Think small Thinkpads for small businesses, I presume.

The Consumer Electronics Show doesn't open until the end of this week. But, of course, techies are already "leaking" their product launch details now to make sure they don't get lost in the rush. I guess you might say that when it comes to CES, what happens in Vegas DOES NOT stay in Vegas.

In that vein, Lenovo is launching a new line of smaller Thinkpads called Thinkpad Edge primarily targeting the small to midsize business user.

The Thinkpad Edge will come in 13, 14 and 15 inch size screens. The 13 inch model is available now for $549. The 14 and 15 inch models will not be available until the second quarter of this year.

There's a netbook version called the Thinkpad X100e that will go for $449. It's 11 inches and weighs less than three pounds. Cool, eh? I remember my first Thinkpad back in the mid-90's that was more like a ThinkAnvil, by comparison.

The baby Thinkpads sport spill-proof keyboards, Windows 7, WiFi, Skype, dual- core processors, web conferencing and 3G network ready capability, 3 USB ports and a partridge in a pear tree (oops, that's over now). Most importantly, they come in fire engine red.

This is actually quite symbolic of something. I'm just not sure what. When Thinkpads were originally an IBM product, I thought of them as the ulitmate "laptop for the enterrprise" user. How far we have come, eh?

Thinkpads for under $500? Who woulda thunk?