Lenovo has introduced new hardware, software, and ready-made kits designed to help channel pros capitalize on rising demand for smart office solutions.
“It’s a new area of opportunity for Lenovo and a new way for us to engage both with existing partners as well as new partners that are focused on collaboration,” says Rob Cato, the vendor’s vice president of North America channels.
Accompanied by a new all-in-one PC, a new high-end monitor for creative professionals, and new editions of its flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook and ThinkPad X1 Yoga convertible, among other products, the new additions to Lenovo’s ThinkSmart portfolio are the first installment of what Lenovo plans to announce in Las Vegas next week at the CES 2020 conference.
Chief among the new smart office products is the ThinkSmart View, a specialized device for conducting audio and video conferences in Microsoft Teams via the Teams IP phone app.
Designed to be paired with a PC, the compact 2.2 lbs. unit features an 8-inch HD IPS touchscreen, as well as built-in microphones and speakers and a 5-megapixel 720p wide angle camera with privacy shutter. Other security features include PIN-based device locking and a one-touch microphone mute button.
The system comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support plus 4 GB memory and 8 GB of onboard storage. It’s powered by a Qualcomm APQ8053 system-on-chip. Lenovo will begin shipping it later this month for $349, or $449 when bundled with a ThinkPad X1 ANC Bluetooth Headset.
New as well for 2020 are pre-assembled Zoom Room solution kits featuring Lenovo’s ThinkSmart Edition Tiny for Zoom, a purpose-built version of the vendor’s ThinkCentre M920q desktop. A Lenovo Tab M10 controller, Logitech audio and video peripherals, and a stand are included as well in the bundle, which is available now in the U.S., Canada, and select countries overseas via Tech Data’s Maverick AV Solutions unit.
Lenovo plans to add similar kits for Microsoft Teams Rooms in collaboration with Logitech in the future.
Channel pros can manage all of their ThinkSmart hardware through the new ThinkSmart Manager administration tool. Available now, the application provides functionality for remotely deploying, configuring, updating, and monitoring a fleet of ThinkSmart products through a consolidated console. Drawing on Lenovo Secure Authentication technology, the system also lets administrators make BIOS changes, modify supervisor passwords, and lock down USB ports remotely.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 (pictured left) announced today, which augments the Gen 7 version of that product introduced at last year’s CES, includes new unified communications function keys that let users make and control calls directly from their laptop keyboard. An enhanced package of security features includes Lenovo’s ThinkPad PrivacyGuard technology, which restricts the viewing range of the device’s display, and ThinkPad PrivacyAlert software, which warns users when someone else is looking at their screen.
Scheduled to ship at an unspecified point later this year for $1,499 and up, the unit comes with a range of optional Dolby Vision displays and a standard Dolby Atmos speaker system featuring two upward-firing tweeters and two downward-firing woofers designed to create an immersive sound experience.
A 14-inch device, the new X1 Carbon weighs 2.4 lbs. and comes with up to 2 TB of PCIe SSD storage and up to 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory, as well as an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 card. It supports up to 10th Generation Intel Core U i7 vPro processors as well as an optional 6 Core i7 chip, and according to Lenovo provides up to 18.5 hours of battery life.