First AMD Radeon 400 GPUs to Arrive April

With 2016 well under way, many are already looking forwards for AMD to launch their Polaris and Radeon 400 series GPUs. While past generations have mostly launched with the desktop or enterprise cards first, the first news for the 400 series is coming from the mobile side. In announcing their new YOGA 510 series of laptops, Lenovo has inadvertently revealed that AMD’s Radeon R7 M460 and R5 M430 will be coming in April.

YOGA 510-14ISK notebook will ship with Radeon R5 M430 and YOGA 510-15ISK with R7 M460 graphics cards. Given the R5 and R7 labels, neither of these 2 cards will be speed demons. Right now the R5 M330 is the lowest tier mobile GPU from AMD with 320 CUs and the R7 M360 is little faster at 384 CUs. The M3xx models are based off GCN 1.0 so there is good chance the new cards will be GCN 4 based in order to take advantage of the power efficiency Polaris brings, something critical to mobile.

Both laptops are relatively well-endowed products and powered by Intel Skylake Pentium or i7 CPUs, Both GPUs will have 2GB of VRAM to help power the 1080p IPS display. Don’t expect much gaming though as these devices are decidedly portable. Other specifications include up to 8GB of DDR4 and 256GB SSD or 1TB HDD. Both laptops will be available starting in April.

One of Lenovo’s Bundled Apps Receives Important Fixes

Lenovo has come under fire not too long ago for a series of important security flaws, especially as far as its bundled apps are concerned. The good news is that the company is actively working to resolve these issues, and one of the most recent apps to receive a fix is ShareIt, which comes bundled with both Lenovo’s Windows and Android-based devices. So if you’re wondering what was wrong with the app in the first place, well it looks like its Windows version included a rather ridiculous password (12345678), which means that anyone on the same Wi-Fi network could have accessed it easily just by taking a wild guess. What’s even worse is that users could not even change this password even if they wanted to.

Then there’s the fact that both versions of ShareIt would send files without encrypting them, and whenever you’d choose to receive some files, the Android version of the app would just create a password-free WiFi hotspot without asking for permission. Lenovo has released updated versions of ShareIt, both of which now include a “secure mode” that encrypts files and asks for a password whenever you want to share them. The problem is that this mode is not implemented by default, which means that it still falls to the user to activate it in order to benefit from protection that should have been there in the first place.

More Lenovo Yoga P40 Details Emerge as First Listings Appear

Lenovo first unveiled their Yoga P40 mobile workstation on December first and around two weeks later they revealed the specifications, at least some of them. When a new product like this is being introduced, we usually only get the top end specifications and not all options available. Top of the line is awesome, but it might simply be too much for some users, both performance and price wise.

I’ve long been on the search for a new mobile workstation to suit my needs, plenty of power, mobility, and universal usage, but there wasn’t such a product on the market. The Microsoft Surface Book came close, but I was seriously disappointed in the specifications and low-end hardware they used. Especially considering the premium asking price of the Surface Book. When Lenovo unveiled the P40, I saw my rescue and have since been waiting for it while scouting for more details.

Initially we got a starting price of $1399 USD at the same time as they revealed the specification. It was clear right away that this wasn’t the price for the model with the revealed specifications. Today, or rather yesterday, I finally discovered the first shop listing of the new Yoga P40 that both provide us with an estimate on a European price, some more specification details, as well as a possible release date.

The initial specifications were a QuadroM500M graphics card, 6th-generation Core i7 processor, 512GB SSD, and 16GB RAM as well as an optional LTE version. Thanks to the first product listings we can elaborate a little more on that.

The 14-inch Lenovo P40 2-in-1 mobile workstation will come with either an i7-6500U or i7-6600U processor and either 8 or 16GB RAM. The SSD isn’t 512 GB in all models either and there will be options with a 256GB SSD instead. So far only models with FullHD resolution have been listed, but there should also come a version with a 1440p display instead.

The first listings come from two different shops which both are located in Poland and both revealed the same information. The prices start at about €1817.00 for an i7-6500U with 8GB RAM and 256GB HDD and goes up to about €2380.00 for an i7-6600U with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. The product listings aren’t complete, but they do give us some more insight into these pretty cool mobile workstations.

While the release date on the Yoga P40 wasn’t listed for either of the shops, there are hints towards when we can expect to see it. Lenovo only revealed that it would be released in Q1 2016, but not when. The official ThinkPad Pen Pro for the Yoga P40 does however have an estimated delivery time set for 3 weeks. While that doesn’t mean that the Yoga P40 will ship at the same time, it makes little sense to sell a stylus for a product that isn’t on the market yet. So fingers crossed if you’re looking to buy one of these sweet machines. The waiting time should be over soon.

Lenovo Ideacentre 610S @ CES 2016

CES 2016: This is one of the coolest products we’ve seen today, the latest mini-system from Lenovo. Equipped with a power range of hardware, such as Intel Core i7 CPUs, up to 16GB of ram and a GTX 750 TI, this tiny system can really push some impressive performance. However, it’s the party trick that really stands out, as it comes with a projector module that can project up to a 100″ screen, and the module is wireless! You can detach it from the main system and move it around as needed, although that will require a power cable to be attached, it still gives you a lot of freedom in the home/office.

No details on prices just, but you can bet it won’t be cheap. I can see this being the next popular addition to boardrooms around the world. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.

Lenovo and Razer Partner for New Gaming Systems

This is one of the pieces that I almost skipped due to its content, but then I thought: Why not give our readers a good laugh on a cold winter Tuesday. Why? Because Lenovo and Razer announced that they will “Revolutionize Gaming Devices” with their new cooperation. This was announced during DreamHack Winter where Razer revealed their first gaming desktop prototype that will be fully presented at CES 2016 in Vegas.

The two companies have partnered for this adventure and the new Razer Edition gaming PCs will be Lenovo’s Y-series gaming devices with special Razer Edition models. So in short, just the run-of-the-mill default pre-built gaming PC with some fancy lighting and probably some bundled Razer peripherals.

I have no doubt that quite a few people will buy these systems just as people are buying Dell’s Alienware systems, but will it truly be something special? I don’t think so and it certainly isn’t a revolution unless they can push the price to an amazingly cheap one, but that isn’t something I would count on either. Branded systems like these tend to sell for a premium price and as such lose the appeal for the average consumer.

The two companies are naturally thrilled themselves as it can be seen in the official comments below. Would you buy a Razer-Lenovo Y-series pre-built gaming PC? I think I already know the answer to that, but let us know anyway.

“We are thrilled to partner with Razer and bring out the best from both companies to deliver a better, more immersive gaming experience for customers,” said Victor Rios, vice president and general manager, Workstation BU, Gaming and Industry Solutions, Lenovo. “While we bring to the table our engineering expertise, design muscle and scale, Razer adds in the finesse and experience of serving the gaming community for the last decade. We believe our partnership is a strong first step that will lead to the delivery of winning PC gaming solutions and a brand new experience to our customers.”

Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said, “This agreement opens opportunities to advance the gaming lifestyle through world-class product in unprecedented ways. Lenovo is the world’s #1 PC maker. Razer is the world’s #1 gaming lifestyle brand. Together we have the passion, insight and operational capabilities to delight and empower the PC gaming community worldwide.”

Lenovo Reports First Loss in Six Years

Despite being one of the leading PC vendors, Lenovo is experiencing a tough financial period and recorded a $714 million net loss. This is the first loss the company has reported in 6 years and makes for some alarming reading. One root cause is a major restructuring programme resulting in 3,200 job losses. Additionally, the acquisition of Motorola was a costly endeavor, and Lenovo had to accept $300 million worth of unsold handsets.

PC sales also reduced by 17 percent compared to last year, but this is expected given the current market. Furthermore, the 17 percent drop is actually one of the better results when compared to other manufacturers. However, I’m pretty convinced the Superfish malware scandal didn’t do the company any favours and caused a great deal of negative publicity. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised if consumers were more hesitant to buy Lenovo products in the future. On the other hand, the amount of people who actually know about this controversy is quite small and the average consumer doesn’t really follow the latest technology news.

Whatever the case, the financial results aren’t as worrying as they first seem due to Lenovo’s current costs. Realistically, there’s no reason why they can’t turn a profit again, but it will be especially difficult in the competitive smartphone sector.

Lenovo Unveils Yoga 900 Convertible Laptop

Lenovo has announced the Yoga 900 which is officially the word’s thinnest Intel Core i-series convertible laptop and features a gorgeous watchband hinge. This 13.3-inch device opts for a 3200×1800 IPS display with wide viewing angles and impeccable colour reproduction. Additionally, the JBL speakers offer superb sound quality despite the Yoga’s ultra-thin 14.9mm frame. On another note, the Yoga 900 contains 50 percent improved battery density compared to the previous generation and provides up to nine hours of local video playback. As a result, the portable design and hefty battery makes it the perfect choice for watching films on long flights.

The Yoga 900 also incorporates an incredibly high specification including a Samsung SSD and memory capacity up to 16GB. Lenovo even improved the cooling system by a substantial 30 percent which enhances the user-experience. There are many high-end options on the market to suit business customers who require a portable device, but the Lenovo 900 looks the most impressive.

In terms of pricing, the base model costs $1,199.99 and comes in a variety of colours. This includes clementine orange, platinum silver and champagne gold. From an aesthetics standpoint, the Yoga 900 is beautiful and I would love to have one to use during press conferences. Although, it is well out of my price-range.

Leading PC Vendors Launch Embarrassing Advertising Campaign

Apple has had a strong foothold on mainstream television for a considerable time due to a rigorous advertising campaign. The company showcases each product with stylish, slow-moving camera angles to evoke a “cool factor”. In the PC market, vendor sales are dwindling due to people building custom-PCs or simply upgrading their current setup. To try and reverse this long-standing trend, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Lenovo have joined forces to create a marketing campaign and outline the major benefits of PCs.

According to the AP, the advertising will cost upwards of $70 million (£45 million) and focuses on the “PC Does What?” slogan. Throughout the advert, we can see various extreme situations and actors reiterating, “PC does what?”. The video showcases benefits such as excellent sound and an 18-hour battery life. However, hearing an air-traffic controller screeching PC does what? is nothing short of cringe worthy.

Over the years, I’ve seen some terrible adverts from Apple including ones which contain Jonathan Ive’s voiceover. Whatever you think of Apple, their advertising campaign is very effective and still manages to create a sense of being alternative. Every Microsoft advert I’ve seen in the past 5 years has been quite embarrassing. The PC does what? feels similar and I doubt it’s going to make consumers rush out to buy devices from main vendors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjRluOmCD8

Lenovo Caught Pre-Installing Malware on its Computers Again

Earlier this year, Lenovo was caught pre-installing adware on its computers, eliciting a vociferous backlash from users. The Superfish scandal, however, appears merely to have been its test-run in preparation for its latest ruse: Lenovo ThinkPads, ThinkCentres, and ThinkStations have been found containing user-tracking spyware that is scheduled to run every day and sends usage data to an analytics company.

The spyware was discovered by independent computer security consultant Michael Horowitz while using the free software TaskSchedulerView to persue his ThinkPad. He says:

The task that gave me pause is called “Lenovo Customer Feedback Program 64”. It was running daily. According to the description in the task scheduler: “This task uploads Customer Feedback Program data to Lenovo”.

I have setup my fair share of new Lenovo machines and can’t recall ever being asked about a Customer Feedback program.

The program that runs daily is Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.Agent.exe and it resides in folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Lenovo\Customer Feedback Program.

Other files in this folder are Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.Agent.exe.config, Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.InnovApps.dll and Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.OmnitureSiteCatalyst.dll.

According to Wikipedia, Omniture is an online marketing and web analytics firm, and SiteCatalyst (since renamed) is their software as a service application for client-side web analytics.

So, while there may not be extra ads on ThinkPads, there is some monitoring and tracking.

On the one hand this is surprising because the machines were refurbished and sold by IBM. On the other hand, considering Lenovo’s recent history, it’s not surprising at all.

Lenovo’s right to use this malware to gather information on its user is buried deep within its Licence Agreement – an .rtf file stored in the obscure folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Lenovo\MetricCollectionSDK\licenses – so is doing nothing illegal, but its behaviour is at the very least unethical and risks violating user trust and damaging its brand.

In lieu of these revelations, Lenovo has issued an official statement regarding data collection which reads:

“Statistical data collection by Lenovo has been the subject of press reports and social media discussion. Similar to other companies in the PC, smartphone and tablet industries and as disclosed in the End User License Agreement, Lenovo products collect non-personally identifiable statistical usage data that is not tracked to any single customer or device. This data helps Lenovo improve both existing and future products.”

“In preparation for Windows 10, all programs preloaded on Lenovo PCs were reviewed by Lenovo and independent 3rd parties from privacy and technical perspectives and are listed in the “programs directory” in Windows, under “settings”. Customers who do not want to participate, can remove the program by going into the “Control Panel”, opening “Add / Remove Programs”, clicking on the program and selecting “uninstall””

Thank you Boing Boing for providing us with this information.

Lenovo MIIX 700 – Simillar To Microsoft’s Surface Or Not?

Similar products have always been a problem for companies, with successful products quickly being copied and sometimes even rip off “cheap” versions of their products being offered to their customers by  rivals; Lenovo’s latest tablet, the MIIX 700, has some striking similarities with the Microsoft Surface.

A 12-inch tablet with a detached keyboard and built-in kickstand, the MIIX even shares the surfaces 3:2 aspect ratio, considered one of the more unique (and weirder) features of the Surface. The screen measures in at 2160×1440 resolution, weighing 0.06lbs lighter than the surface.

The MIIX will contain Intel’s Skylake processors, with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, the MIIX will contain enough processing power to match tablets that are currently out on the market. Listed under its features, the advertisement for the MIIX states it is “recognizably different with a unique dual watchband hinge kickstand for those who value stylish design”. The watchband hinge was seen on the Yoga 3 Pro, but unlike its older counterparts can hold the stand in any position.

Looking at the design, and even the secondary magnetic strips on the product, even from a picture based view it is hard to not notice the surfaces glaring impact on the MIIX’s designs and functions. When it comes to products, is it the “works for them so it will work for us” approach allowed or do you feel that certain companies can take these similarities too far?

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of Windows Central.

Lenovo Used Hidden Windows Feature to Stop Users From Uninstalling Their Software

Lenovo has been secretly using an integrated Windows feature to automatically install their software suite even after a complete reformat. This was first discovered by Ars Technica forum user “ge814” and corroborated by Hacker News user “chuckup”. Essentially, Lenovo devices exploit a rootkit which prevents users from removing any Lenovo-branded software and overwrites a system file every time the PC boots.

So how does this work? Lenovo utilizes the Windows Platform Binary Table which was introduced in November 2011 to force software installation from the BIOS. ACPI tables are at the forefront of this terrible revelation and automatically configured during a fresh Windows install.  In this particular case, the Lenovo Search Engine downloads a program without your consent, entitled OneKey Optimizer. This piece of software is supposedly bundled to:

“Enhance PC performance by updating firmware, drivers and pre-installed apps as well as “scanning junk files and find factors that influence system performance.”

To make matters worse, the software relays information back to Lenovo for marketing purposes to gauge how customers use different hardware. Staggeringly, none of this is mentioned and the end-user has no option to opt out of this horrific anti-privacy technique. Lenovo defends the OneKey Optimizer and suggests the data collected is not,

“Personally identifiable information.”

However, I doubt any customer will trust them considering the lack of transparency surrounding this matter. Shockingly, if Windows 7, 8 or 10 is installed, the BIOS checks “C:\Windows\system32\autochk.exe” to determine if the file is signed by Microsoft or Lenovo. If the signature is still a Microsoft one, Lenovo overwrites the file without your permission. Thankfully, there is a fix using this link but what percentage of users are either aware of this or comfortable to make a BIOS revision.

The idea that a hardware manufacturer can force their own bloatware at a BIOS level is absurd. Give the consumer choice and let them install the software as an additional extra. Is it so difficult to purchase a laptop with just the vanilla operating system?

Thank you The Next Web for providing us with this information.

Lenovo Launches Its P50 and P70 Mobile Workstations

During the recent SIGGRAPH 2015 conference, Lenovo has announced a pair of new laptops that spearhead the launch of a completely new product family. We’re talking about the Lenovo ThinkPad P50 and P70 workstations, both of which come with a series of impressive features such as powerful Intel processors and 4K displays.

The P50 represents the thinnest and lightest mobile workstation ever made by Lenovo. It includes a 15.6-inch UHD 4K display as well as an Intel Xeon processor that’s a part of the E3-1500M v5 family. The graphics card is a Nvidia Quadro, while the RAM memory can include up to 64GB of DDR4. When it comes to storage, up to three devices can be supported in RAID 0 or RAID 1.

The P70 features similar performance configurations but offers a larger 17-inch 4K UHD screen. It can accommodate up to four storage devices as well as an old optical drive, which is can be a very welcomed addition. Naturally, the high-end components included in these laptops are bound to give off quite a bit of heat, which is why Lenovo opted to cool them using its new FLEX Performance Cooling system based on a dual-fan design.

Both notebooks are scheduled to become available in this year’s Q4. The P50 will set you back $1,599 while the P70 will be available for $1,999.

Thank you TechSpot for providing us with this information.

Here Are the First Signs That Microsoft Is Getting Ready for the Windows 10 Launch

As the release date for Microsoft’s latest Windows build draws near, we see the company taking the first steps in prepping for their most anticipated date, July 29th. If you are a Windows Insider, you might already be familiar with the company’s recent move.

As of Monday, Microsoft suspended all new preview builds for Windows 10, stating that the next build will be rolled out on the production channels. However, Microsoft still needs a lot of testing before the launch date, so they are most likely focusing on wrapping up the clean install and upgrade process so that Windows Insiders can test and flag any major problems that could arise during the installation or upgrade process. There were a lot of problems with the Windows 8.1 update, especially with the Update 1, where users were even forced to clean install the OS after encountering serious problems during the upgrade process.

To be noted is that even pre-release activation keys will not work on earlier versions of Windows 10 preview builds. There is no word if Microsoft will release a fresh batch of keys for users who still didn’t get a chance to test Windows 10, but they will most likely be forced to upgrade from earlier Windows versions, since Microsoft is expecting a lot of people to migrate to the latest build after it launches.

The move to suspend preview builds also hints at the release of the first RTM build, which was expected last week. This means that the build will be shipped soon enough to OEMs such as Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo to install and start shipping Windows 10-powered PCs on July 29th.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Lenovo Enters PC Stick Market

Lenovo is releasing a PC-on-a-stick to rival Intel’s Compute Stick, and it’s cheaper, to boot. The Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300 is a dongle that will turn any monitor or TV with an HDMI input into a computer.

The 15mm-thick dongle boasts an Intel Atom Z3735F processor, 2GB memory, and 32GB of onboard storage, which can be boosted via it Micro SD slot, plus WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. It will ship with Windows 8.1, which will of course be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 upon its release on 29th July.

Jun Ouyang, Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Desktop and Visuals, described the IdeaCentre Stick 300:

“We’ve looked at the computing needs of travelers, business people and families, and realized that a truly portable and affordable solution would be a significant benefit to users of all kinds. Our goal with the Ideacentre Stick 300 is to give those users a sense of freedom and enhanced mobility, while packing a serious punch in a small device.”

Lenovo promises that the IdeaCentre Stick 300 can transform “the traditional TV in a vacation rental into a smart multi-media hub, capable of streaming a movie, video chatting with relatives or editing a work document on the fly,” and allowing you to “Convert the dusty monitor lurking in a spare bedroom into a web-enabled homework station, or transform a coveted man-cave into a home cinema.”

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Stick 300 is due to ship in July, in-store and online, priced $129.

Image courtesy of liliputing.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad 10 Is the First Windows 10 Tablet

Lenovo held its own event in Beijing where they announced the new ThinkPad 10 and this is the second generation. It isn’t just a new tablet, it is also the first tablet to be officially presented with Windows 10 as a feature.

The development of Windows 10 comes along great and the launch is just 2 months away. Users are already being prompted to pre-register for the update, that by the way is free for customers that currently use Windows 7 and newer Windows systems.

The ThinkPad 10 is using an Intel quad-core processor and comes with a 10.1-inch screen size with a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. There will be two models with slightly different specifications: Intel Atom Z8500 / Atom Z8700 64 bit processor, 2/4 GB RAM, and 64/128 GB Storage.

It has a USB 3.0 port as well as a Micro HDMI port and Micro SD card slot. It can be equipped with a 3G / 4G LTE modem, supports 802.11ac WiFi. Anything needs a camera and this tablet comes with a 5MP rear and 1.2MP front camera.

The 32Wh battery can provide you with up to 10 hours usage on a full charge. It also supports handwriting through the ThinkPad Pen Pro stylus and there’s also an optional keyboard available.

U.S. Navy Doesn’t Trust Lenovo With Their Weapon Systems

You don’t trust anyone with the control of your weapon systems and it looks like the U.S. Navy isn’t too pleased with Lenovo’s recent purchase of the IBM Server division.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Navy is looking at dropping the IBM servers from some weapon systems after the company’s server line was purchased by Lenovo Group Ltd, a Chinese company.

The last years headlines have shown more than once that security and threats don’t just come from software, but that hardware is an equal access point. With something as crucial as weapon systems, one can understand that the Navy wants to be on the safe side.

On the other hand, more and more reminders of us the cold war era. Russia developing their own CPUs because they don’t trust the west, the U.S. placing trade restriction on China forbidding the sale of the most powerful supercomputers to them, and now this story.

Lenovo spokesman Ray Gorman said that the company generally declined to comment on customer contracts and as such didn’t have anything else to say to this particular case and instead pointed the finger in the direction of the Ministry of Finance.

Lenovo paid a price of $ 2.1 billion when they bought IBM’s low-end x86 server business last year.

Lenovo Expands Recall of Fire Hazard Batteries

Last March, Lenovo recalled 37,000 laptop batteries across the United States and Canada over fears that the battery could overheat, to the point of becoming a fire hazard. Over a year later, the computer manufacturer has expanded its recall notice to encompass up to 148,800 battery units in the US and 17,700 units in Canada bundled with certain models of its Thinkpad laptop range suspected of being a fire risk.

“The battery packs can overheat, posing a fire hazard,” the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. “Lenovo has received four reports of incidents of battery packs overheating and damaging the computers, battery packs and surrounding property. One incident included a consumer’s skin being reddened and burn marks on the consumer’s clothing.”

The CPSC warns that users “should immediately turn off their ThinkPad notebook computer, remove the battery pack and contact Lenovo for a free replacement battery pack. Consumers can continue to use their ThinkPad notebook without the battery pack by plugging in the AC adapter and power cord.”

Lenovo Thinkpad models covered by the recall notice are:

The Edge 11, 13, 14, 15, 120, 125, 320, 325, 420, 425, 430, 520, 525 and 530 series; the L412, L420/421, L512 and L520 series; the T410, T420, T510 and T520 series; the W510 and W520 series; and the X100e, X120e, X121e, X130e, X200, X200s, X201, X201s, X220, and X220t series.

If you are unsure whether your battery pack in one that is being recalled, check below the barcode on the white sticker on the unit for any of the following identifiers:

42T4695, 42T4711, 42T4740, 42T4798, 42T4804, 42T4812, 42T4816, 42T4822, 42T4826, 42T4828, 42T4834, 42T4840, 42T4862, 42T4868, 42T4874, 42T4880, 42T4890, 42T4944, 42T4948, 42T4954, 42T4958, 45N1022, and 45N1050.

Lenovo Rolls Out N21 Chromebook

The rumoured N21 Chrome book is here at last! Looking at its specs, the N21 appears to come with a 11.6-inch display, Intel’s Celeron N2840 Bay Trail CPU, 16GB storage space and up to 4GB of RAM. Connectivity-wise, the Chromebook has a 802.11ac wireless adapter, comes with HDMI, SD card reader, one USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port.

The battery life is also promising, having Lenovo stating that the N21 eats up 36 Wh. This means that users should expect a battery life of up to 9.5 hours, give or take, depending on the number of applications running on the device.

The N21 Chromebook appears to come in a rugged case and is available for purchase at stores at a starting price of $219.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Lenovo Showcase A GRID server at GTC 2015


GTC 2015: After walking around the exhibition show floor at this years NVIDIA GTC event, a few things caught our eye and the main thing was a huge standing rack blade enclosure from Lenovo.

As we know with blade racks, they can support a whole host of hardware including storage modules, video cards and of course, the networking infrastructure and processing power that you’d come to expect from a system of this calibre.

Inside the Lenovo N1200 server, we can see everything needed for a highly spectacular NVIDIA GRID server. If you want to find out more about GRID, we invite you to check it out here.

We have a lot more coverage coming from NVIDIA GTC, so keep your eyes peeled.

Apple’s Latest Macbook Is Being Downplayed by PC Makers on Twitter

Apple’s competitors really like to mock its products (a lot). Dell, Asus and Lenovo are one of them, and through some tweets, the PC manufacturers attempt to prove that Apple’s products are not the only ‘thin’ products with high-res display available on the market.

According to Lenovo, its Yoga 3 Pro is not only slimmer, but also has more ports and a higher resolution touch display. However, the only small inconvenience is that the Yoga 3 Pro weighs in 0.62 lbs more than Apple’s own MacBook.

Dell took a similar approach by tweeting that its XPS 13 features a display with 2 million pixels more than MacBook’s counterpart. Dell also did not forget to mention that the XPS 13 features a lot of USB ports, mini-DisplayPort and SD card reader.

Lastly, we have Asus’ ultra-slim ZenBook. The laptop has a thickness of just 12.3 mm compared to the MacBook’s 13.1 mm and also comes with the usual connectivity such as USB, mini HDMI and even costs half of what Apple’s asking for the MacBook.

Given the fact that pre-orders for the new MacBook begin on the 10th of April, there is still time for competitors to downplay Apple’s product even more.

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information

Lenovo Reveals 4-Inch, 480p Pocket Projector

Following its strong showing at CES 2015 back in January, Lenovo has revealed its new Pocket Projector at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The device is 4 inches squared, with a height of about an inch, and the 50 lumen projector can project 480p video up to a width of 110 inches, with a rotation angle of 90o. Content can be streamed wirelessly to the device, and it also supports microSD cards with a capacity of up to 32GB. It is powered by microUSB, has a 2.5 hour battery life, and built-in stereo speakers, though it also features a 3.5mm audio output.

The Pocket Projector supports DLNA and Miracast, so works with Android, Windows, and iOS devices. It goes on sale later this month, priced $249.

Source: Android Authority

Lenovo’s Website Hacked, Teenagers, High School Musical Take Over

Lenovo’s website has been hacked. In what is probably in response to the Superfish scandal, Lizard Squad took over their website in quite a bizarre fashion.

Their homepage was replaced with images of teenagers accompanied by music from ‘High School Musical’. The hack was very brief, with the site already back up and running.

Superfish essentially throws out ads on pages like Google that appear to match your search results. It seemingly does such a thing in Chome and Internet Explorer. It also provides annoying popups – something very common with adware. Superfish is dangerous as well as annoying. It appeared that the software was implementing a man-in-the middle attack by using a self-signed certificate authority, which allowed it to decrypt secure connections, such as those to your bank account or when you’re making a purchase.

Lenovo has since apologised, however it’s an apology some are clearly unhappy with.

Source: The Next Web

Same Tech Used in Lenovo Superfish Software found in Twelve Other Apps

The SSL-busting technology recently discovered to be pre-installed on Lenovo laptops has been found as part of another 12 pieces of software, including Trojan malware. The HTTPS-bypassing code, developed by Israeli company Komodia, was a part of the now-infamous Superfish software found on-board Lenovo laptops.

Matt Richard, threat researcher for the Facebook security team, revealed the extent of the code’s reach in a post on Friday, writing, “What all these applications have in common is that they make people less secure through their use of an easily obtained root CA [certificate authority], they provide little information about the risks of the technology, and in some cases they are difficult to remove.”

He continued,  “Furthermore, it is likely that these intercepting SSL proxies won’t keep up with the HTTPS features in browsers (e.g., certificate pinning and forward secrecy), meaning they could potentially expose private data to network attackers. Some of these deficiencies can be detected by antivirus products as malware or adware, though from our research, detection successes are sporadic.”

Even the developer Komodia calls one of its SDKs an “SSL hijacker”, so it’s no surprise that the code has found its way into malicious software. The malware, Trojan.Nurjax, was first discovered back in December. According to Symantec, the malware “hijacks the Web browser on the compromised computer and may download additional threats.”

Lenovo has apologised for inflicting the HTTPS-breaking code upon is customers and has released a program to aid removal of the Superfish software.

Source: Ars Technica

Want to Know if Superfish is on Your PC?

Superfish, the adware that Lenovo was found to be installing on consumer PCs, has the potential to wreak havoc on your computer. While it can simply plaster webpages with unwanted ads, it’s also capable of spying on encrypted connections.

So, what can you do to ensure you don’t get caught out by it? Well, as we previously reported, Microsoft has updated its definitions in Windows Defender to remove it, and Lenovo itself has released a tool that rids people’s machines of it too. However, both of these involve a process for which you might not have the time. So how about a quick and easy tool on the web that detects if you have it?

Well, that’s exactly what we have here. This page, “built in a frenzy by Filippo Valsorda“, immediately checks if you’ve got the offending piece of software on your machine. So, visit it now and in no time at all, you’ll know whether Superfish is on your machine.

Superfish Admits to Certificate Installation, Didn’t Realise Security Flaw

The CEO of Superfish, the company behind the software of the same name that has been central to a recent scandal surrounding Lenovo, has admitted to his company intentionally installing the root certificate authority as part of the software, but says that they did not realise the potential consequences.

Speaking to The Next WebSuperfish CEO, Adi Pinhas, said that the software had useful intentions, but that they purposely utilised the root certificate authority to “enable a search from any site.” Superfish’s intent is to scan websites for products for which it can display ads offering users alternatives they may be interested in. This means it could circumvent SSL on sites like Google so it could continue doing what it intended to do – display ads.

Now Pinhas says that the certificate was “not installed without the users opting in”, but he also said that the company did not realise the potentially devastating consequences of utilising such a certificate and that the company didn’t know about the vulnerability until everyone else did. While that’s fine, it does seem a little hard to believe that the software developers who apparently spent four years developing Superfish didn’t realise the insecure nature of the software.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty clear that Superfish isn’t something you want on your computer.

Source: The Next Web

Lenovo Releases Automatic Tool to Remove Superfish

Lenovo, the company embroiled in controversy over the Superfish adware preinstalled on a number of their PCs, has released a special removal tool to automatically rid their products of the software.

The company initially appeared slow to react to this issue, even perhaps insisting that there was nothing wrong with Superfish. However, after an apology, they have now released a purpose built tool to completely remove the offending program. Those who believe they may be using a Lenovo PC that has been affected by Superfish can download the tool here.

“We are working with McAfee and Microsoft to have the Superfish software and certificate quarantined or removed using their industry-leading tools and technologies. This action has already started and will automatically fix the vulnerability even for users who are not currently aware of the problem.” – Lenovo

It will effectively do the job for you, removing the adware completely. Plus, and perhaps more importantly, it will also take care of the sometime tricky to remove certificate that essentially allowed Superfish, or anyone else with password to that certificate, the ability to snoop on secure connections.

Source: The Verge

Microsoft Updates Windows Defender to Remove Superfish

Microsoft has emerged as the hero within this whole Superfish/Lenovo story, as the company has updated its anti-virus software to detect and remove the offending program. Windows Defender, which is preinstalled on Windows 8, and Microsoft Security Essentials, the free-to-download equivalent for Windows 7, have both had their virus definitions updated to detect Superfish.

Where previously removing Superfish was quite a tricky and unclear process for most novice users, the process has been made incredibly simple and easy, with Windows Defender and Security Essentials both able to completely remove the software automatically. Even those users who were unaware of Superfish will have it removed now as well.

Microsoft has really saved the day as it were, resolving the problem for many and if not most of those affected by Superfish, especially considering the fact that all installations of Windows 8 come with Windows Defender.

Source: The Verge