New ThinkPad is state of the art

IBM's ThinkPad 770 will shortly leapfrog Toshiba and take Big Blue back to the top of the notebook tree, judging by a demonstration of the unit today.

Although a price tag likely to be in the £5,500-7,000 area will put off all but the very well-heeled, the 3.5kg unit has the feature set to be the flagship product IBM has generally sought to vicariously shift volumes of its cheaper kit.

Driven by a 233MHz Pentium MMX 'Tillamook' processor, the 770 packs a 14.1-inch 1024 x 768 screen and up to 10.2Gb of internal secondary storage when two bays are loaded. The TrackPoint 'eraserhead' pointing device can now be tapped as an alternative for clicking or double-clicking, and there is a third mouse button available for scrolling through documents. Also included are a DVD-ROM drive (or 20-speed CD-ROM drive), MPEG-2 hardware encoder/decoder, Dolby digital surround audio and two USB ports.

When docked, the 770 supports Wake-On-LAN remote access to networked PCs for IT management.

"We've lost the innovative leadership position in notebooks to Toshiba recently so we asked our developers to really pull out the stops on this one," said Nick Eades, product marketing manager for PC products at IBM.