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Innovation

Microsoft and Lenovo: The ultimate academic PC

Some time ago, a Microsoft executive was trying to find a device to equip his son, soon to be heading off to university, without much success. Through toil and trouble, Microsoft have announced today a partnership with Lenovo, a world leader in innovative ideas and computer builder, to create the Ultimate Academic PC.
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Written by Zack Whittaker on

Some time ago, a Microsoft executive was trying to find a device to equip his son, soon to be heading off to university, without much success. Through toil and trouble, Microsoft have announced today a partnership with Lenovo, a world leader in innovative ideas and computer builder, to create the Ultimate Academic PC.

The Ultimate Academic PC (UAPC) will comprise Microsoft software and Lenovo hardware, bridging together the social and academic lives, by integrating the hardware to run efficiently and effectively, whilst the software runs swiftly and seamlessly.

On offer are four devices which will suit every student: the hardcore gamer, the busy-running-everywhere student, the socialite, and the serious society student. All devices run Windows Vista Ultimate with Office 2007 Ultimate, combined with other social and collaboration tools such as Windows Live and other bits and bobs to be confirmed. As follows:

  • The ThinkPad T400 is the standard laptop on offer, with a 14-inch screen, powerful processor, wireless connectivity and a rollcage built in which enables the durability often demanded by college and university life.
  • Second in the list is the ThinkPad R500, which offers the same features as the previous device except with a larger 15-inch screen; ideal for those who watch a lot of videos or need more space to work with.
  • The ThinkPad X200 Tablet offers tablet functionality, which would be perfect with OneNote 2007 as included with the package, for note-taking in lectures. The battery is impressive with 10 hours of life, which will last all day when you're on campus.
  • Finally, the ThinkPad X301, which is the lightest and thinnest laptop they offer, uniquely offers a solid-state drive for extra reliability, an added roll cage for extra strength, and a crisp screen for viewing.

In tough economic times, buying a new machine is recommended but not nearly as possible as people think. However, with prices as low as $999 and as high as $1899, it's not a bad investment to have; laptops like these would last you until your final year of study at least.

To see these new devices, click here to visit the gallery.

But why hasn't this been done sooner? There is no doubt in my mind this is a semi-selfless act on both parts from Microsoft and Lenovo, as after all, they just want to sell software and hardware respectively. On the other hand, it's about bloody time the corporations came up with something to encourage academic achievement.

Laptops and PC's are an absolute necessity in modern day academia, and keeping the devices open to upgrades is essential for maintenance. As the press release rightly points out:

"Not only are PCs integrated into the fabric of academic life, they are an essential part of life after [university]. Considering the technology, hardware 'horsepower' and upgradability, the Microsoft and Lenovo developed UAPC's are the best choice for the unique needs of students, young professionals, our future leaders and innovators."

Quite right. Those with an academic email address, such as .ac.uk, .ac.nz, and .edu, are all eligible for these discounted devices.

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