In time for spring blooming, Lenovo is out with a fresh crop of updates to its venerable ThinkPad line. The new arrivals include the X1 Carbon laptop , which the company called the lightest 14-inch Ultrabook, as well as the addition of Intel 's Ivy Bridge processors to an assortment of models.
The X1 joins a variety of Ultrabook models that are beginning to pop up from various manufacturers. Or, as Information Technology Intelligence Consulting analyst Laura DiDio put it, "this is like the Easter parade for Ultrabooks." Lenovo said that its X1 Carbon "exceeds Ultrabook specifications," specifically in its use of a carbon fiber rollcage that enhances durability but keeps the weight under 3 pounds.
Other highlights of the X1 include RapidCharge for a near-full battery charge within 30 minutes and Intel vPro technology to assist with management.
Senior Vice President Lu Yan said in a statement that innovative thinking extends beyond the X1 to the rest of the new ThinkPad models, which feature "a backlit keyboard, super-bright high definition display, Dolby Home Theatre and rich communications features that balance business performance with personal use."
New models in the ThinkPad X, T, W, and L Series feature Ivy Bridge third-generation quad-core processors, RapidBoot, and Lenovo Enhanced Experience 3.0. The refreshed lineup is designed to start 40 percent faster than a typical Windows 7 computer, with optimized system files, processes and hardware settings.
Several models offer 4G /LTE connectivity , USB 3.0, and an option for contract-free mobile broadband, purchased in time segments.
The X230 Ultraportable, intended for road warriors, provides 24 hours of battery, a weight under 3 pounds, and 4G. The T430s has docking and vPro, and the T530 delivers a full 15-inch HD display.
With Windows 8 coming, there has been a great deal of speculation about tablet -laptop convertibles. The ThinkPad X230t combines both with a swivel screen that makes the device into a tablet. It offers many of the same features as the X230, and provides an optional touchscreen and pen. (continued...)