ThinkPads Go Wireless

This summer, IBM will enhance its ThinkPad notebook computers with a wireless PC Card based on Bluetooth technology, a short-range radio technology for transmitting data.

At first, Bluetooth cards will allow ThinkPads to swap data. Soon after, IBM plans to add a multifunction port to ThinkPad lids. Code-named "Portofino," the Plug-and-Play connector will support Bluetooth transceivers, giving ThinkPads cable-free connections to Bluetooth-enabled printers, cameras, and cell phones.

Big Blue also confirms it is working on a Bluetooth modem for Palm devices, including its own Palm-compatible WorkPad. The yet-to-be-named Bluetooth PC Card will be priced under $200.

Other vendors supporting the Bluetooth wireless standard include Ericsson, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Toshiba, and 3Com. Bluetooth is noted for its ease of use; it can allow nearby devices and peripherals to communicate automatically.

If Bluetooth technology becomes pervasive, a handheld device could easily sync data with a notebook computer, and a cellular phone could act as a modem to send data over the Internet--no cables required.

IBM will be the first major computer maker to offer a Bluetooth wireless product. Currently, Dell, Compaq, and Apple Computer have wireless options that conform to the competing IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network standard.

This fall, Acer NeWeb and Widcomm expect to release a competitor to IBM's announced Bluetooth PC Card. They will offer a Bluetooth PC Card called a BlueCard, priced at $100. A $100 Universal Serial Bus version called BlueShare is also scheduled, along with a $100 option for the Visor handheld computing device called BlueConnect.

Compaq, Dell, and Gateway are also expected to launch Bluetooth devices early next year.

Experts say the popularity of wireless notebook computing is growing fast. The market is expected to hit an estimated $839 million in sales this year and $1.56 billion in 2001, according to market researchers at IDC.

TDK Systems Europe specializes in mobile communications. Its products and services include GSM, ISDN, and LAN connectivity and several PC Card modems.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Spring

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?