IBM rolls out mini ThinkPad –

IBM will begin shipping its first mininotebook in North America starting July 14, with plans to roll out the ThinkPad 240 in Europe soon after.

The new ThinkPad 240 announced today will cost $1,999 and come with a 300-MHz Intel Celeron processor, 64M bytes of SDRAM expandable to 192M bytes, a 6.4G-byte upgradeable hard disk, and 2M bytes of VRAM with MPEG-1 support. The machine has a 10.4-in. display and 56K v.90 modem. The ThinkPad 240 runs Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98 or Windows 95.

The ThinkPad 240 weighs about 3 lbs. and is 1 in. thick, and has a keyboard that is close enough to full size that the difference isn't noticeable, according to Gary Robinson, ThinkPad product manager.

"Three pounds in a bag or a briefcase -- you almost don't notice the weight," he said.

IBM first targeted Japan for the notebook, which was announced there last month and is due to begin shipping in that market on June 26.

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