Lenovo Embeds WiMax Into Notebooks

broadband WiMax

Lenovo's WiMax-embedded line is designed to hit all types of users -- enterprise, SMB and consumer -- looking to take advantage of 4G WiMax.

So far, Lenovo said it is offering WiMax in the ultraportable ThinkPad X301 notebook, the ThinkPad T400 notebook, the ThinkPad SL300 and SL500 notebooks. All are available now.

Additionally, Lenovo said it will broaden its WiMax notebook offerings later this year to tie in the ThinkPad W500, W700, SL400 and X200 notebooks, along with updating the IdeaPad Y530 notebook for consumers.

"By building mobile WiMax into both our ThinkPad and IdeaPad notebook PC lines, we are helping our customers stay better connected, anywhere, anytime," said Lenovo's vice president of Americas commercial and consumer channels Stephen DiFranco in a statement.

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In the ThinkPad line, Lenovo added the ability for Access Connections, a part of Lenovo's ThinkVantage Technologies, to recognize WiMax networks, ultimately helping users locate and securely connect to available wireless connections.

While Lenovo admits that WiMax is still in its infancy, there is potential for the wireless standard to serve as the primary wireless connection for consumers and businesses, enabling WiMax devices to synch up for enhanced communications and becoming the backup for connectivity for companies.

And WiMax availability in the U.S. is expected to grow. While Baltimore was first to the party, coverage is expected to be available in Chicago and Washington D.C. in coming months.

"WiMax is changing the model of wireless communication," Bin Shen, Sprint's vice president of broadband said, later adding that working with Lenovo and others gives users the tools to utilize the network.

The WiMax enabled ThinkPad and IdeaPad notebooks are based on Intel Centrino 2 and will ship with the combined WiMax/Wi-Fi module formerly known as "Echo Peak," as part of Intel's WiMax/Wi-Fi Link 5050 Series.

Adding WiMax to the fold broadens Lenovo's wireless connectivity options, which also include WWAN or 3G through AT&T and Verizon, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and Ultra-Wideband to give users choices of the best way to go wireless,

According to Lenovo, WiMax-enabled models will start at about $720 and are available through Lenovo partners or directly from the company.