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IBM's new ThinkPads take on Toshiba

IBM is announced new ThinkPads today with performance and pricing aimed to jolt market leader Toshiba.

IBM today announced new aggressively priced models in its ThinkPad 365 and 760 lines of notebook PCs that may push the company into a knock-down, drag-out fight with market leader Toshiba.

The PCI-bus based 365 line will use 100- and 133-MHz Pentium processors for the first time but maintain pricing comparable that of the current, slower 486 DX4-based 365s. The new 365 models, which start as low as $2,000, will carry a Pentium 100- or 120-MHz processor or a Cyrix-designed 5x86 Pentium-class processor.

Moreover, the updated IBM lines boast a number of performance-boosting firsts for the ThinkPad line including a PCI bus and support for 32-bit PC Card technology.

The 365s also include 10.4- or 11.3-inch color LCD screens, integrated quad-speed CD-ROM drives, and hard disk drive (HDD) capacities ranging up to 1.08GB.

The refresh of the ThinkPad 760 line uses Intel's fastest 133-MHz Mobile Pentium processor but are priced unusually low for 760s; some models will be tagged at $3,400. These systems also pack a PCI bus.

The 760s feature:

--bays that accommodate swappable devices including a quad-speed CD-ROM drive, floppy disk drive, lithium-ion battery, and a 1.2 GB hard disk drive.
--PCI docking stations.
--PC Card slots that support 32-bit CardBus technology.
--active-matrix LCDs up to 12.1 inches in size, equivalent to a 15-inch CRT monitor.
--support for MPEG 2 video playback.

Some models come with a 120-MHz Pentium processor. Both the 365s and 760s can come pre-installed with Windows 95 or OS/2 Warp, IBM said.