Lenovo Targets Apple with New Notebook, Desktop Systems

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PC maker Lenovo looks to have its sights sets on the kind of customer who really wants Apple gear, but maybe isn’t willing to completely abandon the traditional PC universe to get it: the company has rolled out a new ultrathin notebook, a traditional notebook, and a very iMac-ish desktop systems clearly intended to tell consumers they can get Apple style without Apple prices.

First up, the IdeaPad U350 is an ultrathin notebook, weighing just 3.5 pounds and featuring a 13.3-inch 1,366 by 768-pixel screen and a 1.3 GHz Intel Pentium SU2270 low-power processor (with an Intel Core Solo SU3500 available as an option soon). The U350 features 2 GB of RAM (with support for up to 8 GB), up to 500 GB of hard drive storage, Intel GMA 4500M or 4500MHD graphics, a 1.3 megapixel Webcam, WiFi and Bluetooth wireless networking, gigabit Ethernet, and an HDMI output. The U350 will be available with either four- or eight-cell batteries; the four-cell unit is supposed to get up to four hours of use on a single charge, with the eight-cell unit offering up to 10 hours of use. The U350 should be available in July with Windows Vista Home Basic or Premium, with suggested prices starting at $649.

Next, the Lenovo G550 is a more traditional notebook, offering a 15.6-inch 1,366 by 7689-pixel, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, and an integrated numeric keypad. The G550 supports up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 320 GB of hard drive storage, along with an integrated Webcam, DVD burner, HDMI output, and gigabit Ethernet. The G550 will be available with either Nvidia GeForce G105M graphics (512 MB of video RAM) or Intel GMA X4500 graphics: with Nvidia graphics the six-cell battery will get 2.5 hours of use; with Intel graphics the same batter will offer up to 5 hours of use. The G550 should be available in July at prices starting at $599.

Next, looking very much like an iMac, Lenovo’s IdeaCentre C300 is designed to appeal to undemanding computer users who don’t have a lot of space to spare for a desktop system. The C300 sports an integrated 20-inch LCD display, 1 to 2 GB of memory, from 160 to 640 GB of hard drive storage, 100Base-T Ethernet, optional 802.11a/b/g WiFI, a 1.3 megapixel camera, a IEEE 1394 port, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and a 6-in-1 card reader. Unlike an iMac, however, the C300 is powered by an Intel Atom 230 CPU and Intel integrated graphics—meaning this system will happily surf the Web and keep up with a calendar, but it’s not going to be a video-editing or game-playing powerhouse. But, by the same token, it won’t break the budget: expect to see the IdeaCentre C300 in July at prices starting at $449.

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