Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14 and 15 shipping to small businesses, cupcake lovers

Joanna Stern
J. Stern|03.19.10

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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14 and 15 shipping to small businesses, cupcake lovers
We knew it was only a matter of time before Lenovo finally started shipping the larger and more powerful relatives of the ThinkPad Edge 13. Available from retailers now and Lenovo's own webstore in early April, the 14- and 15-inch Edges have the same design as the Edge 13 -- including the same spill-resistant chiclet keyboard we adore -- but boast more muscle under the hood. While the $599 models pack Celeron processors, they can be configured to your heart's content with Core i3 or i5 CPUs, 5,400 / 7,200rpm drives, Blu-ray and mobile broadband options. And if having a red ThinkPad has always been a drunken fantasy of yours, the Edge 14 and 15 come in a glossy black or red, and a matte black option is there for the traditionalists. Wondering what the Edge 14 and 15 have to do with cupcakes? Apparently Lenovo sent the Edge 14 to a true small business owner -- Lev Ekster, founder of NYC's Cupcake Stop -- a few months ago, and he's been wearing out the AT&T 3G ever since as he gets work done on the go. We've no icing for you, but you can salivate over the full press release after the break.
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Lenovo Packs "More Thinking" into ThinkPad Edge Laptops & Worldwide Ad Campaign

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – March 23, 2010: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced it is sharpening its focus on small to medium businesses (SMB) from top to bottom, beginning with the introduction of new products like the ThinkPad Edge 14 and 15 inch laptops. Designed for style and sophistication, select models offer an elegant backlit keyboard. The ThinkPad Edge laptops are already powering innovative SMBs like the Cupcake Stop in New York City. Lenovo also announced today the debut of new attention-grabbing worldwide ads showcasing the imagination, engineering and proven ability of Think-branded PC products.

"We're creating a full SMB program, starting with products like the ThinkPad Edge 14 and 15 inch laptops," said Jerry Paradise, director, Worldwide ThinkPad Product Marketing, Lenovo. "We have seen strong demand already for the ThinkPad Edge 13 inch, and we'll continue to expand the ThinkPad Edge lineup going forward, extending the same leadership in innovation, quality and reliability in SMB that we're known for with large enterprise customers."

Edge Out the Competition
Starting at just $599, the affordable ThinkPad Edge laptops combine price, productivity features SMBs need like fast processing, wireless options and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) features, in a sleek, modern design. The laptops come equipped with:

• Choices of the latest Intel® Core™ i5 and i3 Series as well as Celeron™ processors
• Strong VoIP features including high resolution cameras and an HD LED screen
• Array of multimedia with optional AMD discrete graphics, DVD/RW or optional Blu-Ray, VGA and HDMI out for watching HD content and a 7-in1 multicard reader
• Choices of wireless technologies including 4G, 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth
• Comfortable spill-resistant new contemporary-style ThinkPad keyboard with multitouch touchpad
• Heatwave red or midnight black finishes

To help save busy SMBs time and money, Lenovo also includes ThinkVantage Technologies (TVT) productivity tools. TVTs like Rescue and Recovery help recover lost or corrupted files while Access Connections helps easily connect and manage Internet connections.

A Sweet Business Edge
SMB owner and entrepreneur Lev Ekster created a hit recently with the first mobile cupcake shop in New York City – the Cupcake Stop. Ekster relies on the ThinkPad Edge 13 inch laptop to help him run and grow the business. He uses it for ordering supplies, developing menus, processing payroll and even marketing his business through social media like Facebook and Twitter.

"I spend nearly 95% of my day out of the office, so having an ultra-mobile laptop that can keep up with me is extremely important," said Lev Ekster, owner, the Cupcake Stop. "With the ThinkPad Edge, I can focus on my business, whether I'm at home, in the truck or on my way to a new partner meeting. I use WiFi and AT&T's 3G broadband service to message customers my location and the cupcake of the day. The laptop handles the different office tasks I throw at it, and it fits my image and style as an ambitious, focused small business owner."

So far, the ThinkPad Edge laptop has helped Ekster send 1,000 tweets, 50 Facebook posts, process 300 employee hours and run 11 hours a day on average.

AT&T's 3G service is available on a full range of Lenovo ThinkPad laptops, which come factory-equipped with built-in mobile broadband modules that are enabled for AT&T LaptopConnect. The service provides extensive broadband access both domestically and internationally.

Hear more from Ekster about the creation, challenges and rewards of running a SMB in this video. And in this blog post, Lenovo explains how it is creating "purpose built" products for the SMB.

New Ads Show "More Thinking" Behind PCs
In conjunction with the new ThinkPad Edge laptops, Lenovo is introducing a new worldwide advertising campaign to illustrate the extra thinking Lenovo designers and engineers devote to Think-branded products - from workstations to desktops, servers and laptops. This extra thinking has made ThinkPad laptops the ultimate business tool for NASA at the edge of outer space, for explorers in the depths of the Amazon in South America, for the torch relay team at the base of Mt. Everest during the 2008 Olympic Games and for the military in the brutal heat of the Mojave Desert. ThinkPad laptops also power millions of business users across the globe each year.

The sketchpad campaign uses a simple, yet thought-provoking sketch to illustrate the PC's innovative features. The ads demonstrate how seemingly disparate objects like a shark fin, coffee cup, rabbit and knife relate to a ThinkPad laptop. In fact, the inspiration behind the first ThinkPad laptop started with a bento box over lunch.

Pricing and Availability1
The ThinkPad 14 and 15 inch laptops are available now through business partners, www.lenovo.com and leading retailers including Best Buy for Business stores beginning in April. Pricing for select models starts at approximately $599.

For the latest Lenovo news, subscribe to Lenovo RSS feeds or follow Lenovo on Twitter and Facebook.

About Lenovo
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building exceptionally engineered personal computers. Lenovo's business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group's acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information see www.lenovo.com.
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