By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Some of the most daring and innovative PC, tablet and smartphone designs to come out of CES 2013 were from Taiwanese and Chinese multinationals. In terms of form, function and materials, many of these devices seem to offer customers more that competing products from North America. Is this the new normal?
Companies like Acer, Lenovo and ASUS have been killing it recently with their cool and innovative high-end PC’s, tablets and even smartphones. Taiwanese stalwarts ASUS and Acer, long-standing component manufacturers who have made various products for companies like Apple, really shook up the market a few years ago with low-priced, low-quality netbooks.
Today, these two companies are churning out some of the most surprising and desirable WIndows Ultrabooks that are as thin and powerful as anything in the market today. More than this, these companies are innovating like crazy. Pushing the boundaries of the tablet and the Ultrabook class with convertibles that shift, flip and detach to turn into tablets.
ASUS TAICHI looks like a sci-fi concept, but this dual-screen Ultrabook, which is also a tablet is very real and currently available in their market. The PadPhone, an ASUS smartphone that docks neatly into a tablet seems an ideal solution for the device overload many of us are experiencing (too bad it, isn’t available in Canada). It seems the more devices we need (i.e. smartphone, tablet, notebook, desktop), the more companies are finding neat ways to integrate them.
These companies are no longer competing by offering low-priced solutions with cheaply made low-end devices but are enticing new users with quality products priced and specced competitively.
Lenovo, which previously flirted with the no.1 PC maker position last year, is well poised to compete in a number of areas this year as well as expand their presence in the consumer market. Lenovo cleaned up at CES 2013 with 44 awards for its products. The Lenovo product mix was impressive and it seems they had a Windows 8 device for every sort of user.
The most intriguing thing about Lenovo, which currently rising as the leader in the Chinese smartphone market with 14.8 % overall market share. As per a report from Moneymorning.com,
“Lenovo's smartphone market share in China rose from just 1.7% in the third quarter of 2011 to 14.8% in the third quarter of 2012. Lenovo, led by its popular LePhones smartphone, surpassed Apple's 6.9% share of the Chinese market and trailed only Samsung Electronics Co., which uses the Android operating system from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), with a 16.7% market share.”
Pricing is certainly a factor, specially in China but seeing Lenovo’s latest flagship smartphones at CES 2013 shows that the company is in it for the long haul and only needs to make the right partnerships with carriers to slowly but surely become an emerging power in smartphones for the rest of the world. The Lenovo K900 is the first Intel Atom Clover Trail powered smartphone in the market.
The K900 has a stunning 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display covered in Gorilla Glass 2, it has a 13-megapixel F1.8 camera with dual LED flash, and a front-facing camera designed for video chats with an 88-degree super wide viewing angle. Memory is 2GB of RAM and with 16GB of storage. Except for the paltry onboard storage, all the specs of the K900 are skirting flagship smartphone territory, If it were released In Canada or the US it would be go toe-to-toe with most of today's leading smartphones.
This is just an example of the spirit of rapid and daring innovation that’s likely to win more users in the North American market once these products are made available here.
Last 3 photos by Alex Davies