Lenovo unveils consumer-oriented desktop PC

IdeaCentre is tricked out with facial recognition and one-touch recovery tools

Lenovo Group Ltd. this week unveiled its first entry into the U.S. consumer desktop PC market.

The company, well-known for its popular business-oriented ThinkPad line of laptop computers, said the IdeaCentre K210 desktop is its first consumer desktop computer sold outside of China.

In January, Lenovo dove into the consumer notebook market with the launch of its IdeaPad laptop line. At the time, Craig Merrigan, a vice president at Lenovo, told Computerworld that more than 40% of the market opportunity in PCs is in the consumer business. "The consumer base is the biggest market we have not addressed," he noted.

In April, Lenovo continued its consumer laptop push with the release of the IdeaPad U110 notebook PC. Touted as an entertainment-oriented and even fashion-oriented laptop, the U110 laptop is sold with either a black or red cover. It has a textured metal finish, a frameless screen and weighs in at only 2.3 pounds.

The IdeaCentre K210 is another entrant into Lenovo's consumer family.

The new desktop system, which runs the Intel Core 2 Quad processor, uses VeriFace 3 facial recognition technology that enables users to log in by having the camera recognize their faces. The desktop also uses Bright Vision technology that is designed to detect how far away the user is from the monitor so it can adjust its brightness accordingly.

Dan Olds, an analyst at the Gabriel Consulting Group Inc., said coming out with a consumer desktop is a great move for the traditionally business-oriented company.

"It's a smart move, but only because they're bringing some innovation to it -- not just putting out standard vanilla boxes," said Olds. "The facial recognition, in particular, is kind of neat, particularly when you have lots of people, like parents and kids, using the same machine. The facial thing lets you log in automatically, get your own desktop, and access to your own files. They have an antibacterial keyboard. The audio is quite nice, but even more important is the one-touch recovery feature, where the system can be restored after a crash or virus attack

"Other vendors have various pieces of this technology, but it looks like Lenovo has made a concentrated effort to put all the pieces together and make it easy for the nonsophisticated home users to access," he added.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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