Lenovo, in what it considers to be one of its largest and most significant product launches to date, yesterday released for sale its new IdeaPad U310 and U410 ultrabooks.
The PC maker also kicked off an accompanying multi-million dollar marketing campaign, dubbed the "Book of Do," to pique consumer interest and highlight the unique journal-like form factor introduced with the devices.
Both of the new ultrabooks, which are part of Lenovo’s larger U Series, run on Intel’s third-generation Ivy Bridge processors and tout the industry-standard lineup of ultrabook features, including faster boot-up times and instant-on capabilities. The pair were first released at CES in January.
The lower-end 13.3-inch U310 measures 0.7 inches thick and weighs in at 3.74 pounds, while the 14-inch U410 is slightly larger, measuring 0.83 inches thick and weighing 4.18 pounds.
The new ultrabooks deliver up to 1 TB of storage and run Nvidia GeForce GPUs. Users can expect up to seven hours of battery life with the U310 and up to nine hours with the U410, Lenovo said.
The "Book of Do" campaign, which is launching this week in seven countries, focuses primarily on the new ultrabooks’ design, explained Nick Reynolds, director of marketing and strategy at Lenovo.
The U310 and U410 are intended to resemble an actual journal rather than a laptop -- a design characteristic Lenovo hopes will set them apart from the slew of competing ultrabooks on the market today.
"The product itself, if we just look at the product, it is different from the competition. And the reason that it’s different is that it doesn’t look like everyone else’s ultrabook," Reynolds told CRN. "In fact, if you line up all the competition, it’s very hard to tell the difference. They largely all look the same."
In Lenovo’s "Book of Do" TV advertisements, users are shown sliding the ultrabooks under doors, onto already-packed bookshelves, and into crowded backpacks.
"The machine itself does all the things you’d expect it to, but it’s unique in its design," Reynolds continued.
Lenovo moves toward ultrabook era
As the PC market continues to gravitate toward thin and light, Reynolds said Lenovo projects about 40 percent of its overall notebook lineup to be ultrabooks by 2013. Hybrid models, such as convertible tablets, will also grow in numbers.
Reynolds said Lenovo channel partners stand to benefit from the company’s increasingly diverse PC lineup. It arms them with the ability to differentiate themselves and the hardware that they’re selling -- as long as they can speak to the unique benefits ultrabooks bring to the table.
"I think the channel partner needs to up skill and educate themselves around ultrabooks and the differences and the benefits those ultrabooks bring over what would be a traditional, mainstream PC," he told CRN.
"So you need to, as a channel partner, be able to sell the value and sell the differences and know those key differences and the benefits that they will deliver to maybe a small business or an end customer, because people are willing to pay for that. But you need to be able to tell them and explain it."
The new Lenovo U310 and U410 ultrabooks will be available this week in the US, starting at $US749 and $US799, respectively. No word yet on Australian availability.