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IBM laptop features fingerprint scanner

ThinkPad T42 is equipped with biometric device designed to limit access to sensitive data.

IBM announced on Monday the launch of a new line of ThinkPad notebooks designed to provide an extra layer of data protection through advanced fingerprint technology.

The biometric capability will be present on select models of the ThinkPad T42 that will be shipped from Oct. 19, the company said.

Last month, the computer maker launched PCs fitted with a special chip designed to prevent hackers from stealing passwords and other sensitive identity information.

The fingerprint reader, placed on the wrist-rest, below the arrow keys, will verify the identity of a user when he or she swipes a finger across a tiny sensor. Once identity is established, users are automatically logged on.

IBM's latest data security push comes barely a month after Microsoft released several keyboards and mice

The fingerprint reader works in tandem with an embedded security chip and software called Password Manager to protect vital security data, such as encryption keys, electronic credentials and passwords.

Big Blue has also signed an agreement with security firm Utimaco Safeware for reselling the latter's software, which enables full encryption of a hard drive.

The ThinkPad T42, which is an inch thick and weighs 4.5 pounds, will be available from IBM's online store and select business partners for $1,699.