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IBM exploring notebook alternatives

Some say IBM will phase out its best-selling ThinkPad 701 series, also known as the Butterfly. IBM says nothing is definite, but it is considering alternatives to current designs, including wider screens.

    A number of reports have IBM's popular ThinkPad 701 notebook computer series, also known as the Butterfly, on the endangered species list. But company spokespeople deny any definite plans have been made.

    The Butterfly gets its name from a unique foldout design that affords users a full-size keyboard while keeping the unit, which has a 10.4-inch screen, lightweight and compact. The design has proved to be especially popular with consumers, resulting in record first-day sales.

    A company spokesperson said IBM is exploring alternative solutions to the keyboard design such as a wider screen model that would not require a foldout keyboard.