Lenovo BIOS firmware update

Lenovo BIOS firmware update

Lenovo has urged its users to download and update the latest BIOS firmware update that disables a controversial “unwanted software” from Lenevo PCs, notebooks and laptops.

After much criticism, Lenovo finally broke silence on the matter- unauthorized installation of certain programs in large number of Lenovo computers. The company was using a “rootkit-like” technique to install certain programs forcefully on a large number of its Windows laptops and PCs. Lenovo was using BIOS to keep track of certain applications on Windows’ system files and overwrite it on boot-up with its in-house alternative called Lenovo Service Engine (LSE).

Furthermore, a vulnerability was found in the way the company was tweaking the BIOS. The vulnerability, if exploited, allowed an attacker to gain admin-level access of the system and install malicious code. Lenovo issued a patch to fix it on July 31, but it requires manual installation.

In a public announcement, the company has now said that its latest BIOS firmware, which was released on July 31, disables the script which allowed automatic reinstallation of unwanted software even after a full Windows wipe. The vulnerability affected a large pool of Lenovo PCs and laptops including Flex 3 1120, Yoga 3 11, and Horizon 2 27 among others. All the new laptops that shipped after June 2015 aren’t affected with the said vulnerability.

“The vulnerability was linked to the way Lenovo utilised a Microsoft Windows mechanism in a feature found in its BIOS firmware called Lenovo Service Engine (LSE) that was installed in some Lenovo consumer PCs. Think-brand PCs are unaffected,” wrote Lenovo.

“Lenovo and Microsoft have discovered possible ways this program could be exploited in the Lenovo Notebook implementation by an attacker, including a buffer overflow attack and an attempted connection to a Lenovo test server.”

The update firmware is available to download from company’s website. Depending on the configuration of your BIOS, Lenovo has also put up instructions to help you install the update on your machine.

The full list of impacted products is as follows:

Lenovo notebooks: Flex 2 Pro 15 (Broadwell), Flex 2 Pro 15 (Haswell), Flex 3 1120, Flex 3 1470/ 1570, G40-80/ G50-80/ G50-80 Touch, S41-70/ U41-70, S435/ M40-35, V3000, Y40-80, Yoga 3 11, Yoga 3 14, Z41-70/ Z51-70, Z70-80/ G70-80.

Lenovo desktops (world wide): A540/ A740, B4030, B5030, B5035, B750, H3000, H3050, H5000, H5050, H5055, Horizon 2 27, Horizon 2e (Yoga Home 500), Horizon 2S, C260, C2005, C2030, C4005, C4030, C5030, X310 (A78), X315 (B85).

Lenovo desktops (China only): D3000, D5050, D5055, F5000, F5050, F5055, G5000, G5050, G5055, YT A5700k, YT A7700k, YT M2620n, YT M5310n, YT M5790n, YT M7100n, YT S4005, YT S4030, YT S4040, YT S5030.

Lenovo Ideapad Y500

Lenovo Ideapad Y500 & Z500 – WIN 8 Laptops

Lenovo has launched two Windows 8 laptops called the IdeaPad Y500 and Z500. Both laptops have third-generation Intel processors and their high-end models come with graphic cards.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 comes with an UltraBay that lets users add an extra graphics card, hard disk drive or an additional fan for cooling. The 15.6-inch laptop has a carbon fibre cover, and a backlit keyboard with a touchpad. Users should face no problems typing in dark rooms as the keyboard has backlighting. The IdeaPad Y500 costs Rs 64,290.

Lenovo claims IdeaPad Z500 is among the slimmest laptops available in market. It is also a 15.6-inch device, but has less powerful hardware when compared to the Y500. It costs Rs 48,990.

The key specifications for both laptops are as follows.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

  • 3rd generation Intel® Core i7 processor
  • NVIDIA® GeForce GT 650M 2GB DDR5 graphics
  • 16GB DDR3 memory, up to 1TB HDD storage
  • 750GB interchangeable HDD storage bay
  • Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity
  • USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and 6in1 card reader
  • Always-on USB port – lets you recharge a mobile device even when the notebook is powered off and unplugged
  • Interchangeable DVD reader
  • JBL speakers and Dolby Home Theater v4

Lenovo IdeaPad Z500

  • 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M 2GB graphics
  • 15.6″ Backlit LED HD display (1366×768), 16:9 widescreen
  • Up to 8GB DDR3 memory, up to 1TB HDD storage
  • Bluetooth & 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Intelligent Touchpad optimised for Windows 8, with easy scroll, zoom and rotate functions

Huawei launches E355 data card with Wi-Fi

 E355 data card Huawei recently launched the E355 data card with Wi-Fi. The product functions both as a data card for a single user and as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, which can simultaneously connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices for Internet connectivity anytime, anywhere.

Priced at Rs 5,499, the product comes with a universal serial bus (USB) interface and unlike traditional data cards can also be powered with a variety of USB chargers.

Whether users are at home or travelling, the Wi-Fi hotspot travels along with them, providing Internet connectivity continuously.

“Huawei E355 also offers flexibility for smaller business establishments to quickly connect a small team to Internet and start business on the go,” Victor Shanxin, President, Huawei Device India, said.

HUAWEI E355 specifications:

  • EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • HSPA+ date speeds up to 21.6Mbps
  • HSUPA date speeds up to 5.76Mbps
  • MicroSD Card slot support 32G
  • Equalizer and receive diversity
  • Data and SMS Service
  • Standard USB interface
  • Dimensions: 90.6 x 28.6 x 12.6mm
  • Operating Systems: Windows XP SP2/SP3, Vista SP1/SP2,Windows 7, Mac OS 10.5/10.6/10.7,Linux,Android Tab

Hard drives still dominate SSDs in laptop market: IHS iSuppli report

hard driveThe hard disk drive industry has been going through a serious rough patch since the floods in Thailand last year, with residual effects likely hampering the market for the next several quarters. Nevertheless, despite sluggish sales and production, hard drives continue to dominate the laptop market when compared with the alternative: solid state drives.

A new report from market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli found that notebook  models with a storage allotment larger than 500GB and priced from $450 to $550 accounted for the most market share at 32%.

Actually, solid state drives only accounted for a small market share, according to IHS analysts, as the remaining 3% of the pie went to notebooks with 128GB SSDs or high-end laptops priced at $900 or more.

Fang Zhang, an analyst for storage systems at IHS, argued in the report that laptop models that run on solid state drives, such as the MacBook Air, don’t actually pose much of a threat to the HDD-based notebook market at least not yet.

Nevertheless, higher-end tablets that are on par (if not better) than some laptops could present a shift in the market. In fact, IHS hints that change could happen in as quickly as a few months with the release of the Microsoft Surface tablet, although there wouldn’t be numbers proving that theory one way or another until at least 2013.

Furthermore, IHS analysts also asserted it would also depend on the storage capacity options offered with the Microsoft Surface. Nevertheless, with the amount of personal cloud storage options available, local storage size might not be as much of a concern for consumers or enterprise customers in the near future. The real determinants would more likely be the price and the other features available on the tablet or laptop.

Lenovo launches world’s smallest enterprise computers

The Chinese electronics major Lenovo, on Friday, rolled out the world’s smallest enterprise computers while continuing efforts to strengthen its product portfolio for this segment in India.

The products ThinkCentre M72e and Lenevo ThinkCentre Tiny desktop PCs are priced at Rs 23,500 and above (excluding taxes and without operating system).

Being the industry’s first enterprise 1L PCs, the M72e and M92p offer superior performance and high reliability, the Chinese company said in a statement.

Trends in the enterprise PC industry suggest that an increasing number of organizations now prefer PCs that occupy less space and consume less energy yet perform at optimal levels, it added.

Acer launches 30 new Aspire laptop models

Acer has launched more than 30 models of laptops under its Aspire range. The five new categories launched under the Aspire range include the S, M, V3, V5 and E series.

acer india“With this aspire range, we will comfortably address the requirements of both the premium and the value conscious customer. We expect this new range to significantly contribute to our overall business results,” said S Rajendran, chief marketing officer of Acer India.

The range includes traditional laptops as well as the new ultrabooks higher in the range. The lowest prices begin at around Rs 16,000 while the higher ranges start as high as around Rs 50,000. Rajendran said that this launch is also intended to refresh Acer range of laptops.

He also indicated that company is looking very keenly at Windows 8 and new laptops featuring the new operating system are likely. Regarding smartphones and tablets, he said that Acer is keeping a low profile in the segment and will work with Windows 8 and Android for new releases.

Samsung N100 Netbook With Dual Core Intel Atom N435 Processor

Samsung n100 netbookSamsung has introduced N100 netbook is based on the dual core Intel Atom N435 processor running at 1.33 GHz.

The netbook comes encased in an ultra-durable scratch-resistant Duracase casing and features a 10.1″ LED display (1024×600 pixel) with a matte surface designed to enhance viewing even in broad daylight. It comes with integrated Intel GMA 3150 graphics.

Samsung N100 weighs just 1.03 kg and has 1 GB DDR3 memory. Internal storage comes in the form of a 250GB hard-disk drive which spins at 5400rpm and removable storage option is a 4-in-1 card reader that supports SD, SDHC, SDXC and MMC.

Samsung N100 does not have a Wi-Fi transceiver, but it comes with an RJ45 port for wired network connection. Additional ports include microphone-in, two USB ports and a port for headphones.

The netbook runs on the MeeGo operating system, however, users have the option to switch to Windows 7 operating system. The N100 is powered by a 3 cell (40 W) battery.

Samsung N100 Netbook is priced at Rs 12,290.

Samsung N100 Specifications

  • 10.1  inch WSVGA,Anti-reflective Display
  • 1024×600 pixels screen resolution
  • 1.33 GHz Intel ATOM N435 Processor
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • 250 GB Hard Disk Drive
  • Intel GMA 3150 Graphics
  • 4-in-1 Memory Card Reader
  • USB 2.0, RJ45(LAN), Headphone-out, Mic-in
  • 3 Cell Li-Ion battery
  • Weight: 1.03 kg


HP recalling 54000 lithium-ion laptop batteries

Hewlett-Packard Co. is recalling 54,000 lithium-ion batteries used in HP and Compaq computers after receiving reports of injuries from the batteriesHP laptop battery overheating and rupturing.

The recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and expands an earlier recall of 70,000 of the same type of batteries.

The earlier recall came after two reports of the batteries overheating. The commission said that since then, HP has received 38 additional reports of the batteries overheating, causing 11 minor injuries.

HP says the computers at issue were sold in stores and online from August 2007 through July 2008. The battery packs were also sold separately.

Microsoft to stop security updates for Windows XP SP2

Microsoft has announced that it will stop supporting computers using those older operating systems as of July 13th.

The service packs contain major security and reliability upgrades. Microsoft issues security updates on the second Tuesday of each month, known as Patch Tuesday.

Microsoft recommends that its customers buy new Windows 7 PCs. Alternatively, XP SP2 users can install Service Pack 3. The procedure is described in below link.


Laptop modems with 4G technology

Qualcomm is updating 4G technology to its Gobi laptop modems and expanding its chip offerings that support 3G technologies.

The San Diego-based company announced at CTIA in Las Vegas that it will add, for the first time, LTE, or Long Term Evolution 4G technology to the roster of 3G technologies that the Gobi modem supports. 4G technology is expected to offer much greater data throughput than current 3G technologies.

Chipsets now available that support the Gobi API include:

MDM6600: HSPA+ data rates of up to 14.4 Mbps and CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B.

MDM8220: dual-carrier HSPA+ for data rates of up to 42 Mbps.

MDM9200: LTE data rates of up to 100 Mbps, backward compatibility to dual-carrier HSPA+

MDM9600: LTE data rates of up to 100 Mbps, backward compatibility to dual-carrier HSPA+ and EV-DO Rev. A/Rev. B