updated 04:20 pm EST, Thu November 16, 2006
Lenovo Y-Series Laptops
System builder Lenovo on Thursday launched the completely new Y series of portables under its mainstream 3000 label. As the company's first clear break from signature features inherited from IBM's ThinkPads, the Y series shifts attention towards media playback with the introduction of Lenovo's custom Shuttle Center controls. A scroll strip and button on each computer (pictured) lets the user quickly navigate and play music or videos through a custom Shuttle Center media management program. The flagship Y400 model also incorporates a 2-watt subwoofer into its chassis despite having only a 14-inch screen, better-suiting it to music without external speakers. The simpler, 13.3-inch Y300 model exchanges this audio performance for a webcam that can be used both for conversation and security, according to Lenovo: bundled software uses face recognition to grant access to the system without a special reader.
Both the Y300 and Y400 have a DVD rewriter drive as standard and are driven by Core 2 Duo processors as well as GeForce Go 7300 chipsets for added 3D performance. Lenovo plans a simultaneous launch of the Y-series variants for December 15th in southeast Asia; a North American launch is likely, but hasn't been announced. Photos of the two systems are available after the jump.