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CES 2010: Lenovo debuts ThinkPad Edge series; makes play for SMBs with new design, keyboard, AMD, $549

CES 2010: Lenovo on Sunday announced the new ThinkPad Edge series, a family of 13-, 14- and 15-inch models designed and priced specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor on

Lenovo on Sunday announced the new ThinkPad Edge series, a family of 13-, 14- and 15-inch models designed and priced specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

Striking a balance between its consumer-oriented IdeaPad laptops and its enterprise-oriented ThinkPad notebooks, Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge lineup offers a new curvy design, color options and rounded, chiclet-styl, spill-resistant keyboard on top of business-oriented services such as Active Protection System and Rescue and Recovery.

The most important change to the Edge series is the new keyboard. The keys are black and uniform, and the systems omit the number pad. The company has redesigned the function keys for easy access to multimedia functions, and removed little used keys such as System Request.

[Image Gallery: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge]

Select models of the 14 and 15-inch ThinkPad Edge systems have backlit keyboards.

The multitouch touchpad on the ThinkPad Edge is also new, now larger for more space to pinch, zoom and scroll.

Finally, the first splash of color has now made its way into the ThinkPad lineup: alongside glossy or soft black options comes "heatwave red." All models sport a silver band on their edges.

Inside, you'll find the following:

  • Choice of AMD Turion and Athlon Neo dual core processors or Intel Core 2 Duo ultra low voltage and standard dual core processors
  • More than 8 hours battery life
  • Wi-Fi and optional Bluetooth, 3G and WiMAX
  • VoIP with Skype
  • HD speakers
  • Videoconferencing: High resolution, low light sensitivity cameras and microphone and camera mute keys
  • 13-inch display is 1366 by 768 pixels
  • Green DNA: EPEAT Gold rating, Energy Star 5.0, and Edge laptops contain no foam and use considerable amounts of recycled materials

Since the Edge line is geared toward SMBs, it also includes Lenovo's service and support, including ThinkPad Protection from unexpected repair costs in case of accidents or spills; priority support for 24/7 tech-to-tech support; and Hard Disk Drive Retention that lets users keep their failed or damaged hard drive.

The 13-inch ThinkPad Edge is available immediately with models starting at $549 through Lenovo Business Partners and Lenovo's website. Fourteen and 15-inch versions will be available starting in the second quarter of 2010. Best Buy stores in the U.S. will also offer the 14 inch version.

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