Lenovo introduces new Yoga models with 'AnyPen' technology

Discussion in 'Lenovo (IBM)' started by surfaceproartist, Jan 5, 2015.

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  1. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Hey thanks, I was badgering them on their forum. So maybe that explains why they're being cagey, it's not fully decided. Pretty amazing this close to rollout!
     
  2. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    Well historically Lenovo has used Wacom(minus the TPT), so maybe they are deciding if they want to use the new EMR pen or Wacom system used in the 12in model?
     
  3. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Just got a detailed reply from Nate Sarbin on the Lenovo forums. Apparently ActivePen is in fact different than the traditional Wacom in the Yoga 12.

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    You're in luck! Serene pinged me about your question and I was able to have a conversation about it this afternoon. (apologies if I get any of this wrong, but I hope it helps a bit)

    Here's what I found out...

    - The ActivePen in the TP Yoga 14 & 15 is, in fact, Wacom.

    - Prior tech uses unpowered RFID in the pen. This RF is changed subtly depending on whether the button/s are depressed, or on some pens, the 'eraser' is being used. This RF interacts with the field produced by the digitizer in the glass panel, which is also required to poll the position of the pen tip some finite number of times per second. It was described to me as a loop system. All of this requires that the panel be a bit thicker, which adds weight. It also induces some minor parallax distortion, which can be seen in how closely the the 'hover' point matches the position of the pen tip. Finally, because there is a polling process running, if you try to draw a line very slowly, you might observe 'skips' in the drawn line. Drawing quickly doesn't result in this (I tested it).

    - Enter the new ActivePen tech, which is powered by a AAAA battery. This allows some of the pen tip position determination work to be removed from the digitizer glass, specifically (I think) the polling process. That, by itself, makes it possible to draw very slowly with out inducing 'skips' in the drawn line (again, I tested it). It also allows the panel to be a bit thinner, reducing weight. This does require the pen to be a bit thicker / heavier, but to my hand it felt quite comfortable, and certainly worth the increased accuracy.

    - Finally, just in case anyone wonders, the ActivePen from the TP Yoga 14 & 15 does not work on the TP Yoga 12 (or Helix or Tablet 10). Likewise, the pen from the TP Yoga 12 doesn't work on the 14 or 15 (tested).
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
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  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Fascinating! The real question to me is "Are the Active Pens pressure sensitive?" I can't tell. From the one demo video, they were clearly very accurate, but not pressure sensitive at all. Are these different?
     
  5. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Have you seen a demo of the ActivePen feature on the Lenovo Yoga 14 and 15, or are you talking about the 'AnyPen' which can use any conductive tip? They are different techs, for maximum confusion.
     
  6. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    So, is this the same pen tech that Toshiba is using on their 8in and 10in models? While the 14in model is a bit larger for my taste, the idea of Wacom with a NVidia gpu does sound kind of tempting. I wonder what the battery life will be on the new ThinkPad Yoga line.
     
  7. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Ah, but of course! That explains things. Le sigh. I guess we'll need to wait and see for a video or two of the tech. If it works, it would be wonderful. Would love a nice big laptop with enough space for better speakers, etc plus the ever needed pressure sensitive pen.
     
  8. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Apparently the ActivePen tech is pressure sensitive, see the latest update from Lenovo forum mod sarbin. Hopefully we can get a demo soon, or better, get one of these Yogas in the hands of one of the tpcr experts!
     
  9. JaneL

    JaneL Super Moderator

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    Just an FYI, that was Nate Sarbin who responded to JoeS. Nate is one of the Lenovo Forums' super-mods and is representing the forum at CES this year.
     
  10. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I'm really liking the rapid responses and flood of updates on Lenovo's CES forum. Although even better might have been to get all the info online and correct from the outset.. ;) Either way, lots of great product updates and new products, awesome showing from Lenovo this year!
     
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