Guest blogger, Johnson Li, Director of Lenovo's Beijing Inovation Center, speaks out about a concept that recently emerged on the tech blogs. I want to thank him for sharing this concept with the Design Matters audience. David
Last week some buzz was created by a photograph that someone snuck out of our Beijing design studio. The picture was of a pocket-sized PC we developed about two years ago, well before the current netbook craze and the introduction of a similar form factor by one of our competitors. Since the design has been shown in public in the past and received some attention, I thought it might be of some interest to discuss the design inspiration and share some photos and drawings of the device. We in Lenovo’s Beijing design center refer to this concept as the “Pocket Yoga,” an extension of an award winning design we’ve shown in public based on a folding concept inspired by the practice of yoga by one of our New Zealand-based designers. The full Yoga concept was a folding notebook with a detachable keyboard. The system unit was covered in leather. Pocket Yoga is shaped just like a large wallet. You can easily put it into your pocket. The proportion of length and width is about the maximum size for a notebook that can fit into a pocket, or, as we like to say, it is the smallest pocket notebook. The surface is covered with wallet leather, so it is soft and comfortable to put it into a pocket or a bag. Leather can transform a cold, plastic or metal machine into something warm and considerate, transforming it into something friendlier and more like a trusted and valued possession. Always there, always waiting.
The “pocket Yoga” inherits the 360-degree soft hinge design from the Yoga notebook. The soft hinge supports three modes, locking into each position. I feel that the hinge mechanism was one of the major innovations behind its usability and new experience for the user.
When you open it to a normal angle, it can be used as a laptop. Its full-function keyboard gives you enough space to type, so your hands won’t be crowded or compromised. Or you can open it 360 degrees, folding the top cover back to the base, and it becomes the tablet notebook. In the tablet mode the user can read, draw with the special pen, or surf the web. All in all, we believe this configuration gives the user the option to use the device as a hand-held notebook, giving more space than a mobile phone, along with the ability to type with more powerful multi-media features.
Detail always determines the excellence of a new configuration. “Pocket Yoga” has a elegant belt which wraps around the whole body. The “belt” is not a simple decoration, because when it is removed it becomes a mouse. It is the type of surprise that we designers want to give our customers. Imagine whenever in formal or casual occasion, it will become your best partner to show your high taste and satisfies your office or entertainment needs.
The “Yoga” notebook experiment is finished, but the stories of new developed products from Lenovo’s design teams are always happening. Innovation never stops. Next time, which story we will share with you? Who knows?