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IBM offers 570 ThinkPad

Big Blue announces the long-awaited upgrade to the popular notebook line, although some resellers have already started selling it for just more than $4,000.

IBM announces its new ultraslim notebook PC today, though some resellers have already started offering IBM's long-awaited upgrade to its popular ThinkPad 560 line.

As reported last week, the four-pound ThinkPad 570, codenamed "Transformer," includes ultraslim DVD, CD-ROM, or hard disk drives, which is a first for this line. The drives are plugged into a slim "Ultrabase," said a reseller which has begun advertising the new model.

But some resellers have already offered the model for just more than $4,000 with a 13.3-inch LCD screen, 64MB of memory, and 6.4GB hard drive.

The 1-inch thick 570 offers the fastest Intel Pentium II mobile chips on the market running at 366 MHz. The older 560 line stopped at 300 MHz with the 560Z model.

One reseller said there has been a crush of backorders for the computer and doesn't expect availability until the middle of May.

The 570 is similar to the 560 in other respects as IBM doesn't want to "fix" an already-popular design. The 560 has been one of the most popular ultraslim computers ever.

IBM also sells the popular, slightly bulkier, 1.4-inch thick 600 and 600E series of ThinkPads which integrate a DVD or CD ROM drive into the main body of the computer.

IBM also sells the popular 770 series of "desktop replacement" style portables. These come with large 14.1-inch screens, 14GB hard drives, and the ability to playback DVD video such as movies.