By Mark Long / CIO Today. Updated October 27, 2009.
Lenovo has taken the wraps off its latest IdeaPad laptop and IdeaCentre desktop offerings, which are built around Intel's ultra-low-power Core processor family and ship with Windows 7 aboard. All the new products are slated to go on sale at U.S. retail outlets and online resellers between now and December.
The new machines are designed to fulfill both consumer and professional demands for improved multimedia and multitasking capabilities, as well as enhanced mobility and greater data security, the company said. What's more, Lenovo's new Idea machines offer faster PC boot and shutdown times as a byproduct of a joint engineering effort by Lenovo and Microsoft.
To be priced at $1,149, the IdeaPad Y550P is Lenovo's first laptop to feature Intel's Core i7 chip with Turbo Boost technology, which automatically allows the processor to run faster than the base operating frequency as long as it is operating below power, current and temperature-specification limits. The new machine also sports GeForce video graphics technology from Nvidia, a 15.6-inch widescreen HD display, Dolby Home Theater surround sound, and a touch-sensitive bar above the keyboard for quickly navigating programs and shortcuts.
Users attracted to netbook portability but concerned about overall performance will want to take a look at Lenovo's IdeaPad U150, which is only 13.5mm thick, packs light at 1.35 kg and will be priced at $585. The new machine sports an energy-efficient Intel Core 2 Duo processor, an 11.6-inch HD widescreen display, and support for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory.
The IdeaPad U150 features an active hard-disk protection system that protects the drive if the laptop gets bumped or dropped. Moreover, the sleek and slim laptop runs the latest version of Lenovo's oneKey rescue system, which in addition to performing data backups also includes an antivirus-scanning app that runs even before the operating system loads.
PC buyers in need of a bigger laptop screen can check out Lenovo's IdeaPad U550, which is equipped with a 15.6-inch panoramic HD display featuring an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts screen brightness based on local lighting conditions. Sporting an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the new $650 machine also incorporates a switchable graphics feature for managing PC battery life at the press of a button, which turns off the laptop's discrete graphics card.
Lenovo has further differentiated the U550 from lower-priced netbook offerings by building in a DVD drive and Dolby surround-sound capabilities. The new laptop also integrates a fingerprint reader and VeriFace facial-recognition software, which ensure that only the authorized user can log onto the machine.
Additionally, Lenovo has turned out two new desktop products equipped with Intel Core 2 Quad processors. Featuring support for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and 1TB of disk storage space, the all-in-one IdeaCentre B500, which will be priced at $649, ships with a 23-inch HD screen, Nvidia GeForce video graphics, and five-Watt JBL speakers.
The IdeaCentre B500 sports a four-in-one remote control that can double as a motion-drive games controller, VoIP handset, air mouse, and media remote. Moreover, the new machine integrates a new CamSuite tool that helps keep users in the center of the Web camera's focus and even adds special effects to live video feeds.
Lenovo's IdeaCentre K300, which will be offered at prices that begin at $499, integrates hard drives that have been configured for high-performance RAID. The new desktop machine also incorporates a power control that enables users to switch from all-out performance to more energy-efficient modes.