Lenovo comes out swinging with table PC, hybrid ultrabooks

PC maker also unveils a mini-ultrabook

With Lenovo moving up the ranks of the global PC market, the company is looking to solidify its momentum at the International CES trade show this week.

Lenovo, which is vying with Hewlett-Packard for the top spot in the PC market, is using CES in Las Vegas to present new products, including a hybrid laptop and tablet device, a mini-ultrabook and a table PC.

"Lenovo is very experimental," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "It tries new form factors, new types of devices. Some stick, some don't. But they all contribute to the accurate impression that Lenovo is a lively company."

Lenovo's IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC
Lenovo's IdeaCentre Horizon table PC (Photo: Lenovo)

On Sunday, the China-based PC maker unveiled the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, a multi-user, multi-touch, multi-mode consumer device. It uses Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system running on Intel's Core i7 processors and Nvidia's GeForce graphics.

Lenovo wants to make computing more social, said Jay Parker, a vice president with Lenovo. The table PC, which lies flat, is designed to enable users to make computing a shared experience.

"There's this cultural phenomenon where people are using their phones or tablets individually," Parker told Computerworld. "They're all sitting there at dinner using their phones individually. There's an opportunity to bring the family back together by sharing games. Extend that to the school environment where they've started to roll out tablets but they're using them individually."

Parker doesn't see the Horizon Table PC as a computer for the enterprise but said it could replace the desktop in home or school environments. The table PC is due to be released in early summer with a starting price of $1,699.

Industry analysts have been talking about a convergence in technology - a combination of smartphones, tablets, laptops and even traditional desktops. Expect to see a mashup of these devices at CES this week.

Is the table PC a morphing of the desktop?

"People have been saying for a decade or more that the desktop is going away," Parker said. "I don't think it's going away, but certainly these new technologies are adding to it ... This certainly could replace the desktop in some environments. It's a full functioning, all-in-one PC."

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, predicts that new versions of desktops will start to show up in more homes.

Lenovo on Sunday, showed off three new Windows 8 devices Sunday, including the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC.

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