The largest and second largest PC manufacturers in the world, HP and Dell respectively, haven’t taken an instant liking to WiMax it seems. The launch of the first commercial WiMax network in Baltimore, earlier this month, inspired OEMs Acer, Aspire, Lenovo and Toshiba to launch WiMax-enabled notebooks. However, Dell and HP did not rush to take advantage of the launch.
Moving to the largest PC supplier HP, even though the company is testing WiMax it has no immediate plans of offering support for the technology in its notebooks. It has asked its customers to explore the option of purchasing WiMax enabled PC card, USB dongle or ExpressCard, if they are keen on using WiMax. Dell and HP want to wait until WiMax becomes available in other major cities.
Riding the success of its Eee PC series, Asus has big expectations for competing in the notebook segment, and that includes trying to whiz by both Dell and Lenevo.
Asus will look to ship 50,000 units of its Eee PC S101 this month, which would translate into about $35 million towards the company's revenues. Those numbers could jump even higher as Asus gears up to launch the same model in Europe and Japan later this month.
Fanning the fire, Asus will launch a pair of Linux-bases S101s in the coming weeks, with the 32GB version commanding $700 and the 64GB model bringing in between $800 and $900. All together, Asus thinks it will ship anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 S101s by year's end.
Other plans include two more Eee PC models positioned between the S101 and 1000 series, and if un-named sources turn out to be correct, Asus will soon announce plans to outsource Eee PC production to Foxconn and another as-yet unknown electronic manufacturing service.
It all adds up to fierce competition in the notebook segment, in which Asus president Jerry Shen had no bones about admitting his company's goals are to surpass Dell in the China market and Lenovo in the worldwide market by the end of 2009.
Lenovo's X200 tablet appears to bring the whole package. The sex appeal becomes evident at first glance, and it's hard not to want to run your fingers down all 12.1 inches of its touchscreen (damn you, Freud!). But not all the beauty is on the outside, and the X200 sports some pretty respectable specs.
At just 3.5 pounds, the customizable tablet accepts Core 2 Duo processors up to 1.86GHz with up to 4GB of RAM. Optional upgrades include a 128GB SSD, WiMax, integrated webcam, noise canceling mic, and thumbprint reader. Throw the tablet on the optional UltraBase port and the integrated Intel GMA4500 will output 1080P HD content through the DisplayPort.
Lenovo claims just over 4 hours with the standard 4-cell battery, or 10 hours with the 8-cell upgrade.
Let’s face it, the only real difference between a mobile workstation and gaming notebook has been the sticker and GPU drivers. Lenovo’s ground-breaking W700 changes that with a slew of features that truly make it worthy of being called a workstation notebook. But it’s not just about the W700’s 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme Q9300 quad core or its Quadro FX 3700M with 1GB frame buffer alone.
When we first walked into our meeting with Lenovo last week, we thought it was an oversized mockup. Sure, it looked like a ThinkPad. But it was huge! We're used to small, slim, no-nonsense ThinkPads; we were unprepared for this. Who would want a 17" ThinkPad?
Once we took a closer look at the just-announced W700, though, we got our answer: We want one. Maybe it's the integrated Wacom digitizer. Or the onboard HueyPro color calibrator. Or maybe we like the idea of a 640GB RAID array in a laptop. Or the 1GB of dedicated graphics memory. This is a big, powerful system, aimed at digital content professionals: photographers, videographers, animators, CAD/CAM engineers, and the like.
Looking closely at the specs, we can see that Lenovo’s not pulling any punches. The W700 will be the first notebook to ship with Intel’s not-so-secret Core 2 Extreme mobile quad-core CPU (officially launching at next week’s Intel Developer’s Conference), and the first with Nvidia’s just-announced Quadro FX3700M GPU, which has 1GB of video memory (Lenovo claims internal testing yielded over 10,000 in 3DMark06). Oh, and they’ll also put in up to 8GB of DDR3 memory.
Click though for more spec details, our impressions, and a ton of photos
We met with Lenovo this afternoon to talk about some of their upcoming products (to be revealed in the coming weeks and months), and they brought along a pre-production sample of their recently announced IdeaPad S10 netbook. We couldn’t help but resist getting some hands-on time with this tiny portable, including snapping up a dozen photos for you to enjoy. The S10 we saw was a red 9” version that will ship in international markets, while the US edition will offer a 10.2” glossy screen and come in 3 color options (red, white, or black). All variations of the S10 will run Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom processor (45nm, 533MHz FSB, 512k L2 Cache), though the best thing about the IdeaPad has to be its $399 price point.
Click through for all the high-res shots and more detailed specs.
The specs common to both versions are Windows XP, 10.2” LCD screen, LED backlight 1024x600 WSVGA, Intel Integrated Graphics GMA 950, Integrated 1.3M Camera, Battery up to 3 hrs. w/ 3 cell Battery & Up to 6 hrs. w/ 6 cell, Multi-touch Pad & near full size Keyboard (85% full size), Integrated Wireless 802.11 b/g,10/100 Ethernet, Bluetooth and 4in1 Multi-card Reader.
The base version will retail for $399 and will have a 80 GB HDD and 512MB memory, while the $499 version will come with a 160 GB HDD and 1GB memory. In some parts of the world there will also be 9” versions with Linux preloads.
The IdeaPad S10 will also feature Lenovo’s OneKey Rescue System for recovering precious data in the face of an out-of-the-blue corruption. Expect more netbook launches in the coming months.
The list of manufactures not offering a netbook keeps dwindling and will get even smaller by September, DigiTimes says. Citing un-named sources (as they often do), the news site reports Lenovo will make the jump into ultraportable territory joining the ranks of Asus, Acer, MSI, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and, well, maybe it'd be easier to list who's not offering a netbook these days.
DigiTimes surmises Lenovo may turn to Compal Electronics, Wistron,or Pegatron Technology to manufacture its upcoming netbook, all three of which have existing relationships with the OEM. Compal shipped roughly 1.1 million mainstream notebooks to Lenovo in Q2 of this year, with Wistron supplying over 500,000 X-series ultraportables and Pegatron accounting for 200,000 IdeaPads.
Adding to the rumor, DigiTimes claims Lenovo Taiwan's general manager Ken Wong confirmed the company wants to launch a netbook for both consumer and enterprise markets, though no official word has yet been stated.
It is safe to assume that PC manufacturers like Lenovo and Dell, who are not currently surfing the netbook wave, are busy hatching plans to make a dent in the nascent segment. Lenovo happens to be one of the most noticeable absentees but it will make its presence felt soon with its new G-series of IdeaPad products.
According to DigiTimes, the G-series will target entry-level and netbook markets. The website further claims that the first notebook in the G-series will be the 14.1 inch G340 that will be powered by Intel’s brand new Centrino 2.
Lenovo can be rest assured that its low-cost offerings will have to contend with netbooks from manufactures like Asus, MSI, Acer and HP who will surely give it a very hostile welcome.
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.
To see what interesting twists Lenovo brings to the table, including one that will have hyperchondriacs jumping for joy, you'll first have to click through the jump.