A powerful second-generation ThinkPad products are ready for the challenges of 2012.

Lenovo, the world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer, is adding to its portfolio of small-to-medium business (SMB) laptops this year, and they are loaded with serious business technology and personal lifestyle computing features.

The portfolio ranges from the premium ThinkPad Edge S Series to the mainstream ThinkPad Edge Series to entry-level laptops in the Lenovo B Series, available in select markets. The company also unveiled a hybrid laptop and ultrabook as part of its strategy to grow global market share. (Lenovo takes aim at No. 1 HP – read here.)

The ThinkPad Edge S430 laptop comprises style with performance utilizing the latest Intel Core processors and Thunderbolt technology. The ThinkPad Edge E430, E435, E530 and E535 laptops include new useful technologies like Lenovo Solution Center while simultaneously addressing users’ entertainment needs with rich visual and audio features.

ThinkPad Edge S430

The ThinkPad Edge S430 laptop comes in Mocha Black with metal accents and a soft-touch finish encased in a thin and light design. The 14-inch laptop comes packed with the substance SMBs need to succeed with choices of the latest Intel Core processors, a DVD burner or a second hard drive for up to 1 TB of storage, either Intel integrated or NVIDIA Optimus graphics, Dolby Home Theatre v4, USB 3.0 ports, and Intel Thunderbolt technology. The pricing starts at $749.

ThinkPad Edge Laptops

The new ThinkPad Edge 14-inch E430 and 15-inch E530 laptops give SMBs the freedom to choose their level of performance with options of the latest Intel Core processors or AMD Fusion APUs (on the E435 and E535 models) with choices of integrated or discrete graphics. The laptops also feature fast boot up, up to 1 TB of storage that can be combined with solid state drive storage, USB 3.0 ports, and a high-resolution Web camera. The laptop models with the latest Intel Core processors and also includes Lenovo Solution Center powered by Intel Small Business Advantage. The ThinkPad Edge E430 and E530 laptops feature a graphite grey interior with choices of Midnight Black, Heatwave Red or Cobalt Blue covers, and have the same progressive design of the ThinkPad Edge S430 laptops. The pricing starts at $549.

Lenovo B Series

The Lenovo B Series laptops provide entry users the technologies they need to accelerate their productivity. Equipped with choices of the latest Intel Core processors (on the B480 and B580) or AMD Fusion APUs (on the B485 and B585 models) along with integrated or discrete graphics, these laptops offer big value with a small starting price of $399. Users also can receive up to 1 TB of storage, USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI out port, and 4-in-1 multi-card reader. Like the other laptops with the latest Intel Core processors, the B Series laptops come with Lenovo Solution Center.

ThinkPad Edge E430, 435, E530, E535 and Lenovo B Series laptops will be available starting in April from business partners and directly from Lenovo. The ThinkPad Edge S430 laptop will be available in June in select markets.

Other Models

The company also unveiled new a hybrid laptop and ultrabook.

ThinkPad X1 Hybrid Laptop

The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop is the company’s first hybrid laptop and combines the performance benefits of its predecessor – the X1 – with double the battery life (up to 10 hours) via the Instant Media Mode (IMM). The IMM is powered by a second processor and operating system, and doubles as a second PC that includes a Qualcomm dual core processor, up to 16 GB of memory, and a custom Linux-based OS. With IMM, the laptop operates much like a smart phone, remaining turned on and requiring fewer charging sessions, and enables users the ability to watch videos, view photos, listen to music, browse the Web and even work on documents while preserving precious battery life. Pioneered by ThinkPad, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop also includes Rapid Charge, a technology that charges the battery up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes. Measuring less than 0.6-inches and weighing less than four pounds, the 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 Hybrid goes heavy on performance by doubling the CPU performance and quadrupling the graphics performance of previous Lenovo 13-inch laptops. The hybrid comes equipped with choices of the latest Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and Windows 7 operating system.

While a great crossover PC, the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid remains a business-class laptop first with features like optional mobile broadband, a high-definition display that includes Corning Gorilla Glass, and a high-definition Web camera and microphones for video and voice calling. It also has robust security layered with Intel vPro3 technology, encrypted hard drives with remote management support, and a fingerprint reader. It also features Dolby Home Theater v4 sound, an HDMI port, and Intel Wireless Display technology to connect and stream 1080p video wirelessly to a TV or projector. The Lenovo website lists the price currently at $1,299.

ThinkPad T430u Ultrabook

Lenovo also released the ThinkPad T430u ultrabook, the company’s first business ultrabook starting at $849.The stylish product borrows some of the elements typically found on premium laptops and is less than 0.8-inches and less than four pounds. It also sports ThinkPad’s new modern and minimalist island-style keyboard. The 14-inch laptop has business-primed features including choices of the latest Intel Core processors and Intel integrated or NVIDIA graphics, choice of SSD storage or up to 1 TB of hard drive storage, up to six hours of battery life, quick resume and fast boot up, and access to Lenovo Solution Center powered by Intel Small Business Advantage for energy savings and remote management.

The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop and ThinkPad T430u Ultrabook will be available starting mid-year.

In addition to new ThinkPad and IdeaPad products for 2012, Lenovo also is delving into other areas with a four-screen mobile strategy: PCs, tablets, smartphones, and television. LeTV, for example, in planned in this first quarter. They also plan to introduce the “Lenovo Cloud” later in the year.

The China-based company, which acquired the PC unit of IBM in 2005 and operates its executive headquarters in Morrisville, will join more than 2,700 other global technology companies in unveiling these new products and services at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas.

WRAL Tech Wire will unveil the new the IdeaPad products and more on Monday.

LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out eight years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.

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