While the market for desktops continues to fall, Lenovo is looking to make inroads in the U.S. consumer market to go with its business-class PC efforts.
Lenovo is taking another crack at the U.S.
consumer market with a new desktop.
In what the company heralds as its first "global entry into the
consumer desktop market outside of China,"
began selling the IdeaCentre K210 desktop
officially on June 30.
Lenovo, which bought IBM's PC division in
2004, already owns a significant part of the enterprise market with its ThinkPad
notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops,
but the company signaled in the
beginning of 2008 that it wanted to grab a bigger slice of the consumer market,
especially in the United States.
To kick this strategy off, Lenovo
caused a good deal of buzz
at CES in January when it rolled out the first
of its IdeaPad notebooks for consumers.
While there has been concern about the effect the slowing U.S.
economy will have on enterprise hardware spending,
the PC market looks fairly robust so far, with several research firms calling
for double-digit growth
this year. What is keeping the market afloat is
consumer spending on PCs, especially notebooks, and in the United
States that has benefited Hewlett-Packard,
Dell, Acer and Apple.
By offering a consumer desktop, Lenovo is trying to get its own piece of the
consumer market, but it's taking a risk.
While the consumer market remains profitable, the numbers have been driven
by notebooks sales, not desktop shipments. While desktop shipments outside the United
States are expected to grow in 2008, IDC
found that shipments of desktop PCs
will fall 4.6 percent this year and
that trend will continue through 2012. At the same time, notebook shipments,
both consumer and commercial, will grow by double digits during the next four
The move away from desktops has become so pronounced that Michael Dell,
whose company built its reputation on desktops, said earlier in 2008 that the
company would invest more in notebooks
and move desktop manufacturing
However, Lenovo is one of the main sponsors of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
and the company has put a great of market muscle behind the game in order to
increase its recognition.
Besides consumers, Lenovo might also be positioning its IdeaCentre and
IdeaPad as an alternative for the small and midsize business market. While
Lenovo introduced its 3000 line for SMBs several years ago,
the company has
remained rather silent about those low-cost models during the past several
months and seems ready to jettison the 3000 line in favor of IdeaCentre and
is also preparing to offer a low-cost ThinkPad
notebook line called SL.
With the IdeaCentre K210, Lenovo is offering a choice of several Intel
processors, including the chip maker's Core 2 Quad Q6700 (2.6GHz) or the Q6600
(2.4GHz). Both processors are manufactured on Intel's older 65-nanometer
process and have 8MB of Level 2 cache and a 1066MHz front side bus.
The IdeaCentre K210 desktop also has an integrated Intel GMA3100 graphics
chip and the PC can be upgraded to an ATI
Radeon 2600 XT graphics card. The desktop also offers some of Lenovo's more
cutting-edge features such as VeriFace Face Recognition, a facial recognition
feature intended to eliminate the need for passwords and other log-ins.
The starting price for the IdeaCentre K210 desktop is
$379, and Lenovo is offering a choice of either a 19-inch or 22-inch display.