Lenovo updates laptop lines for back-to-school

The consumer IdeaPad line gets updated CPUs and new features.

Lenovo has a short stack of new Windows 8 systems hitting stores in the third quarter of 2013, and while there's nothing as revolutionary as the Yoga hybrid or the Horizon 27 tabletop PC , there are some worthwhile updates to existing product lines and one new system, the Windows 8 Miix tablet, detailed here.

The more traditional systems come from the IdeaPad U, Y, and S lines, with a few important changes, as detailed below.


Lenovo's U330 Touch CNET/Sarah Tew
IdeaPad U330 Touch and U430 Touch
This ultrabook line, with 13 and 14-inch screens, gets a necessary update to Intel's new fourth-generation Core i-series processors, otherwise known as Haswell , up to a new Core i7. Multiple resolution options are available, with 1,366x768 and 1,920x1,080 pixels in the 13-inch and 1,600x900 in the 14-inch. Both the 330 and 430 models have touch screens, as one would expect from a 2013 ultrabook, and the 440 also offers optional Nvidia GT730M graphics.

The U330 Touch starts at $799, and the U440 Touch at $899.


The Y410p gaming laptop. CNET/Sarah Tew
IdeaPad Y410p
An updated 14-inch version of Lenovo's excellent gaming laptop, with a same bold red blacklit keyboard and brushed metal design as the Y500 model we liked so much earlier in 2013, but now with Intel's new fourth-generation Core i-series processors. Only 1,366x768 and 1,600x900 screens are available, and there are no touch screen options at all, so it's a bit of a letdown there, but the GPU can include up to two Nvidia GeForce GT 750M cards in an SLI configuration, and you can get a hybrid hard drive with 1TB HDD and 24GB SSD.


The all-white S210 Touch. CNET/Sarah Tew
IdeaPad S210 Touch and S400 Touch
The inexpensive S series was once the home to Lenovo's Netbook laptops, which used low-end Atom processors and tiny screens to bring basic laptop prices down to around $300. The latest S series models cost more, but feature regular Core i-series processors and bigger screens, while still aiming for a reasonable price.

The 11.6-inch S210 Touch has a third-generation Intel Core i3 (some older entry level processors may also be available), plus a touch screen and hybrid HDD/SSD hard drives. Depending on the final price, it could be a great way to get into Windows 8 and touch screens for a minimal investment. It's also got a unique matte white look that stands out.

The 14-inch S400 Touch adds a touch screen but sticks with older third-gen Core i3 processors and a yawn-inducing 1,366x768 display. But, you can add a discrete GPU, topping out at the AMD Radeon 7450M. A larger S500 Touch version is similar, but offers Nvidia GT7 20M graphics.

The S210 Touch starts at $429, with the S400 Touch and S500 Touch starting at $449 and $579.

 

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