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Lenovo's smallest notebook offering starts at $1,099

Lenovo is wasting no time in fleshing out its 3000 Series notebooks. The company first burst onto the scene in the North American market with the C100 Series notebooks and later expanded to the dual-core N100 Series. Lenovo is continuing the tradition of offering low cost laptops with a full load of goodies with the "ultra portable" V100 Series.

Although Lenovo calls the 12.1" V100 an ultra portable, its dimensions and weight don't quite live up to that billing. The V100 starts at 4 pounds and is 1.25" thick. For comparison, Sony's VAIO TX and Panasonic's Toughbook W4 both clock in at 2.8 pounds with an optical drive -- they can truly be consider ultra portables. But while the offerings from Sony and Panasonic may have a size and weight advantage over the V100, Lenovo has both cornered on pricing. The V100 starts a very low $1,099 while the other two competitors start at around $2,000.

$1,099 brings a 1.66GHz Core Duo processor, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive and a CD-RW/DVD combo drive to the table. Seeing as how this is a budget offering, you only get integrated Intel GMA950 graphics to power the 1280x800 display. Also included is an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wireless card, Bluetooth and a fingerprint reader. Here's Laptop Logic for more on said fingerprint reader:

We also asked Lenovo about the fingerprint reader here, since it is clearly of a different design than those on Thinkpads. Interestingly, the fingerprint scanner on Thinkpad models actually stores fingerprint profiles in a hardware chip attached to the reader, allowing for true hardware level security protection. The Ominpass setup on Lenovo notebooks has no such feature, instead storing fingerprints in software. While this method allows for the security of strong password protection, it is not near as secure as the Client Security Solution (CSS) package in Thinkpads. Accordingly, this fingerprint reader is designed more for convenience than protection.

Despite the larger overall size compared to true ultra portable notebooks on the market, one cannot argue with Lenovo's aggressive pricing. For those looking to carry a smallish notebook on the go and don't want to break the bank, the V100 may be just the ticket.




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