Don’t think that Lenovo is keeping the IdeaPad Yoga’s bendy secrets all to itself: its Japanese partner NEC is bringing a variant of the ARM-based Yoga 11 to the land of the rising sun as the LaVie Y. The 11.6-inch blend of laptop and tablet keeps the signature 360-degree display, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as its more internationally-minded counterpart, and confirms that there’s a quad-core Tegra 3 powering either of the Windows RT systems. What differences exist will stem from the software: there’s hints of a custom NEC app on an otherwise vanilla interpretation of Microsoft’s platform. The LaVie Y should precede its IdeaPad sibling by days, arriving in stores around November 22nd, although any local buyers will pay dearly for the privilege with an estimated $1,136 price. We’d suggest that patience ought to be a virtue for everyone else.
No one complained when we reported NEC’s initial claimed weight of 999 grams (2.2 pounds) for its LaVie Z Ultrabook, but it turns out that statistic is brutally unfair. The 13.3-inch laptop actually tips the scales at just 875 grams (1.9 pounds) thanks to the magnesium lithium alloy used in its 0.59-inch chassis — not bad when you consider that there are still 1.3kg netbooks wandering the planet. Of course, in line with Intel’s official Ultrabook spec, you’re getting a minimum Core i5-3317U processor (yes, that’s Ivy Bridge) and 128GB SSD, plus USB 3.0, SDXC slot, HDMI out and a claimed battery life of 8.1 hours. There’s no word on US pricing yet, but that base spec will set you back ¥130,000 ($1,600) in Japan, while the top model with Core i7-3517U and 256GB SSD will add another ¥30,000 ($375) to your bill.
Just in case you thought NEC was done with its PC updates this week, the Japanese PC builder has thrown its hat into the Ultrabook ring with a unique contribution of its own. The LaVie Z has a 13.3-inch screen like your garden variety ultralight, but it weighs just 2.2 pounds through a new lithium-magnesium alloy shell about half the weight of the aluminum that some companies love to use. Unfortunately, that weight and the slim frame are about all we know so far: NEC isn’t providing any internal specifications, possibly because it’s waiting on Ultrabook-ready Ivy Bridge chips. Even so, if you’re hanging around Japan and want the lightest possible laptop you can get at a 13-inch screen size, the wait until the planned summer release will feel like an eternity.