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*The IBM ThinkPad T43

Thin and Light



Overall Assessment/Reviews ...Very Good to Raving

The new 'Sonoma' is here.

The new Sonoma Platform, Intel's next-generation Centrino Chipset is here! Already, members of the Sonoma club are growing daily - Sony, IBM?Lenovo, BenQ, Dell, Samsung, Acer, and Toshiba... have hit the mark running. Another 80 or 90 'Sonoma-endowed' products will be released very shortly.

No doubt, it will become the Platform standard for many high-end notebooks.

And notebooks will never be the same again. Actually, it won't make or mean that much difference to the ordinary Joe/Jane who just want a notebook or laptop for web surfing, word processing and e-mail. Notebooks with the Sonoma Platform will just be a little bit faster and have a little better battery life.

But for Mobile Professionals and Notebook Fanatics (they do exist) ...there's a lot of good things delivered or capable of being delivered with this new Centrino Chipset. First, wireless connections will be easier with the integrated tri-mode 802.11a/b/g, already dubbed by some as the 'wireless trinity'! This will make it easier to stay connected no matter where you are.

Improved performance will be experienced because the new Pentium M's have a 533MHz Frontside Bus, supported with up to 2GB of DDR2 DRAM, Serial ATA Hard Drive, and PCI Express, plus improved integrated graphics - including Intel's Hi-Def Audio. All are possible.

Guess the best way to examine what this new Sonoma Platform will be like in action - is to take a look at some of the early reviews from IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T43 'thin and light' notebook. One of the first notebooks to have the New Intel 'Sonoma' Platform.

IBM's ThinkPad Series of Notebooks are the 'Holy Grail' of notebooks. They are considered by many as 'the' Best Notebooks on the planet. Dressed in black and ready for business, these machines have the solid build and performance most professionals prefer. Not to mention a reputation that's well deserved and well earned.

Looking at the early reviews, one of best is by Riyad Emeran from Trusted Reviews, this UK website is one of best for notebook reviews - make sure you bookmark it! Other T43 reviews are listed below.

Basically, the ThinkPad T43 improves on the ThinkPad T42 with some advanced features, thanks to the Sonoma Platform - most noticeably, as mentioned above, the 533 MHz frontside bus, PCI Express, Intel's Hi-Def Audio, and the 802.11a/b/g WiFi.

With T43, you have your choice of two screens, 15in and 14.1in with two native resolution options - 1,024 x 768 or 1,400 x 1,050. Your choice up to 2GB of DDR2 533MHz RAM, and you have the graphic options of ATI's RADEON X300, Intel's Graphics Media Accelerator 900, or ATI's Mobility FireGL V3200 graphics cards.

Hard drives options are as follows: 30 and 40GB 4,200rpm, 40, 60, 80 and 100GB 5,400rpm or a 60GB 7,200rpm unit. If you can get it - go with the 60GB 7,200rpm hard drive. You also have the option of slipping a second battery into the UltraBay instead of using an optical drive - this will increase battery life up to 7.8 hours as quoted by IBM.

Some other notable features on the New ThinkPad T43 have to be mentioned:

As with the T42, security features include an integrated fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication that uses an Embedded Security Subsystem and Password Manager. Unlike the T42, this model comes with a new Rescue and Recovery 2.0 with an Antidote Delivery Manager. This makes it possible to recover or restore vital data at the BIOS or pre-boot level if your operating system should become corrupted.

The ThinkPad T43 also has IBM's Active Protection System which is designed to protect the hard drive from falls and spills for those accident prone notebook users out there.

It should be mentioned the T43 also features IBM's classic keyboard, with a TrackPoint embedded in the middle and a touch-pad pointer controller. It also has a white LED that lights up the keyboard for typing in the dark.

Pre-loaded with a wide range of ThinkVantage Technologies for managing power consumption, IT operations, secure computing, as well as providing for easy wireless connections, set-up and operations.

All these features, plus great performance and quality, comes in an one inch thick 4.5 pound package - making the ThinkPad T43 add up to one great little notebook.

Still miles ahead of the pack and thanks to the 'Sonoma' Platform - the gap has increased.

Battery Life: 7.8 hours with the extra battery

Pros: Great keyboard, very fast and light-weight, security features and tri-mode 802.11a/b/g.

Conclusion: The IBM ThinkPad T43 greatly deserves the mantle of Top Dog or Top Pick/Choice for the best Notebook. It's great features and great performance will be even harder to beat now that it has incorporated the new Intel Sonoma Platform.

Post Script: As you probably know by now, IBM's Personal Computer Section (including ThinkPad Notebooks) was acquired by China's Leading largest pc maker Lenovo in an $1.75 billion deal. You can read IBM's statements on this strategic deal here: http://www.pc.ibm.com/ww/customerqa.html. Briefly, according to Steve Ward (senior vice president from IBM) who will serve as CEO of Lenovo -- ThinkPad Mobile and ThinkCentre Desktop will continue under the IBM logo for the next 5 years. Nothing changes concerning the high level of service, support and warranties on your IBM Notebooks or PCs.

*Seclective Quality Reviews:

IBM ThinkPad T43

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