The styling may make you think that this could potentially be a product from, oh, 10 years ago, but the ThinkPad Z61 series from Lenovo is brand spanking new, and actually quite cheap given the options you have for beefing it up.
Yes, it has the basic black chassis that we’ve come to expect from the ThinkPad moniker (previously of IBM), but if you gut it out, you’ll discover things like up to 4 gigabytes of RAM and maybe even a Core Duo processor. Do away with peripherals because the in-bezel camera and microphone is perfect for video conferencing on the go. Other features include integrated 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and optional EV-DO. Choose between the 14.1-inch Z61t and the 15.4-inch Z61m.
Something that is a little off-putting is why do they still insist on the little nub of a mouse pointer (some have called it “the devil’s nipple”), when a perfectly good touchpad is located below the spacebar. In any case, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z61 series starts out at a very affordable $699. Look for them to start shipping next month.