Lenovo has announced that it has teamed up with Vodafone in the UK to offer mobile broadband built-in to the laptop to save users having to invest in a separate 3G datacard without adding extra costs to the model.
Customers will be able to purchase new ThinkPad notebooks in the T and X Series and on all of Lenovo’s new ThinkPad SL Series notebooks with the new connectivity option.
Not wanting to lose out on customers not looking for the 3G connectivity, users will receive a "30-day free" trial from Vodafone, and after the trial, they can opt to continue with the service or stop using it. The laptops will come pre-installed and ready to go with the user only having to supply a name and address rather than credit card details.
Lenovo has used Ericsson’s built-in modules for the mobile broadband offering and Lenovo say that the module will be customer replaceable if technology advances.
Vodafone has said that it believes the majority of laptops will used in-built modules within 12 months.
On the pricing front Vodafone say that customers connecting outside the UK won't be stiffed with high roaming charges.
"It will cost £8.50 a day for unlimited data around Europe, USA, Japan and some other key countries like Hong Kong," a spokeman for the mobile phone operator told Pocket-lint.
The new ThinkPad range will be available from the 4 August 2008 and this will expand to include other notebooks later in 2008.