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Lenovo has unveiled its Lenovo 3000 series of desktops and notebooks with prices and popular features aimed at the small and midsize business users that its Think product line has missed.

Indeed, the arrival of Lenovo in the SMB market will bring greater competition in the SMB space—a hotly contested area because of its sheer size—as Dell and Hewlett-Packard will find it necessary to protect their territory in the United States, Kay said.

Lenovo might also threaten companies such as Acer, Fujitsu-Siemens and NEC in regions such as Europe, he added.

“I think it turns up the competitive heat in the SMB segment and it probably has an effect on margins that is negative,” Kay said.

That’s because it’s “about market-share. That’s what it’s designed to do. Every other market [aside from large businesses] is pretty green field for them. They need to go beyond [big businesses] and grow. I think this represents the bid to do that.”

“There is room for them [in the market],” said Jim Locke, a president at J.W. Locke and Associates, a small business VAR and founder of the Small Business Technology Network.

“HP can be complex to navigate and manage while Dell is looking more like a competitor each day and seems to have quality issues that we are experiencing in the field,” Locke said.

“Perhaps, a new player is what we need to iron things out in the space. The question is whether Lenovo will be competitive or not. I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

Lenovo 3000 J Series 105 desktops, which offer AMD’s chips, will start at $359, while its Lenovo 3000 C Series notebooks will begin at $599, both relatively low prices for their respective categories.

Lenovo’s first Lenovo 3000 notebook, the C100, will offer a 15-inch screen with Intel Pentium M processors and wireless networking.

Aside from offering low prices, Lenovo designed its 3000 line to make it easier for small shops to work with their computers and to easily get technical support if they need it, Dusi said.

“We are focused on this idea of the worry-free dialogue,” he said. “Most of the businesses don’t have an IT staff. The time you spend keeping up and running, leaves tremendous room for us to differentiate ourselves in the market.”

Lenovo Care, a pop-up resource center, provides quick access to productivity features such as Wi-Fi connectivity in “two clicks” and one-button recovery from crashes.

Lenovo has also packaged the boxes with applications such as Google Tool Bar, Corel Word Perfect and Draw and Norton AntiVirus.

The Lenovo 3000 machines are priced and configured differently than Lenovo’s Z Series ThinkPad, which starts at $799, and its ThinkPad R Series starts at $749. It has also been marketing the two machines to SMBs.

The PC maker will follow up with N Series and V Series notebooks. An N100 line is expected to offer 14.1-inch and 15.4-inch widescreen displays, along with Intel processors.

Its V100, arriving later in the first half of 2006, is expected to be a smaller, more lightweight system that offers a 12-inch widescreen.