Lenovo has launched a new series of inexpensive desktops designed to bring some of its ThinkCentre PC management technologies to small businesses.

The ThinkCentre E50 series desktops are Lenovo's first products meant for the small business market, which Lenovo defined as companies with fewer than 100 employees. Some of these companies do not have professional IT staff and can make use of technologies such as Rescue and Recovery, which can help basic PC users troubleshoot problems even if the PC's operating system refuses to boot properly.

Lenovo, and IBM before it, previously marketed these technologies to larger businesses as part of the ThinkPad notebook lineup, but it is now bringing them down to desktops that cost as little as US$379. Several different configurations with Celeron and Pentium 4 processors from Intel are immediately available on Lenovo's wedsite and through authorised dealers.

Lenovo is the world's third-largest PC vendor as ranked by its market share of worldwide PC shipments, according to data released Monday by Gartner and IDC. It completed its purchase of IBM's PC business in May.