Lenovo is kicking off their CES laptop announcements early with the unveiling of several new laptop computers. The round of announcements includes everything from new B Series laptops at the low-end, to a revamped ThinkPad Edge lineup, as well as a business Ultrabook and a variant of the ThinkPad X1.
Starting at the top with the new ThinkPad X1 "Hybrid", this machine essentially marries the firm's slick X1 ultraportable with an "Instant Media Mode" (IMM) powered by a dedicated Qualcomm dual core processor, up to 16GB of memory and a custom Linux-based operating system -- most likely a skinned version of Android.
Users will be able to switch back and forth between IMM and Windows by clicking an icon on the laptops' home screen. When running on Instant Media Mode users can watch videos, view photos, listen to music, browse the web and work on documents while enjoying up to 10 hours of battery life, twice as much compared to Windows.
Otherwise, specs remain similar to those found on the existing ThinkPad X1. That includes a 13.3-inch (1366x768) LED backlit display, a choice of Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs, up to 8GB of RAM, up to a 320GB HDD or 160GB SSD, a backlit keyboard and a 0.6-inch thick chassis. It has a decent selection of ports for a laptop its size and Lenovo's Rapid Charge technology will bring it to 80% charge in just 30 minutes.
The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop will be available sometime in Q2 2012 starting at approximately $1,599.
Next up is the ThinkPad T430u, the company’s first Ultrabook designed for business users. Priced from $849, the 14-inch laptop borrows some design elements from its T420 sibling, like a matte finish that’s soft to the touch. The T430u is 0.78-inch thick, features an island-style keyboard, and offers choices of the latest Intel Core i processors, integrated or discrete Nvidia graphics, as well as both SSD and HDD storage options.
In terms of connectivity you'll get Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-out, Mini DisplayPort, a couple of USB 3.0 ports and a 4-in-1 multicard reader. Battery life is rated for up to 6.5 hours and, as you'd expect, Lenovo is also touting its Quick Resume and Rapid Boot technologies.
Apparently the company is in no rush to push out its sub-$1,000 business-oriented Ultrabook, though, as the the ThinkPad T430u is not expected to arrive until sometime in Q3 2012.
Lenovo is also announcing a slew of ThinkPad Edge laptops that address small and medium business needs as well as lower price points. At the upper end of the spectrum is the ThinkPad Edge S430, a 14-inch notebook featuring an elegant and thin (0.8-inch) design and Intel's Thunderbolt technology though a DisplayPort connection -- a first for Lenovo. Other specs include a choice of Intel Core i processors, integrated or Nvidia Optimus graphics, USB 3.0 ports, and a set of software tools allowing remote management for business users.
Lenovo says the ThinkPad Edge S430 laptop will be available in June in select markets starting at $749.
Meanwhile, the company's Edge E-Series lineup is getting updated versions of their 14- and 15-inch offerings with the ThinkPad Edge E430, E435, E530 and E535 laptops, in addition to a couple of new systems sporting 11- and 13-inch screen sizes. The ThinkPad Edge E130/135 and E330/335 will join the larger models offering both Intel Core processors and AMD Fusion APUs, USB 3.0, a high-res webcam, and HDD or SSD storage.
The mainstream ThinkPad Edge laptops feature an attractive graphite grey interior with choices of Midnight Black, Heatwave Red or Cobalt Blue covers. Pricing will start at $399 when they're released in April.
Lastly, Lenovo is also updating its B Series laptops which provide a less powerful yet fully featured alternative at a new low price. Equipped with choices of the latest Intel Core processors (on the B480 and B580) or AMD Fusion APUs (on the B485 and B585 models) along with integrated or discrete graphics, these laptops should offer great value starting at just $349. The new B Series laptops are also slated for release in April.