Lenovo is refreshing its ThinkPad laptop line and the 2017 models will include new Intel Kaby Lake processors, greater security and Windows Precision Touchpads.
So far, ThinkPad laptops haven't really shined in the trackpad department and some models were even disappointing, but Microsoft's Windows Precision Touchpad technology should fix this issue.
A number of new Lenovo laptops will now feature the technology, including the ThinkPad X270, the ThinkPad Yoga 370, four ThinkPad T Ultrabooks, and the more affordable ThinkPad 13.
As a reminder, Microsoft's Windows Precision Touchpad consists of a number of drivers and interface released with Windows 10, designed to configure touchpad gestures for increased accuracy and precision.
Lenovo's ThinkPads with tiny red buttons called TrackPoints have occasionally proven to be quite unreliable and jittery. The 2017 models will not ditch the TrackPoint button, but promise a better trackpad experience thanks to the Precision Touchpad.
Extra Horsepower And Security
The new Lenovo ThinkPad models will also pack Intel's latest architecture dubbed Kaby Lake, which should deliver a substantial boost in horsepower. Some ThinkPads will also get enhanced authentication features such as support for Windows Hello, Microsoft's facial recognition feature that relies on an infrared camera to authenticate users, as well as biometric matching on a fingerprint sensor.
Lenovo says the enhanced security features are partly targeted at European customers, as security requirements in Europe are stricter.
2017 Lenovo ThinkPad Upgrades And Prices
Lenovo will start rolling out its new ThinkPads in 2017, as follows: the 12-inch ThinkPad X270 with an optional touch display will launch in March at $909; the 13.3-inch ThinkPad Yoga 370 with a full HD display will launch in March at $1,264; four ThinkPad T Ultrabooks with various customizations will start at $909; 14-inch and 15-inch ThinkPad L models will start at $779 and $909, respectively; and the more affordable ThinkPad 13 will retail at $674.
Lenovo will also offer new docks with Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C support and will add a silver color option for some models such as the ThinkPad Yoga 370. The company is expected to showcase its new devices and provide additional details next month when CES 2017 kicks off.
It remains to be seen whether the new Lenovo ThinkPad upgrades and new models will be able to breathe new life into the sluggish PC business, but the 2017 models bring welcome additions nonetheless. The PC market overall has been on the decline with the rise of mobile device use, but Lenovo is still at the top.