Lenovo makes a lot of laptops. And tablets. And a few phones. But amid its
exhaustive PC range, there's also the eye-catching Beacon. Priced at $199,
although lacking any storage out of the box, it tries to strike a balance
between personal cloud storage and media server. It comes preloaded with XBMC,
while dual HDD bays will support up to a heady 6TB of storage. The Beacon,
powered by a dual-core (unspecified) Atom processor can then stream whatever
you put inside it to multiple devices at once -- we saw it in action, and it
managed to output to both a PC and Android phone without a hiccup. You can use
your hand-held smart device as a remote (replete with mouse cursor), which
makes digging through piles of photos and videos at least a little bit easier.
On the back, alongside HDMI, there's Ethernet and twin USB ports, meaning
it'll be happy to link up to PCs and TVs for big-screen viewing. Once linked
to the respective app, pics and videos captured on your phone can be
automatically (or manually) uploaded. As you can see, it's also not the
typically unassuming (read: dull) storage ...