CES: Lenovo, touting thin PCs, takes second stab at consumer market
Its new IdeaPad laptop is as nearly as skinny as Apple's MacBooks
The IdeaPad Y650, which sports a 16-in. widescreen display, measures just one inch thick -- a hair more than the unibody aluminum MacBook and MacBook Pros introduced in October by Apple. Those laptops measure 0.95 inches thick.
The 5.6-lb. Y650 uses carbon fiber for strength. It starts at $1,199 and comes with a 16:9-format glossy LCD display, JBL speakers and a two-finger multitouch trackpad.
Lenovo's other new Y series of notebooks -- the Y450 and the Y550 -- also include 16:9 glossy displays and multitouch trackpads, according to Ninis Samuel, global director of consumer marketing strategy and programs at Lenovo. Samuel spoke at a news conference held before CES.
Lenovo also introduced a new all-in-one desktop, the A600. It features a frameless 21.5-in. 1,920-by-1,080 pixel, hi-def resolution LCD screen that is just over an inch thick, too. "We're going to show at CES that we have some extremely attractive designs that people will be proud to be associated with," said Craig Merrigan, vice president for global consumer marketing.
Lenovo's efforts to cross over from the business to the consumer realm haven't borne fruit yet. Its share of the global PC market in the third quarter of 2008 was 7.4%, down from 8% in the prior year, according to IDC.
Lenovo's shipments grew at half the year-over-year rate of the market as a whole, as the company "struggled to gain traction as small business spending slowed," according to IDC. Lenovo ranked fourth worldwide, behind Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and a surging Acer Inc.
To support its new offerings, Lenovo plans an extensive promotion tied with the upcoming Star Trek movie, said Merrigan.
Besides Intel Core 2 Duo processors and ATI Radeon graphics card technology, the A600 comes with home theater features such as a built-in subwoofer, digital TV tuner and options such as a Blu-ray Disc player or the Windows Vista Media Center edition.
The Y550, with 15.6-in. screen, and the Y450, with 14-in. display, will start at $829. All three laptops will be available in March and come with a black hexagonal print on the lid and a copper trim. They will be slightly thicker than the Y650.
Lenovo is building in some social networking and security software to its S10 netbook, but otherwise leaving it unchanged, said Samuel.
While Lenovo is striving for thin with its consumer PCs, it's bulking up its corporate products. Its latest ThinkPad, the W700ds, weighs 11 pounds and comes with two LCD screens.
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