RealTime IT News

Big Blue Integrates 802.11b with New Notebook

IBM Corp. Monday unveiled the ThinkPad T23, the first in its new series of high-performance ThinkPad T notebooks with a new security chip subsystem and integrated 802.11b capabilities.

The T23 features the Mobile Intel Pentium III Processor-M, utilizing the SpeedStep technology which offers speeds of up to 1.13 GHz, and weighs in at 4.8 lbs.

The new security chip subsystem, dubbed the IBM Embedded Security Subsystem "offers Smart Card-like features at a fraction of the cost and supports industry standards."

Combined with Virtual Private Networking (VPN) technology, IBM said the embedded security subsystem offers users more secure 802.11b communication using standard tools and technology. This is important because the T23 offers integrated wireless 802.11b capabilities, with select models of the T23 featuring a dual antenna system built into the display cover in order to increase signal strength. IBM said the 802.11b radio is integrated via mini-PCI eliminating the need for a PC Card and other "bump" antenna for wireless LAN applications.

IBM said the wireless models come fully integrated with V.92 ready modems and 10/100 Ethernet. Options include a Bluetooth PC Card or UltraPort Module.

"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."

Customers can choose between a 15GB hard drive and the 48GB Travelstar hard drive, which IBM claims is the fastest notebook drive on the market at 5400 RPM. All options come with standard 128MB of memory, expandable to 1GB. The T23 features a 6-cell lithium ion battery which the company said offers more than three hours of battery life. The T23 also includes all standard ports, as well as an additional USB port and S-video out.

The company said the new notebook model will be generally available in several weeks, with prices ranging from $2,279 to $3,959. They come preloaded with Microsoft Windows 98 or Windows 2000 Professional.

Additionally, IBM unveiled its new High Rate Wireless LAN Gateway, also based on 802.11b technology, intended as the networking hub of small business and home office environments. The Gateway, available Aug. 1, and priced at $299, also allows for the sharing of a single high-speed cable or DSL account.