updated 01:40 am EST, Mon January 5, 2009
New IdeaPad Y Series
Lenovo on Monday debuted its latest midrange "multi-touch" IdeaPad Y Series laptops that are smaller, thinner and lighter than the previous generation as well as its first 16-inch widescreen laptop, the IdeaPad Y650 built from Carbon Fiber. The IdeaPad Y Series, which also includes Y550 and Y450, focuses on HD entertainment and shares the same "modern soft black design" with an interlocked hexagon pattern on the top cover along with a discrete copper accent around the perimeter of the laptop. The carbon fiber-based IdeaPad Y650, allegedly the thinnest and lightest laptop in its class, weighs less than many 15-inch laptops -- only 5.6lbs and is just one inch thick at its thinnest point.
The expanded Y Series, which also adds the 15.6-inch Y550 and the 14-inch Y450 laptops, are configurable with up to 500GB of hard drive storage space and up to 4GB of DDR3 memory. They are equipped with 16:9 format glossy widescreen panels, optional latest generation NVIDIA GFX graphics for gaming and smooth HD video playback, and Dolby Home Theater surround sound. The IdeaPad Y650 laptop also features JBL speakers for a rich, resonate sound.
Lenovo's Y Series includes audio, shortcut enhancements, and multi-touch features. The new Lenovo OneKey Theater software allows users to adjust the PC's display and sound effect settings to easily switch from normal mode to movie or gaming mode on-the-fly. The Y Series also includes Lenovo Desktop Navigator so users can toggle between shortcuts, files and other frequently used programs by placing their finger along the touch-sensitive slide bar. The multi-touch touchpad below the keyboard can be used to enlarge or reduce image size. In addition, the ambient light sensor on the IdeaPad Y650 laptop automatically adjusts screen brightness based on surrounding light conditions.
The notebooks run on newer Intel processors, up to 500GB of storage, as well as DDR3 memory along with latest VeriFace facial recognition technology that combines Windows log-in and file encryption for logging onto the PC and for password-protecting individual files. Lenovo says the new Y Series also features a OneKey Rescue System to help users to recover their data and restore critical system files after system failures.
Starting at $1,199 and available in March, the 16-inch IdeaPad Y650 offers a 1366x768 resolution on an LED-backlit display, Core 2 Duo processors (up to a a 1,066MHz front-side bus and a 6MB L2 cache), up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and Intel GMA 4500 MHD graphics along with an optional nVidia N10M-GE1 with 256MB of GDDR3 memory. Lenovo says the notebook holds 3.5hrs of battery life with UMA and 2.5 hours using a discrete CPU using a 6-cell, 2,000mAH battery. It offers a plethora of wireless connectivity, including options for WiMAX, 802.11 a/b/n WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, and optional Bluetooth. It also brings an integrated 1.3 megapixel USB 2.0 LCD camera, a 6-in-1 multicard reader, two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA connector, VGA/HDMI/TV outputs, and an optional ExpressCard/34 slot.
Weighing in at 6lbs, the 15.6-inch Y550 offers a 16:9 aspect ratio for full HD using a 1366x768 display, slower Intel Core 2 Duo processors (800MHz FSB and 2MB L2 cache), Intel GMA 4500 MHD graphics and up to Nvidia NB10P-GE1 with 512MB of RAM. Lenovo claims that battery life is 4.5 hours with UMA and 3.5 hours with a discrete GPU and says it offers 802.11 a/g/n wireless and Ethernet along with optional Bluetooth. (The smaller 14-inch Y450 is only 4.5lbs, but offers the same connectivity and specs as the Y550.) Both the Y550 and Y450 will start at $829 and will be available in March.