On the left side of the notebook you will find the Ultrabay 2000. The Ultrabay 2000 is compatible with a variety of Ultrabay 2000 devices. In our case, IBM elected to supply a standard 1.44MB floppy. Next to the Ultrabay 2000 is an infrared port, microphone in, line in, and headphone out. Next to all of these is a large cooling exhaust area. Behind this area sits the fan CPU cooling fan. It is quiet, so we could hardly hear it when it was running. Next to the cooling exhaust area, you can see the port for a locking cable device.
The right side of the A31p has the Ultrabay Plus, which in our test unit had a CD-RW/DVD combo drive installed in it. Two PC Card/Cardbus are stacked on this side of the notebook, as is the 1394 Firewire port. The 12.5mm hard drive is removable and can be released by removing one screw, located on the bottom of the notebook.
The rear of the notebook is where the vast majority of the A31p connection options are located. The ports on the rear of the A31p include: 9 Pin Serial Port; S-Video In; S-Video Out; Integrated LAN; Integrated Software Modem; VGA Out; Printer/LPT Port; and two USB ports. The integrated LAN uses a chipset by Intel, and Agere Systems designed the integrated software modem.
Turning the notebook over doesn't reveal much. The battery is located on the bottom front of the unit. Two access doors are bolted to the bottom of the notebook, one for the MiniPCI slot access, and the other for access to the memory slots. In our sample unit, under the MiniPCI access door we found both the 802.11b and the Bluetooth cards. The 802.11b adapter was using the MiniPCI slot, while the Bluetooth, on the other hand, was connected directly to the unit using a cable. Removing the memory access door revealed 512MB of DDR memory. The A31p is expandable to 1 GB of DDR SDRAM, which is the maximum supported by the i845MP chipset. Also, on the bottom of the unit is the connector for the ThinkPad dock or port replicator. Unfortunately, IBM did not supply us with either the ThinkPad dock or the port replicator, so we cannot offer any opinion on the performance or functionality of either of these.