IBM launches new ThinkPad

Big Blue’s latest notebook just got a little slimmer.

Weighing in at 1.23kg (2.7 pounds) — 20 per cent smaller and 25 per cent lighter than its predecessor, the ThinkPad X31, according to IBM Corp. — the redesigned ThinkPad X40 is the newest addition to IBM’s XSeries line of ultraportable notebooks.

The machine, which starts at $2,299, comes with a 12.1-inch display, a full-size keyboard, a powered USB 2.0 port and Intel Low Voltage or Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M processors up to 1.2Ghz.

All models come with integrated Gigabit Ethernet and WiFi connectivity but the lightest versions don’t have optical or floppy drives.

“”(The X40) offers a long battery life and doesn’t sacrifice functionality or usability,”” said Harry Wttewaall, national ThinkPad sales specialist for IBM Canada’s personal computing division.

Users can get up to 10 hours of optional battery life in a device weighing under four pounds. The X40 also comes with Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore, a suite of self-recovery tools contained in an embedded, pre-boot emergency system at the touch of a button.

“”This is an excellent opportunity for the channel to do some customization work with their customers to make sure that the end user is happy,”” said Wttewaall.

Todd Irie, director of marketing with NexInnovations Inc. and an IBM reseller, said the company is seeing a significant interest in the mobile category from its customers.

“”They can be productive on the plane, the train with instant wireless connections,”” said Irie. “”You’re getting a lot of the great features without sacrificing the weight,”” he said, adding that there are benefits for resellers at the service end as well.

Despite the distance technology has come in ultraportables, they are still niche players in the notebook market, said Daniel Reio, product manager of commercial notebooks and Tablet PCs at Hewlett-Packard Canada.

At less than 15 per cent of HP’s notebook sales, Reio doesn’t expect that number to grow anytime soon.

“”From an SMB perspective, customers are looking for a desktop replacement notebook. The trend you’re seeing is not necessarily to ultraportability but to replicating all the features and performance that you’d find in a desktop PC but in portable technology,”” he said, adding corporate users won’t go below a 14-inch screen.

“”We’re seeing a lot of interest from an executive perspective and from a mobile sales force to start adapting tablet technology in place of a regular laptop.””

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