Considering how much abuse laptops get at airport security check-in lines these days, it doesnt hurt to have a little insurance. Two of IBMs latest ThinkPads, the T41 and the R50, which began shipping last month, come equipped with what IBM calls the worlds first automatic hard drive protection technology.
IBMs new Active Protection System follows the same concept as an air bag. A motherboard-mounted sensor detects acceleration—or the falling movement of the laptop—and will automatically park the units disk drive heads to help minimize damage and prevent the loss of data.
Although laptop hard drive makers have attempted to build durability into hard drives, dropping a laptop can result in data loss or worse. IBM officials claim Active Protection can deliver as much as four times more impact protection than notebooks without it.
Weighing in at 4.5 pounds, the T41 I played with is the successor to the popular T40. The laptop came equipped with Intels Centrino mobile technology, which allowed me to easily connect to the Labs 802.11b WLAN and take the very portable unit with me as I moved around our offices.
Enterprises deploying different varieties of 802.11 can also opt for non-Centrino versions of the T41, which includes IBMs support for 802.11a and 802.11g.
Enterprises can choose from 30GB, 40GB or 60GB hard drives and as much as 2GB of SDRAM. IBM claims the included six-cell lithium-ion battery will last 5 hours, and the companys optional nine-cell battery will last 7.5 hours.
With the T41, IBM has also updated its ThinkVantage technologies, including IBM Rapid Restore Ultra for system recovery after software crashes.
The ThinkPad T41 starts at $1,649. More information can be found at www.ibm.com/thinkpad.