Lenovo has announced a new lineup of laptops for small- to medium-size businesses, including a hybrid Linux/Windows
and its first business Ultrabook. The new products are intended to provide tools for common business-related tasks, as well as offering options for entertainment.
Luis Hernandez, video president of the ThinkPad Edge Business Unit, said in a statement that "small businesses are demanding a laptop that can do it all -- they want great performance for work tasks and an excellent experience for their own personal computing."
S, E, and B
The portfolio includes the premium ThinkPad Edge S Series, the mainstream Edge E Series, and entry-level laptops in the Lenovo B Series.
The 14-inch S430 in the S Series features a choice of Intel Core processors, a DVD burner or second hard drive with up to one terabyte of storage, integrated or Nvidia Optimus discrete graphics, Dolby Home Theater v4, USB 3.0 ports and Intel high-speed transfer Thunderbolt technology. Thunderbolt enables, for instance, the transfer of a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds.
The S430, like many of the other new models, includes Lenovo Solution Center productivity and tools that provide for automatic updates and energy savings.
In the E Series, there's the 14-inch E430 and the 15-inch E530. Some versions of these products offer a choice of Intel Core processors or AMD Fusion APUs, and all offer a choice of integrated or discrete graphics. There's fast boot-up, a terabyte of storage, USB 3.0 ports and a high-resolution camera.
The Lenovo B Series is designed for entry-level users, and prices start at $499. The B480 and B580 laptops come with Intel Core processors, the B485 and B585 have AMD Fusion APUs, and all offer up to one terabyte of storage, USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI out port and a 4-in-1 multicard reader.
Lenovo's First Business Ultrabook
The company is also releasing the 13.3-inch X1 Hybrid, which runs either Windows or, with the click of an onscreen button, Linux. The company is calling the Linux mode Instant Media Mode, for playing videos, photos, music, and other such activities, but with double the battery life.
An Ultrabook, called the T43Ou, is the company's first Ultrabook for business users. It is a 14-inch with i-series Intel Core, integrated or discrete Nvidia GPUs, up to one terabyte of storage, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, priced at $849. The company said that the product "equips business users with the same thin and light designs found in consumer ultrabooks without sacrificing business-class performance." In November, Lenovo released its first Ultrabook, the 13-inch U300s, designed for the consumer market and priced at nearly $1500.
Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, said it's "a challenge" to get consumers to pay a premium for an Ultrabook's portability and style. He said it's similarly "an open question" if businesses will do so, although the form factor might be more attractive to on-the-go workers.