IBM Boosts Thinkpad Mobile Workstations

By Mark Berniker

October 27, 2003

Big Blue adds processing and graphics technology to high-end notebooks.

IBM Corp. on Monday announced the release of two new Thinkpad mobile workstations, which the company says pushes the limits of technologies from Intel and ATI Technologies .

The Thinkpad R50p and T41p utilize Intel's Pentium M microprocessor and ATI's graphics technology. IBM said its packed a number of new features into the new Thinkpad models designed for mobile professional customers.

IBM said these new Thinkpad's are designed especially for workers that demand sophisticated applications, including CAD/CAM.

The Thinkpad models utilize ATI's Mobility FireGL T2 graphics card, which includes 128MB of video memory. The video memory coupled with IBM's display technology, customers will be able to make presentations using three-dimensional technology.

The R50p contains a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor along with 512MB of PC2700 (33MHz) DDR SDRAM, a 60 GB hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD-RW all for a starting price of $3,799. The T41p has similar features to the R50p, but it only contains a standard CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive and has a starting price tage of $3,449.

Both new Thinkpads contain Bluetooth wireless networking technology, and either Intel's 802.11b Pro/Wireless 2100 chip or a dual band 802.11b/802.11a/802.11g are available on certain models.

IBM is targeting workers with intensive processing and graphics technology needs and the company said "a new mobile-workstation standard for engineers, geologists, digital content creators and any professional with industrial-strength graphics-crunching needs."

IBM also said "both the ThinkPad R50p and T41p come standard with IBM's Embedded Security Subsystem, consisting of an integrated security chip and downloadable IBM Client Security Software."

IBM is not the only PC company targeting the market for high-end notebook computers using Intel's latest processor designed for the scientific, design and other industries demanding graphics-intensive applications.

Hewlett-Packard is marketing the Compaq Nw8000 notebook model for $2999, which contains a 1.6GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM, a 40 GB hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, but has no wireless chip.

Dell Computer has the Precision M60 mobile workstation on the market. Dell's high-performance notebook contains a 1.4GHz Pentium M processor, 256MB of DDR SDRAM, a 40GM hard drive, Intel's Pro/Wireless 2100 chip, a CD-ROM drive for a starting price of $2,668. Dell's notebook uses Nvidia's Quadro FX Go700 graphics card with 128MB of video memory.



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