Lenovo hosted its first-ever global event this week in Beijing and has been generating internet buzz ever since. Lenovo’s Tech World showcased some of the most unique and interesting innovations taking place behind the scenes in the tech world, and included demos that ranged from smart shoes that display your mood to an interactive laser-projecting smartphone. While these concepts are an exciting peek into the future of technology as we know it, they are still simply that at the moment – ridiculously cool ideas. What we did come away with from the conference was a suite of three mid-range laptops that run the gamut from light and affordable to high-performance entertainment machines.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 100 is the “Baby Bear” in this Goldilocks lineup of consumer laptops. It offers up to an Intel BayTrail-M N3540 chip, up to 500GB of HDD storage and integrated Intel graphics – a perfect setup for users who want a well-performing laptop at an entry level price. It comes in both a 14-inch and 15-inch display screen size and has roughly a four-hour battery life. For a base price of $249 you shouldn’t mind the lack of battery power too terribly much though; plus, with a sleek ebony black exterior and max thickness of only 22.6mm for the 15-inch model, the IdeaPad 100 by no means looks like your standard “budget laptop”.
The Mama and Papa Bear of this laptop trio, the Z41 and Z51, are what Lenovo calls “equal parts home-entertainment center and powerful workstation”. With the help of Intel integrated graphics, Dolby DS 1.0 Home Theatre surround sound and a bounty of various ports, these machines easily go from mobile workstation to portable multimedia player. The Z41 and Z51 appear to be nearly identical in most ways, and both models boast up to a fifth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and either a 14-inch of 15-inch full HD screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. Inside, each laptop has up to 16GB of DDR3L RAM and up to a 1TB HDD or SSHD. Where things really start to get interesting is the optional extra offered for the Z51. This model can be outfitted with Intel’s RealSense 3D camera which uses a trio of lenses (a conventional camera, an infrared camera and an infrared laser) to measure depth, which allows users to control the laptop using hand gestures and even scan objects for 3D printing. Plus, with the free upgrade to Windows 10 coming this summer, users will actually be able to sign in using their face.
The Z41 and Z51 will come in red, white or black and start at $499 for the Z41 or $599 for the Intel RealSense-equipped Z51. Both models are slated to be available starting in June.
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