Lenovo representatives said Tuesday that the company will enter the "digital lifestyle" category with four new desktops and one laptop, two of which expand Lenovo's reach into home theater PCs and home servers. The most interesting addition is the IdeaCentre Q700, a home theater PC designed to take on rivals from HP and others. Lenovo has paired the Q700 with the IdeaCentre D400, the company's first Windows Home Server box. Both cost $499.
Lenovo also debuted a pair of Atom-based nettops, the Q100 and Q110, which will be priced at $249 and $349, respectively. Finally, Lenovo announced the U450p notebook, which will be priced at $799. The D400 and the two net-tops are available in mid-September; all of the others are available now.
All of the products will be formally announced on Wednesday, a Lenovo spokeswoman said. The Q series, according to Lenovo, "offers a range of PC products to complement the home theater experience and simplify the living room or study."
For Lenovo, the move continues a homecoming of sorts into the consumer market. IBM, which sold its PC assets to Lenovo in 2004, had long since pulled out of the U.S. consumer market, focusing on its corporate customers and its ThinkPad strategy. Lenovo had followed that business focus until about January 2008, when the company debuted the IdeaCentre and IdeaPad and launched all-in-one PCs to boot.
The addition of the new products will make Lenovo a "well-rounded partner" in the consumer space, according to Charles Farmer, a consumer products marketing manager for Lenovo.
With the Q700, Lenovo included the choice of Intel Core 2 Duo processors (either the E5200, E5300, or E7500), up to 2 terabytes of internal storage, 8 USB ports, plus an eSATA port for external hard drives. The box supports up to 1920-by-1080 (or 1080p) video and graphics (either the Intel GMA 950 or GMA X4500), as well as 7.1-channel surround sound. The unit ships with Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. A TV tuner is optional. The Q700 runs on Windows Vista Home Premium 64.
Lenovo said it believes that the Q100 and Q110 nettops are the industry's thinnest, at just 6 inches x 6.3 inches x 0.7 inches thin. Both use the Intel Atom 230 processor, but the Q110 adds an Nvidia Ion processor, making it capable of decoding HD video and DirectX 10 graphics. In addition, the Q110 doubles the gigabyte of RAM found in the Q100 to 2 Gbytes, and bumps up the storage from 160 Gb ytes to 250 Gbytes. Lenovo is touting the Q100 as a low-power contender, pulling 14 watts while in idle and 40 watts at full operation. (full Story)