Lenovo is rolling out several new ThinkPad notebooks, including the ultraportable ThinkPad X201 and X201s laptops and the ThinkPad X201 convertible tablet, along with revamping its high-end mobile workstation.
Lenovo is officially announcing its new and revamped ThinkPad PCs on Feb. 23, and users can start ordering the new notebooks by the early part of March. These new PCs are the first large-scale announcement Lenovo has made since the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in January.
With the new ThinkPad X201, X201s laptops and the X201 tablet, Lenovo is offering the latest Intel Core i7 and i5 processors, along with Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. The company's massive mobile workstation is also getting revamped with newer Intel chips and the Windows 7 OS. The workstations are now called the Lenovo W701 and the W701ds (dual-screen).
Finally, Lenovo is branching out further into the server market with the ThinkServer TS200v, a $400 system that supports a number of Intel Core i5 chips, as well as Pentium and Celeron processors.
These new ThinkPad laptops, tablets and the ThinkServer are all part of Lenovo's push for greater worldwide PC market share as the tech industry looks to rebound from the global recession.
When Lenovo disclosed its latest financial results in February, the company announced that it had increased its PC shipments by 42 percent. While the ThinkPad line is associated with enterprise users, Lenovo wants to target smaller businesses with its ThinkPad PCs as well. In order to compete, Lenovo is revamping some of its prices and offering a number of different configurations that appeal to small companies and those businesses with budget restraints.
"The markets where we have a really strong position are where we have to protect our brand," said Mika Majapuro, a product marketing manager for Lenovo.
"Now with Windows 7 and new Intel architecture, we have an opportunity to grow and steal markets from our competition," Majapuro added. "We really feel like we have an opportunity to take over and if you look at our portfolio this year, it's the widest portfolio we have had. In the ThinkPad portfolio, we have products ranging from 11 inch all the way up to 17 inch."
While Lenovo may want to take a bigger slice of the SMB (small and midsize business) market for itself, the company does have competition from the likes of Hewlett-Packard, which remains the world's largest producer of PCs, as well as Dell, Acer and Toshiba. In addition, smaller PC makers such as Asus have also targeted smaller businesses.
In looking at both the enterprise and SMB markets, Lenovo rolled out two ultraportable ThinkPads: the X201 and the X201s. Both ThinkPad laptops offer 12.1-inch WXGA+ displays, along with the Windows 7 OS. Both laptops also offer the same hard disk drive and solid state disk options.
The difference between the two ThinkPads starts with the Intel processors. The ThinkPad X201, which starts at $1,199 and is geared toward small businesses, uses three different Intel chips: The Core i7-620M (2.66GHz), the Core i5-540M (2.53GHz) or the Core i5-520M (2.40GHz). The X201 also weighs more - between 2.89 and 3.52 pounds depending on the battery - and gets about 11 hours of battery life with a 9-cell battery.
The ThinkPad X201s, which starts at $1,599, is geared more toward enterprise users. This ThinkPad offers a pair of low-volt Intel processors: The Intel Core i7-640LM (2.13GHz) or the Core i7-620LM (2.0GHz). The laptop weighs between 2.48 and 3.11 pounds depending on the battery and offers up to 12 hours of battery life with the 9-cell battery.
In addition to the two ThinkPad laptops, Lenovo rolled out the ThinkPad X201 tablet. Although some speculated that Lenovo had been planning a slate-style tablet, this X201 is a convertible tablet with a 12.1-inch multitouch screen, standard keyboard and the traditional ThinkPad track pad.
The ThinkPad X201 tablet offers a choice of either an Intel Core i7-640LM or i7-620LM chip. It also comes with Windows 7, a choice of SSD or HDD, a 2-megapixel camera and either a 4-cell or 8-cell battery. The starting price is listed at $1,549.
In addition to the standard ThinkPad laptops and the new ThinkPad tablet, Lenovo also revamped its workstation lineup with the ThinkPad W701 and the W701ds, which offers a second, 10.6-inch display. These two mobile workstations offer newer Intel Core i7 processors, the i7-920XM (2.0GHz) or the i7-820QM (1.73GHz), along with Windows 7 and up to 16GB of DDR3 (double data rate 3) RAM. Lenovo is also offering Nvidia Quadro FX3800M or FX 2800M graphics.
The single-screen ThinkPad W701 starts at $2,199, while the dual-screen W701ds starts at $3,799.