If you read my content, you know I love to poke into the circuits of anything I have. It is an addiction, and I have to admit I felt some withdrawal when I decided not to fully tear down the PCB. When it comes to notebook reviews, most of what I get are review samples that are on loan, and without permission from the vendor, I won't dig into the units too much. I will say that I found some chips that were custom-labeled embedded controllers, and they control many Lenovo-specific features. Many of those features are found in the Lenovo Companion application. The application allows the system to scan itself and provide tips and settings not always found in Window's Control Panel.
You have the ability to use your location to improve the user experience. At different WIFI/Global locations, you can set the device to behave differently, just like you can set your phone to stay unlocked when you are at home. Apart from Window's built-in battery monitoring, the application offers more in-depth battery health indicators.
One feature I could have used on my recent flight to Taiwan for Computex is the Airplane Power Mode. On my flight to Taiwan, I had my old Ultrabook with its 120W adapter. When I plugged it into United's AC power jack, all the AC power jacks in my row went out. The flight attendant told me that the power rotates between rows, and the row behind me offered to plug it into an empty jack they had, low and behold it also went out. All of this happened on United's 787-9 Dreamliner, where the windows have electronically controlled tint, and the power jacks do not support most notebooks.
I went online through my phone and found that this is a common occurrence. Lenovo has their own solution to make sure your productivity is not hampered by the lack of power generation technology on modern planes; their airplane power mode will ensure your device can be charged by the plane, so your productivity isn't zero during your 14-hour flight. Easy to use TrackPoint and touchpad settings are also included.
I didn't expect to find the ability to change the WIFI into a mobile hotspot, but it is present. Audio settings are also available.
Display settings, including the ability to enable a "Paper mode" for reading, are also present.
One of the features of the Touch OLED panel is the ability to take notes directly on already existing digital content. You can write on anything from PowerPoint presentations to web pages with the stylus.
Lenovo Solution Center is included for troubleshooting. I also found an Active Protection System in the control panel that will detect shocks and protect the hard drive; the only caveat is that there is no hard drive or any ability to install a hard drive in the system.
Smart Audio and Dolby Audio are included to control the output from the Conexant codec. You also have the ability to customize the capabilities of the Wacom Pen.
At startup, you can press "Enter" to interrupt startup to either enter the BIOS, diagnose an issue, recover the system, or override the boot order.
While the BIOS might look old fashioned, it is loaded with configuration settings. Business users will rejoice with all the security options and hardware level lockouts. I know these notebooks are used by many organizations (both public and private) that deal with very sensitive information.
If you want your "Ctrl" key to switch places with the "Fn" key, that option can be toggled in the BIOS. What I found interesting is the ability to not only just disable AMT (anti-theft), but also permanently disable AMT, so I guess those with tinfoil hats can rejoice.
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