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Lenovo quietly selling Linux-compatible laptops
Jul. 11, 2007

Lenovo seems to have a love/hate relationship with Linux. Last year, it began offering its high-end T60p ThinkPad laptop with SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop).

This year, the company is releasing its newest high-end laptop, the T61p ThinkPad, and once more, while it runs desktop Linux, the company isn't overly eager to let the world know about it.

Be that as it may, Lenovo released the ThinkPad T61p, on July 10 and will start to ship it to customers later in July. The ThinkPad T61p is, like its predecessor, certified to run Novell SLED 10. In addition, Lenovo is now stating that its laptop has been certified to run Red Hat and Turbolinux as well.

While Lenovo gave no reason for adding those particular Linuxes to its line, there are some possible reasons for these moves. In the case of Red Hat, besides this Linux's clear popularity in business circles, Mark Enzweiler, Red Hat's vice president of North American channel sales came to Red Hat immediately after being Lenovo's vice president of global channel strategy and sales.

As for Turbolinux, this Japanese-based Linux distribution is gaining popularity in Japan, Korea and China. These are also all counties where Lenovo, with its Chinese roots, is trying to win customers.

The ThinkPad T61p is built for workstation-level jobs that require 3-D graphics. To pull this off it comes with a 15.4-inch-wide display and a NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M chip set.

This newest member of the well-regarded ThinkPad family comes with a selection of new Core 2 Duo processors from Intel. This includes the T7700, T7500 and T7300, which offer clock speeds ranging from 2.4GHz to 2.0GHz, 4MB of L2 cache and an 800MHz front-side bus. Lenovo is also offering users the option of including Intel's TurboMemory, a NAND-based flash memory.

This portable workstation includes up to 4GB of RAM, a 160GB SATA (Serial ATA) hard drive, three USB 2.0 ports and a CD-RW DVD combo.

It also includes a variety of Wi-Fi network connection options including support for draft 802.11n WLAN (wireless LAN), embedded WWAN (wireless WAN) technologies and UWB (ultrawideband).

There is, at this time, no page on the Lenovo site for Linux and the ThinkPad 61p. The closest you'll find is a page about SLED on the ThinkPad 60p page. There is also a technical support page for SLED and the 60p.

Pricing for the ThinkPad T61p starts at $1,814.

--Steven J. Vaughan Nichols

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