IBM today unveiled its completely redesigned ultraportable notebook computer, the ThinkPad X40, setting new standards for portability, battery life, and wireless connectivity in ultraportable systems. Starting at only 2.7 pounds, the new X40 is the lightest and thinnest ThinkPad ever and boasts the smallest footprint in its class with a full-size keyboard.
IBM ThinkPad X40, the ligthest and thinnest ThinkPad ever
And in a PC industry first, IBM today is also launching Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore, a completely new set of tools contained in an embedded, pre-boot emergency system. They provide one-button relief from a broad range of common PC problems, including viruses, missing system files, and corrupted software drivers.
By incorporating the latest ThinkVantage Technologies with the light system design, the ultraportable ThinkPad X40 is ideal for the global mobile user, road warriors and business travelers. Because many of IBM’s new recovery tools exist outside the PC’s main operating system, business travelers who are away from office technical support have new options for solving PC problems — regardless of whether Windows will start. Commonly described by IBM as a “lifeboat” solution, this tool helps reduce IT support costs by enabling user self-recovery and reducing the need for help-desk calls and desk-side visits.
“A ThinkPad like the X40 fits into our longer term vision,” said Steve Evans, vice president of information systems for the PGA Tour. Evans is responsible for the technology supporting PGA tournaments, players, staff and agents. “Since we’ve got over 300 players carrying ThinkPads and they are traveling every single week, having full function in a lightweight model will be a big benefit. The support features are just as important. The ability to recover if there is a problem on the road is really going to help our help desk to be effective and keep our costs down.” The ease of carrying a ThinkPad X40 into meetings, Evans said, will help him transition to asking people to begin taking action while he’s still in the meeting, and from doing paperwork at his desk to taking care of most duties on his notebook.
Ultimate Mobility In A Versatile Ultraportable
The ThinkPad X40 is a full 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter — 14 ounces less — than its predecessor, the ThinkPad X31. For the business traveler, 14 ounces translates into three cell phones; or two digital cameras; or a bottle of water; or a pair of jeans, a sweater and a T-shirt. It also offers a unique battery design capable of providing the longest standard battery life of any leading brand notebook (3), at up to 7.5 hours (4) on select models with the optional 8-cell battery. Mobile users can also combine the X40’s unique battery options to deliver all-day computing for people who take their notebooks with them anywhere and everywhere, offering up to 10 hours of optional battery life in a total solution that weighs less than 4 pounds.
“With this new design, IBM ThinkPad support for the highly mobile user is unsurpassed in the industry,” said Fran O’Sullivan, general manager, IBM Personal Computing Division. “The new ThinkPad X40 redefines the ultraportable notebook standard for 2004 and beyond. Reducing ThinkPad weight by 14 ounces translates into an entirely different experience for users. It means they can do real computing on demand, wherever they happen to be located.”
IBM provides flexibility so users can take advantage of wireless technology via Intel 802.11b, IBM 11b/g, IBM 11a/b/g (5), and Bluetooth Wireless Technology. When used with the IBM Embedded Security Subsystem, along with industry-standard wireless encryption, the ThinkPad X40 provides the most secure wireless computing environment in the industry (6). In addition, all X40 models come standard with a modem, Gigabit Ethernet and Infrared.
Featuring the Intel Pentium-M processor together with enhanced IBM ThinkVantage Design, the ThinkPad X40 sets new standards in mobility and battery life. In addition, select models include Intel’s Centrino mobile technology, providing wireless connectivity while helping to deliver high performance and extended battery life.
The ThinkPad X40 also includes innovative new features such as a powered USB 2.0 port, which supports external optical drives without a separate AC adapter, and a new Secure Digital port. The ThinkPad X40 can work with the new optional X4 UltraBase Dock, providing additional expansion options for mobile workers at a combined weight of only 4 pounds. By redesigning the X4 UltraBase Dock for increased functionality, IBM provides the flexibility of converting the X40 into a two-spindle solution that supports UltraBay Slim devices such as additional batteries, added media options, and increased storage capacity. The X4 UltraBase Dock also includes a USB 2.0 hub, power-on button and keylock for added security. The ThinkPad X40 also features a simplified case design allowing for faster and easier service of memory and communications options.
Additionally, the X40 has been designed for greater durability for business travelers, by including IBM’s patent-pending hard drive protection technology to help protect people’s data. The IBM Active Protection System, similar to the technology used in automobiles to deploy airbags, uses a microchip on the system board to detect system acceleration (such as in a fall) and responds by temporarily parking the drive’s read/write head. This rapid response can help prevent some hard drive crashes that occur in some falls, helping to prevent total data loss and ultimately reduce downtime and warranty costs.
A Powerful Ultraportable Alternative
IBM today is also announcing new models of the ultraportable ThinkPad X31. The ThinkPad X31 now features Intel Pentium-M processors up to 1.7GHz (7), with a travel weight of 3.6 pounds. For organizations that want image commonality, the X31 is compatible with the T41 and R50.
Easier to Use, Manage and Service
In addition to IBM Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore, the new ThinkPad X40 includes other IBM ThinkVantage Technologies that improve security, provide choice and ease-of-use in wireless capabilities, and are designed to increase IT staff and user productivity. Both the ThinkPad X40 and the ThinkPad X31 features updated versions of Access Connections and Access IBM. Access Connections 3.0 simplifies the management of wireless and wired network settings so that users can easily switch between networking environments. The new Access IBM 4.5 software provides easy access to on-system and online (8) information including IBM service and support, which can reduce help desk calls and increase employee productivity.
Pricing and Availability
The new ThinkPad X40 notebook and new models of the ThinkPad X31 notebook will be available on February 24 through www.ibm.com. IBM personal computers are also available through select business partners. Prices for the ThinkPad X40 start at $1,499, while the ThinkPad X31 starts at $1,349. For more information, see www.ibm.com/thinkpad