CES 2011: New ThinkPads for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

By  |  Sunday, January 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm

At CES in Las Vegas this week, Lenovo will try to up the ante on rivals like Acer, Dell and HP with a veritable full house of new PCs, including new ThinkPad Edge models for small- and medium-sized business users incorporating new rapid boot-up technology, videoconferencing, and “crossover” home entertainment.


The ThinkPad E220s

Lenovo’s new Edge E420s and E220s laptops will be outfitted with “Enhanced Experience (EE) 2.0” capabilities that boost boot-up times by about 30 percent, said Luis Hernandez, executive director for Lenovo’s ThinkPad Transactional Business, at a press briefing.The two latest notebooks PCs will be geared to people who work for companies with anywhere between ten and 499 employees, an audience Lenovo first started targeting with the Edge line up a year ago at CES 2010.


Other features of the 14.1-inch E420s and 12.5-inch E220s will include HDMI for TV connectivity; TV-like “infinity” screens; Dolby Home Theater Audio; and enhanced videoconferencing features such as 1080p high definition (HD) webcams, advanced white-balancing settings, and noise-canceling keyboards for screening out typing sounds in the background.

Lenovo’s new Edge notebooks will also be available with several advanced security features: self-encrypting hard drives; BIOS port lock settings; a fingerprint reader usable for powering on the PC, and, for larger businesses, a hardware password manager for deploying authentication security across fleets of PCs. A slim slot-loading DVD burner is another option for the E420s.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are the biggest and fastest growing “commercial segment” in the PC market, projected to account for 67 percent by 2014, Hernandez contended, citing statistics from the IDC analyst group.

Lenovo plans to straddle all aspects of the mobile PC space for these companies, from sub-$400 entry-level units to “premium” notebooks at $800 and up.

Accordingly, also at CES, the company will introduce new E420 and E520 midrange notebooks and updates to its existing x120e entry ultraportable.

In a new edition that will roll out for under $400 in February, the x120e will be equipped with an HDMI port for projecting digital content and AMD Fusion technology for faster graphics performance and longer battery life.

The new E420 and E520, also follow-ons to earlier Edge models, will get EE 2.0 for quicker boot-ups, along with AMD Radeon graphics in some markets. The E520 will sport a numeric keypad.

In the spirit of Lenovo’s history of ThinkPad innovation, EE 2.0 will speed boot-ups through “proprietary optimizations” to the bios, as well as to how and when software such as drivers and OS and network services are loaded, said Nick Reynolds, director of global marketing, Product Group.

But Lenovo isn’t looking at small- and medium-sized companies as its sole ace in the hole. Also over the year ahead, the company will introduce large numbers of new AMD- and Intel-enabled desktop and mobile PCs for consumers, gamers, and enterprise users, including a new slate tablet also to be unveiled at CES, the Lenovo execs said.

Some Lenovo notebooks will also be available with a new Rapid SSD (solid state drive) option for even faster boot-up times of 10 seconds of less.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Bill Pytlovany Says:

    Just seems odd to me to focus on Home Theater features for laptops designed for small/medium businesses. Do you really need Dolby sound for video conferencing or presentations?

    I am a fan of Lenovo and SSD so I like the focus on Rapid SSD bootup.
    I guess its no secret I'm a big fan of faster bootup. 😉


  2. Mike Says:

    No thanks. Its made in China. Sorry. Starting a New Years resolution: purchase USA made products. USA serviced products and support only companies that do NOT outsource jobs to other nations. Dont even THINK of giving me the BS line "we're in a global economy". Its about as overused as the word "racist" and about as meaningless as the phrase "global warming".

    We've been in a "global economy" since, and probably well before, the spice trades and such. New year, new attitude – help the United States actually recover. God knows our government isnt doing diddly toward that notion.

  3. Mike Says:

    Whats even more sad, in addition to what you say and what I've said, is the fact that China is going to begin to hold us hostage on rare earth material because 99% of it is located there.

    If the United States of America doesnt wake up and get off its collective ass, we are going to be buried as a nation. Some folks like to refer to me as a "protectionist". Well, fine. Then be it as it may.

    I would much rather protect my nation than give it away to another nation. Nothing against the Chinese or the good folks elsewhere: India, Vietnam, wherever…. They're smart. They're intelligent. Surely they'll find a way to survive without us giving THEM work, hand over first like we're doing.