NOT TOO LONG ago it was almost impossible to find an ultra-portable consumer notebook and now it seems like there are almost too many of them competing for a fairly small, but growing market. It’s beginning to look like the netbook book is dead as a market segment the last two years, as the 11.6-inch notebooks are coming from above and tablets from below which means the humble netbook is going to end up being a niche product in the not so very distant future.
Lenovo’s two new models consists of a consumer friendly IdeaPad which uses the AMD Vision platform and a new ThinkPad Edge which comes with a choice of both AMD and Intel hardware, just to make things a little bit extra interesting.
The IdeaPad U165 looks like Lenovo’s warm up for Fusion. It’s based on AMD’s M880G chipset and will come with an Athlon II Neo K325 dual core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. It has a standard 1366×768 resolution screen, 2GB of RAM as standard and a 250GB hard drive. On top of that it sports two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and D-sub ports, a multi-format memory card reader, a pair of audio jacks, a webcam, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.
The IdeaPad U165 weighs in at 1.3kg with its standard 3-cell battery and measures 290x193x25.3mm. Lenovo claims that the battery is good for up to 4.38h of usage, although actual battery life will most likely be less. It’s expected to retail for about $644 when it goes on sale in Japan towards the end of October, but it’s not clear if or when it will be available in the US, however if/when it does arrive, it should be a fair bit cheaper.
The new ThinkPad Edge 11 is slightly heavier at 1.5kg, but you also get beefier hardware. It’s targeting the business user, although considering that Lenovo claims that the most basic model with so far unspecified AMD hardware in it starts at $449, we can see quite a few consumers considering it. The Intel models start at $549, which again, isn’t terribly expensive, especially when you compare to the Japanese price of $965.
The Intel model will come with a Core i3 380UM ultra-low Voltage processor clocked at 1.33GHz, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. It also sports three USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and D-sub ports, a memory card reader, a webcam and a pair of audio jacks. The protruding 6-cell battery is what adds to the weight, but with a claimed battery life of 6.5h, the extra weight seems like a small price to pay. The ThinkPad Edge 11 measures 284x211x29.5mm making it slightly chunkier than the IdeaPad U165, but the ThinkPads rarely are the slimmest notebooks around. Again, we don’t know if, or when, this model will be on sale in the US.S|A
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