Lenovo has released the specifications for their 2017 Thinkpad series line-up, with several models (T470p, L470, L570, T470, T570, X270 and Yoga 370) featuring improve hardware, including Intel’s latest generation Kaby Lake processors. But the interesting is the first consumer-level adaptations of Intel’s Optane technology.
The Optane-based solutions will primarily act as caching devices, offering up to 16GB Optane SSDs in M.2 2242 form factor, which will be paired with hard drives (as a supposedly higher-performing, higher storage capacity solution than the alternative of using a single NVMe SSD with NAND flash memory). This new generation of ThinkPads will be coming to the market in January and February 2017, but Lenovo and Intel hadn’t indicated when the Optane configured models will be available. However, considering reports of delays in the 3D XPoint technology time-to-market, actual products featuring the technology may be further away than the revised, 2017 Thinkpad lineup release.
ThinkPad Yoga 370
The ThinkPad Yoga 370 is a new model, which is a 13.3-inch FHD version of their ThinkPad Yoga lineup, which previously consisted of the 12.5-inch Yoga 260 and 14-inch Yoga 460. The ThinkPad Yoga 370 offers an integrated pen which docks inside the laptop, as well as Thunderbolt 3, and it will be offered in black or silver with availability in March 2017, starting from $1264.
The T470 is one of the new models to feature an optional Intel Optane 16 GB cache drive, and it also will have a touch fingerprint reader and Windows Hello camera option. Thunderbolt 3 is also here on the 14-inch laptop, along with a GeForce 940MX GPU and up to 32 GB of DDR4. It continues to feature the split battery, with a 23 Wh in the front and a removable 48 Wh or 73 Wh battery in the rear. It will be available in February starting at $914
The 15.6-inch T series is similar to the T470 in that it will offer Thunderbolt 3, fingerprint, IR camera, and Intel Optane caching, and it also keeps the dGPU with the GeForce 940MX, but the larger model can also be had with a UHD display (3840×2160) in addition to the standard FHD (1920×1080) version. It will be available in March starting at $909.
The ThinkPad T470s continues to get slimmer and lighter. What was once a slightly lighter T series is now a 14-inch notebook that is under three pounds, with the latest version just 2.9 lbs. It can be had with up to 24 GB of memory, with 8 GB soldered on and a single DIMM available for another 16 GB. It still features Ethernet, along with Thunderbolt 3 and up to 1 TB of PCIe SSD. The thinner T series is also available in silver, with availability in February starting at $1099.
The p model is for performance, with 45-Watt CPUs instead of the U series found in the slimmer and lighter notebooks. This is combined with the GeForce 940MX, and up to 32 GB of DDR4. The T470p is also available with the 16 GB Intel Optane caching drive, and split batteries with up to 12 hours of battery life with the larger 72 Wh battery in the rear. The T470p will be available in March starting at $1049.
The ThinkPad 13 is Lenovo’s value offering, and it will be available in January for a starting price of $674. For less than $700, it will feature Intel Kaby Lake processors, with up to 32 GB of DDR4 with 2 DIMM slots, and up to 512 GB of PCIe storage. The display is a FHD 1920×1080 touch version, and it features 3 USB 3.0 ports, USB-C which doubles as a charging port, dTPM 2.0, and a SD card reader. It’s 19.1mm thick and weighs 3.17 lbs. It will also be offered in black or silver.
The L series is positioned as the mainstream business value lineup, and they slot in for a bit less money than the T series. The L470 is a 14-inch FHD IPS model, and it also features optional Intel Optane caching, and 2 DIMMS for up to 32 GB of RAM. It keeps the split batteries as well, offering up to 95.5 Wh of battery capacity. In addition, it adds a discrete GPU in the Radeon R5 M430. It will be available in March starting from $799.
This 15.6-inch laptop is quite a bit different than the similarly named L470, in that it doesn’t have the split battery, or discrete graphics. It has a single 48 Wh battery, along with optional Intel Optane caching or SSD drives. The base model is a 1366×768 TN display, so be careful, although there is a FHD IPS offering as well. It features a dedicated number pad and optical drive, and it can be had with up to 32 GB of DDR4 with the 2 DIMM slots, and will be available in March starting at $809.
This 12.5-inch ThinkPad has been around for quite a while now, and the latest version adds USB-C for power, display, and data. RAM options are 4 to 16 GB of DDR4, and storage is up to 2 TB of HDD or 512 GB PCIe SSD. It offers the ThinkPad split battery with 23 Wh in the front and 48 or 72 Wh in the rear. With the largest battery, Lenovo claims up to 21.4 hours of battery life. It comes in at 2.9 lbs, with availability in March from $909