This is How Lenovo Made Connectivity for Convertibles Even Better

Have you ever stared at something you love and thought, “How can I make it better?” From something as simple as improving your favorite recipe to complex home remodeling plans, it’s innately part of human nature to ask: “Is this the best it can be?” 
 
This is the question our team of engineers and designers at Lenovo™ ask themselves every day. Before beginning the process of designing a new technology solution, we try to suspend existing notions of what that device or widget currently does. The goal is to open up new ways to re-imagine how they can make a product better. In almost every case, this exercise has resulted in a new approach, material, process or technology that the team had never done before.
 
Different for the sake of being better
This discipline of the relentless pursuit of improvement has led to some industry first breakthroughs that have since changed the way we interact with technology today. Almost four years ago, we introduced the Lenovo Yoga™ as the world’s first convertible laptop. With the original Yoga came the introduction of the dual hinge that allowed the convertible laptop to complete a full 360-degree fold into four usage modes. Nobody at the time thought they needed a laptop to rotate 360 degrees, but it solved the emerging challenge of carrying a laptop and a tablet as two separate devices – a priceless innovation for the time. We went on to push the boundaries of the hinge even further by adding a mechanism that allowed people to tent and stand the device too, et voilà a 4-in-1. Not willing to accept that we had pushed it as far as it could go, this year we tackled the hinge again to create the world’s thinnest convertible laptop,2 the Yoga 900S, made up of 813 intricate parts. But we couldn’t stop there. We realized there was more that we could do to make the experience even better, and the currency of the moment was mobility and connectivity.
 
Improved connectivity “hinged” on flipping the problem around
Recognizing that connectivity is the currency of the modern day digital nomad, our designers and engineers put their heads together and made it priority one. Typically the Wi-Fi antenna in a portable device is placed in the lid or in the base, but in the case of a 4-in-1 device this can impede the signal when the device is in tablet or tent mode. So, how do we deliver a pristine wireless connection, irrespective of the mode our users choose to use the device in?
 
Early blueprints explored how we could better utilize the touchpad space to integrate the Wi-Fi antennae, but this raised similar challenges to being in the lid or base. We experimented with side mounting so that the signal would always have clearance – but it also created challenges relating to size, heavier weight and use of materials.
 
Our engineering team in China (literally) put their heads together to work on improving the Yoga 710’s connectivity. 
 
Testing the antenna
 
Our innovation journey relied on us looking outside of ourselves and studying how other products, or even packaging, have evolved over time. From cars to cosmetics, fashion to footwear, we derived new ideas, knowledge and inspiration from different industries around us.
 
Our a-ha moment came when studying how mobile phones have evolved over time, particularly the move from flip or clam shell designs to today’s integrated smart phones. And eureka! What if we combined these two worlds and designed a more powerful Wi-Fi antenna that was slim enough to be integrated into the hinge of the 14-inch Yoga 710? Yes, an antenna in the hinge!
 
 
14-inch Yoga 710’s hinge antenna
 
A ripple effect of benefits
Utilizing the hinge for the antennae guaranteed full signal clearance in any mode, delivering on our goal to improve connectivity. What we didn’t know was that this unorthodox solution had positive knock on benefits. It freed our design team to explore stylish looking materials for the exterior of the laptop, which they hitherto could not because they worried about its impact on the quality of the wireless signal. Not anymore. We now had the option of using stylish premium metal.  Also, we no longer needed to waste valuable space on antennae clearance and was able to offer the beautiful edgeless display that we have now.
 
The 14-inch Yoga 710 has a virtually edgeless display – afforded by placing the antenna in the hinge.
 
While connectivity is certainly king, it was not the only area we focused our attention during the imagining of the 14-inch Yoga 710. We also recognized that modern nomads need to travel light. No one enjoys carrying extra cords, external storage drives and batteries. The Yoga team added SSD storage, USB always-on charging and a dual array noise cancelling microphone so you can be heard clearly when video or audio conferencing from a busy café or a comfy couch. Better yet, the 14-inch Yoga 710 also comes with up to Intel Core i7 processor for better performance.
 
The human pay off
Design and engineering aside, what does all this re-imagining mean to users?
 
How about not having to play Wi-Fi “musical chairs” ever again – hopping from café to hotel lobby to find the hot spot. The 14-inch Yoga 710’s hinge antenna gives it up to 20 percent better Wi-Fi connections than before.1 This means users have the advantage when working in public areas where the free Wi-Fi signal can be weak due to distance, furniture and human obstacles. You will be faster on the “data-draw,” not missing a productivity beat and even improving your odds when playing online. With the 14-inch Yoga 710’s innovative hinge antenna, modern day nomads can now get more things done on the go.
 
Lenovo Yoga 710 (14-inch model) is available now starting at $999.99.3

Find yours at www.lenovo.com.  
Intel Inside®.Extraordinary Performance Outside.
 
1 Compared to its previous generations like the Yoga 700, the 14-inch Yoga 710 has an integrated hinge antenna that increases its antenna performance by up to 20 percent in tablet mode.
2 Based on a review of the major PC manufacturer websites on May 19, 2016.
3 Prices do not include tax or shipping or options and are subject to change without notice; additional terms and conditions apply. Reseller prices may vary. On-shelf dates may vary by geography and products or options may only be available in selected markets. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings, features and specifications at any time without notice.
 
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