Sure, pens on tablets are great -- until you misplace them. Even when there's a pen-hole built into the device, there's a good chance you'll either lose it at a coffee shop, or at the very least forget to pack it before leaving the house in the morning. Lenovo has a unique solution: Take some scissors to it. Or a Philips screwdriver. Or maybe even a Swiss Army knife. The company just unveiled a special version of its existing 8-inch Yoga 2 Windows tablet that allows you to use any conductive object as a pen. That means all the objects you see in the photo above -- and yes, that includes a pencil.
Lenovo's "AnyPen" technology, as it's called, isn't entirely a new concept -- Sony already has a phone that supports both pen and pencil input. Even then, though, we've never seen a gadget that allows you to use quite so many mundane objects as writing implements. Also, with this workaround, Lenovo was able to do something quite clever: Take a tablet that previously didn't support pen input at all, and retrofit it to make it work with all the pens. Also, keep in mind that because the original Yoga Tablet 2 didn't have a pen, there was no pen slot, so the fact that you can use any device as a writing implement helps sidestep that issue quite nicely. The device goes on sale this month, for $299 -- a $20 premium over the regular model. Be warned, though: The AnyPen tablet has the same one-year warranty as all the other Yoga 2 Tablets. Something to keep in mind before you start poking at it with a fork.