IBM announced new high-performance ThinkPad T Series models with security features designed to help protect corporate data and e-mail, as well as integrated wireless solutions for highly mobile users.
The company is leading an industry charge to develop technologies that allow workers to wirelessly and securely connect to corporate networks from virtually anyplace at anytime, through both traditional and non-traditional devices.
The ThinkPad T23, which will be available on ibm.com, is the first notebook computer to offer a powerful security chip subsystem that helps enhance authentication, strengthen access control and protect information. The IBM Embedded Security Subsystem offers Smart Card-like features at a fraction of the cost and supports industry standards. This innovative security technology helps give users peace of mind by providing an extra level of protection for e-mail and files.
Unique to the industry, the embedded security subsystem — combined with Virtual Private Networking (VPN) technology — helps offer ThinkPad users more secure 802.11b communication using standard tools and technology. Wireless security tools based on the 802.11b standard are significantly augmented when using VPN. 802.11b, also known as Wi-Fi, is increasingly being deployed in corporate, travel and campus environments where mobile workers need fast access to their local area networks from ThinkPads and personal digital assistants.
The new ThinkPads are also the first in the T Series to offer integrated wireless 802.11b capabilities. Select models of the T23 feature a dual antenna system built into the display cover for increased signal strength, allowing individuals to move around while they stay connected to an existing wireless network. The 802.11b radio is fully integrated into the T23 via mini-PCI so users no longer need a PC Card and cumbersome “bump” antenna for wireless LAN applications.
Wireless models also come fully integrated with V.92 ready modems and 10/100 Ethernet. Additionally, the optional Bluetooth PC Card or UltraPort Module from IBM can be used with the T23 for short-range personal area network connectivity.
New Usability Features
IBM today also introduced ThinkPad Access Connections, a ‘point and click’ application that gives users real-time information on network connection status. The application also manages multiple network connections and locations on the same ThinkPad, making for easy management of wired and wireless networks on the road, at an airport, hotel or at home.
“The new ThinkPad T23 represents proof of concept for many of our most advanced mobile technologies,” said Rick McGee, vice president of marketing, IBM Personal Device Brands. “But more importantly, it reaffirms IBM’s commitment to delivering products that help take the worry and effort out of key technologies like wireless networking and security.”
IBM 48GB Travelstar hard disk drives will be available for the first time in the ThinkPad family. The Travelstar boasts the industry’s highest capacity in a notebook drive and features new media technology, dubbed “pixie dust, ” introduced by IBM earlier this year. At 5400 RPM, the Travelstar is also the fastest notebook drive on the market and is available on select models of the T23.
“In the so-called ‘post PC world’ computer manufacturers will have to offer more than just a product to their customers, they will have to deliver the services and support as well as the know-how that make the computing experience easier,” said Alan Promisel, notebook analyst for IDC. “Security, wireless and migration are issues that IT managers are currently making decisions on for the coming years. The fact that we are seeing these technologies implemented in new products is a reflection of manufacturers’ awareness of these user issues.”
IBM is also introducing new ease-of-use features into the T23 that will soon become standard across the ThinkPad and NetVista lines. In addition to ThinkPad Access Connections, the T23 will offer new back-up and restore features such as disk-to-disk recovery tools and a hidden partition on the hard drive that allows users to restore their disks if the drive becomes corrupted. IBM is also introducing new migration tools that allow data to be easily transferred from an older computer to a new T23.
IBM today also announced the new High Rate Wireless LAN Gateway, based on 802.11b standards, which serves as the networking hub in small business and home office environments. Besides networking together wireless clients and Ethernet wired clients, the gateway makes it possible to share a single high-speed cable or DSL account with clients in the network.