First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year, Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 hybrid tablet laptop seems to be taking forever to show up in stores. The latest delay has pushed back the launch of the U1 to 2011. The Chinese PC maker attributes the delay to the U1 not being up to the company's standards. Chinese consumers will the be the first ones to lay their hands on the redesigned product when it makes its retail debut next year.
We don't know what the IdeaPad U1 would look like after Lenovo is done revising it as per the company's quality standards, but we do know what it was originally meant to be: an 11.6-inch laptop with a display that doubled up as a Snapdragon-powered tablet when detached from the mother unit.
Lenovo is constantly eyeing new device segments, as is evident from its recent foray into the smartphone market and avowed interest in tablets. It has now emerged that the company is working on a video game console called the eBox.
The console is being developed by Beijing Eedoo Technology Ltd., a subsidiary Lenovo established in July. According to Eeedoo's website, the eBox features a Kinect-esque control mechanism. Lenovo hopes to launch the controller-free game console in China before the end of this year. Plans of an overseas launch are also on the cards.
Even though game consoles like the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 are yet to be released in China, they are still available through the gray market. Besides, the Chinese market is awash with locally manufactured knockoffs of popular consoles.
If you don’t like highly reflective displays and don’t care about a touch-screen user interface, Lenovo’s IdeaCentre B500 is the all-in-one to buy. It’s the fastest machine in the bunch, and it’s attractively priced at just $1,400.
Lenovo and Sony both reached for midrange Intel Core 2 Quad desktop processors—namely, the 2.66GHz Core 2 Quad 8400S—but Lenovo paired the CPU with speedier memory (4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3, compared to the 6GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory Sony chose) and a more powerful discrete mobile GPU (Lenovo tapped Nvidia’s GeForce GTS 250M, which has 96 cores, while Sony uses the GeForce GT 240M, which has only 48). Lenovo uses a proprietary motherboard with an Intel G41 chipset.
Lenovo on Tuesday unveiled its first line of low-end servers for SMBs, MSPs (managed service provides), and enterprises looking for less powerful systems for its branch offices, Lenovo announced.
"Lenovo is entering a new server space," Tom Ribble, director of ThinkServer marketing, said in an interview with eWEEK. "We've got a lot of features built in, and that creates great value for the price point."
Those features include advanced RAID, Web-enabled management capabilities, hot-swappable hard drives, and DVD burners. Powering the systems are Intel's Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors.
According to Ribble, the revamped ThinkServers will appeal to wide variety of customers. SMBs, for example, will be drawn to the bang-for-buck factor, while MSPs will have expanded options for their server farms.
"The opportunity is very strong with the SMB business," Ribble added.
All major PC vendors are succumbing to the tablet bug one after the other. According to a recent report on TradingMarkets.com, Lenovo is readying an Android-based tablet computer called the LePad. The website cites comments made by Lenovo Group’s senior vice president Liu Jun.
The news was later confirmed by a spokesperson for the Chinese PC vendor. Lenovo spokeswoman Wu Hwa told Reuters that her company was indeed developing an Android-based tablet. She went on to state that Lenovo had chosen Android as it wanted the tablet to be compatible with its recently launched LePhone smartphone. However, she did not reveal when exactly the tablet, called LePad for now, will be launched.
Apple was on the verge of collapse a bit over a decade ago. But the tide began to turn with the launch of the iPod and fate has been like an Apple fanboy ever since. Contrary to what people might have imagined back then, it owes most of its current success to the wildly popular iOS family of devices and not the Mac. But merely churning out “groundbreaking” iOS-toting products every few years will not help sustain the present rate of growth. Instead, the company will need to tap into emerging markets like China.
Lenovo chairman Liu Chuanzhi believes that China will eventually emerge as the most important market for vendors. He is glad that Apple is ignoring such an important market, letting his company go unchallenged there. “We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn’t care about China. If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble,” Liu told the Financial Times during a rather “relaxed” dinner interview. That said, Liu was all praise for Steve Jobs, whom he called a genius and a “big pearl.”
Tablets and netbooks and smartphones, oh my! And let's not forget notebooks, ultra-thins, and desktop replacements. It's enough to make Dorothy's head spin, but apparently not enough to hold the attention of Lenovo and Toshiba, both of which will add new smartbooks to the mix of portable devices.
Toshiba will kick things off with a smartbook under its Dynabook branding by the end of August. Toshiba will wrap Google's Android platform around Nvidia's Tegra 250 processor to power the 10.1-inch display. Units will first appear in Japan and then spread out to Europe, the Middle-East, and Africa.
Lenovo, which already outed a pair of upcoming smartbooks -- the Skylight and IdeaPad U1 Hybrid -- announced plans to upgrade each one's specs. Gone is the 1GHz single-core Qualcomm processor, to be replaced with Qualcomm's new dual-core 1.5GHz chips. Lenovo is also swapping out the OS in favor of Android. With these changes in place, look for Lenovo to ship both models by the end of the year.
Tired of hearing about 3D? Get used to it folks, this is one fad that shows no sign of going away, and instead continues to pick up steam. It's infectious, and the latest to catch the 3D bug is Lenovo, which just announced its first 3D laptop, the IdeaPad Y560d.
"Fun is a notebook that brings multimedia to life—and the IdeaPad Y560d does this in a dramatic fashion with a truly unique 3D viewing experience," said Dion Weisler, vice president, business operations, Lenovo. "While 3D technology has been around for ages, it has not been readily accessible to consumers within the home. Lenovo is helping bridge this gap by delivering consumers a 3D experience on a familiar PC platform that can be viewed and enjoyed when and where they want."
The IdeaPad Y560d measures 15.6 inches and, like just about every other 3D product on the market, requires special glasses to see objects in three dimensions. In addition, Lenovo says its TriDef technology will allow users to view standard 2D videos and photos in 3D.
Lenovo didn't talk up the hardware specs in great detail, saying only that there will be both SSD and HDD options, an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, an ATI Radeon HD 5730 graphics chip, optional Blu-ray drive, HDMI, and of course Windows 7.
Look for the 3D IdeaPad to ship in late June starting at about $1,200.
Lenovo has launched what it claims is the "industry's first large business-focused 23-inch all-in-one desktop," the ThinkCentre M90z. Unlike traditional all-in-one PCs, the M90z includes several IT features designed more for work than play.
"While more and more people are using mobile devices, there are lots of environments where desktop products simply make more sense, and these latest Lenovo products showcase how our new innovations are leading in all-in-one desktops," said Peter Hortensius, senior vice president, Think Product Group, Lenovo. "We believe all-in-one is the future of desktops, so we created the ThinkCentre M90z to deliver everything large enterprise customers need: no compromised performance, customized ergonomic features and a full web conferencing experience."
Part of the IT focus includes a full complement of manageability features for large businesses through Lenovo's ThinkVantage Technologies productivity tools. The M90z supports Intel vPro and Lenovo's Hardware Password Manager for encrypted hard drives, and users are able to remove the back to upgrade the PC, typically a weak point of AIO systems.
One sure sign that Windows Home Server has gone mainstream: You can buy Lenovo’s IdeaCentre D400 at Walmart. The D400 is remarkably similar in looks and features to Acer’s Aspire easyStore, which you’ll also find on the big-box retailer’s website (yes, HP’s MediaSmart Server LX195 is there, too).
Intel’s Atom 230 processor appears to be the CPU of choice among mainstream home-server builders, since Acer, HP, and Lenovo have all tapped the 1.6GHz chip. Lenovo pairs it with 1GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory (the motherboard is capable of addressing 2GB of memory, but there’s only one slot). The D400 ships with either one or two 1TB drives; the machine we reviewed was outfitted with two (thereby enabling Microsoft’s Drive Extender Technology to automatically duplicate shared folders across multiple drives). That leaves two internal, hot-swappable, 3.5-inch bays for future expansion.