A closer look at Lenovo's enterprise and hybrid Ultrabooks

Lenovo unveiled four Ultrabooks at CES, including the ThinkPad T430U targeted at enterprise users

Cashing in on the Ultrabook excitement at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Lenovo rolled out four of its own slimmed-down models, including one geared specifically for the enterprise.

Lenovo, which released its first Ultrabook -- the U300S -- last October, worked on filling out its Ultrabook offerings at CES this week. "Ultrabooks" is Intel's trademarked term for a thin, lightweight, fast-boot laptop similar to Apple's MacBook Air.

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On Monday, Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo's chairman and CEO, unveiled the IdeaPad Yoga, the company's hybrid Ultrabook that can be flipped around to look like a tablet computer. Lenovo followed that news by releasing three more Ultrabooks: the IdeaPad U310, a 13-inch Ultrabook, the IdeaPad U410, a 14-inch machine, and for enterprises, the ThinkPad T430U.

The new Ultrabook ThinkPad T430U, which has a starting price of $849, comes with Windows 7, has a 14-inch screen, weighs 3.9 pounds and is around 0.8 inch thick. It can store up to a terabyte of data and comes with an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor. It is scheduled to launch worldwide in the second half of the year.

Ashley Perry, a Lenovo ambassador, said the ThinkPad T430U is built for the traveling corporate worker who needs a powerful and durable machine.

Meanwhile, the hybrid IdeaPad Yoga is getting most of the attention at CES, Perry said. The IdeaPad Yoga is built to function as a laptop when it's opened in a typical laptop position, but the screen can fold all the way back so the machine looks like a tablet. It also can sit in either a tented position or a stand position where the keyboard becomes the base and the screen sits upright.

The hybrid machine, which also is expected to ship worldwide in the second half of 2012, has a 13.3-inch screen, weighs 3.4 pounds, and at 17 mm, is just over a half-inch thick. Perry said the Yoga will come with an Intel Core i7 processor but may also come in versions with an i3 and an i5 processor.

Lenovo is targeting a starting price for the Yoga of $1,000 to $1,200, according to Perry, who added that the machine is expected to ship with Windows 8, but could ship with Windows 7.

The IdeaPad Yoga also has 10-finger-touch capability. "You have games where you need multiple points of touch," said Perry. "You could use any app that accepts touch like this -- piano, air hockey."

This story, "A closer look at Lenovo's enterprise and hybrid Ultrabooks" was originally published by Computerworld.

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