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Laptops

Lenovo looks to low-cost laptops with three new models

Just ahead of its Tech World event in Beijing, Lenovo reveals three new low-cost consumer laptops, including the entry-level 14-inch ideapad 100 starting at just $249.

The inaugural Lenovo Tech World event is set to kick off on May 28 in Beijing. Lenovo aims to use the event to show off its vision for how computing technology will develop over the next five years, but the company also has some more immediate announcements to share.

Lenovo has revealed a few limited details for three new low-cost consumer notebooks: the entry-level Ideapad 100, the 14-inch Z41 and the larger size Z51 with optional 3D camera. The new notebooks are aimed at giving a boost to Lenovo's lead in the global PC market, which shrank slightly in the fourth quarter to 19.5 percent from 20 percent in the previous quarter.

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The 15-inch Ideapad 100. Lenovo

Ideapad 100

Starting at $249 (with UK and Australian pricing still to be revealed), the Ideapad 100 is a true entry-level device that could give the Chromebook a run for its money. The Ideapad comes in both 14- and 15-inch screen sizes with a 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution. In terms of processor, Lenovo says the device will feature "up to" the Intel BayTrail-M N3540, which suggests that the $249 model might be packing something a little lower spec'd.

The device will come with up to 128GB of SSD or 500GB of HDD and up to 8GB of RAM. Lenovo says the Ideapad 100 will get around four hours of battery life on a single charge. Also included are a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port, along with HDMI-out and a card reader. It's not the lightest of beasts -- the 14-inch weighs in at 4.19 pounds (1.9 kg) and the 15-inch is a beefy 5.07 pounds (2.3 kg). The 14-inch is 0.8-inches thick (20.2 mm) versus 0.89-inches (22.6mm) on the 15.

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The Z51 with optional 3D camera. Lenovo

Lenovo Z41 and Z51

The slightly more upscale -- but still affordable -- models are the Z41 and Z51. Both the 14-inch Z41 and the 15-inch Z51 pack in a Full HD 1080p display and come with a wide range of configuration options, all from the starting price of $499 -- again with UK and Australian pricing still to be announced.

At the top spec, you can get a Core i7 processor, 1TB of SSHD or HDD storage, 16GB of RAM and either the AMD R7-M360 GPU for the Z41 or the AMD R9-M375 for the Z51. That's definitely going to set you back more than 500 bucks however.

The Z41 weighs 4.63 pounds (2.1kg) and measures 13.66 x 9.8 x 0.96 inches (347 x 249 x 24.4 mm) while the Z51 is 5.07 pounds (2.3kg) and 15.12 x 10.43 x 0.97 inches (384 x 265 x 24.6 mm).

The Z51 also has an optional Intel RealSense 3D camera -- this can be used for 3D scans, gaming or even for gesture control. Adding in the 3D camera ups the base prices of the Z51 to $599.

All three new laptops will be available in June and we'll have a more detailed hands on impression of the products in the near future.