Reseller News

Lenovo heads for consumer land

Lenovo has launched a range of low-cost notebook and desktop PCs aimed at small businesses, SOHO users and consumers.

The new silver-trimmed models will be sold under the Lenovo 3000 brand, which is being developed quite separately from the Think line that the company inherited from IBM’s PC division.

In Lenovo-speak, Think products are aimed at ‘relationship’ customers, mainly in large corporations, while the Lenovo 3000 range competes head on with HP, Dell and Acer for the ‘transactional’, read largely SME, market.

Each product line will have its own distinct look, product philosophy and marketing campaign. Lenovo New Zealand country manager Karen Brace says they will also be managed by two separate sales teams and will go to market through different channels.

Think models already have long product cycles, are built to order and involve high support levels. In contrast, the Lenovo 3000 models will refresh frequently, include the latest features, have a relatively short shelf-life and be built for supply.

Brace says the low-cost models will be distributed by Ingram Micro and ITW, mainly to the retail sector. However, she says there will be separate consumer products for the mass retailers and more SME-oriented models for the specialist independent resellers.

She says the first models to appear, sometime in March, will be the C series notebooks and the J series desktops. The C series models will target small business users, mainly through retail outlets. The J series of pared-down desktop computers will be aimed at both small businesses and consumers.

Lenovo 3000 models will ship with Windows XP home edition. Eventually the company will offer hardware built around AMD processors, but during the launch phase the machines will use Intel chips. “Our value proposition is that we’re not the cheapest on the market. We certainly don’t want to drive that impression. We’re looking to build a strong brand,” Brace says.

Although Lenovo will make models available to the public through the company’s website, Brace says, “The online offering is just the same as our rivals. Our preference is always to go through channel partners.”

Lenovo is currently advertising its Think product range and plans a major campaign for its new range starting in April.