Lenovo Aims at SMBs With New PCs

Chinese PC giant Lenovo has made its first set of self-branded computers for sale worldwide, promising worry-free computing in new desktops and notebooks intended for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The Lenovo 3000 family will feature built-in virus recovery, simplified network connectivity and automatic updates in order to cut down on distractions and boost efficiency for smaller businesses, said Lenovo, which bought IBM’s PC business just more than a year ago, and incorporated “ThinkPad-inspired technologies” into the new computers.

New Strategy

The desktop Lenovo J Series and notebook Lenovo C Series are available immediately for US$350 to $500 for desktops, and starting at $600 for the notebooks. The Lenovo 3000 PCs will be sold primarily through Lenovo business partners and via the company’s Web site, Lenovo said. The desktops are powered by either AMD or Intel processors in different configurations. The notebooks ship with Intel 915 chipsets and either Pentium M or Celeron M processors.

Although Lenovo’s PCs are intended to provide adequate performance at low prices for SMBs, the machines will serve as more a test of the company’s strategy to compete on a global scale with Dell and HP.

“Particularly with this kind of niche, this isn’t really so much about the box, it’s about channels and go-to-market,” Illuminata senior analyst Gordon Haff told TechNewsWorld. “It’s about setting up distribution and supply partners more than it is about the right box.”

Less Worry

Lenovo highlighted the worry-free traits of its new notebooks and desktops, indicating that its Lenovo Care tools would streamline maintenance and upkeep.

Help desk time may also be avoided by tools including a one-button system recovery for software failures, viruses or other malware, and simplified connectivity for wired and wireless connections.

The new Lenovo PCs are also priced for smaller organizations, the company indicated.

“Lenovo will offer the new PCs as the smart choice for today’s most savvy entrepreneurs, priced to fit the budgets and computing needs of even the smallest firms,” said Lenovo Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Deepak Advani.

Filling in Gaps

The latest offerings from Lenovo, which has previously sold its computers under other names with international partners, fills a product hole for the company, which is the third largest PC seller in the world.

“Essentially, these are segments Lenovo has not been selling to, so they’re looking to enhance their line with this,” Endpoint Technologies Associates President and Founder Roger Kay told TechNewsWorld.

The SMB market is a logical place for Lenovo to target since it is a somewhat elusive and difficult market for all of the vendors, including Lenovo rivals Dell and HP, Kay said.

Made to Order

Illuminata’s Haff said Lenovo is capable of delivering its new systems as quickly as its customer sets are willing to purchase them. The trick will be to find out what customers are most likely to buy.

“One of the tasks for Lenovo is finding what the right portfolio of products looks like for that market,” he said.

The analyst added while its PC business predecessor IBM focused on the larger-sized companies of the SMB market, Lenovo is more likely to target smaller organizations with less than 150 people using consumer and retail channels and partners, as well as direct sales and the Web.

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