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Image credit: Billy Steele / Engadget

Lenovo improves its midrange laptops with HDR screens and privacy upgrades

There's also a new ThinkVision mobile monitor that's super-travel-friendly.

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Billy Steele / Engadget

Lenovo may make a lot of connected-home products, but don't forget -- its core business is still PCs. At MWC 2019, the company unveiled a slew of new laptops across its Thinkpad X and T series, as well as the Ideapad family. There are also two new budget notebooks for enterprise and a new travel-friendly ThinkVision USB-C monitor.

Most of these are midrange devices, but Lenovo is adding features like a privacy screen and shutter from its higher-end line. For example, the new ThinkPad X390, X390 Yoga, T490s, T490 and T590 now offer HDR and low-power display options, as well as WiFi 6, in addition to the ThinkShutter webcam shield and PrivacyGuard screen-protecting tech.

What PrivacyGuard does is use the camera above the screen to detect your eyes. When it recognizes you're looking at the laptop, it'll be on the lookout for people snooping over your shoulder. I tried this out on one of the ThinkPads, and when a Lenovo rep walked into the 67-degree field of vision behind me, the laptop displayed a symbol with a scary person's face on the screen where he was. The thing is, by the time the indicator appeared, I already knew there was someone walking behind me, so I don't know how helpful this will be.

Gallery: Lenovo ThinkPad and ThinkVision hands-on | 17 Photos

I'm more interested in the new ThinkVision mobile monitor, which is a USB-C 14-inch screen that you can carry around on work trips. Not only is the whole device light and thin, the ThinkVision M14 also offers pass-through power via USB-C so you can charge your laptop through a wall socket with the monitor in between. There are sockets on either side, too, so you can place the second screen on either side of your laptop without having to loop cables around. The unit we saw had a somewhat dim, matte screen, so don't expect to do intense graphics editing on the ThinkVision -- I'd recommend using it for your chat windows, Twitter and emails.

Gallery: Lenovo Ideapad C340, S340 and S540 laptops hands-on | 17 Photos

Lenovo also updated its IdeaPad line of midrange laptops and all-in-ones with the new C340, S340 and S540. All three models are available in 14-inch and 15-inch versions, and the C340 is a convertible, so it comes with a touch screen and Active Pen support. The S340 and S540 are clamshells with thinner designs and narrower bezels than before and now come in striking "pink sand" and "bisque blue" color options. You can configure them with Intel or AMD chipsets, and they'll start at $370 for the S340, $730 for the S540 and $440 for the C340. Business users will appreciate the addition of the Lenovo 14e Chromebook Enterprise and 14w Enterprise, which cost $279 and $299 respectively.

Catch up on all the latest news from MWC 2019 here!

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