updated 08:10 am EDT, Fri April 24, 2009
Lenovo ThinkPad Netbook
Lenovo is considering making a netbook under the ThinkPad name, the company's Worldwide Competitive Analyst Matthew Kohut said in an interview late Thursday. While nothing is definite, the researcher noted to Australian magazine APC that Lenovo is "exploring" a step up above the IdeaPad netbooks released so far. What this would entail isn't specified, though he explains that pressure exists to create a more business-friendly netbook and that screen sizes may go up.
"It’s becoming more interesting across the industry to get bigger screen sizes," Kohut says.
One idea floated by the magazine is a switch from Intel's Atom processors to the Consumer Ultra Low Voltage platform, which would give the ThinkPad netbooks significantly better performance but still separate them from regular notebooks using full-speed processors. Intel is known to be targeting prices between $599 and $1,299 for most CULV systems, which would let Lenovo slot a netbook in at the low end of the CULV category without disrupting its regular lineup.
No hints are given as to how close Lenovo may be to producing such a system. Kohut nonetheless says to "watch this space" and implies that the company is at least serious about its prospects.
The official also confirmed some details of the IdeaPad S20, a 12-inch netbook that should use the 1.66GHz Atom N280 and its corresponding 667MHz system bus as well as the new GN40 chipset, which will give it HD video decoding. Kohut specifically revealed that the system should have an option for built-in 3G in some areas and that it will also have the Linux-based Instant On front end of the IdeaPad S10e. The S20 is due next month, though whether it will be launched in North America and at what price hasn't been made clear.