Lenovo wants the definition of an Ultrabook broadened from a consumer-focused toy to an efficient enterprise machine, it said Tuesday on day two of its Accelerate Partner Summit in Las Vegas. And, in an effort to spark that transformation, the PC giant launched its new ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a super-thin notebook PC optimized and "ruggedized" for business users.
"Not all Ultrabooks are created equal," Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of Lenovo’s ThinkPad business unit, told a crowd of 500 partners on Tuesday. He scrolled through pictures of super-thin form factors from Lenovo rivals and landed on a picture of Apple’s MacBook Air.
"It looks pretty," he said of the Air. "But can you really deploy it [in the enterprise]?"
According to Bhatia, many rival Ultrabooks lack the manageability and security underpinnings essential for enterprise roll-outs. Others lack quality; he made note of competing Ultrabooks with flimsy, bendable screens, or some that run so hot they come equipped with warning labels on their base.
But the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Bhatia continued, was designed to deliver that super-thin form factor without compromising performance or manageability. It weighs in at under 3 pounds, touts a 14-inch high-res display, and runs on Intel’s third-generation Ivy Bridge processors.
The ThinkPad X1 also has a series of features that make it well-suited for enterprise environments, Bhatia said. The new Ultrabook, for instance, comes with Intel’s vPro platform for PC management, which can be leveraged by IT teams to automatically deploy patch updates, remotely troubleshoot PCs, and easily access a series of security features for identify and data theft protection.
"When we set out to design this, we wanted to make sure that, at the end of the day, our business customers would be proud to carry this device," Bhatia said.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon includes Lenovo RapidCharge technology, which lets users reach an 80 percent battery charge in 30 minutes, and is packaged within a carbon fiber roll cage frame said to boost durability.
While the ThinkPad X1 represents a new generation of enterprise-focused Ultrabooks from Lenovo, the PC giant isn’t abandoning its push into the consumer market either. It said a number of new Ultrabooks, including those under the IdeaPad brand and a new journal-inspired model dubbed "The Book of Do," are slated to launch in the consumer market this summer.
Lenovo also took the wraps off several new X, T, W and L Series ThinkPad notebooks running Intel’s new Ivy Bridge chips and said it’s still on target to launch new Windows 8-based devices this year.
The new ThinkPad models range between $879 and $1,479 and will be available starting in June. Lenovo said the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook for enterprise users will be available this summer but did not disclose a price.