For Lenovo Group Ltd., red is the new black.
After years of targeting business users with its conservative, black ThinkPad laptops, the personal-computer company is going after everyday consumers with a flashy new notebook line called IdeaPad.
The product line, which includes red aluminum-alloy cases, beefed-up gaming features and halo lighting, is part of a major strategic shift for Lenovo, as it tries to compete head-on with the likes of Hewlett-Packard Co. and Apple Inc. in selling PCs directly to consumers in the U.S and other developed countries.
But as Lenovo takes aim at consumers, it is looking at a crowded, competitive market. Companies such as Dell Inc. and Acer Inc. are vying for space on retail shelves, and brands are struggling to distinguish themselves on something other than price as differences among computer brands on performance and function have diminished in recent years.
"Everybody's got a glossy black notebook that's super thin and super light, and the question is, what do they do next?" says John Spooner, a senior analyst at Technology Business Research in Hampton, N.H.