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Big Blue goes all legacy-free, Chipzilla applauds

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Just $699 will buy you IBM's brand new legacy-free NetVista S40 which aims 'to deliver the performance of a conventional PC with the simplicity of a thin client.' The S40 features two PCI slots, three drive bays, and five USB ports. An optional cradle allows docking of an IBM WorkPad PC companion and other palmtops. The S40 comes with a range of cpus starting with a Celeron 566MHz, and topping out with a Pentium III 866MHz processor, 128MB of SDRAM is standard (512 MB maximum) and a 20GB hard disk. Preloaded software includes Windows 2000 and Lotus SmartSuite. Consultant on the S40's design was Richard Sapper, whose original design for the IBM ThinkPad notebook computer is one of 15 of his designs in New York's Museum of Modern Art. "We think that the computer should work properly and shouldn't invade your life," said Sapper. "That's a reason for our products to be calm. At the same time our design has an element of surprise and detail, so that you might find something new to discover even if you've had it for months. This is the way we create discreet interest. We don't think the computer should be shouting 'here I am.'" ThinkPad users will be attracted to the new IBM Portable Drive Bay 2000, which offers a single, swappable drive that works in both ThinkPad notebooks and NetVista desktop computers. "We applaud IBM for pushing the envelope and designing the NetVista legacy-free PCs," beamed Kicking Pat Gelsinger, vice president of Intel's Desktop Products Group.

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