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IBM ThinkPad T43: a first look

Now that Intel has taken the wraps off its revamped Centrino platform, codenamed Sonoma, notebook manufacturers are releasing details of new models incorporating the upgraded Pentium M processor, 915 chipset and PRO/Wireless 2195ABG wireless module. Among the most interesting for business users will be IBM's forthcoming ThinkPad T43, which promises to carry on where the successful (Editors' Choice-winning) ThinkPad T42 left off. The 2kg ThinkPad T43 is powered by the latest Pentium M processor with a 533MHz frontside bus, while the accompanying 915 chipset handles up to 2GB of DDR2 memory and provides support for forthcoming ExpressCard (PCI Express) options....

IBM ThinkPad T42 with biometric security

IBM's thin-and-light ThinkPad T42, is a 'Dothan' Pentium M-based update to the popular ThinkPad T41. The T42 is almost as fast as the best-performing Dothan we've tested, the Dell Latitude D800. Battery life for the ThinkPad T42 was also good, although it's by no means the best we've tested in this regard. But with a reasonable £1,280 (ex. VAT) price tag in its base configuration, the ThinkPad T42 represents good value among notebooks equipped with Intel's latest Pentium M processor. For a notebook offering the latest in processor technology, the ThinkPad T42 is strikingly modest in its design (which is...

IBM ThinkPad X40

The sad truth about small notebooks is that shaving off size and weight typically means sacrificing performance and features. The IBM ThinkPad X40 is an exception. At a mere 1.24kg -- IBM's smallest laptop ever -- it combines true ultralight portability with all the right expansion, connectivity and battery options for the business traveller. It's much sleeker than IBM's other ultraportable, the ThinkPad X31. The ThinkPad X40 lacks an integrated optical drive, but its powered USB port makes it easy to add one, or you could add one via the media slice. Unfortunately, the X40 doesn't include a FireWire port....

IBM beefs up security on ThinkPad T42

IBM's business workhorse notebook gets a fingerprint reader and an upgraded suite of security tools. We take a first look. IBM's 'thin-and-light' ThinkPad T42 already offers one of the most complete security solutions available on a notebook. However, this has now been boosted with the addition of on-the-fly hard disk encryption, upgrades to the ThinkVantage Technologies suite, and an integrated fingerprint sensor. Last week we had a sneak preview of IBM's new biometric ThinkPad, which will be available from 19 October, starting at £1,300 (ex. VAT). New to the ThinkPad T42's software bundle is SafeGuard Easy, from partner Utimaco Safeware,...

Sony VAIO B1 Series: a first look

Sony's new VAIO B1 series turns the company's attention firmly to business buyers. With a thin-and-light design derived from the VAIO Z line, the B1 series offers standard fare: 14.1in. screens, mobile processors, optical drives and up to 60GB of hard drive capacity. Spec for spec, the VAIO B1 series challenges the likes of Dell's Latitude D400 and IBM's ThinkPad T42. Sony's thin-and-light design will appeal to business users who live on the road, as it provides most of the comforts of a desktop PC in a 2.3kg package. Measuring 4.3cm thick at the hinge, 32.1cm wide and 25.5cm deep,...

Acer Aspire 1714SMi

Acer Aspire 1714SMi as a notebook possessed by a desktop. In other words, expect brute-force performance but don't plan on jumping hurdles at airports with it tucked under your arm, or taking it away from a power plug for long. This notebook is big, powerful and heavy, but its high-end components do help to future-proof it. Whereas a low-end notebook can quickly become outdated, the power under the 1714SMi's surface will help you keep up with Microsoft's upgrade curve. We think the 1714SMi strikes one of the best price-performance balances of any desktop replacement. At a whopping 7.1kg, the Aspire...

Sony VAIO X505

Dripping with seductive charm, Sony's seriously ultraportable VAIO X505 will be difficult to resist, but its beauty will cost you in both features and performance. And at £1,701 (ex. VAT, or £1,999 inc. VAT) it's not exactly a bargain -- especially considering the small screen and keyboard and the lack of an internal optical drive and modem. Sony is facing competition from less-expensive competitors, including the Dell Inspiron 700m, the Toshiba Portege R100 and the IBM ThinkPad X40, all of which are slightly larger than the VAIO X505 but about half the price. Nevertheless, the VAIO X505 is about the...

Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook P7010

Fujitsu Siemens’ P-series ultraportable notebooks tend to draw admiring comments -- even, as we found during this review, from seasoned technology reporters. P-series systems are comfortably small enough that when the person in front of you in economy class leans back, you don’t have to worry about the screen breaking. The latest in the line, the 1.1GHz ultra-low-voltage Pentium M-based P7010, has one of the sharpest, crispest LCD screens we’ve ever seen; it also packs an enormous amount into a very small space, including a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, slots for the three main types of flash memory cards, and 802.11b/g...

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Rock Tablet T200

Tablet PCs have not exactly set the mobile computing world on fire since they first appeared in 2002. Price is often cited as a reason for their relative lack of popularity -- whether you choose the swivel-hinged convertible notebook style or the keyboard-less slate style, there's a premium to pay for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (TPCE). XP TPCE might seem absolutely necessary for the tablet format, as it includes extras that are designed to take advantage of input via stylus and touch-screen. But some hardware manufacturers are endorsing the tablet concept while eschewing the specialised operating system. We have...

Dell Inspiron 6000: a first look

Dell's new Inspiron 6000 promises to be a solid and highly configurable desktop replacement notebook, although the jury's still out on the potency of Intel's Sonoma platform. The Inspiron 6000 from Dell will be among the first notebooks to hit the market with Intel's new Sonoma technology. According to Intel, Sonoma will deliver faster data processing, and users -- particularly gamers and graphics pros -- should see less audio and video chop, quicker task execution, less power consumption and longer battery life as a result. The Inspiron 6000, a desktop-replacement notebook with multimedia aspirations, will be available with a Celeron...