It's not all glib home users who are in line for some new Lenovo fun; business users may be slightly more predictable in their usage, but that doesn't mean they're satisfied with last year's ThinkPad. The new SL-series of SMB notebooks - the SL300, SL400 and SL500 - all have an options list weighed under with choices such as mobile broadband, Blu-ray and more.
The SL300 uses an LED-backlit panel (while the two others stick with CCFL for the sake of reducing costs) and all three have Lenovo's Active Protection System which secures the hard-drive in the case of a fall. A webcam is optional, but there's both VGA and HDMI outputs.
In a pleasant change from the usual WWAN price-gouging, Lenovo will be offering a Sony Ericsson wireless module for AT&T for just $30, rather than the usual $100+ many notebook manufacturers charge. A fingerprint reader is also available.
The new SL-series is accompanied by six other new business notebooks, the ThinkPad R400, R500, T400, T500, X200 and W500. All include options such as GPS, SSDs and LED-backlit displays, while the T-series have switchable onboard/discrete graphics. The ThinkPad SL400 and SL500 notebooks are available immediately and start at $799, while the ThinkPad SL300 will be available in August priced from $899.
Lenovo Launches Complete PC Solution for Small Businesses with New ThinkPad SL Notebooks, Software and Services
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – July 15, 2008: Lenovo today unveiled a complete computing solution for small-to-medium business (SMB) users that includes the new SL series of ThinkPad notebooks, value-added software and unique new services. The trio of notebooks – SL300, SL400 and SL500 - feature cutting-edge technologies, such as built-in high speed mobile broadband connectivity1, excellent multimedia capabilities with an optional Blu-Ray DVD player on select models as well as a black glossy cover for a stylish design. To make the computing experience productive and simple, Lenovo also combined software that helps with everything from data recovery to simplifying Internet connection with a new optional service package featuring on-line data backup and on-site warranty repair.
“The ThinkPad name is synonymous with leadership in computing for the business user,” said Peter Hortensius, senior vice president, Notebook Business Unit, Lenovo. “Now we’re bringing the same quality and reliability that ThinkPad is known for to users in the small business space with a number of leading technologies like high speed mobile broadband.”
Today, Lenovo also announced an additional six new notebooks – the ThinkPad R400, R500, T400, T500, X200 and W500. Lenovo brings many of the technologies first pioneered in the industry-acclaimed ThinkPad X300 notebook, such as solid state drive storage, LED backlit displays and GPS functionality to select models in the line. The new T Series includes models with technologies like switchable graphics and support for Display Port. Using these new technologies, this generation of notebooks offers significant improvements over the previous one, featuring cooler and quieter notebooks with lighter weight and longer battery life. Lenovo offers its first 12-inch widescreen ultraportable notebook, the ThinkPad X200 notebook, in a lighter design than the previous ThinkPad X61 notebook. With a larger keyboard, lighter weight and focus on productivity, the notebook balances performance and portability. Lenovo is introducing the ThinkPad W-Series, the first in a new class of mobile workstations with models offering the mobility of an Open-GL Graphics performance notebook. The newly announced notebooks also expand Lenovo’s portfolio of environmentally-responsible notebooks with many of them being rated Gold by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool. All the newly announced ThinkPad notebooks, including the SL Series, are based on Intel’s® latest Centrino® 2 processor technology.
Designed for the Unique Needs of the Small Business
Quality, affordability and service and support are critical factors to SMB notebook users, and Lenovo’s SMB solution combines all of those. Lenovo designed the notebooks for the unique way these users work – whether at home, the office, the park or coffee shop. With the need for always-on, 24/7 connectivity growing, select models of all three of the ThinkPad SL notebooks are available with built-in high speed mobile broadband. Lenovo’s program with AT&T and Ericsson makes providing optimized mobile broadband service even more affordable and accessible for customers. The notebooks also feature WiFi, Ethernet and optional Bluetooth technologies.
The number of SMB users is growing dramatically. IDC forecasts that in 2009, the SMB segment will command 31 percent of the total notebook (including ultraportables) PC market worldwide and will grow to 76.6 million in 2011. The growth in this space is outpacing the growth in traditional large volume buyers, the large enterprise and very large enterprise. In the United States, IDC forecasts the SMB space to grow from 7.5 million notebook PCs in 2007 to 11.6 million in 2011.2
The notebooks also excel with their multimedia capabilities. Speakers, microphones and an optional webcam provide excellent support for Internet voice and video conferencing. And support for HDMI/VGA means users can watch video content, like movies in high-definition. The ThinkPad SL Series also combines looks with performance with a glossy black top cover, a first for ThinkPad notebook design.
“Lenovo created the ThinkPad SL notebooks with entrepreneurs like me in mind,” said Sarah Farzam, owner of Bilingual Birdies in New York City. The notebook’s light weight and sleek design makes using it in children's classes easy. The multi-media features are fantastic for meetings with teachers and clients on the go. And its wireless connectivity features are a must have for any small business owner. This notebook will be a vital tool in helping me take my small business to the next level in the children's education industry.”
Known in the industry for hardware reliability, Lenovo designed the notebooks with durability and performance in mind. Lenovo’s Active Protection System, an air-bag like system, protects the hard drive against drops or falls, and an optional fingerprint reader helps protect against unauthorized users. The ThinkPad SL300 notebook also comes with an available LED backlit display.
“This is the ThinkPad notebook I’ve been waiting for,” said Kevin Oleksa, President, OTS, Inc. With the SL Series, Lenovo has engineered a notebook that gives me the quality and reliability I trust in Think products but is tailored with the unique technologies small business users need at an affordable price. This will help me better meet my customers’ needs and grow my business with Lenovo.”
Software and Services
Software and services complement the hardware part of the solution. Without dedicated IT support, users often have little help when it come to things such as connecting to the Internet, managing passwords, data recovery and updating their computer. Lenovo’s unique Lenovo Care Tools solve those common issues and help take the frustration and time out of managing one’s computer. The notebooks come with Lenovo’s Access Connections, Client Security Solutions, Rescue and Recovery, Presentation Director and System Update.
To help small businesses get the most productivity from their new ThinkPad notebooks, and to meet the growing demand for protection and security, Lenovo is introducing ThinkPlus Secure Business, the first of several new custom service packages designed for the SMB which consists of:
On-site next-day business warranty upgrade to keep small businesses productive
ThinkPad protection, providing PC repairs or replacement in the event of liquid spills, drops or electrical surges
Online data backup, a secure, off-site storage solution for critical business and employee data.
ThinkPlus Secure Business is available for either a one or three year term. In the coming months, Lenovo will introduce ThinkPlus Complete IT3 - a package of services designed exclusively for the SMB without IT support. ThinkPlus Complete IT combines a comprehensive set of services including priority call routing and one-stop hardware and software support with the best of ThinkPlus Secure Business.
Pricing and Availability4
The ThinkPad SL400 and SL500 notebooks start at $799 and are available immediately through Lenovo Business Partners and www.lenovo.com. The other notebooks will be available beginning in August with starting prices on select models ranging from $899 on the ThinkPad SL300 notebook to $1,999 on the ThinkPad W500 notebook.
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building the world’s most innovative personal computers. Lenovo’s business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information see www.lenovo.com.
1WWAN Service Providers: Requires separate agreement with select third party service provider, and is subject to credit approval and applicable service agreement/terms, rate plan and coverage maps of the provider. Service is available in select metropolitan markets, not available in all areas. Service provider, not Lenovo, is solely responsible for service. Lenovo customers may be contacted after purchase to activate service. Special credit and tenure restrictions and additional charges may apply to international roaming. A network connection, third-party software, additional hardware, and/or subscription to a third-party service may be required for certain solutions/applications. Additional restrictions apply. Offer subject to change.
2IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, June 2008.
3Subject to change due to Lenovo’s technical or business judgment.
4 Prices do not include tax or shipping and are subject to change without notice and is tied to specific terms and conditions. Reseller prices may vary. Price does not include all advertised features. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice.