Jun 30, 2008 (03:06 PM EDT)
Lenovo Launches Its First U.S. Consumer Desktop

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

Lenovo on Monday launched its first consumer desktop outside of China with the release of a low-priced computer in the United States.

The IdeaCentre K210 release followed Lenovo's launch this year of consumer notebooks outside of China, starting again in the United States with the IdeaPad series of mobile PCs. Among the unusual features in the desktop model is facial-recognition technology that allows users to log on by having the computer's camera recognize their faces.

Another feature Lenovo is hoping to use to differentiate the product in a crowded market is an anti-microbial keyboard that uses special material to inhibit bacterial growth. The keyboard is expected to be useful in environments where multiple people use the same computer.

The K210 also includes Lenovo's system-recovery technology, which saves data on a special system partition in the event of a failure. Specifications of the new machine include an Intel Core 2 quad-core processor and GMA 3100 integrated graphics. In addition, the computer has an optional Blu-ray DVD drive and the option of upgrading to an ATI Radeon 2600 XT graphics card for PC gaming.

The IdeaCentre K210 is available in U.S. retail stores. Prices start at $379, after a mail-in rebate. A 19-inch monitor is available for an additional $229, and a 22-inch display for $299. Both prices are after a mail-in rebate.

In late April, Lenovo, which is best known in the United States for the ThinkPad business notebooks, launched an 11-inch consumer notebook called the U110. The portable was the latest addition to the IdeaPad line in the United States, which also includes 13-, 15- and 17-inch models.

The U110 marked the company's biggest departure from the ThinkPad workhorse. The computer comes in multiple colors and has a stylized, textured design embedded in its aluminum alloy cover. Among the most noticeable differences, besides the exterior, is the computer's keyboard, which has a shiny black finish that's flat to the touch as a person moves from one key to the next.

Lenovo in the first quarter was the fourth-largest PC maker in the world in terms of shipments, according to Gartner. Hewlett-Packard and Dell were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and Acer was third. Lenovo was not among the top five in the United States.