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Lenovo's latest ThinkPads ship bloatware-free

Some of them can also use Intel's super-fast 3D storage.
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It's virtually a tradition for Lenovo to unveil new ThinkPads around CES time, but this year it's doing something a bit different: its systems are defined by what they don't have. The PC builder has just unveiled a slew of mid-tier ThinkPad laptops that all run Microsoft's Signature Edition image of Windows 10 -- that is, you shouldn't expect bloatware bogging things down or introducing security holes. While ThinkPads have had cleaner software than Lenovo's non-pro systems as a general rule, this is good news if you're more interested in getting to work than dealing with unwanted apps.

Gallery: Lenovo ThinkPads for 2017 | 12 Photos

Of course, there are plenty of hardware updates. All of the new systems use 7th-generation Core processors, and some of the larger models (the ThinkPad T470, T470p, T570, L470 and L570) have the option of using Intel's extremely fast Optane 3D storage. You can only have up to 16GB of the cutting-edge memory, so it won't replace the main drive in your system, but it should help in those situations where even a fast SSD isn't enough. You should also expect improved trackpads (using Microsoft's Precision TouchPad spec) and protection against dodgy USB-C cables.

As for the specific systems? The headliner is the ThinkPad Yoga 370 2-in-1 (shown at top). As its numbering scheme suggests, it slots neatly between the 200- and 400-series Yogas with a brand new 13.3-inch design that's tough enough to meet MilSpec certifications. Its 3.2-pound weight, 1080p screen and 10-hour battery life aren't huge breakthroughs, but it touts Thunderbolt 3 support to connect to Lenovo's new docks and displays (more on those later). It ships in March starting at $1,264.

Lenovo ThinkPad T570

The remaining systems are mostly the customary performance updates, although there are a few highlights: the 15.6-inch T570 has an optional 4K non-touch display (up from "just" 3K in the T560). Thunderbolt 3 is common across most T-series laptops, and the 12-inch X270 adds USB-C. It won't shock you to hear that prices and ship dates will vary widely. The most affordable rig is the updated ThinkPad 13, which begins at $674 when it arrives in January, but you can drop $1,099 on the 14-inch T470s (arriving in February) if you're determined to meld Ultrabook portability with an abundance of ports.

And yes, Lenovo is upping the ante on its docks and displays. The $280 ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock gives you power, two DisplayPort connectors, HDMI, VGA, five USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, audio and another Thunderbolt 3 port using a single cable attached to your PC. It ships in February. If that's overkill, you can get a $200 ThinkPad USB-C Dock in January; it ditches Thunderbolt 3 (naturally) and HDMI, and downgrades two of the USB ports to 2.0. Prefer to hook things up to a display? The 24-inch ThinkVision P24h and 27-inch P27h both support charging, video and 4 USB 3.0 ports through a solitary USB-C cable. The smaller screen will cost you $259 when it ships in March, while the P27h will sell for $329 and arrive at the same time.

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