Lenovo Launches Industry’s Thinnest and Lightest 14-inch Widescreen ThinkPad laptop

China’s Lenovo Group announced a new series of 14 and 15 inch wide-screen laptops that will come with either the classic black ThinkPad cover or a new special edition champagne-coloured titanium casing. Titanium offers a sleek new look, durability, and scratch resistance for one of the world’s most well known notebook brands. The so called Z series is designed for mobile and small business users who rely on one notebook computer for both work and life demands.

The ThinkPad Z Series features the 14 inch Z60t and the 15.4 inch Z60m. The Z60t is the industry’s thinnest and lightest widescreen notebook in its class. It is 1.1 inch thick and weighs just 4.2 pounds. It features 25 per cent more data space than a 14 inch XGA screen. The Z60m, on the other hand, features 30 per cent more data space than a 15 inch XGA and provides users better viewing angles for use while in flight.

The Z series computers will be installed with Windows as the default operating system in the UK and US, but will have a Linux option similar to the one available in China. Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptop family includes its top end T series, business class X series, the consumer oriented R series and a desktop replacement G series.

Several innovative multimedia features include hot keys to control application functions and ports to easily upload digital images and video, make the Z Series optimal for business or home use, including presentations, multimedia and DVD movies.

For business travellers, the Z series features a new inner armor chassis, a ThinkPad “Roll Cage,” that reduces the amount of stress on internal components if the notebook is dropped by up to 30 per cent. The internal components, including the hard disk drive, are mounted in a one piece magnesium cage that forms more of a protective shell than traditional casings without affecting usability.

Prices haven’t been announced yet, but a company representative said the new computers, starting with a model called the Z60, would have attributes similar to Lenovo’s current T series of notebooks, which are priced between £800 and £1,300.

Lenovo Chairman Yuaquin Yang said, “We are excited about our new global company and enthusiastic about our future. Lenovo leads other companies in PC shipments in China, but it lags behind Dell and Hewlett Packard around the rest of the world.”

Lenovo’s chief marketing officer, Deepak Advani, said the company is sitting on a huge opportunity to own a large chunk of the 273 million PCs to be shipped worldwide by 2009.

According to IDC “Laptops are expected to make up 89 per cent of the additional growth in the next four years, while an estimated 28 million desktop PCs are expected to ship in emerging markets”.