Latest ThinkPads Sport Centrino Duo

Thursday Jan 5th 2006 by David Needle
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T60 and X60 models include built-in wireless wide area network support.

Lenovo unveiled new ThinkPad models today that are among the first notebooks based on Intel's new dual-core processor for notebooks. Codenamed Napa, the processor now goes by the brand name Centrino Duo.

The new ThinkPad T60 and X60, which also offer embedded wireless wide area network (WWAN) antennas and several incremental design improvements, is scheduled to ship in February.

"We're the only ones out there with integrated wireless WAN, and it's a nice differentiator for us," said Bill Lori, ThinkPad segment manager.

Select models of the upcoming ThinkPad T60 Series and X60 Series will feature integrated high-speed wireless support for 3G service provider Verizon Wireless and Cingular's BroadbandConnect. In the United States, models supporting the Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess network are planned to be available in the first-half of this year. Notebooks featuring integrated WWAN antennas enable users to connect to high-speed broadband networks without separately purchased PC cards.

"Lenovo continues to offer customers consistency in quality and design," said analyst Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates. "They are a bit early with the broadband, wide area network access, but it's going to be a really big thing, and I think they are smart to demonstrate their innovation and forward thinking."

While there isn't a lot of software yet that takes huge advantage of dual-core processing, Kay said there is definite utility. "I've often had to kill virus scan because it's slowing down my other programs. Dual-core processing lets those kind of applications run in the background the way they're supposed to without hurting performance," he said.

The ThinkPad T60 is in the thin and light class of notebooks, measuring one inch in thickness, with a travel weight (i.e., without extra battery) of 4.8 lbs. Priced starting at $2049, the T60 series includes what Lenovo said is a more durable system design, coupling the ThinkPad Roll Cage — an inner armor chassis — with its airbag-like Active Protection System and ThinkPad shock-mounted hard drive.

The ThinkPad X60 series has a 37 percent power-use reduction from earlier platforms used in X Series models. The ThinkPad X60 offers up to 11 hours of battery life, which Lenovo said is the longest standard battery life of any ThinkPad to date. Prices for the X60 models start at $1899.

An optional integrated fingerprint reader is available as an extra level of security. Last month Lenovo announced it sold its 1 millionth ThinkPad with the integrated fingerprint reader, which sells for a $50 premium on most models. Lenovo said it's the largest provider of biometric-enabled PCs in the world.

Adapted from Internetnews.com.

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