Buying an OEM computer used to mean being tied down to proprietary parts, paying too much for too little, and having to find a place to hide an unsightly beige box so as not to offend guests. Or scare the cat. And while proprietary restrictions are still the norm rather than the exception, OEM systems continue to drop in price and look good doing it. We can now add Lenovo to the list of system builders following this trend of affordable sex appeal.
Lenovo, who feels comfortable concentrating on the Chinese market, first began having global inspirations with its IdeaPad series of notebooks released earlier this year. Sensing the grass might very well be greener on the other side, or at least pull in more green, the once sheltered OEM now looks to march into the global consumer desktop market with its newly announced IdeaCentre K210. And the timing couldn't be better. As Lenovo points out in its press release, demand for worldwide consumer PCs is up, and according to the IDC, will show a 10 percent increase from 2007 to 2011. Even still, the global market remains crowded, and Lenovo hopes a few key technologies will separate itself from the pack.
Facial Recognition Technology
Facial recognition software isn't new, but it's not too often, if ever, that you'll find it bundled onto a low cost OEM system. That changes with the IdeaCentre K210, which integrates VeriFace's facial recognition technology allowing users to log in by peering at the webcam.
In a nod toward slobs or anyone that never leaves home without a vial of Purell, the Lenovo "features an anti-microbial keyboard that uses special material to inhibit bacterial growth." Consider it an anti-virus system for your keyboard, or use it as an excuse not to clean up those stray Pizza Pocket crumbs. Either way, it's hard not to snicker at this marketing bullet.
Specs and Price
Pricing will start at $379 after mail-in-rebate sans monitor, with price-hiking upgrades available that include an Intel Core 2 Quad processor, Blu-ray/HD-DVD combo drive, add-in videocard, and other options. Lenovo will have its work cut out for them facing off against the likes of HP and Dell, both of whom already have a global consumer desktop presence, along with frequent coupon codes to entice new buyers. But if a large portion of PC buyers prove to be hypochondriacs, Lenovo should be a shoe-in.