Lenovo and Research In Motion make different devices, but have one thing in common: their target audience.
Seeing that, the Canadian smartphone maker and the Chinese PC vendor have teamed up on Constant Connect, a new service that will make it easier to link ThinkPads and BlackBerrys.
A PCI Express card, available from Lenovo for $150, will enable e-mail from a user's BlackBerry to automatically sync to their ThinkPad's e-mail program, whether that be Outlook, or a POP mail account. The key is that the ThinkPad doesn't have to be powered on for this to happen: it can be off, suspended, in hibernation, or on.
You'll get all your e-mail on your laptop exactly as you'd see it on a BlackBerry, with these exceptions: you'll get the full file of an e-mail message (instead of the 32K size allowed by a BlackBerry), and you'll get any attachments in their native format.
RIM and Lenovo have spent two years cooking this up, according to Rich Cheston, an executive director and distinguished engineer at Lenovo. The PCI Express card has a Bluetooth radio that pairs with the BlackBerry, which constantly streams the data between the devices. The card is compatible with all ThinkPads built since last summer. The capability for Constant Connect was built into all Lenovo's PCs since then, but it couldn't be announced until now, Cheston said.
The card will be available from Lenovo in North America sometime in the second quarter. Worldwide availability will follow in the second half of the year. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie is expected to announce the partnership at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.
Check out a video demonstration from Lenovo below: