IBM thinks up a new notebook series

ThinkPad G40

IBM Corp.

IBM Corp. today launches the first in a new line of ThinkPad notebook PCs, inaugurating the fifth iteration of its portables.

The ThinkPad G40, the entry-level notebook of the new G Series, is aimed at the government user who is slowly making the move to mobile hardware, said Grant Shenk, worldwide product manager for the ThinkPad A and G series.

'It treads the line between desktop and notebook,' he said. 'We can actually configure this much like a desktop.'

The G40, whose weight ranges from 7.5 to 9 pounds and has a screen size from 14 to 15 inches depending on its configuration, has features that make clear that it's for a distinctively novice user'unlike IBM's other series of notebook PCs, Shenk said.

The ThinkPad G40 has a 2-GHz Intel Celeron processor upgradeable to a 3-GHz Intel Pentium 4, a 20G hard drive expandable to 40G, and 128M of RAM expandable to 1G. The portable, which also has four Universal Serial Bus 2.0 ports, runs Microsoft Windows XP and has built-in IBM ThinkVantage software for security, one-button backup and recovery and tech support.

That IBM expects its new ThinkPad to be used more in the office than on the road is apparent by its battery life, which maxes out at three and a half hours'less than half the battery life of IBM's T Series notebooks.

When in wireless mode, the G40 can link to 802.11b and dual-band 802.11a/b access points. To make its use as a mobile and desktop PC less complex, an application in the ThinkVantage software package automatically scans and switches between wired and wireless LAN connections.

The starting price for the ThinkPad G40 is $949. Future G series portables will continue to target the occasional wireless user, Shenk said.

IBM will offer government and volume markdowns through its resellers CDW Government Inc. of Vernon Hills, Ill., GTSI Corp. of Chantilly, Va., and of McLean, Va.

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