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Lenovo embeds Linux in high-end and low-end notebooks

Aug 9, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

[Updated Aug. 12] — Lenovo recently made headlines by adding Linux as a pre-installed OS option on its top-of-range T60p. Now, InterVideo has revealed that InstantON, its Linux-based quick-booting media-player environment, is shipping in a lightweight Lenovo notebook. InstantON offers immediate access to media functions, before Windows boots.

On top of all this, many if not all Lenovo notebooks include a “Lenovo Care” pre-boot environment that appears to be based on Linux, along with the Opera browser; Opera CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner told LinuxDevices in February that his company helped develop such a feature, prior to IBM's sale of its PC and notebook business to Lenovo in May of 2005.

InterVideo is best-known for its WinDVD player, which has been bundled with myriad Windows PCs. It launched InstantOn in January of 2004, and has since lincensed the multimedia environment to PC and notebook vendors such as A-Open, NEC, and others.

InterVideo revised InstantON last year, adding DVD burning capabilities, as well as support for DVB-T (digital video broadcast, terrestrial) receivers.

The Lenovo 3000 V Series notebook

The Lenovo 3000 V Series is an inexpensive four-pound laptop with a 12.1-inch screen, and a full-sized keyboard. It is available with an Intel Core Duo processor clocked at 1.66GHz or 2.0GHz.

Two views of Lenovo 3000 V Series
(Click either to enlarge)

The 3000 V notebook appears to be available now, priced at about $1,000. It does not appear to be available without Windows, however, and does not appear to be designed with Linux in mind, since its trackpad has only two buttons.

A fast-booting Linux-based media environment was also developed or licensed by Toshiba for its Qosmio notebook.

Last week, LinuxDevices sister site learned that Lenovo plans to offer its top-of-the-line ThinkPad T60p model pre-installed with SUSE Linux Enterprise Edition (SLED), although this option does not yet appear to be orderable.

LinuxDevices reader Paul M. reports that his Sony TX notebook also comes with InterVideo's InstantOn. He writes, “There's a hidden directory placed on the C: drive — which contains a linux kernel, a ram disk, and a loopback-mountable filesystem containing libraries and binaries. You can copy these files to a linux box and use them,” adding “Sony has a copy of the GPL bundled with the laptop but they do not explain what for!”

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