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Technology

 May 01, 2000
IBM Introduces the New ThinkPad A Series and T Series

 IBM today announced the next generationof ThinkPad notebooks designed to enhance and simplify the mobile computing experience. The ThinkPad A Series and T Series have reset the bar in mobile computing by creating a more enjoyable, easier-to-use experience for end-users and easier for IT professionals to manage.

The ThinkPad A Series and T Series continue to build on the IBM tradition of innovation and leadership design by incorporating Titanium high tech materials and a host of new ease-of-use features for almost effortless computing. These new notebooks can keep users connected - either wired or wireless - with a broad choice of connectivity options. Plus, IBM's renowned service and support has been enhanced with the new ThinkPad Button, a tool that simplifies access to online and on-system information, resources and help.

IBM has simplified its ThinkPad product lineup and changed the naming scheme to connote the experience of the product. The "A" indicates that it is an alternative to a desktop computer, while the "T" indicates it is a 'thin-and-light' notebook. The ThinkPad 390 models are transitioning to the new ThinkPad A20m, the ThinkPad 770 models are transitioning to the high-performance ThinkPad A20p and the ThinkPad 600 is transitioning to the new ThinkPad T20. The new models offer a broad range of products, for users and businesses of all sizes.

"While our competitors are focused on processor speeds and hard drives, IBM ThinkPad has raised the bar and focused on the end-user experience," said Susan Taylor, Marketing Manager, IBM ThinkPad Brand. "After selling more than ten million ThinkPads in seven years, the new ThinkPad A Series and T Series are a significant addition to the ThinkPad line. We feel the combination of our usability features, world class service and high-performance give ThinkPad a distinct advantage over the competition."

Consistent with IBM's EoN (Edge-of-Network) strategy, to simplify the computing experience for end-users and IT managers, ThinkPad continues to lead the way in delivering enhancements, innovations and solutions that have shaped and defined the mobile computing category, including:

Titanium Composite - Increased strength for protection

Titanium has been used for aerospace, orthopedics and sporting equipment because of its high strength, low density, corrosion resistance and elastic modulus.

Titanium's low modulus translates into a natural dampening effect on vibrations and shocks. The new ThinkPad A20p and T20 with the latest in high tech materials for notebooks, Titanium Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic adds strength (1) while allowing a thinner and lighter case. The use of Titanium Composite plastic has allowed IBM to create the industry's thinnest and lightest systems with ThinkPads with large displays (up to 15 inches).

ThinkPad Button - Easily access information, services and solutions

With a touch of the new ThinkPad Button, users can access instant help and support through the Access ThinkPad portal. Access ThinkPad includes an on-system tool with a quick search engine that provides users information on things like optimizing battery life, or an animated tutorial on how to change a Mini PCI card. It also provides access to online information including the new ThinkPad Community Web page, an interactive information center where users can get help by asking an IBM expert or from each other in the user forum. Designed with flexibility, the Access ThinkPad portal can be customized by IT managers to configure the ThinkPad Button to link to their company's Intranet or help desk on the online side and the on-system ThinkPad Assistant tool can be customized by adding company information.

Ultrabay (TM) 2000 - Fast-swap a range of common devices

Users can share standard and optional Ultrabay 2000 devices between ThinkPad A Series and T Series notebooks. The Ultrabay 2000 was designed to enable the user to swap devices, without having to move the system. Devices for the new Ultrabay 2000 include CD-Read/Write, DVD-ROM, SuperDisk (LS-120) drive, CD-ROM, second hard drive (requires optional second HDD adapter or second battery. The new ThinkPad Dock also accepts Ultrabay 2000 devices.

Common Docking Solutions - Robust, space-saving design

IBM introduces a simplified dock and port replication solution for the entire line of ThinkPad A Series and T Series notebooks. The new, sleek line of simplified docking solutions provide robust functionality and save valuable desk space. The new ThinkPad Port Replicator provides cable management. The new ThinkPad Dock provides cable management plus expansion capability in a small 12.5"x7.7"x2.6" footprint. Both solutions work with the ThinkPad A Series and T Series and come with integrated RJ-45 and RJ-11 ports that allow for one-step pass-through network and modem connectivity from the notebook

UltraPort (TM) Connector - Location-centric port for multiple uses

The UltraPort connector on the ThinkPad T20 and A20p enhances useability of features because it is located on the top edge of the display. It is designed to be used with the optional UltraPort Camera to capture still images or add video to e-mail. To simplify device connectivity and remove the need for cables, IBM is planning to announce a Bluetooth (TM) wireless technology communication solution for the ThinkPad UltraPort connector in the second half of 2000.

Communications Bay - Versatile connectivity

Users can connect easily with built-in RJ-45 and RJ-11 ports and the versatile user-accessible Communications Bay, which accommodates industry- standard Mini PCI cards. Users can enable either the on-board RJ-11 or RJ-45 ports to use at home or in the office. Models are available with either an IBM 10/100 EtherJet Mini PCI adapter with 56K modem or 56K modem Mini PCI card.

Wireless Communications - Simplified connectivity

The new ThinkPad A Series and T Series are wireless-ready and work easily with the new optional 802.11b IBM High Rate Wireless LAN PC Card and Access Point and future Bluetooth technology options. (This new wireless LAN solution also works with current ThinkPad notebooks.)

Comfort Features

- ThinkLight (TM) - Located on the top edge of the display, this tiny LED shines down on the keyboard so users can keep working in low light conditions.
- Individual Volume Control - push button controls for up, down and mute.
- IBM Keyboard - The new ThinkPads feature IBM's renowned full-sized, full-stroke keyboard, ergonomically designed palm rest and IBM's TrackPoint pointing device with Internet Scroll Bar and magnifying functions to help users breeze through spreadsheets and Web pages.
- Easy Open Cover - The cover has been re-designed so users can unlatch and open the notebook with one hand.

ThinkPad A Series - All-in-one desktop alternative

The ThinkPad A Series offers a broad range of notebooks from the most affordable to the ultimate high-performing models with maximum graphics features. Prices start at $2,809 (3).

With a travel weight starting at 5.9 pounds (4), the easy-to-use entry ThinkPad A20m offers a wide range of affordable models with a Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III processor at 700MHz or 500MHz (5) or a Mobile Intel Celeron (TM) processor at 500MHz, 64MB RAM (upgradable to 512MB), hard drive up to 12GB (6), TFT display up to 15 inches and battery life up to 3.7 hours.

The high-end ThinkPad A20p incorporates the ultimate in graphics performance including: the ATI Rage Mobility 128 video chip with 16MB VRAM; S-video in and out ports for video capture and playback; MGI VideoWave III video editing software; DVI support via docking; an Intel Mobile Pentium III processor at 700MHz featuring Intel SpeedStep (TM) technology; 128MB RAM (upgradable to 512MB); 18GB hard disk drive; 6X-2X DVD-ROM; 15-inch SXGA Plus (1400x1050) display; all in a 1.5-inch Profile. Prices start at $5,959 (3).

ThinkPad T Series - The leading thin-and-light offering

The 4.6-pound (7) ThinkPad T20 notebook is the lightest (8) notebook with a 14.1-inch display.

It is powered by an Intel Mobile Pentium III processor at 700MHz or 650MHz featuring SpeedStep technology, with 128MB of RAM (upgradable to 512MB) and 8MB of VRAM. The ThinkPad T20 is available with 14.1-inch or 13.3-inch XGA display, 6GB or 12GB hard disk drive and are available with DVD-ROM or CD-ROM standard. With a 1.3-inch thin profile and 4-hours of battery life, the ThinkPad T20 is ideal to take on the road. Prices start at $4,759 (3). Most ThinkPad A Series and T Series systems are available preloaded with either Windows 98 or Windows 2000, and they all support Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0. The ThinkPad T20 also supports OS/2 (R) Warp V4.

1) Titanium Composite Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic has three times the strength of ABS plastic as tested by IBM using the high flex modulus test on 2/28/00.
2) A modem/LAN combo Mini PCI card must be installed in the notebook's Communication Bay.
3) IBM purchase price; does not include tax, shipping and is subject to change without notice.
4) Weight/thickness may vary due to vendor components, manufacturing process and options.
5) MHz only measures microprocessor internal clock speed, not application performance. Many factors affect application performance.
6) GB equals one billion bytes when referring to hard disk drive capacity.
7) Includes battery and travel bezel option (purchased separately); weight may vary due to vendor components, manufacturing process and options.
8) Based on comparisons with the following models, as of 4/4/00: Compaq Armada M700, Dell Latitude CPt/CPx, Sony PCG-XG19, Fujitsu E series, Toshiba Tecra 8100, Hewlett Packard OmniBook 4150, NEC Versa SX, Acer TravelMate 730, Apple PowerBook and Gateway Solo 9300.