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Lenovo expands consumer desktop family

Lenovo announces three new consumer desktops.

Lenovo only barely dabbled in the U.S. home PC market last year, but it looks like it will make a stronger push for those consumer dollars in 2009. We caught wind of a new Lenovo all-in-one at CES, and Tuesday it announces two new standard desktops aimed at home users.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre K220, with optional LCD and Webcam. Lenovo

The two new systems include the IdeaCentre K220 (starting at $450) and the IdeaCentre K230 (starting a $500). Each comes in a standard mid-tower desktop chassis, with a variety of modest, mainstream options. Both use Intel CPUs (up to Core 2 Quad), and DDR3 RAM, with options for 64-bit Vista Home Premium Blu-ray players, and various graphics, memory, and hard drive configurations.

Each model goes on sale at retail outlets on January 20, but you can take a look at Lenovo's Web site now for a sampling of starting configurations.

For the sake of simplicity, we like to think of desktops and monitors as separate products around here, but Lenovo also boasts two unique technologies for the K220 in particular that work in conjunction with an extra Webcam and monitor. BrightVision will set your brightness level in tune to the ambient room lighting, and VeriFace provides system security via facial recognition.

We can't say we find setting the brightness manually all that cumbersome, but anything that prevents us from having to remember another password is welcome.