Lenovo Debuts SUSE Linux Portables

Lenovo debuted its first Linux-based laptops at LinuxWorld in San Francisco on Tuesday, running SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 provided through a partnership with Novell. The systems are the result of a two-year research effort by the two companies as well as Intel, whose Centrino Duo processors power the portable.

The Thinkpad T60p is an inch thin and weighs 4.7 pounds. Several features of Lenovo's Windows-based notebooks, including Help Center support, the ThinkPad Configuration Utility, Power Manager and Access Connections have been ported to Linux, the company said.

"The ThinkPad T60p is a milestone for our collaboration and shared commitment with Novell to develop innovative and powerful workstation solutions," Notebook Business Unit vice president Marc Godin said. "Engineers running intensive based applications can now leverage these enhanced features while working remotely in the Linux environment."

Lenovo expects the laptop to quickly become popular among IT administrators, engineers and others who require Linux for their everyday tasks. Its partners also said the laptops would help to enhance productivity in Linux-heavy environments. While the laptops are intended for business users, they are available to anyone to order through the Lenovo Web site.

Various features that have proven problematic in previous attempts to merge Linux with a laptop such as hibernation, warm and cold docking, and other notebook-specific technologies have all been corrected, making the unit run very similar to a Windows or Mac portable, Lenovo said.

Along with the release of the Linux laptop, the company recommitted itself to Linux support, saying all of its portables could handle at least basic Linux functionality. Lenovo will also extend support for SUSE Linux to select models outside of the T60p, and will offer drivers and utilities on the support site.

Two models of the T60p will be made available immediately. A 14-inch version will start at $3,099 USD, and a 15-inch version starts at $3,199 USD.

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