New systems for the board room, game room, and beyond
Lenovo already blitzed the IFA 2014 convention in Berlin with a number of product announcements yesterday, but as it turns out, the company was just warming up. Picking up where it left off, Lenovo today announced a new portfolio of devices that include the ThinkPad Helix, Horizon 2s, Horizon 2e, ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One (TIO), and Edge 15 with starting prices ranging from $279 on up to $999.
After five straight quarters of being on top, Lenovo shows no signs of relinquishing its position as the world's largest supplier of PCs (in terms of sales and volume). The number one PC maker is also determined to outpace the industry average in desktop PC growth, hence Lenovo just announced three new additions to its ThinkCentre desktop PC line designed for business users as companies look to leave Windows XP in the dust.
There was a time when all-in-one (AIO) systems carried a hefty pricing premium. Some still do, but if your Google-fu is strong, you can find affordable AIOs that won't put you in the poor house. Lenovo's new ThinkCentre Edge 62z is one such example, falling into the affordable category with a starting price of $549, which is cheaper than most Ultrabooks. Is it as powerful?
Lenovo today rolled out its brand new ThinkCentre M92p desktop PC, a one-liter rig that's no wider than a golf ball (34.5mm), and purportedly the only Intel vPro-enabled system in this size category. The tiny form factor allows the M92p to fit into just about home office nook or work space cranny while still packing the performance punch of up to an Intel 3rd Generation Core vPro processor.
Don't you hate it when your PC literally goes up in smoke? If that's never happened to you, then congratulations, you've either been wise and insisted on purchasing quality, name brand power supplies, a little bit lucky, or both. A shoddy power supply can fry itself on a whim. We've seen it happen, and lest there be any doubt that it can still pose a problem, Lenovo has decided to expand its voluntary recall of ThinkCentre desktops due to a faulty power supply that can overheat and pose a fire hazard.
You won't find any swirling LEDs or one-touch overclocking buttons on Lenovo's new ThinkCentre M77 desktop. Instead, this machine is all business, "crafted for professionals" looking for a "powerful, secure, energy efficient yet easy to use computer to tackle everyday office tasks," Lenovo says. Sounds like a snoozer until you realize it's (optionally) powered by an AMD FX Series processor and up to 16GB of DDR3 memory.
Lenovo has come up with a business-ready all-in-one desktop the company figures would make a perfect fit for large businesses, schools, and government workers alike. It's the ThinkCentre M71z, an AIO built around Intel's second generation Core processor family and with interactive touchscreen options and videoconferencing features, like a 2MP built-in webcam and digital array microphone.
Lenovo may have forgotten the first rule of the Internet, which says not to go posting anything live that you don't want the whole world to know about. In Lenovo's case, the OEM doesn't want you to know about its upcoming ThinkCentre Edge 91z all-in-one (AIO) desktop until tomorrow's official announcement, but thanks to a leaked PDF link making the rounds, we have most of the juicy details today.
Lenovo has let it be known that every single ThinkPad laptop and ThinkCentre desktop PC will come with Skype already installed.
"If you're fortunate enough to get your hands on a Lenovo ThinkPad or ThinkCentre for your home or office, be sure to keep an eye out for Skype," said Peter Parkes, Skype's chief blogger.
That's great news for private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, who bought a 65 percent share of the company last month and would like nothing more than to see Skype's market share continue to grow. While terms of the Lenovo deal have not been disclosed, there's a reason why software companies pay tidy sums to have their apps come pre-installed on OEM systems.
As for consumers, you can view it as another piece of bloatware to be nuked after first firing up your new PC, or a handy pre-install of an app you may already use anyway.
If this were the Old West, Lenovo would be the gritty cowboy boasting the fastest draw in town. Challengers, both new and old, would step up and challenge the gunslinger to a shoot out, and at some point, Lenovo would likely fall.
In the modern era, Lenovo doesn't have to worry about catching a bullet between its eyes, but it will have to back up its claim of having the fastest Windows 7 boot-up and shutdown times. According to Lenovo, its ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktop PCs for businesses load Windows 7 up to 56 percent faster compared to booting XP or Vista.
The company also said its IdeaPad and IdeaCentre consumer PCs certified for "Windows 7 Lenovo Enhanced Experience" will load 33 percent faster and shutdown 50 percent faster than hardware that's not certified, even if using identical components. How is this possible? Through BIOS tweaks, Windows 7optimizations, special onboard hardware drives, and a rewritten power manager, Lenovo says.