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IBM PC COMPANY ANNOUNCES NEW PEN TABLET; EXPANDS MARKET DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

 SOMERS, N.Y., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The IBM Personal Computer Company today announced the availability of its second generation pen- based tablet computer, the IBM ThinkPad(A) 710T, with expanded operating system support, new PCMCIA bus interface for IBM and third party card makers, and a market development program for pilot sites and application development.
 The IBM ThinkPad 710T is available in two versions. A ThinkPad File model features one Type III and one Type II (or three Type II) PCMCIA slots and can run both PenPoint and PenDOS operating systems. A 60 MB hard drive model provides one Type II PCMCIA slot and comes preloaded with either PenPoint or PenDOS. The tablets, which run on IBM 486SLC/25 MHz processors, are available immediately.
 "One an industry-wide basis, pen computing sales have not taken off because of three factors: lack of compelling applications, disappointing handwriting recognition and limited communications capabilities," said Bruce Claflin, general manager, Mobile Computing, IBM Personal Computing Company. "These problems are addressed in our second generation tablet -- the ThinkPad 710T, and through expanded pen market development programs."
 The Pen Market
 Analysts are predicting a sharp increase in the pen computing market over the next few years. For example, Dataquest Inc., a market research firm, recently estimated the pen computing market will jump from its $268 million base in 1992 to $11.9 billion by 1996.
 "By continuing to improve product performance and usability, and by pursuing innovative market development programs, the IBM Personal Computer Company intends to be at the forefront of this growth," Mr. Claflin said.
 The New IBM ThinkPad 710T
 Key 710T improvements over its predecessor, the 700T, include:
 -- Expanded operating system support (enabling access to both DOS and PenPoint application bases)
 -- Improved add-in card support (PCMCIA)
 -- Enhanced presentation capabilities (simultaneous external color VGA output)
 -- Longer battery life (estimated 3.3-4.1 hours using PC Magazine benchmarks)
 "The new 710T strengthens IBM's commitment to the pen market," said Scott Bower, director, Mobile Computing Marketing, IBM Personal Computer Company -- North America. "We think we have captured the best pen-to- paper feel in the industry and invite people to try it before they consider another pen system. After all, the writing experience is key to the future success of pen."
 The IBM ThinkPad 710T realistically simulates the pen-to-paper writing experience with a battery-less, cordless pen and a specially etched screen. This is complemented by the superior handwriting recognition for which 700T was known, and the quick reaction time of a 486 processor.
 The 710T's 9.5-inch (measured diagonally) STN-LCD is both transflective and backlit -- like that of the 700T -- for easy viewing indoors and outdoors. It also maintains its predecessor's ruggedness and durability, using shock-mounted components, a magnesium housing and water resistant rubber seals.
 The ThinkPad 710T provides all of the ports necessary to convert it from a pen-based, mobile tablet to a desktop system with monitor, keyboard, mouse, external drive, and serial and parallel ports.
 The product is available through IBM Direct at the following prices: $2,999 for the 5.5 pound ThinkPad File version, and $3,599/$3,699 for the 5.8 pound hard drive version preloaded with PenDOS or PenPoint, respectively. The 710T is also available through dealers, industry remarketers and distributors.
 Both models come with HelpWare, which includes a one-year international traveler's warranty; set-up, usage and service assistance 24 hours a day/7-days-a-week during warranty through the Personal Systems Help Center; a 30-day money back guarantee; and EasyServ -- a new service providing courier pick-up, repair and return delivery.
 New IBM Pen Market Development Program
 The IBM Personal Computer Company has initiated a U.S. market development program. This program offers ThinkPad 700T customers who purchased their systems through the PenAssist pen-developer assistance program a no-charge trade in for a new 710T hard drive model with PenPoint, allowing them to continue application development using the latest available technology.
 Additionally, IBM is geographically deploying 65 pen advocates to assist companies involved in or considering pen pilot programs. These advocates will work closely with managers at customers and potential customer sites to demonstrate the effectiveness of and applications for pen computing.
 The IBM Personal Computer Company is also working directly with PCMCIA card vendors and software developers. Through joint testing and development, the company is working to provide customers with a wide range of communications, memory, operating system and application software options.
 The IBM Personal Computer Company provides personal systems, products, services and support worldwide. It was created in September 1992 and is headquartered in Somers, N.Y.
 (A) Indicates a trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. PC Magazine is a trademark of Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. PenPoint is a trademark of GO Corp. PenDOS is a trademark of CIC.
 -0- 4/1/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Hoechster or Jonathan Gandal of Jennings & Company, 914-251-5950, for IBM/
 (IBM)


CO: IBM Personal Computer Company ST: New York IN: CPR SU: PDT

AH-SL -- NY049 -- 2058 04/01/93 13:19 EST
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Date:Apr 1, 1993
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