OnePlus Pad will bring a somewhat unusual design to the tablet market

Until Apple started trying to present the iPad Pro as something to replace traditional computers, the tablet market seemed to be on its last breaths. Suddenly, plenty of new slates started popping up, not yet counting the foldable phones that unfold into small tablets. Despite that revitalization, the fundamental formula for tablets had changed very little, especially when it came to cameras. With the front-facing camera taking a more important role, the rear camera is almost like something that’s there just for the sake of being complete. Ever the upstart, it seems that OnePlus wants to make that camera more prominent, suggesting that it could have a bigger role to play in its first-ever tablet.

Designer: OnePlus (via Steve Hemmerstoffer)

Tablet cameras have always been less impressive compared to their smartphone cousins, even if both come from the same generation or year. The reasoning is perhaps the lack of uses for a rear-facing camera on a tablet, while the front camera will be heavily utilized for video calls. That said, more recent high-end tablets from Apple and Samsung have indeed stepped up their game, but they have barely changed when it comes to their design.

The OnePlus Pad, the brand’s first Android tablet, is aiming to stand out from the crowd visually, which isn’t that difficult considering how similar-looking most tablets are these days. While the tablet is expected to have a metal unibody design and flat edges, a staple of premium tablets these days, it will have one design detail that you will rarely find in others of its kind. According to renders and confirmed by OnePlus itself, the OnePlus Pad’s rear camera will be placed in the middle of its long edge rather than in the typical corner.

This makes the camera more prominent and visible on this large 11.6-inch tablet, which suggests it might even be more capable than your typical tablet cameras. Indeed, it has a large circular bump that is reminiscent of the confirmed camera design for the OnePlus 11 that will be launching on the same date, February 7th. It could simply be a visual embellishment, but OnePlus is known to be a bit more modest in design changes that don’t bring any functional benefits.

Together with the placement of the front camera, which is also on the same long edge, OnePlus is using design to inform people how this tablet is meant to be used. Unlike most tablets, the OnePlus Pad is designed for a horizontal or landscape orientation, which is how you’re most likely to use it not only to watch videos but also to do some work. OnePlus will probably focus on these use cases when it makes the big announcement next week, pitting the OnePlus Pad against big shots from Apple and Samsung.

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OnePlus teases its first tablet ahead of next month’s official reveal

A OnePlus tablet is on the way. A new official image of the upcoming OnePlus Pad surfaced, showing a “Halo Green” color and an unconventional camera placement. The tablet will reportedly launch alongside the OnePlus 11 5G and Buds Pro 2 at a February 7th event.

The lone image, posted on OnePlus’ official India website, reveals a green finish with a centered rear camera. It’s reportedly an aluminum alloy body with a cambered (gently sloped like older iPads) frame. In some impressively flowery marketing copy, OnePlus toldTechRadar the green hue “blends the vibrancy of life with the vastness of space.” Unfortunately, we don’t yet know about other color options, full specs or pricing.

You can better see the tablet’s narrow bezels and centered front camera after adjusting the image’s levels:

Edited image raising the shadow levels of the OnePlus Pad, showing its screen with narrow bezels floating above the device’s back.
OnePlus

This year may be a renaissance for Android tablets. In addition to OnePlus’ upcoming slate, Google teased its Pixel Tablet at two 2022 events. The device, arriving sometime this year, will attach to a speaker base while running the Tensor G2 chip from its latest flagship phones. It will follow the ill-fated Pixel Slate, which Google discontinued in 2020 after only two years. The consumer tablet market is dominated by Apple’s iPad, with Samsung and Amazon offering the most popular Android-running alternatives.

OnePlus teases its first tablet ahead of next month’s official reveal

A OnePlus tablet is on the way. A new official image of the upcoming OnePlus Pad surfaced, showing a “Halo Green” color and an unconventional camera placement. The tablet will reportedly launch alongside the OnePlus 11 5G and Buds Pro 2 at a February 7th event.

The lone image, posted on OnePlus’ official India website, reveals a green finish with a centered rear camera. It’s reportedly an aluminum alloy body with a cambered (gently sloped like older iPads) frame. In some impressively flowery marketing copy, OnePlus toldTechRadar the green hue “blends the vibrancy of life with the vastness of space.” Unfortunately, we don’t yet know about other color options, full specs or pricing.

You can better see the tablet’s narrow bezels and centered front camera after adjusting the image’s levels:

Edited image raising the shadow levels of the OnePlus Pad, showing its screen with narrow bezels floating above the device’s back.
OnePlus

This year may be a renaissance for Android tablets. In addition to OnePlus’ upcoming slate, Google teased its Pixel Tablet at two 2022 events. The device, arriving sometime this year, will attach to a speaker base while running the Tensor G2 chip from its latest flagship phones. It will follow the ill-fated Pixel Slate, which Google discontinued in 2020 after only two years. The consumer tablet market is dominated by Apple’s iPad, with Samsung and Amazon offering the most popular Android-running alternatives.

Apple’s latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro is up to $200 off

Apple's latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro has dropped to its lowest price to date across several configurations. The 512GB version of the tablet, which is powered by an M2 chipset, is $100 off at $1,299. If you'd like to double that storage to 1TB, you'll save $200 off the regular price, as that version has dropped to $1,599. Similarly, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2 with 2TB of storage is $200 off at $1,999. These prices are for the WiFi models, but you can also snag the 1TB and 2TB cellular variants for $200 off the regular price. Amazon isn't offering a discount on the 512GB WiFi and cellular version at the minute, unfortunately.

The M2 lineup offers significant CPU and GPU performance boosts over the M1 iPad Pro, based on our testing. The latest generation of Apple chipsets power some neat features on the most recent iPad Pro models, including an Apple Pencil tool called Hover. This allows you to see how apps and other aspects of the user interface will react before you touch the stylus against the tablet. For instance, you may be able to see how colors will blend with each other in watercolor apps before applying the brushstroke. The tablet can also now record video in Apple’s ProRes codec in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second.

All told, we gave the latest iPad Pro a score of 87 in our review. The chip upgrade is a big selling point, especially if you already have an iPad Pro that's a few years old and showing its age. Add in a best-in-class screen and design, as well as great battery life, and the M2-powered 12.9-inch iPad Pro may just be worth your while.

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Onyx BOOX Tab X is an Android tablet with a giant E Ink screen

Despite the ubiquity of phones and tablets, eBook readers are still going strong. In fact, they’re experiencing a renaissance thanks to the arrival of colored E Ink readers and Amazon’s long-overdue adoption of styluses for its Kindle. Brands like Onyx are pushing the boundaries of what E Ink devices can do, like putting out readers that are actually Android devices inside. It seems that the company isn’t done challenging the status quo just yet and has just launched its latest premium E Ink device, which happens to also be a large Android tablet that can actually stand toe to toe with other Android tablets. Except, of course, it has a more energy-efficient monochrome display.

Designer: ONYX

If you’re shocked by the large 13.3-inch E Ink screen of the new Onyx BOOX Tab X, then you haven’t been paying attention to this fast-growing market. This tablet actually replaces the BOOX Max Lumi 2 as the company’s high-end offering, both of which come with this gigantic E Ink display. The device runs on an octa-core processor, has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, speakers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a gyrosensor, and a large 6,300mAh battery, which is pretty much standard for tablets these days. Of course, it’s designed primarily as an eBook reader and note-taking device, and its functionality and design revolve around these.

Most eBook readers of the past don’t have their own light, but that has started to change. But while some of Onyx’s devices have adopted front lighting, the BOOX Tab X is backlit, meaning that the light is directed towards you rather than across the surface of the screen. You can still adjust the coldness and warmness of those lights to your comfort, so it might not be that big of a deal in the long run.

And unlike typical eBook readers, this extra-large tablet runs Android 11 rather than some custom operating system. Even better, it actually supports Google Play Store, so you won’t be lacking in apps. You can definitely watch videos or even play games to some extent, but that’s more of a side effect rather than a selling feature. Onyx does modify the interface heavily to reflect the core experience they’re aiming for, and it’s a pretty streamlined and efficient UI at that.

While the Onyx BOOX Tab X is big on size and features, it’s also big on the price, starting at $879.99. Fortunately, that price does include the stylus that lets you write or even draw on the screen. Depending on where you buy it from, the package will also include a trifold case to protect and prop up the device. While the sheer size of the BOOX Tab X is pretty astounding, it is probably questionable whether it will be something that even E Ink fans will gravitate toward. Fortunately, Onyx also has the 10.3-inch BOOX Tab Ultra that we reviewed recently, which is a pretty good compromise between size, price, and usability.

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5 Reasons the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Design Failed

They may be technological marvels, but foldable and rollable screens remain just that in consumers’ eyes. Foldable phones have been on the market for almost five years now, but they’re still considered to be expensive eccentricities and luxuries that only a few can really afford. Even if they were more affordable, most people would probably still not be able to justify such a purchase, especially considering some concerns regarding durability. The Microsoft Surface Duo and its successor tried to offer a less risky yet still expensive interpretation of the foldable design, offering two distinct screens rather than folding a single one. At first, it seemed that it would actually be a new mobile device category to stand beside typical foldables, but the rumor now is that Microsoft seems to have thrown in the towel. Although it did have its fair share of fans, the Surface Duo 2 just didn’t seem to click with the masses, even less than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, and these are five reasons why.

Designer: Microsoft

Identity Crisis

To some extent, the Microsoft Surface Duo is in a class of its own. You can’t really call it a smartphone, even though it does make calls since it’s rather awkward to actually use it as a phone unless you’re always wearing earbuds. You can’t even fold the Surface Duo 2 back completely now that it has a camera bump. You can easily call it a tablet, either, even though content can span both screens to form one single display that has a very noticeable cut in the middle. Even Microsoft itself avoids calling the Surface Duo by either name, preferring to just refer to it as a “dual-screen mobile device.”

The Surface Duo’s unconventional design does warrant a different classification, though it’s not exactly original in the basic concept. LG tried to take a stab at a dual-screen phone with a case that you can attach and remove as needed. The experience, of course, was very different, more similar to how you’d connect a second monitor to a computer. The Surface Duo had that capability built-in, saving users from having to juggle accessories. It didn’t, however, solve the fundamental problem of exhibiting an identity that people can understand and relate to, which would have gone a long way in making the device more appealing beyond mere curiosity.

The device’s ambiguity meant that it was actually difficult, if not awkward, to use it like you would a familiar mobile device. It’s too wide to use as a phone when folded, and it’s unusable as a “full” tablet when spread out. Admittedly, it’s unfair to judge the Surface Duo by these standards because it’s neither a phone nor a tablet but a completely different device. Unfortunately, people will approach it from either direction because they’re more familiar with smartphones and tablets and might not be able to adequately wrap their heads around a new creature such as this, especially when they might not even understand what it is for. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s target audience makes it clear that it’s not for everyone in the first place.

Niche Business

The Surface Duo 2 can do almost anything a smartphone or tablet can do, especially if you use only a single screen. Those won’t take full advantage of the device’s capabilities, though, and you’ll have to make use of both screens at the same time. And therein lies the biggest question of the Surface Duo’s design purpose. While most people will probably want a bigger screen, how many will actually need two somewhat small screens instead? Why, those who use two apps at the same time, of course!

The School of Jobs and the smartphones that followed have conditioned our minds to use one app at a time, deftly switching back and forth between apps and screens as needed. This is admittedly very limiting, especially if you’re used to the multi-window world of desktops and laptops. There might be some who wish they could do things at the same time or see two apps simultaneously, and it’s exactly for that use case that the Surface Duo was designed. To be more specific, the dual-screen device is made for highly productive people who find themselves always switching between two or three apps.

The subset of mobile users that regularly do this, however, might be very small. Microsoft is clearly focusing its marketing on business users who’d have different documents or apps running at the same time to compare or even share data. There is also the case of some more social users who might be chatting away while watching a video together or browsing the Web. These are definitely legitimate use cases, but not common enough to make the idea of the Surface Duo to be so popular that it would drive sales. Because while the device does enable using two apps side-by-side, the unfortunate truth is that these apps and the Android platform, in general, were designed for single-screen use and remain stubbornly so.

Growing Software Pains

Whether it’s iOS or Android or anything in between, mobile operating systems have been designed from the start with a single screen in mind. And while Android did actually have the foundations for multi-window support, few outside of the likes of Samsung ever took advantage of that and evolved it. Now iOS, particularly iPadOS, has left Android in its dust, and devices like the Surface Duo or even the Galaxy Z Fold are having trouble shoehorning a different paradigm into the platform.

The first release of the modified Android system for the Surface Duo was pretty much disastrous, with plenty of instabilities and bugs marring the otherwise beautiful first-gen device. To its credit, Microsoft has been addressing those issues slowly but surely, yet the fact remains that Android apps always behave as if they’re the only show on stage. It doesn’t help that that stage doesn’t seem to push those actors to play well with others, even when all the facilities are there. It will take a Google foldable device for Android to really adopt all these features it already has, but that’s a story for another day.

To be fair, even Samsung’s foldables have this kind of problem, only that the phone maker giant has been working on its solution for years. Those flaws are more pronounced on a younger device like the Surface Duo. Despite being primarily a software company, Microsoft still has trouble adapting Android to its needs. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly have a track record in that aspect, either.

Software is Hard

Just because Microsoft is adept at making software doesn’t mean it’s an expert at everything. Some might even refute how good it is at software development in the first place due to innumerable issues with Windows and Office. That’s even truer with platforms that aren’t its own, particularly Android, which it has been using ever since it ditched the idea of any form of Windows on mobile. It hasn’t had much success then, and it doesn’t seem to be having better luck now.

To be fair, Microsoft has shown better performance with the Surface Duo 2, at least as far as pushing fixes is concerned. Unfortunately, even those fixes leave some things to be desired, and the software still shows some of the problems exhibited in the first Surface Duo. Given the fast pace of Android updates, Microsoft is clearly lagging behind on that front as well. Confidence in Microsoft’s ability to fix those software issues isn’t exactly that high, and the latest rumors only serve to validate those doubts.

Microsoft switching to a single foldable screen for the Surface Duo 3 doesn’t make all those problems go away. It could, however, alleviate or even fix some of the problems, particularly when it comes to having to support two screens, something that Android at its core still doesn’t do well in the first place. Unfortunately, it does pretty much throw away all the rhetoric around the first Surface Duo devices, validating once again that Samsung’s design might have been right all along.

An Answer in Search of a Problem

The biggest problem with the Surface Duo design is that there was probably no problem, to begin with. While some will say that this applies to foldable devices as well, it’s even more poignant with a dual-screen mobile device. The Surface Duo 2 is slick, beautiful, and innovative. Unfortunately, it is also incomprehensible for the majority of consumers, even those that can actually afford one. Microsoft tried to offer a device that seemed less fragile than a Galaxy Z Fold but unfortunately slapped a price that is just as inaccessible anyway.

Microsoft did have a clear audience in mind, but it might have overestimated its own clout in that industry. It might have envisioned a large army of mobile users who depend exclusively on Microsoft apps and services, but that ship has long sailed. Without support for other “normal” apps, the overall experience was clunky, awkward, and sometimes even unusable. The Surface Duo 2 definitely has fans that are now disillusioned at the path that Microsoft is rumored to take, but those fans won’t be able to help turn the device into a profit.

While the Surface Duo 2 is admittedly an interesting innovation, at the end of the day, it’s still a product that has to bring Microsoft money. By turning away from the dual-screen design, the company is effectively admitting that it failed to accomplish that. The “innie” foldable screen first used by Samsung is by no means perfect, but it’s also more usable for both regular and power users. It remains to be seen how much of the Surface Duo user experience will remain in such a different device and whether or not it will even be worth investing in a Microsoft mobile device that could suffer the same fate as other Microsoft mobile devices.

The post 5 Reasons the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Design Failed first appeared on Yanko Design.

Apple’s iPad mini is back on sale for an all-time low of $400

Here's a quick PSA for anyone who has been looking to pick up Apple's iPad mini: The 64GB version of the diminutive tablet is back on sale for $400 at Amazon and Best Buy, matching the lowest price we've tracked. Though we've seen the 8.3-inch slate hit this price severaltimes in the past year — including for most of the recent holiday season — this discount is still about $30 off the device's average street price in recent months and $100 less than what you'd pay from Apple directly. Just note that, as of this writing, only the Starlight and Purple models are available for this price at Amazon.

We gave the iPad mini a review score of 89 when the device launched in late 2021, and we currently recommend it in our iPad buying guide. It's still the only truly compact iPad Apple sells, and for those who have smaller hands or just want a slate they can comfortably use with one hand, it's arguably the best tablet in its size range, period. It follows the same design language as most other iPads, with squared edges, a USB-C port, no Home button, a Touch ID sensor and a bright display. (Plus, no headphone jack, sadly.) Its A15 Bionic chip isn't as powerful as the laptop-grade M1 and M2 chips found in the iPad Air and iPad Pro, and it doesn't have a Smart Connector port for Apple-made keyboards, but it's more than fast enough for reading and streaming, and it does support the latest Apple Pencil.

Broadly speaking, most people are still better served by the Air or more affordable 10.2-inch iPad. We wish there was more storage for the price, too, and it's worth noting that some users have found issues with the display while scrolling. But if you aren't looking to use your iPad for work and you specifically want a small tablet, the mini remains a good buy. And while the device has been on sale for nearly a year and a half, recent reportssuggest that any refreshed model won't arrive until late 2023 at the earliest and isn't likely to bring major hardware changes.

If you only need an iPad for the basics and don't want to spend quite as money, though, note that the 10.2-inch iPad is also on sale for $250 at Best Buy. That also represents an all-time low. This model is a bit longer in the tooth in terms of design, with thicker bezels, a Lightning port and a lesser display than pricier iPads like the mini. For those who only use their tablet casually, though, it is by far the most wallet-friendly way into iPadOS.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Apple’s iPad mini is back on sale for an all-time low of $400

Here's a quick PSA for anyone who has been looking to pick up Apple's iPad mini: The 64GB version of the diminutive tablet is back on sale for $400 at Amazon and Best Buy, matching the lowest price we've tracked. Though we've seen the 8.3-inch slate hit this price severaltimes in the past year — including for most of the recent holiday season — this discount is still about $30 off the device's average street price in recent months and $100 less than what you'd pay from Apple directly. Just note that, as of this writing, only the Starlight and Purple models are available for this price at Amazon.

We gave the iPad mini a review score of 89 when the device launched in late 2021, and we currently recommend it in our iPad buying guide. It's still the only truly compact iPad Apple sells, and for those who have smaller hands or just want a slate they can comfortably use with one hand, it's arguably the best tablet in its size range, period. It follows the same design language as most other iPads, with squared edges, a USB-C port, no Home button, a Touch ID sensor and a bright display. (Plus, no headphone jack, sadly.) Its A15 Bionic chip isn't as powerful as the laptop-grade M1 and M2 chips found in the iPad Air and iPad Pro, and it doesn't have a Smart Connector port for Apple-made keyboards, but it's more than fast enough for reading and streaming, and it does support the latest Apple Pencil.

Broadly speaking, most people are still better served by the Air or more affordable 10.2-inch iPad. We wish there was more storage for the price, too, and it's worth noting that some users have found issues with the display while scrolling. But if you aren't looking to use your iPad for work and you specifically want a small tablet, the mini remains a good buy. And while the device has been on sale for nearly a year and a half, recent reportssuggest that any refreshed model won't arrive until late 2023 at the earliest and isn't likely to bring major hardware changes.

If you only need an iPad for the basics and don't want to spend quite as money, though, note that the 10.2-inch iPad is also on sale for $250 at Best Buy. That also represents an all-time low. This model is a bit longer in the tooth in terms of design, with thicker bezels, a Lightning port and a lesser display than pricier iPads like the mini. For those who only use their tablet casually, though, it is by far the most wallet-friendly way into iPadOS.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

MOFT elevates mobile life at CES 2023 with new stands and mounts for iPhones and iPads

The tech frenzy in Las Vegas may have finally died down, but the CES dust has far from settled. There are more than a few products and prototypes that can be unpacked beyond our 35 best designs for CES this year. Despite the wide range of consumer electronics and technologies showcased, all of them have the common goal of improving human lives as well as helping our planet heal. That can be as grand as four-seater flying cars that will take commuting to new heights, literally, or something as simple yet as effective as making it easier to use our gadgets today. That kind of meaningful improvement is what MOFT is offering Apple fans with a new set of accessories designed to take their iPad and iPhone use to the next level, almost literally as well.

Designer: MOFT

Whether it’s for consuming content or creating them, tablets are often used at the desk level, which is the most uncomfortable angle for using them for long periods. While there are a few stands that try to raise the tablet screen to a more ergonomic level, the new MOFT Snap Float Folio easily outclasses them in design and versatility. Inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, this protective cover can set the iPad as much as 3.6 inches higher, while its four versatile angles let you use the iPad in various ways. Even better, the folio is made of fiberglass from recycled materials and a premium leather-like PU surface that makes it lightweight yet luxurious.

It’s not unusual for people with MacBooks to keep their iPhones nearby, though usually lying on the desk or propped up on a stand below eye level. Either way, switching back and forth between MacBook and iPhone is sure to strain your eyes and neck. The Flip Laptop iPhone Mount easily solves this by making your iPhone seemingly float beside your laptop screen. The mount attaches to the back of a laptop, and its arm can flip out in three different orientations to magnetically hold the iPhone securely. The mount is made from soft faux leather, and the adhesive can be removed without leaving a mark on your laptop’s stylish lid.

Sometimes, your quality of life doesn’t exactly require an ergonomic height but instead focuses on everyday carry convenience. The new Snap Stand Power Set offers this portable flexibility with a battery pack and a stand and wallet, both of which can magnetically attach to an iPhone, either together or alone. The minimalist design and scratch-resistant faux leather give these accessories a luxurious appearance that adds to your iPhone’s prestige, even when they’re riding on the smartphone’s back.

If you’re going to carry your iPhone around, though, you might want to take a gander at MOFT’s new Sling Case. Making you look hip while swinging your iPhone along, the case’s hidden strap connectors let you securely attach an adjustable lanyard of any length. The soft-touch faux leather case is compatible with MagSafe accessories and gives you even more reasons to save yourself the awkwardness of bulging pockets.

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Lenovo goes beyond computing with Tab Extreme, Smart Paper, and Project Chronos at CES 2023

We’ve seen plenty of new laptops and desktops so far at CES 2023, especially since silicon giants Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA have all announced their newest, shiniest, and most powerful processors to date. While these cover the majority of computing needs, especially gaming, they aren’t the only personal computers available to us today. Thanks to advancements in technology, we have a variety of devices available today that make computing more mobile, more efficient, and even more personal. At CES 2023, Lenovo is showing off how it goes beyond regular computers with its most powerful tablet yet, a new e-Paper solution, and the next step in bringing mixed reality to your living room.

Designer: Lenovo

Lenovo Tab Extreme

There was a point in time when it seemed that tablets were on the way out. As smartphones became bigger, the need for tablets with big screens became almost pointless. Recently, however, the tablet has taken on a new mission as a true mobile computer, almost like a laptop replacement, and Lenovo is taking that to the extreme with its biggest and most powerful tablet yet, clearly designed for more than just watching videos.

Of course, it’s also a delight to do that on the Lenovo Tab Extreme, thanks to its spacious 14.5-inch 3K 120Hz OLED screen and eight high-performance JBL 4-channel speakers. The tablet shines brightest, however, when used for more than just consumption but also for creation, whether it’s a work of art or a work document. The MediaTek Dimensity 9000, 12GB of RAM, and Android 13 all work together to deliver this productivity experience on the go, and the gigantic 12,300mAh battery ensures you’ll have as little downtime as possible.

Beyond just the specs, the Lenovo Tab Extreme is designed to be flexible and stylish in any situation. A magnetic dual-mode stand makes it convenient to prop up the tablet horizontally or vertically, while the optional dual-hinge keyboard lifts it up for a more ergonomic position while you type your next great novel. The tablet can even be used as a digital sketchpad by plugging it in via its DP-in USB-C port or as a second monitor through the DP-out port. The Lenovo Tab Extreme will be available later this year with a starting price of $1,199.99.

Lenovo Smart Paper

Not everyone needs a full-blown tablet, though. There are some who just need the digital equivalent of a notebook, one that blends the conveniences of mobile tech with the universality of pen and paper. Fortunately, there is a new breed of devices that promise exactly that, and the new Lenovo Smart Paper takes the lead in combining digital and analog in a smart and meaningful way.

Powered by a 10.3-inch E-Ink display, the Lenovo Smart Paper presents the perfect size for a paper notebook, one that does away with wasteful paper without giving up on the experience of using a pen. It’s all digital, of course, but the feeling and texture of guiding the Smart Paper Pen over the e-Paper display are as close as you can get to the real thing. And like a normal pen or pencil, you don’t need to worry about batteries or charging the pen as well.

The device is specifically designed to make taking notes not only enjoyable but also efficient. With two integrated microphones, you can record a meeting or lecture while you’re scribbling down notes. And when it’s time to review those notes, simply select the written text to hear a playback of the recorded audio to help jog your memory. The Lenovo Smart Paper is expected to launch sometime this year for $399.99.

Lenovo Project Chronos

Most of the computing devices we have today come in the form of something we can touch, be it a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. The future of computing, however, might be less tangible. Buzzwords aside, the metaverse and mixed reality represent an inescapable future, but it’s a future that’s hindered by clunky headsets and devices. Lenovo is taking a plunge into this still-gestating market with an innovative concept device that removes the need to weigh your body down just so that you can move your virtual avatar.

Project Chronos is basically a box with a camera that can keep track of your body movement to control a virtual character, often your avatar. It uses advanced depth cameras and algorithms to recreate your movement within a 3D environment without having to wear glasses or mocap sensors. It can even track your facial expressions so that your avatar can truly express your emotions, just as your own body can sometimes betray you in the physical world.

Despite that seemingly magical capability, Project Chronos is designed for home use, and its simple and discreet design can easily blend with the rest of your entertainment system. You simply connect the box to a TV or monitor, and you’re good to go. And once you’re done, you can rotate the camera down to ensure your privacy. This gear-free mixed reality device opens a whole new world of applications, from creating content with a VTuber avatar to getting personalized real-time coaching from a fitness expert. The Lenovo Project Chronos, however, is still a concept and work in progress, and its full name and capabilities will be disclosed when it’s ready to launch.

The post Lenovo goes beyond computing with Tab Extreme, Smart Paper, and Project Chronos at CES 2023 first appeared on Yanko Design.