Lenovo's Win 7 Liftoff: New Laptops, Desktops, ThinkPads

The new Lenovos with Windows 7-- Home or Premium edition -- will be rolled out between now and December, just in time for the holidays.

Of all the new releases, the headliner has to be the IdeaPad Y550P notebook with the Intel Core i7 processor that just came out last month. The Y550P also uses Intel's Turbo Boost technology that automatically speeds up the processor when the PC needs an extra performance boost.

The Y550P has a 15.6-inch 16:9 wide-screen display; 1.3-megapixel Web camera; Nvidia discrete graphics; Dolby Home Theater surround sound speakers; and a battery life of four-and-a-half hours. Pricing ranges from $550 for a starter configuration up to $1,149 for the Intel Core i7 model.

The U550 has security features such as the cool integrated fingerprint reader and VeriFace facial recognition software. It also has a 15.6-inch HD wide-screen display with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a built-in DVD drive and Dolby speakers. Additional features include switchable graphics that let users turn discrete graphics cards on and off at the press of a button and an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts screen brightness based on light conditions.

Pricing begins at $650.

The most affordable new IdeaPad is the U150, billed as an ultraportable. It weighs in at less than 3 pounds and sports an 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) 16:9 wide-screen. The U150 has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, supports up to 8 GB of DDR3 memory and boasts 7 hours of battery life. The Active Protection System on the U150 also helps protect the hard drive if the laptop is dropped or bumped. There's a new version of OneKey Rescue System, Version 7.0, which performs data backups up to twice as fast and includes more powerful antivirus scanning that can be run even before loading the operating system.

Pricing begins at $585.

Lenovo is calling all gamers and hardcore multimedia users with the new IdeaCentre B500 desktop. This all-in-one has an Intel Core 2 Quad processor, powerful discrete graphics, up to 8 GB of DDR3 memory and 1 TB of hard disk drive storage space. The B500 has a 23-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080), 16:9 wide-screen, two JBL5-watt integrated speakers, Webcam, and a 4-in-1 remote control that acts like a motion-drive game controller. Additional features include a VoIP handset, air mouse, media remote and the CamSuite, a Webcam focus tool that also adds special effects to live video feeds.

Pricing starts at $649.

The IdeaCentre K300 with the Intel Core 2 Quad processor includes RAID-configured hard drives for added storage and includes the Lenovo power control switch. In addition to 5.1 channel digital surround sound, there's also USB 2.0 ports, a 16-in-1 card reader, TV in and AV in-mini din with TV Tuner.

Prices ranges from $499 to $1,999.

The most price-friendly new desktop is the Lenovo H230, which starts at $449. The H230 can be configured with the Intel Core 2 Quad, 1 GB to 8 GB of DDR3 memory and graphics options that include Nvidia GeForce G100 512 MB and ATI Radeon HD4650 1 GB. There's no Webcam, but the PC does come with 5.1 channel digital surround sound and 16-in-1 card reader, TV in and AV in-mini din with TV tuner.

Lenovo hasn't forgotten business customers, of course, and is specifically targeting the SMB crowd with two new ThinkPads with Windows 7 Premium -- the 14-inch ThinkPad SL410 and the 15-inch SL510.

Lenovo said the laptops have improvements such as 16:9 high-definition displays, multitouch touch pads, and are also enabled for VoIP. The laptops also support HDMI and VGA , have built-in 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and optional Bluetooth. In addition, Lenovo has thrown in its ThinkVantage Technologies (TVTs), a set of hardware and software tools for SMB users and Lenovo's Online Backup service (free 90-day trial).

ThinkPad SL410 and SL510 laptops start at $549 and are available now.