Lenovo packs 'thinnest' ThinkPad ultrabook with 4G LTE

Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook weighs just 1.8 kgs and has 4G LTE for $1.99 for 30 minutes

Lenovo has announced a range of new ThinkPads with Intel's latest third-generation Core processors, including a ThinkPad ultrabook that the company claims is the "thinnest ultrabook in the world."

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook has a 14-inch screen, weighs under 1.8 kilograms and is 18.8-mm thick. It will have the latest Intel ultrabook processors, code-named Ivy Bridge, which are expected to be officially announced next month.

Lenovo also updated the popular ThinkPad T-series and X-series lineups, making them faster while adding more battery life to the models. The company also has new connectivity and multimedia capabilities that could be helpful for business users. The laptops will be available on June 5.

For the first time 4G mobile broadband connectivity has been added across ThinkPads, including the new X1 Carbon ultrabook, said Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of the ThinkPad business unit. The service will initially be available in the U.S. and some other countries for US$1.99 for 30 minutes. Lenovo is partnering with telecom carriers worldwide to make the service available to ThinkPad customers.

The company did not share pricing for X1 Carbon, but said the system will become available in the coming months. The ultrabook's pricing could be in the ballpark of the company's existing ThinkPad T430U ultrabook, which starts at $849, Bhatia said.

The X1 Carbon ultrabook will be part of the existing line of thin-and-light ThinkPad X1 laptops. Many top PC makers are releasing ultrabooks. Last week Hewlett-Packard announced the Envy Ultrabook for consumers (starting at $749) and EliteBook Folio 9470M ultrabook for businesses ($1,149). Dell and Acer are expected to start selling ultrabooks in the coming months.

The ultrabook and new laptops will also have improved voice-conferencing capabilities, with dual-microphone and web cameras that can track a moving face. Also included are noise cancellation capabilities, which could be helpful in removing keyboard typing sound while in videoconference, Bhatia said.

The new ultraportable ThinkPad X230 model has a 12-inch screen and is available with an optional slice battery -- a flat, extended battery that can be attached under the laptop -- that could give the laptop 24 hours of battery life. The laptop is less than three pounds with a six-cell battery. The new X230T model is just like the X230, but includes a touchscreen, giving it the flexibility of a tablet computer, Lenovo said. The X230 starts at $1,179, while the X230T starts at $1,479.

Lenovo has also updated the popular T-series lineup with the ThinkPad T430, T430s and T530 models. The laptops will have optional high-definition displays and offer 30 hours of battery life with an optional slice. The laptops will come with either with 14-inch and 15-inch screens, and the T430 starts at $879, the T430S at $1,399. Lenovo did not immediately provide a price for the T530.

In addition to offering new chips, the mainstream ThinkPad L430 and L530 laptops -- both starting at $879 -- are thinner, and available with either 14-inch or 15-inch screens.

Lenovo is also introducing a docking station that will have five USB 3.0 ports, always-on mobile charging and multiple video-out ports. The price for the docking station was not immediately available.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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