ThinkPad gets a lock on security

In its marketing, Lenovo Canada has been emphasizing how it has changed practically nothing since the IBM days.As I opened the box to start reviewing a ThinkPad T43p notebook, I realized the company means it. I could not find its logo anywhere on this system.
Although it’s been more than six months since the Chinese company took over the PC division, the box read IBM. The packaging read IBM. The hard black shell on the notebook had the usual red-, green- and blue-lined IBM logo. There were logos from ATI, Intel and Microsoft, but not one from Lenovo.
It was a little disappointing. I thought I was reviewing a Lenovo product. However, from the looks of it, it’s all IBM.
The notebook, running Intel Centrino, functions well. It’s multimedia capability is excellent.
In terms of security, this notebook is second to none. The IBM fingerprint software and reader built into the machine is top-notch. Getting started and swiping your fingerprint is easy with the setup wizard, which pops up after start-up.
Security can be a challenge to most business users and road warriors who want to get at their notebook right away. If a user had to hunt for the fingerprint security software this feature would be an annoyance. So top marks for Lenovo, or IBM in this case, for making it as easy as possible.
This security option works with the Windows password protection screen saver.
So if you get up and leave your notebook running somewhere, when you get back you just have to swipe your fingerprint, it leaves the screen saver and returns to the program.
I tested this product during a week as a potential juror. Many people in the courthouse’s jury pool lounge had laptops, but people beside me all inquired about the funny looking fingerprint reader on mine.
Most thought it was a cool-looking USB port. Of course, curiosity set in and a few asked to try it.
Without fail the notebook locked up until it scanned my finger. The machine also comes with a PC card for wireless Web access.
This is also very convenient since it informs the users when a wireless network connection is detected.
The card is very powerful. It found nine wireless networks to connect to. Some were secured, but many others were not.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T43p is an excellent business notebook for the security conscience minded executive.
But next time Lenovo may want to let the world know the product is its.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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