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Lenovo, the world’s second-largest PC maker, is launching a series of Windows 8 laptops and all-in-one desktops today that balance typical computer features with a taste of a touchscreen user interface.
The company is launching a series of IdeaPad laptops and IdeaCentre all-in-one desktop computers, all of them running Windows 8 when Microsoft’s new OS arrives on Oct. 26. Lenovo showed off the new machines at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin today. The machines are designed show that the arrival of touchscreen tablets is a plus for the PC, not a negative that will make it go away. The intention of the designs is to highlight simplicity, comfort, and responsiveness in a new line of computers.
“Our latest Idea-branded products offer more comfort, simplicity and responsiveness than ever before,” said Wei Jun, the vice president of Lenovo’s idea product group. “Designed for an optimal Windows 8 experience, users can enjoy up to 10-finger multitouch for versatile computing; Intelligent TouchPad for easy scrolling, zooming, and rotating; Lenovo Cloud for media sharing between devices; and the Windows Store for access to thousands of entertaining and useful apps. These new Idea PCs embody our commitment to deliver products that reflect the style and energy of the user.”
The new IdeaPad laptops include the U series Ultrabook, the IdeaPad Y series, and the IdeaPad Z series. The desktops include the IdeaCentre A and B series. They are powered by third-generation Intel Core processors or Advanced Micro Devices A-Series processors.
The IdeaPad U510 Ultrabook (pictured right) is a thin, high-performance, light laptop with a longer battery life and high-end design. The U510 has a 15-inch screen, is 21 millimeters thick, and weighs under 2.2 kilograms. It has a battery life up to six hours. It is available in September (upgradeable when Windows 8 comes out) at $679 and up.
The IdeaPad Y400 and Y500 (pictured left) are thicker, high-end multimedia powerhouses for entertainment and mobile gaming. They focus on peak performance and have Nvidia GeForce GT655M dual graphics chips. The machines have 14-inch (Y400) and 15.6-inch (Y500) screens, with a lot of high-end audio technology. Both are available in October and $649 and up.
IdeaPad Z400 and Z500 are 25 percent slimmer than standard laptops, using the Intel Core i7 processors. They’re available in a range of colors and have 14-inch and 15.6-inch screens. They used Nvidia GeForce graphics chips as well. Both are available in November for $549 and up.
On the desktop side, the IdeaCentre A520 is a slim all-in-one computer with a 23-inch display. It has a frameless 1080p full high-definition display, starting at $999. It sports a 10-point multitouch touchscreen with a wide viewing angle and Intel integrated graphics. It is available in October.
Sanjeev Menon, the director of IdeaCentre product marketing at Lenovo, said in a briefing that the all-in-one device can be adjusted forward or backward by 95 degrees (as pictured at top). The machine is targeted at both productivity and gaming users.
The IdeaCentre B340 and B345 all-in-one computers are entertainment desktops. Screen sizes include the 21.5-inch (B340 and B345) and 23-inch (B545) sizes. They also feature options for GeForce 615 or AMD Radeon HD 7470A graphics cards. The B340 and B345 are available in October at $599 and up. They have ten-point multitouch touchscreens and support Nvidia’s 3DVision 3D glasses technology. The B series machines have “one key” TV that allows users to watch TV shows with the press of a single button (assuming you have the TV tuner option).
“These are the first of our complete portfolio of Windows 8 devices that we will launch in the next few months,” Menon said.