Lenovo has begun offering 3G-embedded laptops to Australian customers.
The Vodafone mobile broadband cards will be available in selected ThinkPad T60 and X60 notebooks. They provide Internet access speeds of up to 384Kbps.
The X series 3G ThinkPad notebooks retail from $3849, while the ThinkPad T series starts at $3399. Each model will be available with the choice of three monthly data subscription rates: the Data 100 plan (including 100MB of downloads) for $29.95; Data 300 (300MB) for $49.95; and the Data 1GB plan for $99.95. Excess usage will be charged at $0.30 per megabyte. Users will be able to swap between plans free of charge.
Lenovo A/NZ marketing director, Peter Di Pietrantonio, said 3G connectivity would help it to provide a full mobile computing environment.
The vendor would go to market through its existing resellers and business partners, some of which were mutual to Vodafone, he said.
Vodafone national channel manager, Hastings Singh, said the products were aimed at the business market.
It will ramp up the speed of its 3G service later this year to 1.6Mbps by implementing high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) into its network.
Existing notebook customers would be provided with a firmware upgrade to enable them to access the faster download rate. The telco's 3G service currently covers Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and the Gold Coast as well as all major state airports.
The news of an embedded 3G product follows the launch of Vodafone's standalone 3G mobile connect (VMC) data card to IT resellers late last year. At the time, the telco said the decision to push the product through the traditional IT channel was based on taking advantage of the dramatic increase in notebook sales. The cards are available from Ingram Micro.