Drop That ThinkPad?

Each year, IBM says, more than 10 percent of business notebook PCs are damaged. But if you accidentally drop one of its new ThinkPad R50 or T41 models, there’s a higher chance of data safety thanks to what IBM calls the world’s first automatic hard-disk protection technology. Similar to the circuitry used to deploy automobile airbags on impact, the IBM Active Protection System uses a microchip to detect system acceleration — such as in a fall — and instantly parks the hard drive’s read/write head to reduce the risk of a disk crash.

The 1.3-inch-slim, 6-pounds-and-up ThinkPad R50 is available in 14.1- and 15.0-inch-screen models starting at $1,529, with a choice of Intel mobile Celeron, Pentium 4-M, and Pentium M processors. The Pentium M-powered, 5-pounds-and-up ThinkPad T41 starts at $1,649. Select models of each feature integrated 802.11a/b/g wireless networking and IBM’s Embedded Security Subsystem with encryption chip and software.

IBM has also freshened its other notebook lines, with 802.11a/b/g on select models of the ultraportable ThinkPad X31 and affordably priced R40 and R40e configurations. New Access IBM 4.0 software provides easy access to online support and technical information, while Access Connections save wired and wireless network settings for easy switching between network environments. Rapid Restore Ultra is a one-button disaster-recovery solution that returns a system to a previously saved state.

Adapted from HardwareCentral.com.

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