ThinkPad workstations get graphics boost

ThinkPad workstations get graphics boost

IBM has taken the wraps off two new ThinkPad mobile workstations that the company claims push the limits of Intel’s Pentium M processor and ATI Technologies’ graphics technology.

The new Thinkpad R50p and T41p raised the performance ceiling of IBM’s notebook product lines, worldwide ThinkPad product manager for IBM, Bill Iori, said.

The new models are built on the same chassis as the other R series or T series notebooks, but offer a number of features designed to improve the experience of mobile professionals who work in demanding environments, he said.

Big Blue was targeting the two notebooks at engineers, industrial product developers, and other workers who need a combination of high performance and mobility in a rugged package, Iori said.

These workers also needed access to specialised software such as computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) applications that were generally certified only for high performance machines, he said.

IBM has certified several of those applications for the T40p, and was working with industrial software developers to bring them to the T41p and R50p, Iori said.

The new notebooks use ATI’s Mobility FireGL T2 graphics card, that comes with 128MB of video memory.

When combined with the UXGA (1600 x 1200) display on the R50p or the SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) display on the T41p, users would be able to create three-dimensional product blueprints or show potential customers detailed project plans, Iori said.

The R50p comes with a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of PC2700 (333MHz) double data rate (DDR) synchronous dynamic RAM (SDRAM), a 60GB hard drive, and a CD-RW/DVD-RW drive for a starting price of $US5499. The T41p comes with the same specifications except for its CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive for a starting price of $5099.

The R50p weighs 3.2kg with an optical drive, while the T41p weighs 2.4kg with the optical drive. Both models come with Bluetooth wireless networking standard. Either Intel’s 802.11b Pro/Wireless 2100 chip or a dual band 802.11b/802.11a/802.11g chip is available on certain models.

The new Thinkpad R50p and T41p models are now available locally.

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