Lenovo's IdeaPad Line Gets Windows 8 Refresh


Lenovo broadened its Windows 8 lineup Friday with the launch of new IdeaPad notebooks, all-in-ones and an Ultrabook running Microsoft's upcoming and highly anticipated operating system.

On the notebook front, Lenovo took the wraps off its new IdeaPad U510 Ultrabook, the follow-up device to its U310 and U410 Windows 7-based Ultrabooks. The 15-inch device measures 0.89 inches thick -- the maximum it can be, per Intel's standards, to bear the Ultrabook brand -- and weighs under 4.8 pounds. As all Ultrabooks must, it includes instant-on capabilities that reduce boot-up and refresh times, and it runs on Intel's third-generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors.

Windows 8 has been projected by Intel, the chip maker that first sparked the Ultrabook movement last year, to revive the PC market and kick-start broader Ultrabook adoption when it launches in October. Only about 500,000 Ultrabooks have been sold this year, according to research from industry analysts IDC, a slump that has been largely attributed to consumers and CIOs shying away from the ultrathin notebook's higher price points.

[Related: Lenovo Captures Record PC Market Share, Sees Q1 Sales Soar]

But, other analysts, such as NPD Group, have said that Ultrabook sales, despite their slow start, are picking up the pace, looking brighter than they did last year. According to research NPD released last month, Ultrabooks accounted for 11 percent of all $700+ Windows notebooks sales in the U.S during the first five months of the year.

Upon its launch in November, Lenovo's new IdeaPad U510 will be priced at an aggressive $679, potentially giving it a leg up over competing Ultrabooks, such as HP's Envy 14, which sells for over $1,000.

Lenovo, which is currently the second biggest PC maker in the world after HP, has also unveiled its new IdeaPad Y400 and Y500 consumer-focused notebooks, referring to them as "mobile gaming and multimedia powerhouses." Like the new U510, they run on Intel's latest Core processors, but also include Nvidia's GeForce GT655M 2-GB dual graphics cards. The 14-inch Y400 and 15.6-inch Y500 will become available in October, starting at $649.

Lenovo's B series all-in-one PCs are also receiving a Windows 8 makeover, with the PC giant's new 21.5-inch B340 and B345 desktops. Primarily targeted at consumers, both PCs come with a full HD widescreen frameless display that support 3-D vision -- glasses included -- and an optional TV tuner that can provide access to HDTV. The B340 and B345 start at $599, and will be available in October.

Specifically designed for Windows 8, all of Lenovo's new PCs come touch-enabled, a feature that is optimized for the new operating system's "Metro" user interface, which is laid out in a tile-like format users will navigate through touch.

PUBLISHED AUG. 31, 2012