IBM Slims Down ThinkPad Line With New X40

IBM next week will make its already slim ThinkPad line even lighter with the release of the X40. The new ultraportable will weigh in at 2.7 pounds, almost a pound less than the ThinkPad X31.

IBM officials said the company next week will unveil its lightest ultraportable notebook yet.

Depending on configuration, the ThinkPad X40 will weigh as little as 2.7 pounds, which makes it 14 ounces lighter than its predecessor, the ThinkPad X31.

The X40 also is the first notebook to include Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore, a set of tools the company first introduced in November 2002.

Basically, the system saves files in such a way that they can be restored at the touch of an emergency button, said IBM officials in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The technology also includes a graphical interface even in a preboot state, and users potentially could get to the Web even when the hard drive is shot.

Another data integrity feature of the X40 will be its hard drive protection system. When the computer starts to drop, the drive locks its read/write heads automatically.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about IBMs Active Protection System technology.

In addition, the platters in the X40s hard drives will be smaller than in previous models, leading them to flex less in case of a shock. The X40 also has a water-resistant keyboard.

"This is the most active Thinkpad, the one thats most likely to be jostled about," said Jeff Samitt, worldwide segment manager for the Thinkpad X series.

The storage capacity will be the same as in any other X Series notebook—customers will have a choice of either a 20GB or 40GB hard drive. The screen will measure 12.1 inches.

Customers also have a choice of batteries. The 2.7-pound configuration will sport a four-cell battery that lasts 3.5 hours. An eight-cell battery configuration will add about five ounces and four more hours of life.

The X40 will come with a variety of integrated wireless LAN options, supporting 802.11b, 802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g. It also supports Bluetooth wireless connections.

Pricing for the ThinkPad X40 will start at $1,499, officials said.

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