By now pretty much everyone knows that IBM has sold its PC Division to the Chinese giant, Lenovo. This happened some time ago and we’ve already seen a few ThinkPad notebooks arrive that have been manufactured by Lenovo, although the machines are still branded IBM. In fact Lenovo has the right to carry on branding the ThinkPads as IBM for a few years to come, which should in theory, keep the fanatically brand loyal IBM buyers happy.
However, despite the ongoing IBM branding of the “Think” range of products, Lenovo has recently announced that it will be bringing Lenovo branded products to market. Last week in the midst of London, Lenovo gathered a select group of technology journalist together in order to announce details of its new range of products – the Lenovo 3000 range.
The Lenovo 3000 range is split into two distinct categories – desktop systems and notebooks. Lenovo is well aware that the ThinkPad and ThinkCenter products appeal to a high-end corporate market, where the IBM branding and strong feature set are more important than initial purchase cost. But the company also realises that there is a large market sector that can’t afford to buy into the “Think” product line, but still wants the peace of mind that a large technology company can bring to the table.
One of the most compelling aspects of the ThinkPad and ThinkCenter products is the ThinkVantage suite of utilities that allows end users and system administrators to safeguard data. With this in mind, all Lenovo 3000 machines benefit from “Lenovo Care” which takes much from the ThinkVantage suite and allows smaller business to benefit from increased data security, or “Worry-Free Computing” as Lenovo puts it.
Lenovo Care will provide essential tools such as one-button system recovery, automatic security updates and even the ability for a system administrator to schedule regular backup images without the end user even being aware that it’s happening.
The Lenovo 3000 J series desktop computers will be finished in silver to differentiate them from the black ThinkCenter machines. All desktop systems will be based on a micro-ATX form factor and will ship with the motherboard’s integrated graphics enabled as standard. However, unlike many machines of this type, all the J series PCs will also feature an AGP slot in case the end user wants to upgrade the graphics. I asked Lenovo why AGP had been chosen over PCI Express and was told that this is a first generation product and that future products will ship with PCI Express.
The J Series is available with a choice of Intel or AMD chips, with Pentium 4, Celeron, and Sempron processors all on offer. There are also two form factors – a slimline desktop case or a midi-tower, although the AMD option is only available in the tower cases. Both cases feature front mounted USB and audio ports.