Lenovo updates laptop lines for back-to-school

The consumer IdeaPad line gets updated CPUs and new features.

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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.