IBM last week introduced a series of ThinkPads designed for small-business employees who need the mobility of a notebook computer but not necessarily the battery life.
The ThinkPad G40 is a notebook designed to be a desktop replacement for users who rely more on AC power than battery power, simply moving from one electrical outlet to the next. It supports processors designed for desktops rather than more expensive ones designed to save laptop battery life, such as Intel Corp.s new Centrino chip set.
“Even Intel has recognized there is a significant portion that will not move … to Centrino,” said Grant Shenk, product manager for the ThinkPad G Series at IBM, in Somers, N.Y. “This represents the true desktop replacement.”
The G Series focuses on legacy. The G40 sports a floppy drive and four USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 slots, an inclined keyboard designed to feel like a desktop keyboard, and a pivoting base that makes it easier for users to adjust the angle of the notebook.
It is not designed for a corporate network, so it does not include a docking station. But some models support 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless LANs, and third-party companies are building docking options for the G Series, Shenk said.
As with most of IBMs notebooks, the ThinkPad G40 comes in a variety of models and prices.
At the low end is the 23881C. It includes a 2GHz Intel Celeron processor, a 14-inch XGA display, a 20GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, 128MB of memory, a 1.5-hour lithium-ion battery, a 56K-bps modem and a 10/100M-bps Ethernet port for $949.
At the high end is the 23885BU. It sports a 3GHz Intel Pentium 4 desktop processor, a 15-inch XG-plus display, a 40GB hard drive, a DVD/CD-RW drive, 256MB of memory, a 12-cell lithium-ion battery that lasts 2 hours, a 56K-bps modem, and support for Ethernet and 802.11b. It costs $2,069.
The G40 is available immediately.