Lenovo's new IdeaPad S Series notebooks target users who like thin and light laptops, but don't want to spend big bucks on a premium-priced Ultrabook.  Three newly announced models at IFA 2012--the 13-inch S300, and the 14-inch S400 and S405--promise to provide a much more potent processing punch than the current S Series netbooks without weighing you down. The best part? Pricing starts under $500.

All three IdeaPad S Series laptops measure just shy of an inch and weigh under 4 pounds, making the new IdeaPad S-series slightly thicker than Ultrabooks, but still plenty portable. The IdeaPad S300 and S400 feature third-generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processors and up to 500GB hard drives, while the IdeaPad S405 is powered by AMD's flagship A-series mobile APUs and can hold up to 1TB of data.

The new IdeaPad S Series notebooks sport Lenovo's familiar abundance of configuration options. In addition to several processor, memory and hard drive option, you'll be able to choose from multiple colors, including crimson red, silver grey and cotton-candy pink. Feature-wise, you'll find Dolby Advanced Audio, an HDMI port, and an updated S Series touchpad alongside Lenovo's Quick Start and OneKey Rescue System technology.

While Intel's guidelines state that Ultrabooks have to chug along for at least 5 hours, Lenovo's new IdeaPad S Series laptops promise "up to" 5 hours of battery life. Of course, Lenovo's S Series machines are also significantly cheaper, so you'll have to decide what's more important.