Lenovo plans to use ultrabooks to surpass HP

Chinese PC maker has big plans to become world's largest PC maker

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"We're really going all in with ultrabooks," he added. "We're investing heavily."

In that vein, the company today unveiled two ultrabooks -- the IdeaPad U310, which has a 13.3-in. screen, and the U410, with a 14-in. screen.

This isn't Lenovo's first foray into the ultrabook market.

The company launched its first ultrabook in October, then in January released three more -- and showed off a future hybrid model at the Consumer Electronics Show.

"They have a shot at surpassing HP, but they will have to keep up their torrid growth rate, which isn't easy or inexpensive," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "If you extrapolate their recent growth, you can certainly make a case for them passing HP down the road."

However, Olds added that Lenovo has a lot of hard work and expense in front of it for that to happen.

"They're going to have to capture an even larger slice of their China home market and do better in developed markets, like the U.S. and Europe, to top HP's volume," Olds said. "They're going to have to sell a lot of low-priced, low-margin products in order to capture that volume. So they'll be sacrificing profitability for volume."

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said he expects Lenovo to have to do more than succeed with ultrabooks to catch up to and pass HP.

"Lenovo has a chance to attain the number one market share spot, particularly if they can take advantage of the organizational upheaval at HP," he added. "Ultrabooks are certainly a part of Lenovo's overall strategy, but they will need to do a lot more to catch HP.... Lenovo is an unknown in U.S. retail and they must become a player here to be more relevant and gain share."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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