ThinkPads Protect Data From Falls

The IBM Active Protection System in IBM's newest ThinkPad notebook computers helps prevent the loss of data in the event of a fall.

IBM on Monday introduced new ThinkPad notebook computers that are designed to protect data when they suffer a fall.

The ThinkPad T41 and the ThinkPad R50 both include the IBM Active Protection System, which is similar to the technology that tells cars when to deploy airbags. A microchip on the motherboard detects when the computer is falling and parks the read/write head on the hard drive until the computer is stabilized. This helps prevent the data loss that can happen when a notebook computer falls off a desk, said officials at IBM in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The ThinkPad R50 is available in 14- and 15-inch models and can achieve up to 10 hours of battery life with an optional second system battery, officials said.

The T41 is a refreshed version of the popular IBM T40 model, with updated processor options as well as the Active Protection System.

Both the T41 and R50 come in versions that feature the IBM Embedded Subsystem.

For wireless options, customers can choose between Intel Corp.s Centrino chip set, which includes 802.11b wireless LAN support, or an Intel Pentium M processor combined with an 802.11a/b/g chip set from Atheros Communications Inc.

Pricing for the R50 ranges from $1,529 to $2,299.

Pricing for the T41 ranges from $1,649 to $3,699.

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