Lenovo Unveils Touch Friendly Laptops Running Windows 8

Among the many items Lenovo has chosen to announce just days before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a new lineup of consumer and business Windows 8 touch-optimized notebooks. According to Lenovo, "people love touch," and the OEM is putting its money where its mouth is by aggressively integrating touch capabilities into an extensive line of PCs. Let's have a look at Lenovo's upcoming notebook products with touch.

Lenovo U410

Lenovo's signature IdeaPad U310 and U410 mainstream Ultrabooks models are the first up to bat. These thin and light PCs feature 10-point multi-touch displays and are supposed to blend form with function, measuring just 18mm (U310) and 21mm (U410) thin.

The IdeaPad U310 is a 13.3-inch Ultrabook with up to a 3rd Generation Intel Core i7 processor, integrated Intel HD 4000 Graphics, up to 4GB of RAM, up to 500GB of hard drive storage (and up to 24GB SSD cache), 720p HD webcam, two USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, and Windows 8. It will be available in March starting at $779.

For a little more coin, the IdeaPad U410 (April, $850) ups the ante with a 14-inch display (albeit with the same 1366x768 resolution as the U310), up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, up to a 1TB HDD, an additional USB 2.0 port, and a 2-in-1 memory card reader. The battery on the U410 also lasts a bit longer, up to 8 hours compared to the U310's 6 hours of battery life.

Lenovo Z500

Moving down the list, Lenovo's Z400 and Z500 Touch laptops are the latest generation of the Z Series and are optimized for Windows 8. They support 10-point touch, have specialized stereo speakers for extra bass with Dolby Home Theater v4, and offer a choice of screen sizes and color options.

The Z400 is Lenovo's 14-inch laptop with up to a Core i7 CPU, up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, up to 1TB of hard drive storage, two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 port, HDMI output, and unspecified NVIDIA GeForce graphics. Lenovo's Z500 sports the same feature-set but in a 15.6-inch frame. Both have a 1600x900 resolution. The Z400 Touch will ship in April starting at $699 and the Z400 Touch in March, also starting at $699.

For business users, Lenovo is launching its ThinkPad Edge E431 and E531 laptops. These are the first ThinkPad laptops to include Lenovo's new OneLink technology, which offers easy connectivity through a single cable connection. The ThinkPad laptops will be available in May starting at $539 with an optional OneLink Dock for an additional $99.