IBM releases desktop-priced ThinkPads

Priced at under US$1,000, a new version of the ThinkPad notebook computer is targeted at users who are interested in switching from desktop PCs to laptop computers, but don't have much need for mobility, according to IBM.

Screen sizes up to 15 inches and a wedge-shaped design with a larger, more ergonomic keyboard are just two of the features that are supposed to ease the transition to the notebook platform for IBM customers used to working on desktop machines, according to Chris Mantin, worldwide segment marketing manager for ThinkPad at IBM.

Also like desktop machines, the new G40s use Intel Pentium or Celeron brand desktop processors and come outfitted with four USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports for connecting peripheral devices.

Many competing notebooks in the so-called "desktop replacement" market have only one or two USB ports, according to Mantin.

Unlike Dell Computer, IBM also decided to stick with a so-called "three spindle" design that includes a floppy disk drive in addition to a hard disk and optical (CD/DVD) drive, Mantin said.

He cited the continued use of the 1.44 M-byte floppy disk among the G40's target customers in small and medium-sized businesses, education and government as the reason behind the decision to include the extra drive.

The key for IBM is to provide a smooth transition from the desktop to the notebook platform with a "desktop replacement" that doesn't deprive customers of functionality they are used to in the name of portability, according to Mantin.

Such customers either prefer larger screens and keyboards and need only "occasional mobility," or are not ready to make the radical switch from desktops to "ultralight" notebooks, finding comfort in the similar features and specifications between desktop computers and desktop replacement notebooks.

Accordingly, the G40 is heavier than other ThinkPad models, weighing in at between seven and 7.9 pounds and has a more limited battery life than other notebooks. Lower-end models come with a six cell Lithium Ion battery that allows the G40 to run for approximately two hours. Higher end models come with a 12 cell battery that provides up to three and a half hours of life.

Despite the focus on creating a desktop-like notebook, IBM is offering a number of features aimed at portable users, including dual-band 802.11a and 802.11b wireless support with selected G40 models.

In addition to an antenna built in to the G40's display and a mini PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) wireless card integrated onto the motherboard, wireless-enabled G40 models are preloaded with the IBM Access Connections Version 2.6 software, which enables mobile users to detect and switch between available wireless connections based on their priority and speed, according to Mantin.

The G40s are available immediately from IBM and start at $949 for a model with an Intel Celeron 2.0GHz processor.

At the high end, a G40 equipped with a 3.0GHz Intel Pentium processor, 15 inch display, 802.11 wireless support and a combined DVD/CD-rewriteable drive costs $2,069, Mantin said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Roberts

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?