Notebook News: IBM ThinkPad T42, ThinkColor, New Apple Notebooks, NBR.com Poll Results

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IBM ThinkPad T42 Release Confirmed

Last week we reported that IBM might have a T42 ThinkPad up its sleeve, but it was unclear as to whether they might call the next ThinkPad release the T50.  Well, it looks like IBM will go with the T42 nomenclature.  University order forms are giving things away for IBM.  Incoming students for next years class have to place orders for notebooks during the next month or two, and at schools such as University of North Carolina and New York University IBM is listing the ThinkPad T42 in its brochure.  Check out the following url:

http://www.unc.edu/cci/incoming_students/undergradlaptopspecs.shtml

The TXX notebook you can see on the web page link is actually the T42.

  Nothing gives the T42 away as being a notebook that will contain the next generation Intel Pentium M “Dothan” processor, but in all likelihood we will see configurations that offer this chip.  Expect the T42 to be out in the next couple of months.

IBM to Offer Alternative ThinkPad Colors

Continuing on the subject of ThinkPad notebooks, sources in Taiwan are reporting that Big Blue is sick of all black ThinkPads.  Or rather, Big Blue is tired of not being able to sell its notebooks to female and fashion concious consumers because such consumers are turned off by the matte-black only color.  IBM ThinkPads are known for their professional, sleek and conservative look.  No fancy colors, funky curves or ferrari logos would ever be seen on a ThinkPad.  But that might all change this fall/winter when IBM releases some non-black colored notebooks.  According to our source, DigiTimes.com, IBM will paint the ThinkPads in something other than black (although we think it will just be blue or gray) and they may even co-brand with other companies.

I’ll certainly have to rub my eyes to believe if the day comes when we see these non-black ThinkPads.  Maybe they’ll really surprise us with a banana yellow option.  Yeah right.

Apple Releases New iBooks and PowerBooks

And from the company that once upon a time gave us multiple color options for our notebooks, and then decided not to, we have a refreshed and powered up iBook and PowerBook line.

According to Greg Joswiak, vice-president of hardware product marketing, “We know that customers would prefer to be portable”

Notebooks have become increasingly important to Apple, they in fact make up about half of all Macs sold these days. 

For the new range of Powerbooks, Apple has increased the G4 processor speed on the 12-inch entry model to 1.33GHz, incorporated 802.11 b/g reception and cut the cost to US$1,599.

The iBooks have also had a power boost, with the entry-level 12-inch now coming with a 1GHz G4 processor and a slight price drop to $1,099.

This is all good and well, we’re happy Apple is pushing its notebooks since they are nice machines, but we’re curious as to whether a G5 PowerBook will see the light of day before 2005.  But when Greg Joswiak was asked this question, his response was “”In the very long run, the G5 is part of our long term processor roadmap, but it will be some time before that processor will be in a notebook.”  Greg then pointed out that it took 2 years for the G4 to make it from the desktop to the notebook.  That would mean a 2005 release of a G5 notebook.  Oh well, we can hold out hope for Christmas 2004 still.

NotebookReview.com Poll Results for Wi-Fi Usage

Last month we posed the following question: “In the interest of knowing how ubiquitous Wi-Fi has/hasn’t become in your daily life, please answer accordingly?”  And here’s how people responded:

I use a wi-fi network at work only   [2%]
I use a wi-fi network at home only   [32%]
I use a wi-fi network at work and home   [14%]
I use a wi-fi network at school only   [3%]
I use a wi-fi network at home and school   [10%]
I access wi-fi networks in several places   [17%]
I do not use a wi-fi network anywhere   [22%]

It’s quite obvious that a lot of us are installing wireless networks at home, if you add up all the responses that intersect with people using a wi-fi network in their home, you’ll see it’s somewhere between 60% – 70% adoption at home (the “several places” answer might or might not include home, so I’m just estimating here).  And for the 22% of you that are scoffing wi-fi or just don’t care about it — jump on the band-wagon already!  Wires, yuck.



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