Of course Lenovo wasn't going to let its tried and true ThinkPad brand go without an ultrabook of its own! In addition to its consumer-targeted IdeaPad U300s, Lenovo's announcing its plans for a more business-oriented ultrabook today — the 14-inch ThinkPad T430u. Starting at $849, it isn't as thin or expensive as its U300s cousin, but at .8 inches and "less than 4 pounds" it has room for that all-important SD card reader (which the U300s lacked), two USB ports, an Ethernet jack, and a full-size HDMI socket. As you'll see in the images below, it looks closer in styling to the ThinkPad X1 than the older X220, with a chiclet keyboard, trackpad with integrated buttons, and flared edges. And what's a ThinkPad without the signature red pointing stick?
Unfortunately, Lenovo's not giving up too many details on the internal specs at the moment since it won't be available until the third quarter of this year. Why the wait? Lenovo's holding out for Intel's third generation Core processors (or Ivy Bridge), meaning that the T430u will innately be much faster than any of the ultrabooks on the market now. We've heard the new chips will provide much better graphics performance, but if that's not enough GPU muscle, the T430u will also be available with Nvidia discrete graphics options. It will also be configurable with a selection of storage options (naturally of the solid state variety), and Lenovo's claiming it is the only ultrabook to be available with a 1TB hard drive. We don't know much about the $849 starting configuration, but Lenovo is saying the T430u is Windows 8 ready. It sure sounds like a very well-rounded entry on paper, but we'll be finding out how it looks and feels next week at CES — stay tuned.