Lenovo unveils IdeaPad Z, U series notebooks; start $649, $699

Lenovo on Tuesday unveiled an expansion of its consumer laptop lineup, including new models in the IdeaPad Z and U families.

Lenovo on Tuesday unveiled an expansion of its consumer laptop lineup, including new models in the IdeaPad Z and U families.

The new models include the IdeaPad Z360, Z560 and Z565, which Lenovo pegs as its "affordable multimedia" lineup.

The Z series features a chiclet-style keyboard and a metallic-like cover panel. Displays are high-definition 16:9 widescreen format, in 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch sizes.

The notebooks feature optional Blu-ray, Dolby Advanced audio and OneKey Theater II, which recalls audio-visual settings with a button press.

The IdeaPad Z360 and Z560 feature Intel's 2010 Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce graphics. The IdeaPad Z565 is offered with AMD chips up to Phenom II and integrated ATI Mobility Radeon graphics.

The Z series starts at $649.

Meanwhile, the new IdeaPad U series ultraportables -- U160, U460 and U460s -- address the mobility market.

Lenovo's popular lightweight U series has been redesigned on the outside to resemble a closed book, a design cue that feels right in the hand and a touch that the company is particularly proud of.

The 14-inch systems are less than an inch thick and weigh 3.8 pounds and can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7 processor.

Not all models get the blazing i7, however: the U460 features a standard volt processor, but the U460s and U160 come with ultra-low volt processors, trading performance for battery life.

Case in point: the U160 weighs only 2.9 pounds and is 0.9 inches at its thinnest point.

The U series comes with the usual feature set, including integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, an Ambient Light Sensor, Active Protection System and data recovery tools.

The IdeaPad U160, U460 and U460s are available beginning in June and will start at $699.

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