Lenovo Launches Entertainment Notebooks

Among their features, the PCs have five Dolby Home Theater speakers and use facial-recognition technology for security.
The Y710 includes a 17-inch-wide screen, 2 Gbytes of memory, up to a 500-Gbyte hard drive, and a smooth, blue, metallic finish. Select models include a second hot-swap hard drive to store and transfer data and special features for gamers. Those include enlarged directional buttons for enhanced game play, four user-customizable buttons, and a second display showing system information, such as CPU speed. There's also a control switch for CPU over-clocking, an ATI graphics card, and optional Blu-ray DVD reader.

The Y510 targets people looking for an all-in-one notebook for a variety of computing tasks, from word processing to photo and video editing. The system includes a 15.4-inch-wide screen, 2 Gbytes of memory, and up to a 250-Gbyte hard drive, and comes with a black, textured, linen-like top cover.

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Lenovo's new laptops combine sleek design with features for playing and organizing music and video, as well as editing and showing photos.

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The U110 is an ultraportable system with an 11-inch screen. The notebook weights 2.3 pounds and is 0.7 of an inch thick. It has a textured design embedded in its red aluminum alloy top cover, and is available with a solid-state flash drive instead of a hard drive for faster performance. Select models also have an "air bag-like device" to protect the hard drive if the computer is dropped.

The U110 isn't scheduled for release until April, so pricing and further specs weren't released. Pricing for the Y510 and Y710 starts at $799 and $1,199, respectively. The Y510 will be available in the United States initially at, Micro Center,, Office Depot, and Tiger Direct. The Y710 will be available initially at Tiger Direct. The new products will be on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 7-10.

Besides the United States, Lenovo is introducing the IdeaPad line in more than a dozen other countries, including France, Russia, South Africa, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, the Philippines, and Singapore. The company also plans to launch a global marketing campaign that includes Web-based promotions, merchandising, and traditional media advertising.

Outside the United States, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, the company is introducing three desktops under the IdeaCentre brand.

Lenovo is strongest in its Chinese homeland, where it has a growing consumer presence. The company was ranked third in PC shipments worldwide in the third quarter of 2007 with 8.2% of the market, according to IDC. Shipments for Lenovo grew nearly 23% from the same quarter a year ago, easily surpassing the 15.5% increase in overall PC shipments worldwide.

Nevertheless, Lenovo's market share is far behind industry leaders HP and Dell, which accounted for 19.6% and 15.2% of the market, respectively, according to IDC. Lenovo hopes to narrow the gap with consumer-focused PCs.

In doing so, it will also face stiff competition from No. 4 Acer, which had 8.1% of the PC market in the third quarter. The Taiwanese company increased shipments by more than 59% from a year ago, helped by strong gains in its main markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific area.

In the first quarter of the year, market researcher iSuppli had Acer grabbing the No. 3 spot from Lenovo, before losing it later in the year.