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IBM autumn PC collection unveiled

Focus is on security and wireless connectivity

IBM has announced an autumn line-up of desktop NetVistas and ThinkPad notebook PCs that focus on the growing wireless and security needs of businesses, and is putting an emphasis on selling services as well as systems.

The company's reorganised PC catalogue includes an extended M series of NetVista desktops, with prices ranging from £700 to £1,400. Designed as 'workhorse' models, these PCs offer stability and advanced security features.

The X series of desktops, featuring a hard drive and processor integrated with a flat-panel monitor, was overhauled for a more streamlined appearance. Prices for that line range from £1,000 to £1,800. The NetVista PCs start at £400 for the budget-class A series.

The ThinkPad notebooks also feature a new line, the R series of entry-level-priced notebooks, and include new models in three of its other lines. The new notebooks are joining IBM's A series of modular and versatile notebooks, the extra-lightweight X series, and the T series for frequent travellers.

Another easily identified trend in the new systems is wireless support. Because wireless connectivity is a growing reality for business and consumers, Big Blue is shipping its ThinkPads wireless-ready for the 802.11b standard, with radios and antennas built in. For desktops, IBM will offer a 802.11b wireless PCI card option that will facilitate living in a wireless network environment.

All IBM's PCs and notebooks use Intel CPUs, in line with the company's recent decision to drop AMD chips from its machines. Most systems are available now, and all are scheduled to ship by the end of October.

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