Lenovo says new 'Ultrabook' thinner than MacBook Air

The IdeaPad U300S starts at $1,200 and is 0.59 inches thick

By , IDG News Service |  Hardware

Lenovo has jumped on Intel's "Ultrabook" bandwagon, announcing a new IdeaPad on Thursday that the company said is thinner than Apple's celebrated MacBook Air.

The IdeaPad U300S has a 13.3-inch display and is the slimmest laptop on the market, said Michael Littler, marketing lead at Lenovo's product group consumer marketing. The U300S is 0.59 inches thick (1.49 centimeters) and weighs 2.2 pounds (0.99 kilograms), Lenovo said. The 13-inch MacBook Air is 0.68 inches thick and weighs 2.96 pounds.

The U300S comes with a choice of low-power Intel processors. It provides up to eight hours of battery life during active use and 30 hours on standby. The starting price is US$1,200, and the laptop will start to ship in mid-October, with worldwide availability set for November, Lenovo said.

The Ultrabook is the name for a new class of thin and light laptops being promoted by Intel. It's been seen as a way for Intel to revive interest in laptops, sales of which have slowed due to the popularity of tablets, and Apple's iPad in particular.

The U300S runs on a low-power Intel Core processor based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture. In Lenovo's presentation slides, two dual-core processors were listed as options, including the Core i7 2677M, which runs at 1.8GHz and has 4MB of cache, and the Core i5 2467M, which runs at 1.6GHz and has 3MB of cache. The storage options include solid-state drives with capacity of up to 256GB.

Ultrabooks will get more "tablet-like" next year, Intel says, with instant-on features and screens that are touch-enabled and can slide out or fold back on the keyboard to resemble a tablet.

The company plans to invest US$300 million in companies developing new technologies for Ultrabooks.

Beyond the U300S, Lenovo also expanded the IdeaPad lineup with two ultraportable laptops based on Intel's latest Core processors. The IdeaPad U300 also has a 13.3-inch display but is a little thicker than the U300S and weighs 3.5 pounds. The IdeaPad U400 weighs around 4.4 pounds and has a 14-inch screen, DVD-RW drive and discrete graphics card. Prices were not immediately available, but the laptops will be available worldwide starting in October.

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