The idea of a thin, light, materials-first laptop has pervaded the notebook industry, but not necessarily Intel's ultrabook spec or its premium price. Today, Lenovo's announced the IdeaPad U510, Z400, and Z500, three mainstream Windows 8 machines that share that style. The IdeaPad U510 is the larger, 15.6-inch cousin of the U310 ultrabook we reviewed in July, and it starts at just $679. For the price, you'll get one of Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors, 500GB of storage, a 1366 x 768 resolution display, GeForce 625M discrete graphics, three USB ports (one USB 3.0), 10/100 Ethernet and an integrated tray-loading DVD burner in a 4.85-pound package. If you've got the cash, there are a few upgrades to be had, including a Blu-ray drive, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 32GB solid state cache for quicker boot times, greater responsiveness, and that ultrabook caché. The U510 will ship in September.
The Z400 and Z500, meanwhile, are 14-inch and 15.6-inch laptops, respectively, which Lenovo claims have all the power of "standard" laptops in a slimmer frame, and though they've still got 1366 x 768 resolution screens and merely up to three hours of battery life, they also have "up to" GeForce GT 645M graphics with 2GB of video memory for gaming possibilities. They also have DVD drives, optional Blu-ray players, and hold up to 1TB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM, and start at $549. The 15.6-inch Z500 will arrive in September, with the Z400 following in November. Take a peek at both the Z500 and U510 in our gallery below.