IBM resellers will have a little less to sell when the company’s newest corporate desktop hits the channel.

The second model of the ThinkCentre S50 will be released next month with an optical drive instead of a floppy drive, and yet 35 per cent smaller than the original.

“”There is a

big swing to small form factors and we’ve been very successful with our S50 in that marketplace,”” said Peter Sturm, an IBM Canada national sales specialist for the ThinkCentre line. “”This is the next step.””

It’s the smallest desktop PC that includes regular components such as a hard drive and power supply, he said. Some competitors shrink their computers by taking out the power supply and substituting a power brick, he said.

It’s a formula that must be working, he said, because the S50 comprises 33 per cent of IBM’s desktop sales.

“”It seems people these days either want a tower or the smallest possible.””

In addition to taking out the diskette drive the company has done some “”creative shrinking”” to the new S50 model 8086, he said, such as dropping the number of PCI slots from two to one, and put it on a riser card.

Not only it the smallest desktop, its also IBM’s quietest, Strum said.

The package weighs 13 pounds, with outside dimensions of 11 inches wide by 10.2 inches deep by 3.3 inches high.

As with the original S50, which is still in the lineup, the new model has a metal chassis with a lockable caddy surrounding the hard drive, a one-button backup and restore and the ability to use IBM’s image management software. The newest S50 has wider spaced USB ports to make room for USB memory keys.

Target markets include hospitals and banks, where there’s a demand for the smallest possible desktop footprint.

The new model will be sold by select resellers for a list price of $1,699.

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