Lenovo Continues to Target Consumers with Refreshed AIO Line
Last year during CES 2010, Lenovo touted its line of shiny new all-in-one (AIO) units. This year at CES 2011 the company is doing more of the same, but this time with a bit more pizazz. Looking nearly identical from last year’s A300, the new IdeaCenter A320 features upgraded guts. Also coming down the AIO line are the B520, B320 and C205 – updated versions of current models. All of them are very competitively priced, and all of them with new fancy features including 3D, TV integration and more …
During its CES 2011 webcast Lenovo noted its AIO desktop business has jumped 150 percent year-over-year. It wants to continue that momentum by offering a fleet of AIO units with a feature-set and price point for nearly every level of consumer.
The top-of-the-line A320 (pictured above) features a 21.5-inch screen and the same slim dimensions as the A300 predecessor — 18.5mm deep at its thinnest. But this time around, the CPU is a beefy Core i5 CPU, with Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. Again, like the A300, it features HDMI in and out, integrated card reader and an LED panel. The design is basically the same, with the guts of the computer in the base, and the screen off-center and unavailable for mounting.
The IdeaCenter B520 is a high-performance, no-fuss AIO machine and includes a capacitive multitouch screen, 23-inch HD display, Nvidia “3D vision” graphics and a Core i7 CPU. It’s designed to be that family machine that will the kids can use to play games, while featuring the tactile speed and response to get some real work done. I have to wonder (like Apple did) about the horizontal approach to the touch screen, but it’s certainly not the only way to interact with the machine.
An off shoot (and not pictured) is the Lenovo B320, which also is a 21-inch TV. It features a Core i5 CPU and an HD display independent of the computer, so the computer doesn’t have to be on to use the screen as a TV. It looks as though Lenovo wants to target dorm rooms — or anywhere space is limited — with this kind of device.
Finally, Lenovo is launching its super-affordable AIO C205. The white chassis comes with an AMD Dual Core CPU and Radeon graphics under the hood and a monitor that supports up to 720p. Lenovo is positioning the device as the perfect “Low-cost ‘info-tainment’ PC for the kitchen or any space,” and the company would be right. It includes a touch-screen panel and has an 18.5 inch screen that isn’t overbearing when swiping through recipes or the news.
The A320 comes in at $699, with the B520 and B320 priced at $899 and $699 respectively. The C205 will start at $449.
It’s clear that Lenovo is vying for consumers to take a look at its product line. It has made them flashy, shiny and attractive in both price and function. But here’s a bigger question: How does Lenovo plan on really getting the word out about its consumer devices? It seems to me that if Lenovo took its efforts in design style and put them into creating a larger retail presence, its consumer line of products would see even wider adoption and compete with the likes of Apple.
I’ve been to a lot of consumer electronic stores, and the brands that stick out tend to be HP, Dell and Acer. Rarely do I see a Lenovo product. Right now, if someone mentions the name Lenovo, the first thing I think of is the ThinkPad. I think Lenovo wants that to change. So, I’m happy the company is continuing its efforts for the consumer side of things, but I question its retail market strategy.