IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad X41 Tablet


It has taken quite sometime for ultra-portables to be fully accepted by the notebook community. This really has more to do with their price tags, than any specific design or aesthetic issue. Considering that ultra-portables are usually more expensive than traditional notebooks, it isn't hard to see why most people would choose the cheaper option. And because ultra-portables have traditionally been low power options, and battery life was lacking, they were usually relegated to the low end. Add that to the fact that any previous practical use of an ultra-portable still required a main system to compliment it, either a desktop machine or a more traditional notebook; an ultra-portable asked a lot of any prospective notebook buyer. However, its benefits are clear, and most of the time undervalued. For any one on the move, ultra-portables are a godsend.  Microsoft's particular interest with this segment of the mobile PC market is in regard to Tablet PCs. Tablet PC's obviously have their own set of problems that have prevented full market adoption (again mainly due to price), but we're going to look at one that may change many people's minds, the IBM X41 Tablet.

IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet
_Designed for Intel 90nm Dothan Pentium-M with 2MB On-Die L2 Cache
_Supports 533MHz FSB

_Intel 915GM (with Intel IGP)/ICH6-M
_Supports maximum memory capacity up to 2GB

_Two 200-pin SODIMM sockets
_Supports DDR2 400/533 Unbuffered Non-ECC memory
_Supports maximum memory capacity up to 2GB

_Intel Graphic Media Accelerator 900

Intel ICH6-M South Bridge:
- 1 x ATA 100/66
- 2 x SATA 100/66
- 20GB/30GB/40GB/60GB Ultra ATA HDD 4200RPM

_Broadcom Gigabit Mbps Ethernet
_Intel Wireless 2200BG (802.11 b/g)  or 2915ABG (802.11a/b/g)
_Bluetooth (optional)
_56K v.92 Fax/modem

_12.1" Super-Wide Angle FFS XGA TFT LCD (native 1024 x 768), 180 nit

_Compatible with AC'97 2.3
_Built in speaker

Dimension and Weight
_~ 10.79" x 9.53" x 1.1~1.3" (our sample)
_Starts at 3.5 lbs.

External I/O Connectors
_1 x Power port
_1 x IR port
_1 x Lock jack
_1 x PCMCIA slot (1 x Type I/Type II)
_1 x Modem jack
_1 x Ethernet jack
_1 x microphone jack
_1 x headphone jack
_1 x SD card reader
_1 x VGA-out port
_3 x USB 2.0/1.1

Included Software - preloaded
_Access IBM
_Access Connections
_Adobe Reader
_IBM RecordNOW and IBM DLA power by Sonic products (DVD-RW or CD-RW/DVD models only)
_IBM Rescue and Recovery
_InterVideo WinDVD (CD-RW/DVD, DVD-RW or DVD models only)
_InterVideo WinDVD Creator (DVD-RW model only)
_IBM Client Security Software
_IBM fingerprint reader software (fingerprint reader systems only)
_Norton AntiVirus 2005 with 90 days of virus definitions
_ThinkPad Utilities
_Update Connector

Included Software - downloadable
_IBM Client Security Software
_IBM Director Agent
_IBM System Migration Assistant
_Software Delivery Assistant

Included Software - Trial
_Alias Sketchbook Pro
_Franklin Covey PlanPlus
_Zinio Magazine Reader



Measuring in at 10.8" x 9.5" x 1.1~1.3" and with a weight starting at 3.5 pounds (our X41 sample weighed at 3.5 lbs. with a 4 cell battery), the IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC is the first Tablet design to emerge from IBM. From the name, you can already deduce that this X Tablet series is an offshoot from the ultra-portable X series of ThinkPads. For those highly mobile (~70%+ of the time) and those needing the notebook like qualities of a Tablet PC, the X41 Tablet PC fits the bill. Remember that this mobile PC falls into the Convertible Tablet PC category. Unlike Slates, Convertibles can function as both a notebook or a Slate. The downside of Convertibles is that they will generally be heavier because they include a keyboard, and some sort of cursor tracking device, which a Slate will leave out.

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