Lenovo goes ultraportable with $399 laptop

PC maker jumps into growing netbook market with tiny IdeaPad S10

Lenovo is joining the ranks of hardware builders making a run at the fledgling netbook market with a new ultrasmall laptop.

The company today unveiled the IdeaPad S10 netbook PC, which runs Intel Corp.'s Atom processor and Microsoft Windows XP. Available in two configurations, the small, ultraportable computer has a 10.2-in. screen, two USB ports, a four-in-one multicard reader, WiFi connectivity and an Express Card slot.

Slated to be available in October, the new netbook has a starting price of $399.

Netbooks are relatively inexpensive, small form-factor laptops that are designed for basic applications like Web surfing, e-mailing and word processing. They're designed to use less power than traditional PCs and laptops and aren't powerful enough for serious power users or gamers.

Intel announced earlier this year that it was betting heavily on the new market. In early June, the company unveiled two new Atom processors at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. Intel began shipping Atom chips for mobile Internet devices, which are small pocketable machines, in April.

Intel spokesman Chris Tulley said at the time that the company expects sales of netbook and "net-top" devices to outpace growth of traditional laptops and desktops.

Early in June, Acer Inc. dove into the minilaptop market with the Aspire One netbook, which is designed to use Intel's Atom N270 chip. Acer's netbook, which comes with 512MB or 1GB of RAM, runs either the Linpus Linux Lite operating system or Windows XP Home. It also comes with built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.

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