Convertible notebooks are aimed at people who can't decide whether they want a laptop or a tablet. Trying to deliver two devices in one isn't easy, but some manufacturers are making headway.
Dell has the XPS Duo 12, ASUS has the Taichi, but Lenovo got an early lead with the touch-optimized IdeaPad Yoga 13. The Yoga 13 has been flying off dealers' shelves, and by all accounts, the soon-to-be-released IdeaPad Yoga 11S will be even more appealing.
The brilliance of the IdeaPad Yoga's design stems from a patented hinge that allows the screen to move 360° plus fold from laptop to tablet in one simple motion.
While the 13-inch Yoga excels as an ultrabook, it can also function as a media-friendly tablet thanks to Dolby home theatre audio, integrated high-definition graphics, powerful 3rd generation Intel Core processors, and Windows 8.
The unit, however, is big and heavy as tablets go, which is why Lenovo recently introduced the all-new IdeaPad Yoga 11S. Unlike the previous 11-inch Yoga, the 11S delivers the same power and features as its big brother, but its smaller size makes it much easier to hold when using it as a tablet.
Both models provide "stand mode" and "tent mode" as space-saving ways to watch movies, and both feature 10-finger multi-touch screens. Something called Motion Control even lets you simply swipe your hand in front of the webcam to advance photos, videos and other document.
Both models also have comfortable rubberized coatings and soft-touch exteriors. Available colors are Silver Grey and Clementine Orange.
Prices for the Lenovo Yoga 13 start at $1,049, and prices for the new Yoga 11S are expected to start at $799. For more information, visit Lenovo.com.
Looking to consort with fellow film buffs or book lovers? Try Meetup.com.
Meetup.com has been around for a while, but I just discovered it, thanks to a friend at the New Orleans PC Club. The site is a global social network designed for groups, where you can connect with people who live nearby and share your interests.
The common ground can be books, movies, hobbies, pets, travel, dancing, poetry, and so forth. The operators claim that more than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day.
You can create an account and peruse the listings for free. Group organizers, however, pay to have a section on the site. Joining a particular group might involve paying dues and attending an event could require an admission fee. The site, however, is free of annoying ads and pop–ups.
Prices start at $12 per month for six months, and each plan supposedly has a 30–day money back guarantee.
I went through listings for New Orleans, Metairie, Covington, and Slidell. The postings were free of offensive language or images. Minors are reportedly not allowed to join, so most groups are geared towards grown-up interests.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Craig's List are the rage these days, but some prestigious groups are local Meetup.com participants. Visiting the site might result in an unexpected expansion of your social horizons. You never know.