Lenovo Readies ThinkPad Edge Hybrids, Business Ultrabook | PCWorld Business Center

Lenovo Readies ThinkPad Edge Hybrids, Business Ultrabook | PCWorld Business Center.  (No longer available online. Original text included below.)

With CES opening in Las Vegas next week, new products are beginning to roll out. Lenovo today announced its new small-to-medium business (SMB) targeted laptops that look to combine “serious business technology and personal lifestyle computing features”, Though Lenovo introduced a $499 B Series entry level laptop, it’s the ThinkPad Edge series that’s more interesting, with an Ultrabook option as well as hybrid storage that combines a SSD with a hard disk. 

Options for Business

Businesses tend to look for good performance in a manageable package. Lenovo started addressing this through its Lenovo Solution Center, a management tool that can remotely control settings, and deploy updates, that is available on all models with Intel processors. It continues with two series that contain a number of features that extend the capabilities of business laptops. 

ThinkPad Edge E Series

The mainstream ThinkPad Edge E series focuses on performance while still providing personal options like three available colors, and is available in April with prices starting at $549. Including either an Intel or AMD processor, the E Series models are available in four sizes: 11.6”, 13.3”, 14”, and 15”. The E series uses SSD storage, boosting the performance and battery life, and also has an option for up to 1 TB of storage. The model also includes a high resolution web camera, useful for video conferencing. 

ThinkPad Edge S Series

The 14 inch ThinkPad Edge S430, available in June starting at $749, is meant for the “image conscious professional”. With a Mocha Black soft-touch finish with metal accents, this thin laptop also offers the same ability to combine a SSD with up to 1 TB of storage, though they note a DVD burner can also be used in place of the secondary hard drive. Only available with an Intel Core processor, it has an option for a 2GB NVIDIA Optimus graphics card that provides a “HD+” resolution of 1600 x 900. It also includes Dolby Home Theatre v4 which provides surround sound audio, and an Intel Thunderbolt port, until now limited primarily to Apple products.

Business Ultrabook?

Lenovo is claiming the S430 as its first “Business Ultrabook”. Intel has suggested that Ultrabooks will be less than .8 inches thick, and weigh less than 3.1 pounds, so the S430 at .96 inches thick and weighing 3.96 pounds wouldn’t seem to qualify. Still, the model offers great business features, notably the hybrid storage and high-end graphics. With hardly any Thunderbolt accessories available, the Thunderbolt port isn’t currently a great selling point, but that’s likely to change this year as more computers support the standard.

Worth Looking At?

Luis Hernandez, vice president of Lenovo’s ThinkPad Edge Business Unit noted that “Small businesses are demanding a laptop that can do it all – they want great performance for work tasks and an excellent experience for their own personal computing.” This is very true, and we can expect many manufacturers to target the same requirements. Both ThinkPad Edge series offer hybrid storage, great for business with its combined benefits of performance and capacity, which stands out from existing laptops. With so many other products about to be released, we’ll need to wait to see if Lenovo has captured the interest of businesses, or if someone else hits the perfect combination of performance, size and features.