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MWC 2018 Connected Computing Day Two: Chinese Vendors Lead MWC with Computing Devices

by Eric Smith | Mar 02, 2018

We saw Huawei and Alcatel launch tablets and PCs during the press days of Mobile World Congress and Lenovo rounded out the show with its own PCs. It should be noted that no new computing device launches came out of leading US, Korean, Taiwanese, or Japanese vendors at this year’s show, perhaps opting for Computex instead. There’s one caveat to that statement, which we’ll get to later.

In the Windows market, Lenovo unveiled the Yoga 730 (in 13-inch and 15-inch designs) and the 14-inch Yoga 530. All of these models are convertible PCs with 8th Generation Intel Core processors and fingerprint sensors. The Yoga 730 stands out as a premium convertible PC with a UHD resolution display, Dolby Atmos audio, an optional discrete NVIDIA GPU, and support for Cortana and Alexa voice assistant software via far-field microphones. The Yoga 730 13-inch base model is priced at €999 while the 15-inch version will go for €100 more and both will be available in EMEA starting in April 2018. The Yoga 530 base model will be priced at €549 and availability will start in June 2018.

The Lenovo Yoga 730 15-inch Starts at €1099
Lenovo Yoga 730

Lenovo also released a new line of Chromebooks (500e, 300e, and 100e models) targeting the education market with very low prices and extra durability features. Lenovo also brought back its AnyPen technology to sense plastic and other non-conductive objects (such as pencils) to act as a stylus with the touchscreen. Natural writing has many proven benefits in learning from fine motor skill development to better information retention while note taking. The 500e is available now for $329 and the 300e is also available now for $279 – both are convertible PCs. The 100e model is a traditional clamshell design and will start at $219 later in March 2018.

Finally, while it’s true that no other devices were launched by other major vendors in the computing world, HP had a big announcement right before the show: It has expanded its Device as a Service (DaaS) program to include the sales of Apple devices, including iPads. DaaS is a way for HP to sell its devices to enterprises along with its enterprise management software for a specified period of time. It’s essentially a leasing program. With HP now selling iPads through its enterprise channels, they’re looking to make incremental revenue from iPad sales that it has difficulty competing against with its Windows portfolio. We’ll look into this deeper in our MWC wrap-up report in the coming week.

There’s more to come on what chipset vendors and operators are doing to make connected computing a reality over the next several years, so keep an eye out here for more!

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