yoga 370 2-in-1, which is the first model in the brand with a 13.3-inch HD screen and a Thunderbolt 3 port.

The upgraded products are mainly workhorse ThinkPads, but Lenovo is also expected to separately announce flashier laptops and 2-in-1s at CES.

Lenovo doesn't mess around with the design of mainstream ThinkPads, which have a strong following, but you can expect thinner and lighter laptops with longer battery life.

The ThinkPad Yoga 370, which weighs 1.37 kilograms, will be available starting at $1,264 in March. The device turns into a tablet when you rotate the screen 360 degrees. It will include up to 1TB of SSD storage and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. In addition to Thunderbolt 3, it has two USB 3.0 ports, a MicroSD slot and an HDMI port.

A cheaper option with a 13.3-inch screen is the ThinkPad 13, which comes with an HD screen and NVMe SSD storage. It will be available this month starting at $674.

One upgrade in the popular X200 series is the ThinkPad X270, which has a 12.5-inch screen, and the same look and feel as its X260 predecessor, which has Skylake. The laptop has up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and up to 1TB of SSD or 2GB of hard-drive storage. It also has USB-C, HDMI, two USB 3.0, SD card and a SIM slot. It will be available in March starting at $909 with a 1366 x 768 pixel non-touch screen.

The powerful ThinkPad T-series, which is a favorite among business buyers, stands out for its sleeker look. The screens have thinner borders and the laptops are smaller and lighter as a result. 

The ThinkPad T470 (starting at $914, available in February) is available with or without an HD screen, while the T470p (starting at $1,049, available in March) and T470s (starting at $1,099, available in February) are available with screen resolutions up to 2560 x 1440 pixels. The laptops have a wide range of storage and memory options, but only the T470 has a Thunderbolt 3 port. For those who don't want integrated graphics, the T470p can be configured with Nvidia's N16S-GTR discrete graphics card, which is mainly designed for laptop workstations..

Lenovo's ThinkPad T570 is the most loaded laptop of the bunch, and can be configured with a 4K 15.6-inch touch display, Intel's superfast Optane memory, Nvidia's GeForce 940MX discrete graphics and up to 32GB of DRAM. It will be available in March starting at $909. It will weigh 2.04 kilograms, and can also be configured with a Snapdragon LTE modem. It will also include an HDMI slot, three USB 3.0 ports and one Thunderbolt 3 connector.

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