Lenovo Readies Major ThinkPad Upgrade

Lenovo is among several vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, planning new notebooks based on Intel's ready-to-debut Napa processor.

The new notebooks are set to debut late Thursday when Intel takes the wraps off its long-awaited Napa processor, which will be available in single- and dual-core models, here at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The entry from Lenovo, the former PC division of IBM, represents a significant upgrade to the ThinkPad line. The company will launch a new T Series commercial notebook, plus a new subnotebook line that replaces its X40 Series.

In addition to offering both single- and dual-core processors, the new ThinkPad X60 Series will shift from the older 1.8-inch hard drives, which spun at only 4,200 rpm and were limited in capacity, to 2.5-inch Serial ATA drives that run at 5,400 rpm and scale to 100 GB.

Sponsored post

Based on a new internal design and mechanics, the company was able to add the larger drive without compromising weight or battery life. In fact, with dual batteries, the machines gets up to 11 hours of battery life, said Jeff Samitt, Lenovo's worldwide segment manager for the ThinkPad, in an interview at CES.

Thanks to the new 667-MHZ front-size bus and support for DDR2 SDRAM, the X60s will support up to 3 MB of RAM. "That's twice the addressable memory, Samitt said.

The CPU upgrade offered by Napa will bring a significant performance boost to the X60, as well. "From a raw processing perspective, you will have twice the instructions being processed," he said.

The T and X Series models will also be offered with 3G WAN modems that support the Verizon wireless network, which offers data rates ranging from 400 to 700 Kbps.

HP, for its part, is planning to launch a Napa-based version of its dv1000 notebook with a built-in camera and myriad multimedia features, to take advantage of the dual-core processing capability, said Kevin Wentzel, technical marketing manager for HP's notebooks. "It will be targeted at those who run multiple applications," Wentzel said.