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Lenovo hires ‘Steve Jobs’, adds two new hybrid tablets to Yoga family

by Doug Drinkwater

October 30 2013

The new Yoga tablets have an unusual design
The new Yoga tablets have an unusual design

Celebrities and tech companies may go hand-in-hand when it comes to product unveilings these days, but Lenovo took that one step further yesterday. The company has hired actor Ashton Kutcher and he even had some engineering input in designing the new Yoga tablets.

Lenovo announced Kutcher as its latest “product engineer” at an event in Los Angeles yesterday, where it also took the wraps off the new hybrid Yoga Tablet 8 and Yoga Tablet 10.

As the name suggests, the tablets are available in sizes of 8-inches and 10-inches and both sport a rather unusual design that makes them stand out. A thick rounded edge at the bottom makes it easy to hold and it also holds most the electronics and the battery (quoted at an impressive 16 hours on the 7-inch, 18 hours on the 10-inch). There is a flick-out kickstand for holding it upright.

“"For this me is a risk," said Kutcher, who plays late Apple founder Steve Jobs in the 2013 biopic Jobs, at the unveiling. “The risk is to be taken now because this is happening in the world now.”

(Worth reading: Lenovo teases new Yoga tablet with unique kickstand & Lenovo guns for post-PC era with hybrid tablets and convertible laptops)

(Image: Ashton Kutcher even donned a Lenovo badge for a video ad and for the tablet unveiling)

Kutcher, who is also an investor in several tech companies, was referring to the unconventional design of the Yoga tablet, which does look remarkably similar to an upside down Apple Bluetooth keyboard. Lenovo publicly likens the style to reading a magazine one-handed.

Under the hood of the device are specs that back up the tablet’s affordable price point. The Lenovo Yoga has a low-res 1280 x 800 resolution display, a budget quad-core 1.2GHz MT8125 SoC processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of storage (expansion up to 64GB is possible via an SD card).  There is a 9000 mAh battery on the 10-inch model and a 6000 mAh version on the 8-inch version.

The ThinkPad Yoga will be available in Wi-Fi only and 3G models. The 8-inch and 10-inch tablets will start at $249 and $299 respectively and will become available to buy in the U.S on Thursday.

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