By: Dilip Bhatia, vice president, Global Marketing, User & Customer Experience, PC & Smart Device, Lenovo
Consumer expectations are the highest I can remember in my over 16 years in this industry. At Lenovo, we make products that go almost everywhere with their users, who demand (rightly) that these products make the right kind of statement about their owners. But expectations surpass looks alone. Today’s consumers demand ever higher benchmarks for design and style.
Call it mass-premium, “masstige,” “populuxe” or affordable luxury, it’s a trend that’s reflected across almost every industry. It’s driven (no pun intended) by Uber®, which gives people the affordable luxury of a chauffeur they can summon via an app, or access to their own holiday villa with Airbnb® – the sharing economy is making previously out-of-reach luxuries accessible and in higher demand than ever. In fact, according to CNBC1, it’s even giving people access to unthinkable luxuries like private jets, boats or luxury homes. At the same time, high-end brands from car manufacturers to fashion brands are making a conscious switch to “brand diffusion” where quality and elements of luxury converge.
These consumer trends were front and center of our minds when we developed the Yoga 910 convertible laptop. We wanted to make a premium design and experience that PC users craved. It had to complement users’ styles, suit different needs and frankly be even better than what their friends and colleagues have. Its minimalistic design is dedicated to those users who want to be proud when they pull it out of their bag, and is purpose-built for consumers who carry their laptops everywhere with them, but don’t want to have to wrap them up in covers.
Lenovo™ Yoga™ 910 convertible laptop
So we posed ourselves the question – can’t a laptop work hard and look good at the same time? And we sought to answer an emphatic “yes” to that question. In doing so, we uncovered a surprising array of inspirations that led us to produce the iconic design for the multimode Yoga 910.
We took a deep look at the ways people are using laptops in fluid ways that blur work and personal uses, and scrutinized how laptop design could be improved to overcome the many trade-offs that competitors make in their own designs. This led to criteria where we needed to push the boundaries of design in the Yoga 910’s look and feel.
Most importantly, out in the design world we observed an increasing movement away from the resurgence of flamboyant, 1980s-inspired design styles that have been popularized in recent years, towards a movement dominated by abstract shapes and minimalism that trims away distractions. Inc.com, the magazine behind the Iconic Design Awards, found the number one trend in design now is that “less is more” and identified how people are “gravitating towards wanting as much functionality in as sleek and minimal a structure as possible.”2 This is one of the reasons why for the Yoga 910, we chose sleek, clean lines and choice of strong, classic colors with its atmosphere of quiet sophistication.
The values of tidiness, space and simplicity that minimalism represents are in many ways nothing new, with the movement tracing roots that go back centuries. Now, in everywhere from top-end jewelry design to new logo forms, we observed that this approach to visualization is burgeoning at the forefront of innovation once again – for the simple reasons that it is attractive and effective. Designed around prioritizing content, encouraging responsiveness and standing out from other cluttered designs, minimalism is a critical component in the Yoga 910’s user experience.
Lenovo Yoga 910 convertible laptop’s minimalistic yet sophisticated design
Meanwhile, as we enter late 2016 strong colors are a pivotal trend in the fashion industry. This doesn’t mean simply involve colors that are bright, but make a statement in other ways – particularly shimmering metallic colors that catch the eye and present a striking sense of regality. From London to Paris to New York across high fashion’s “new metallics” fall trends to the “metallics mania” movement in the interior design industry, adding a glint to color selection is very much in vogue. As Cosmopolitan said, “as long as you’re shining, you’re doing it right.”3 By integrating this movement with our latest laptop design, users can be assured that they will shine and make an impact wherever they use their devices.
Designer research also revealed that metallic colors add a feel-good factor to the touch of glamour with everything they encompass. This was even recognized by an international panel of judges for Dulux®’s “Color of the Year 2016” awards4, which named gold as the must-have color to match the ongoing trend of using metallic tones in the home. Particularly as it debuts in a year of major sporting events, we wanted to ensure that whichever of the Yoga 910’s minimalistic Champagne Gold or Platinum Silver color options, users choose will be sure to produce a winning result when they carry it around.
Lenovo Yoga 910 convertible in Champagne Gold
Beyond this, we sought to answer how we could achieve a level of discreet ruggedness that allows a device to stand up to the on-the-go demands its users expect, yet remain primarily elegant and lightweight. Measuring just 14.3mm, it delivers a level of performance and power with up to 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 that’s unexpected in the small form of a convertible laptop.
This led to an all-metal unibody design. Using a metal body lends itself to a thin, yet durable, shell. A unibody design further increases its overall strength, reducing any single point of failure and providing maximum space for all of the internal components and heat removal – which means an even more comfortable all-round experience for the user. Take a look and see for yourself.
 CNBC “The Sharing Economy Gets a Taste for Luxury”: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/18/sharing-economy-getting-a-taste-for-luxury.html
2 Inc.com “5 biggest product design trends 2016”: http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/5-biggest-product-design-trends-2016.html; quote from Vivian Rosenthal, founder of custom emoji keyboard creator Snaps and co-founder of Google’s 30 Weeks design program
3 Cosmopolitan “Autumn/Winter 2016 fashion trends from London Fashion Week”: http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/fashion/style/a41531/autumn-winter-fashion-trends-2016/
4 Dulux “Color of the Year 2016”: https://www.dulux.co.uk/en/inspiration/duluxs-colour-of-the-year-2016-is-revealed
5 Prices do not include tax or shipping or options and are subject to change without notice; additional terms and conditions apply. Reseller prices may vary. On-shelf dates may vary by geography and products may only be available in selected markets. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings, features and specifications at any time without notice.
LENOVO and YOGA are trademarks of Lenovo. UBER is a trademark of Uber Technologies, Inc. AIRBNB is a trademark of Airbnb, Inc. DULUX is a trademark of Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2016, Lenovo Group Limited.