U.S. loses out in Lenovo's Linux netbook push

U.S. computer buyers will only be offered Windows XP on Lenovo's new IdeaPad, not the option of the Linux OS like customers in other parts of the world

People in most markets Lenovo serves, including Singapore, China and the U.K., will be offered the company's new IdeaPad netbooks with either Microsoft Windows XP or a Linux OS, but users in the U.S. won't have that option.

U.S. computer buyers will only be offered Windows XP on Lenovo's IdeaPad S10, according to Lenovo.

People in the U.S. will also miss out on the IdeaPad S9, which has a smaller, 8.9-inch screen, and will be offered in most other countries. Models slated for the U.S. will have 10.2-inch screens.

[ For more on products in the hot mini-notebook category, check out our hands-on looks at Asus' Eee PC 901 and 1000, the Cloudbook Max netbook, Elitegroup's G10IL mini-laptop, MSI's Wind low-cost laptop, Giga-byte's M912X mini-laptop, and Acer's Aspire one. ]

A Lenovo representative in Beijing declined to comment on why Lenovo does not plan to offer IdeaPad netbooks with Linux OSes or 8.9-inch screens in the U.S. market, nor whether such devices will be offered in the country at a later time.

In most places around the world, Lenovo plans to sell two versions of its IdeaPad S-series mini-laptops, or netbooks.

The IdeaPad S9 has an 8.9-inch screen, while the S10 sports a 10.2-inch screen. The two netbooks have 1.6GHz Atom microprocessors from Intel, and are available with a variety of options for DRAM and storage, including 80GB or 160GB hard disk drives (HDDs) or 4GB SSDs (solid-state drives).

"IdeaPad netbooks come equipped with either Microsoft Windows XP or Linux," Lenovo said in its news release from the U.K.

The U.S. release reads, "The IdeaPad S10 netbook comes equipped with Microsoft Windows XP."

But people from the U.K. interested in the IdeaPad S10 may be tempted to buy one in the U.S. if planning a vacation or business trip there. The price of the S10 in the U.K. is £319 ($629) including value-added tax (VAT), while it starts at $399 in the U.S.

The new netbooks will be available in both countries in early October.

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