Expandable keyboard puts new IBM ThinkPad in a class of its own.
The biggest surprise comes first. Open the 701C -- a machine smaller than a sheet of typing paper -- and watch two keyboards ingeniously spread and interlock to form a comfortable, full-size, 85-key typing surface nearly two inches wider than the unit itself. The revolutionary TrackWrite(a) keyboard overhangs the unit's case by almost one inch on each side.
Armed with the 701C, users can turn their client's office or even the most spartan motel room into an instant conference center. No fancy add-ons or extras are required to transform this new ThinkPad into a full-function speakerphone, answering machine and fax machine. Just plug into a phone jack. And with built-in infrared, users can print documents and send files with no wires or cable connections to other IrDA-compatible machines.
And, users of the ThinkPad 701C will also be facing one of the largest and brightest screens on the market today: a 10.4-inch (measured diagonally) active-matrix TFT. Not bad for a computer that measures only 9.7 inches wide.
The newest ThinkPad weighs about 4.5 pounds and is also equipped with the latest version of IBM's acclaimed pointing device. TrackPoint III(a) features a more responsive feel for quick stopping and easier navigation.
"The ThinkPad 701C is a prime example of how IBM is quickly moving innovation out of the laboratory and into the market, enabling ThinkPad to consistently outdistance its competitors," said Bruce Claflin, general manager, product and brand management for the IBM PC Company.
"Customers challenged us to provide a small computer with a large, functional keyboard. They wanted a big screen for easy viewing and they needed technology that gets the job done. We met that challenge because we listened and understood what customers were telling us. And because we have a resource that no competitor has -- IBM Research."
Radical New Design Jolts Market
The freshness and creativity of the ThinkPad 701C's innovative design is being lauded across the industry.
"IBM has blown the lid off the mobile computing market," said Bill Ablondi, vice president of BIS Strategic Decisions, a Newton, Conn., consulting firm.
"When I first saw the 701C my reaction was, 'wait a minute ... do that again, slowly!' This new keyboard design is testimony to IBM's R&D prowess, especially in packaging. Packaging has always been the key differentiator in the mobile computing market and IBM has been ahead of the curve with features such as the 10.4-inch TFT screen, TrackPoint and now the TrackWrite expandable keyboard. This product will redefine the ultra-light class of notebooks forever."
TrackWrite was invented by John Karidis and collaborators in IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and developed by a small team from IBM Research and the IBM PC Company working in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The TrackWrite keyboard design has been subjected to extensive testing to ensure that it meets IBM's high standards of durability.
IBM backs up this ground-breaking computer with a suite of impressive service and support programs, including a three-year limited warranty(1) with International Warranty Service; 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week technical support (excluding certain holidays); and an on-line diagnostic service that allows IBM technicians to make repairs via modem. All are standard during the warranty period. Also standard is IBM EasyServ(a) -- a 48-hour, door-to-door repair service. On-site and overnight repair are optional.
The 701C is also equipped with more than 15 pre-loaded software titles that will have users up and running immediately. Included in this impressive array of tools is: Lotus ScreenCam;(b) Prodigy;(b) America On Line;(b) Reuters Money Network;(b) Taxi;(b) Asymetrix Compel;(b) Lotus cc:Mail:(b) and a host of other multimedia, communications and utility programs (Limited subscription time and/or usage fee may apply to some programs).
The ThinkPad 701C and 701CS -- the dual scan color model -- are available in eight basic configurations(2). IBM PC Direct prices for the 701 series start at $3,799.(3)
Beginning in April, some models of the 701C will come pre-loaded with OS/2 Warp(a) in addition to DOS/Windows, offering customers a choice of operating systems at no extra price.(4) OS/2 Warp is IBM's new operating system that comes with a variety of easy-to-use features including one-button access to the Internet.
-- Processor: 486 DX2/50 and 486 DX4/75.
-- Hard drives: 360-, 540- and 720-million-byte drives
-- Internal 14.4 kbps data/fax modem.
-- Infrared connection to other IrDA-compatible
notebooks, printers and electronic organizers.
-- 16-bit audio; SoundBlaster(b) and SoundBlaster Pro(b)
-- Plug and Play PC Card flexibility. IBM's unique PC
Card Director software automatically
configures many Type I, Type II and Type III PC
-- External floppy drive included.
-- Expansion: MultiPort II port enabler comes standard
and offers these interfaces: external monitor
(SVGA port); enhanced parallel port; serial
port; external keyboard port; mouse/numeric
keypad port; audio in/out.
-- Built-in speaker and microphone.
-- Size: 9.7 inches long x 7.9 inches wide x 1.7
-- Standard interfaces: enhanced parallel port; audio
in/out; external microphone jack; 160-pin
expansion bus; infrared. -0-
(a) Trademark or registered trademark of International
(b) Trademarks of the respective companies.
(1) Copies of warranty available by calling
(2) DX2/50 models available in the U.S. through IBM PC
Direct and authorized resellers today.
(3) Reseller prices may vary.
(4) DX4/75 models are scheduled for availability in
April and will feature OS/2 Warp and Microsoft
Windows(b). Users will be able to select the
operating system of their choice.
CONTACT: IBM Corp.
Michael Corrado, 914/766-3419