What's new from: IBM, Hi-Grade, Toshiba, ECS Elitegroup

What's new from: IBM, Hi-Grade, Toshiba, ECS Elitegroup


Drawing on intelligent power consumption strategies, the new ThinkPad X30 is the first from Big Blue to offer both an internal battery and an optional external battery. Combined, IBM claims the X30 offers users up to eight hours of continuous battery life. Tipping the scales at 1.6kg, the X30 fits into the ultra portable category and features a Pentium III 1.2GHz processor, 256MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive. It is also the first time IBM has integrated three wireless antennas for simultaneous Wi-Fi2 (IEEE 802.11b) wireless and Bluetooth connections including Cisco Systems Aironet and Intel PRO/Wireless LAN technologies. The X30 also features pre-loaded Rapid Restore PC software to return the notebook to its original system image in the event of a corruption.

Priced from $4,599, the ThinkPadX30 is available from this month.

IBM: 132 426.


One of the UK's largest systems assemblers, Hi-Grade, launched in Australia last month with a range of "ruggedised" notebooks. The 2.6kg Notino R5400 is on the heavier side of the portable market, but having survived the UK military's 1.5m drop test, the notebook is targeted at rough-and-tumble workplace environments. With a spill-proof keyboard and two-year onsite collect and return warranty, the Notino R5400 will prove handy in military, building, manufacturing and educational sectors. The notebook features an Intel P4 1.8GHz processor, 14.1-inch TFT display, 384MB DDR, 40GB hard drive and a DVD+CDRW combo drive. Connectivity is covered with three USB2.0 ports, a Firewire port and a 56K fax/modem.

Distributed by QD Innovative Computer (QDI), the Notino R5400 retails for $3,595 and is available now.

QDI: 1800 770 550.


Although not scheduled to be released in Australia until November 7, Toshiba's entry into the TabletPC market will be based largely on the Portege 2000 notebook currently available in the US, according to Laurie White, Toshiba product marketing manager, information systems division. The notebook will feature a swivel-to-Tablet 12.1-inch poly-silicon TFT display, and arguably the industry's thinnest 20GB hard drive at 1.8 inches. The whole unit weighs around 1.2kg, is 19mm high and White claims at launch a 40GB hard drive is a possibility. The Tablet PC will initially be powered by an Intel PIII 1.3GHz CPU, but will migrate to Banias when the chipmaker releases the technology next year. The Portege also features two USB ports, a 56K modem and PCMCIA card slot.

Priced from $A4,500-$5,500, the notebook should be available from existing Toshiba distributors.

Toshiba: 13 30 70.

Desknote - A929

Engineered by ECS Elitegroup out of Taiwan and branded as Desknote, the A929 is the flagship model in desktop replacements. Designed to give users the portability and form factor of a notebook at a lower than desktop price, the A929 comes with a range of AMD processors up to 1.3GHz and memory up to 512MB DDR or scalable to 1GB on one DIMM socket.

The Desknote is different in that it doesn't have an internal battery. Instead, users must plug directly into mains power or attach an optional external battery. The machine is geared towards people who use their notebook at work or at home, but not during transit. It comes with 14.1-inch or 15.0-inch TFT display and features a DVD-ROM + CD-RW combo drive. With four USB 2.0 ports, the A929 allows users to connect to multiple external components and weighs on the heavy side at 3.18kg.

Released worldwide earlier this year, pricing for the A929 was unavailable at the time of press.

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