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The best PCs of 2015 will be superlight, pen-friendly and Broadwell-based

Gordon Mah Ung | Jan. 15, 2015
The Consumer Electronics Show is great for one thing: spotting PC trends. We think these three will hold through the year.

Pen based computing is hip again
The shocker at this year's CES was just how much pen computing was the hot feature to integrate. Toshiba was first out the gate with no fewer than three tablets with pen technology. And I don't mean the lousy $1.99 eraser-nub pens either: These are Wacom pens with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. While you could get Wacom pens in pricier tablets, Toshiba's pushes the superior pen tech into $350 and $400 tablets.

Lenovo also pushed pen technology in unusual ways. The first was its AnyPen that lets you use any conductive object as a stylus. That means pencil, pen--even a fork. The company also showed off a feature in development it's calling WRITEit.

WRITEit aims to fix the problem with Window's pen implementation. If you decided to use the pen on your, say, Surface Pro 3 to write a person's name into the Send field in Outlook, you'd have to click the field and wait for the handwriting recognition module to appear. With Lenvo's WRITEit, you could simply select any input field and start writing. 

In the demo I saw, it was far more instinctive than having to see-saw between the fields you want to use and Microsoft's own handwriting recognition module.

lenovo writeit
GORDON MAH UNG. Lenovo's WRITEit lets you write directly into any input field rather than using Microsoft's clumsier hand writing recognition module.

Broadwell by default
Intel's Broadwell CPU is late, but it's here and in a big way. It was almost difficult to find a laptop at CES that didn't use Intel's new mobile processor. It was in thin-and-light laptops, convertibles and NUC-sized devices. The one no-show was quad-core Broadwell CPUs. In fact some vendors offered refreshed laptops using Haswell instead this round.

Why? Quad-core mobile Broadwell CPUs aren't due until later this year, which caused concern with some OEMs. Intel officials still insist Broadwell H is on track but there are concerns that with Broadwell H coming out nearly on top of Intel's next CPU, codenamed, Skylake, there's just no need. 

If nothing else, vendors I spoke with seemed happy with the longer battery life the dual-core Broadwell U is giving them. 


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