Culture

IBM unveils budget ThinkPad laptops

Big Blue expands its revamped ThinkPad line, launching a new low-cost notebook computer series aimed at consumers and small businesses.

IBM rounded out its revamped ThinkPad line today, introducing a new low-cost notebook computer series aimed at consumers and small businesses.

The new ThinkPad i series 1200 and 1300 are the lowest-priced ThinkPads yet, starting at $1,199. The machines weigh in at 6 pounds and are powered by Intel's budget mobile Celeron chips running at either 500 MHz or 550 MHz. IBM introduced separate models aimed at small businesses and the education market.

Last month, IBM introduced two new pricier ThinkPad lines that include high-end features such as titanium cases, large screens and a link that can be used to connect directly to a corporate help desk.

The new models range from the $1,199 model 1210, with a 500-MHz Celeron, 32 MB of RAM, 6-GB hard drive and a 12-inch SVGA display to the $2,199 1370, which has a 550-MHz Celeron, 64MB of memory, a 12 GB hard drive, built-in Ethernet and a 13-inch TFT screen.

IBM is looking to the new ThinkPad line and its recently introduced NetVista line to boost revenues for its PC division, which has lost market share and has seen sales slump since exiting the U.S. retail market.

Compaq last month introduced a $999 Presario 1200 XL-450 laptop powered by Advanced Micro Devices' K62 450 MHz processor and equipped with 32MB of RAM and a 5.9-GB hard drive.