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Lenovo, targeting HP, releases quartet of 'digital home' PCs

Best known for its conservative Thinkpad business laptops, Lenovo Group Ltd. is trying its best to break out of that box.

The PC maker released a quartet of consumer PCs under its IdeaCentre line that are firsts in their respective categories for Lenovo. They also sporting slim-and-sexy designs targeting the family or the living room rather than the traditional home office.

They also target No. 1 PC maker Hewlett-Packard Co., which generally rules the consumer segment.

The first are a pair of net-top PCs, the IdeaCentre Q100 and the Q110, that run Intel's Atom processor. They measure 6 x 6 inches and are 0.7 inches thick.

The Q100 uses just 40 watts of power at full operation and 14 watts when idle. The Q110 is not as green, but, instead of Intel's integrated graphics, uses Nvidia's ION graphics chip for 1080p video and DirectX 10 graphics, said Lenovo, making it suitable for watching high-def videos or gaming.

The Q100 and Q110 start at $249 and $349, respectively, and will be available in mid-September.

The IdeaCentre Q700 is a slightly chunkier although more powerful machine aimed squarely at the home theater PC (HTPC) market. It sports an Intel E5200 dual-core CPU at 2.5 GHz, 4 GB memory, 320 GB SATA hard drive, DVD-RW drive, and Intel integrated GMA X4500 graphics. It also supports 1080p graphics via its HDMI connector and 7.1 digital surround sound.

The Q700 is available from Lenovo's Web site, starting at $499.

The IdeaCentre D400 is Lenovo's first Windows home server. It will compete with Acer's EasyStore Home Server and HP's MediaSmarts.

The D400 supports up to 8TB of total storage, said Lenovo, via its four hard drive bays and five USB ports and eSATA port. It will be available in mid-September with prices starting at $499.

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