New ThinkPad T43 layers on security

Although IBM Corp. plans to sell its PC division to China's Lenovo Group Ltd. soon, the company is still upgrading products. The ThinkPad T43 notebook design due out in April layers on several new security functions.

The earlier ThinkPad T42 already comes with a silicon-chip fingerprint reader for biometric authentication. Besides the reader, the T43 will have Antidote Delivery Manager software, part of IBM's Rescue and Recovery 2.0.

Users can store a full system backup in its own independent drive partition for recovery after a worm attack, product manager Bill Iori said. The backup also could reside on a USB storage key, a network drive, or multiple CDs or DVDs. In addition, users can schedule periodic incremental backups to easily retrieve lost or deleted items.

Administrators can use the Antidote Delivery Manager to push patches to users and enforce security policy. Users themselves can also set access policies to require, for instance, signing on with a password, passphrase or fingerprint'or two of them or all three, stored and encrypted on the ThinkPad's separate security chip. And users can check the status of all of the ThinkPad's IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless radios by pressing one key.

Iori said this will 'not be the last update' in ThinkPad design before Lenovo takes over. The IBM brand will continue on PCs for five years.

The 4.5-pound, inch-thick Pentium M ThinkPad T43 will list from around $1,469 with a 14- or 15-inch display. System memory goes up to 2G and hard-drive capacity to 80G. The unit integrates a graphics accelerator but can be ordered with several types of high-performance graphics adapters.

Iori said the T43 will run four to six hours on a dense-cell battery. Calling battery innovations 'few and far between,' he said it will be some time before hydrogen cells could replace lithium-ion batteries for notebooks. 'Most manufacturers are reluctant to jump into a new power technology,' he said.

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