The Vibe Band VB10, Lenovo's first wearable, is slim and stylish but slow

The Vibe Band VB10 has a long-lasting E-Ink display and classy curved design, though it's best-admired from afar.

For as classy as the Vibe Band VB10 looks -- with its slim figure made possible by a curved E-Ink display -- it's far too sluggish and feature-limited.

Like many other smartwatches, the Lenovo Vibe Band puts your phone's notifications on your wrist, and also throws in some basic step and sleep counting for good measure. But in a demo at CES, the Vibe Band only showed notifications for missed calls, emails, SMS and Twitter, with no other third-party apps supported. There seems to be no way to expand the Vibe Band's functionality beyond what comes in the box.

The bigger problem is the slow-as-molasses interface, operated by a trio of buttons along the band's right edge. Pressing the up/down buttons took a second or two to produce a response, and occasionally triggered a white-to-black screen flicker like the kind you get on an old Kindle e-reader. The Vibe Band makes you scroll through several menu options just to read your notifications, so navigating the sluggish interface is a chore. That's a big problem for a device that's supposed to be a time saver.

The Vibe Band's saving graces are its seven-day battery life and stylish appearance, with a narrow body and ultra-thin wrist strap, but it makes some significant performance sacrifices to achieve those traits. While it may be too late to save the Vibe Band -- it launches this April in emerging markets like China and Russia -- Lenovo should consider simplifying the interface with fewer button presses if it's going to stick with lightweight smartwatches.

Why this matters: Lenovo is leaning on its recent acquisition of Motorola, which already sells an Android Wear smartwatch. Still, it's worth keeping an eye on Lenovo's overseas moves. Perhaps the company can learn some lessons from the Vibe Band and deliver a better E-Ink smartwatch stateside down the road.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags twitterLenovoconsumer electronicsgadgetsCESsmartwatchesWearables

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?