updated 12:00 am EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Lenovo updates ThinkPad Edge ahead of CES 2012
Lenovo's lead-in to CES has included three new ThinkPad Edge models. Fronting the pack, the S430 has an 0.8-inch thickness bordering on ultrabooks but still keeps to regular notebooks: it uses Ivy Bridge-era Intel Core processors and is one of the first Windows PCs with Thunderbotl, giving it very high speed storage and displays on one cable.
The system can carry either a DVD burner or a second hard drive, the latter of which lets it carry 1TB of storage. It optionally carries switchable NVIDIA graphics, but always has Dolby Home Theater v4 audio and USB 3.0 ports. Lenovo is counting on a semi-new "book" hinge much like Apple's designs to improve the sturdiness and looks.
Mid-range Edge buyers will have the pick of the 14-inch E430 or 15-inch E530. They too should have the book hinge design, but they should also have blue and red color options and more variety in processors. Either can use Ivy Bridge, while E435 and E535 sub-variants will use AMD Fusion chips to keep the price down while maintaining reasonably fast video.
The mix will have choices of either solid-state drives or up to 1TB of storage, along with an option for unnamed dedicated graphics.
At the starter end, the 14-inch B480 and 15-inch B580 are have much the same features as the E-series, but in cheaper enclosures and a lower starting point.
As with many of Lenovo's CES plans, the new ThinkPad Edge and B-series notebooks won't arrive for some time due to the wait for Ivy Bridge. The E-series and B-series appear in April at minimum prices of $549 and $399 each. S430 buyers will have the longest wait, holding until June when the higher-end system ships for $749.