CES Chronicles: Lenovo unleashes new ThinkPads, IdeaPads, more ahead of show

In the first edition of CES Chronicles for 2023, Lenovo is unloading a *bunch* of new gadgets before the show even starts.

I’m guessing Lenovo is worried about its announcements getting lost in the mix come CES 2023. It’s the first show that a vast majority of tech publicans and manufacturers alike will be attending since the show shut down in 2021. All signs point to it being a massive event, so it’s no surprise that Lenovo is issuing a couple of press releases a few weeks in advance.

Although I’m not sure you’re ready to hear all the stuff they’re announcing. I’m used to getting their press materials every time CES rolls around, and I always know it’s probably gonna be a lot, but guys – this is a ton of stuff.

It’s only appropriate that I launch my new series, “CES Chronicles,” with these announcements. Because trying to cover it all as a one-man operation is nearly impossible without doing a roundup.

So let’s do a roundup!

IdeaPads galore

Lenovo is announcing not one, not two, but five new IdeaPads ahead of CES. There’s the IdeaPad Pro 5i, IdeaPad Pro 5, Ideapad Slim 5i, IdeaPad Slim 5, and IdeaPad Flex 3i Chromebook. The line continues Lenovo’s push to create more accessible laptops that are still plenty portable, modern, and fast at decent prices.

Notably, only four of these IdeaPads will be available in North America: the 16-inch Pro 5i, Slim 5i, Slim 5, and the 12-inch Flex 3i Chromebook. These are also the only devices I have specs and details on, but I imagine the experience will be very similar on the models that aren’t sold Stateside.

Starting with the IdeaPad Pro 5i, Lenovo includes a 16-inch 2560×1600 IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 350 nits of brightness, and a 16:10 aspect ratio. You get Intel’s latest 13th-generation processors (up to a Core i7), Nvidia’s latest GeForce graphics, up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 1TB of PCIe M.2 storage, a Full HD webcam with Windows Hello compatibility, a 75Whr battery, and Windows 11. Around the device, you’ll find a Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB-C port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, a headphone jack, dual microphones, and twin Dolby Atmos speakers. Lenovo also throws in Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1.

The IdeaPad Slim 5i and Slim 5 are identical laptops beyond their processors, where the former has Intel’s 13th-generation chips (up to an i7) while the latter boasts AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series (up to a Ryzen 7 7730U). Beyond that, you’re getting the same display as the IdeaPad Pro 5i minus the 120Hz refresh rate, up to 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, Windows 11, a Full HD camera with Windows Hello, and up to a 75.4Whr battery. For ports, there’s two USB-C slots, two USB-A, an HDMI, a mini SD card reader, and a headphone jack. Dual microphones also grace the Slim 5i and Slim 5, as well as Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.

Lenovo also says the new IdeaPads offer a 25 percent larger trackpad compared to previous versions, expandable SSD storage slots, and Rapid Charge support.

Then there’s the IdeaPad Flex 3i Chromebook, a 2-in-1 with a 12-inch 1920×1200 16:10 display. Lenovo equips the device with up to an Intel N200 processor, Nvidia GeForce graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and an optional 1080p webcam. The company says the new laptop will last up to 12 hours on a full charge, which isn’t likely far from real-world usage given it’s Chrome OS running on the machine. In addition, you’ll find dual microphones, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, a microSD card slot, a USB-C port, two USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and an HDMI port.

Refreshed ThinkPad X1 line

Lenovo has three new entries in the ThinkPad X1 line: the 11th-gen X1 Carbon, 8th-gen X1 Yoga, and 3rd-gen X1 Nano. I have a separate article up that covers all the stuff you wanna know about them, but here’s a little TL;DR action: they’re basically the same as last year but with more sustainable designs, faster performance thanks to Intel’s new processors, and have a few new software tricks.

ThinkVision monitors: Mini-LED, VoIP, and ultra-wide

I love Mini-LED screens. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m obsessed with my 2021 MacBook Pro, and now, Lenovo is bringing the tech to its ThinkVision monitor lineup. The new ThinkVision P27pz-30 and P32pz-30 each use Mini-LED panels that offer 1,152 dimming zones to minis haloing around bright objects that appear on the screen, while also maximizing contrast with deeper black levels. The screens are also equipped with 4K resolutions, 60Hz refresh rates, 16:9 aspect ratios, HDR10, HLG, DisplayHDR1000 certification, and support for the DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB color gamuts.

Lenovo also makes them docking stations of sorts thanks to a plethora of ports mounted to the back. You’ll find three USB-C ports, two HDMI 2.1 ports, a DisplayPort, four USB-A ports, an audio port, and an RJ45 jack. The USB-C ports can be used to daisy-chain multiple ThinkVision monitors together, while also offering up to 40Gbps data and video transfer speeds. In addition, you can recharge your smartphone at up to 15W and up to 140W with other devices.

There’s also new ThinkVision VoIP monitors. The T27hv-30, T24mv-30, and T24v-30 come with integrated tools like a 5MP webcam, IR sensors for Windows Hello, a privacy shutter, microphones, and 5W speakers to help make virtual meetings easier to manage. Lenovo includes a dedicated Microsoft Teams button to fire up a meeting on-demand, a smart LED light that blinks red if the camera thinks you’ve been sitting too long (a little judgey, but okay), presence detection, ambient light sensors, and more. The monitors all range in sizes, ship with Full HD and Quad HD resolution, and even throw in a couple of USB-C ports here and there.

Lenovo is also announcing two more premium monitors: the ThinkVision P32p-30 and P49w-30. The former is a pretty standard 31.5-inch 4K UHD monitor like ones we’ve seen before, while the other is an ultra-wide 49-inch, double QHD panel that can be used as two separate monitors using Lenovo’s eKVM and True Split features. Thunderbolt 4 ports, speakers, and other fun bonuses are sprinkled across these two monitors, while the displays themselves remain pretty impressive with high contrast ratios (the P49w-30’s is 2000:1!), low blue light support, and solid viewing angles.

In addition, there are two new L-class monitors that Lenovo is adding to its portfolio. The L27i-40 is the latest version of Lenovo’s extremely solid 27-inch monitor series with a QHD resolution, slim bezels, two HDMI ports, and integrated 3W speakers. On the other hand, the L24m-40 offers a 23.8-inch Full HD display, a USB hub with USB-C ports, and twin 3W speakers.

A miniature PC, cheap tablet, and a grab-bag of accessories

It doesn’t stop there. Lenovo has a new IdeaCentre Mini which offers hefty desktop performance in a tiny form factor. It comes with 13th-gen Intel Core i7 processors, Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, Windows 11, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.2. On the front, you’ll find two USB-A ports, one USB-C, and a headphone jack. On the back is another pair of USB_A ports, a Thunderbolt 4 port, an RJ45 jack, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI 2.1 port. It’s all jammed into a package that weighs just under four pounds and standards just over an inch and a half tall.

The new Lenovo Tab M9 is designed to offer a good-enough digital experience for under $150. The device ships with a 9-inch HD display atop an aluminum chassis, a MediaTek Hello G80 octa-core processor, up to 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, a 5,100mAh battery with 15W fast charging, dual speakers with Dolby Atoms, Bluetooth 5.1, and Android 12 (with a promised upgrade to Android 13).

Finally, at the end of this seemingly infinite stream of gadgets, Lenovo has a few accessories. There is;

  • the new Lenovo Go Desk Station with Webcam that integrates a 4K webcam, a bunch of extra ports, a desk lamp, and a Qi wireless charger into one minimalist package;
  • the Lenovo Go 4K Pro Webcam gives you sharper image quality for video calls;
  • the Lenovo Professional Wireless Rechargeable Combo Keyboard and Mouse which offer sleek and stylish designs, support for both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz USB receivers, and custom action buttons;
  • and the Lenovo 500 USB Type-C Universal Dock which greatly expands your laptop’s range of ports (including a handful of USB-A ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort) all while still providing 100W charging for your laptop.

Pricing and availability

Okay, people. Let’s talk pricing and availability.

  • IdeaPad Pro 5i: Starts at $1,499.99, launches in May 2023
  • IdeaPad Slim 5i: Starts at $749.99, launches in May 2023
  • IdeaPad Slim 5: Starts at $649.99, launches in May 2023
  • IdeaPad Flex 3i Chromebook: Starts at $349.99, launches in May 2023
  • ThinkPad X1 Carbon (11th-gen): Starts at $1,729, launches in April 2023
  • ThinkPad X1 Yoga (8th-gen): Starts at $1,859, launches in April 2023
  • ThinkPad X1 Nano (3rd-gen): Starts at $1,649, launches in April 2023
  • ThinkVision P32pz-30: Priced at $1,599, launches in August 2023
  • ThinkVision Mini-LED P27pz-30: Launching in North America soon, pricing to come
  • ThinkVision VoIP T24v-30, T24mv-30, and T27hv-30: Priced at $259, $399, and $519 respectively, launches in May 2023
  • ThinkVision P32p-30: Starts at $999, launches in April 2023
  • ThinkVision P49w-30: Starts at $1,699, launches in June 2023
  • Lenovo L27i-40 and L24m-40: Starts at $199 and $219 respectively, launches in Q3 2023
  • IdeaCentre Mini: Starts at $649.99, launches in Q2 2023
  • Lenovo Tab M9: Starts at $139.99, launches in Q2 2023
  • Lenovo Go Desk Station with Webcam: Costs $329, launches in March 2023
  • Lenovo Go 4K Pro Webcam: Costs $149.99, launches in March 2023
  • Lenovo Professional Wireless Rechargeable Combo Keyboard and Mouse: Starts at $99.99, launches in January 2023
  • Lenovo 500 Type-C Universal Dock: Starts at $249.99, launches in April 2023

I’ll be going hands-on with a lot of these gadgets at CES, so stay tuned for coverage.