An Exclusive First Look At The IBM A31p
Today, IBM launches the new ThinkPad A31 Series Pentium 4m notebooks. In the past, many buyers may have overlooked IBM for potential purchase consideration. This might have been due to the misconception by some that perhaps IBM was not bringing enough innovative technology to the table. After our examination of the ThinkPad A31 Series, the launch of this new ThinkPad is a considerable move forward for IBM in staking its claim in both the desktop replacement and mobile workstation markets.
Over the years, IBM has played a leadership role by introducing such innovative (or funky) features as the ThinkLight keyboard work light and the UltraPort Connector. In the ThinkPad A31 series, IBM has combined almost every notebook feature at its disposal, such as the UltraPort 2000 and Ultraport Plus Connector, ThinkPad FlexView Display w/170є Viewing, Optional Embedded Security Subsystem, Ultrabay Plus with the new numeric keypad or Palm cradle support, ThinkLight keyboard work light, integrated 802.11b wireless with dual antenna system built into either side of the display, optional integrated Bluetooth support, and the new ATi Mobility FireGL 7800 with 64MB DDR. While some of these features are known in one form or another from other ThinkPad models, this is the first time that ALL of these features have been put into one IBM notebook model.
The ThinkPad A31 is available in two models, the A31p and A31. Each model comes in four different configurations, with eight different configurations available between the two models. These configurations allow purchasers to select the feature set best suited for their needs. IBM supplied THG with the A31p in the H6U configuration for our review.
The IBM ThinkPad A31p in the H6U configuration is directed toward the mobile workstation market. IBM has targeted the typical user of the A31p as one who needs to handle large amounts of multimedia data, present complex presentations, manage complex projects, as well as requires the ability to run engineering software. With its number of networking options, the user can be connected in a variety of ways. As you will see, the A31p pulls out all of the stops to make typical 'engineering types' content.