IBM today announced a new ThinkPad R40 notebook computer equipped with three major new technologies — a comprehensive new approach to wireless leadership, easier access to service and support, and a broad set of usability improvements.
In addition, the new ThinkPad notebook now offers three variations of its popular “red-button” TrackPoint cursor-control device.
Starting at just 5.6 pounds (1) and offering up to four hours of battery life (2), the ThinkPad R40 offers technologies designed to help seamlessly integrate personal computers in networks that are becoming self-maintaining, highly dynamic, and responsive to regularly changing customer requirements.
In wireless technology, the IBM ThinkPad R40 notebook redefines leadership with a comprehensive new approach that includes dual-band WiFi technology (3), an innovative antenna design, and an exciting new version of IBM Access Connections. For the first time, IBM is offering dual WiFi connectivity based on IEEE 802.11 a/b standards in select ThinkPad models. This takes advantage of the improved speed and number of transmission channels available with the new IEEE 802.11a standard, while maintaining compatibility with existing IEEE 802.11b-based networks. These new Wi-Fi wireless and wireless-upgradable ThinkPad notebooks feature the IBM UltraConnect Antenna built into the display cover for optimal signal reception. The antenna supports multiple frequencies to optimize coverage and performance for improved wireless LAN connectivity worldwide, including both IEEE 802.11a and b. In addition, 802.11 a/b models of the ThinkPad R40 notebook are equipped with the IBM Access Connections Version 2.5 location manager utility, which enables the notebook to automatically sense a wired or wireless LAN connection and switch between them based on priority or speed. This means users can move seamlessly from a wired office connection to a wireless LAN campus connection, without manually switching network settings.
The ThinkPad R40 also offers models based on IEEE 802.11b or 802.11b Cisco Aironet. Select ThinkPad R40 models equipped with both WLAN technology and IBM’s Embedded Security Subsystem (ESS) (4) can augment the security of the WLAN by storing IEEE 802.1x authentication credentials, such as digital certificates, with the security subsystem. Another security enhancement is the inclusion of Cisco LEAP support for 802.11 a/b models. This is important for customers who are using a Cisco wireless infrastructure with LEAP security and need a notebook that supports 802.11a with LEAP. For those who choose integrated wireless later, IBM also offers wireless-upgradable models.
A New Tool to Help Limit Downtime
The IBM ThinkPad R40 now offers the new Access IBM button, a “portal to IBM support” that taps into a rich set of onboard resources, diagnostic tools, automated solutions, and links to updates and service on-line (5). Access IBM is joined on all new Think notebook and desktop personal computers by RapidRestore PC, which provides a one-button disaster recovery solution and can restore previously saved data, settings and applications after a software failure. Both Access IBM and RapidRestore PC help limit downtime, maximizing productivity and helping reduce expensive support costs.
Making ThinkPad Notebooks Easier to Use
Since its launch in 1992, the IBM ThinkPad notebook has offered TrackPoint — a small, red, joystick-like cursor-control device. Users will now have a choice of three red TrackPoint caps — the original dome, a new slightly softer dome, and a soft rim with a completely new shape. Based on extensive ergonomic research, the new caps provide additional choice in the feel of the award-winning ThinkPad keyboard.
“TrackPoint has always punctuated the ThinkPad design,” said Bob Galush, vice president of marketing, IBM Personal Computing Division. “These new caps are a simple way to provide additional user flexibility. And to re-emphasize the idea of choice, the ThinkPad R40 also offers UltraNav, for people who would rather control their cursor with a touch-pad.”
Choice among cursor-control devices is only one of large set of usability enhancements to the new ThinkPad R Series. It also offers high-resolution 15-inch XGA or SXGA+ high-resolution screens in addition to 14-inch choices; two USB 2.0 ports for faster data transfer and communications with USB 2.0-enabled peripherals; and new hot-swappable Ultrabay optical drives — or the option of a second battery in that drive. Users who prefer IEEE 1394 “Firewire” ports can also order that option.
Additionally, IBM ThinkPad notebooks and IBM desktop PCs are equipped to take full advantage of ImageUltra, IBM’s innovative, patented image management technology and services designed to lower costs by reducing the number of the software images managed by IT departments. The wireless UltraConnect Antenna, Access Connections, the Embedded Security Subsystem, Access IBM, RapidRestore PC, and Ultrabay are all unique to IBM’s new Think strategy in personal computing.
Models of the ThinkPad R40 are generally available today with prices starting at $979 for a model with an Intel Celeron 1.6 GHz processor, and $1,499 for a model with a 2.0 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 processor. All IBM personal computers can be purchased direct through ibm.com or by calling 1-888-SHOP-IBM. IBM personal computers are also available through select business partners. For more information, see ibm.com/thinkpad.