updated 01:30 am EDT, Tue July 15, 2008
ThinkPad SL notebooks
In addition the ultra-portable X200 and U330, Lenovo on Tuesday morning announced its new Centrino 2 ThinkPad SL notebooks as well as new IdeaPad notebooks. The trio of black-glossy covered ThinkPad SL notebooks, targeted to small- and medium-size business includes the SL300, SL400 and SL500; all offer built-in high speed mobile broadband connectivity along with Centrino 2's 802.11n networking, the latest Core 2 Duo processing, and new software that helps with data recovery, Internet connection setup, and a new optional service package featuring on-line data backup and on-site warranty repair. Some models also offer the now-in-vogue (but optional) Blu-Ray DVD player and optional webcam as well as support for HDMI/VGA for both high-quality and legacy connectivity to external video displays.
The 14-inch SL400 and 15-inch SL500 notebooks start at $799 and are available immediately, while the backlit LED 13.3-inch SL300 notebook will be available beginning in August starting at $899.
Also due in August, Lenovo has updated other ThinkPads with the latest Core 2 Duo processors: 14.1-inch R400 and T400 and 15.4-inch R500 and T500 models along with a new 15.4-inch W500 workstation, which offers more advanced ATI Mobility FireGL graphics and Display Port. Lenovo bills the R series as "everyday computing", while the 'premier' T series, also offering Display Port, features Switchable Graphics to optimize for performance or battery life: users can dynamically switch from the discreet GPU to the integrated graphics without rebooting the computer. Prices will range from $899 to $1,999 (W500).
The company's IdeaPad lineup, also updated with the latest Core Duo processors, now features the 13.3-inch U330, 14-inch Y430, 15-inch Y530, and 17-inch Y730; all offer HDMI output, a built-in optical drive, optional Blu-ray. Both the 13- and 14-inch models feature integrated graphics, while Y530 offers NVIDIA NB9M GS (w/256MB) and the Y730 offers ATI M86ME (w/512MB); the latter, which supports dual 320GB hot-swappable drives, is available in entertainment and gaming editions (supports a second display).
Finally, Lenovo has also introduced ThinkPlus Secure Business, the first of several new custom service packages designed for the SMB: available for either one or three years, it includes on-site next-day business warranty upgrade; ThinkPad protection for PC repairs or replacement in the event of liquid spills, drops or electrical surges; and online, secure data backup. Lenovo also said will introduce ThinkPlus Complete IT3 - a package of services designed exclusively for the SMB without IT support, combining priority call routing and one-stop hardware and software support with the aforementioned ThinkPlus Secure Business plans.