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IBM shrinks desktop system

IBM has announced a desktop system that is 35% smaller than its predecessor, taking up less space than some of its laptop machines.

The ThinkCentre S50 is aimed at both small and large companies which operate in space-constrained environments, although company officials said more specifically that they will target the finance and health industries.

"In talking with our customers it is clear that office space is shrinking in nearly all industries, and desktop PCs need to acknowledge that trend," said Fran O'Sullivan, general manager of IBM's Personal Computing Division.

The IBM system contains an internal power supply and accommodates one full-height PCI card, one slime-line optical drive, one 3.5in internal hard drive, and an Intel-based Pro-1000 Ethernet card.

The unit also comes with a "caddy" that surrounds the hard drive, which users can deploy to lock the unit in place without using any tools.

Another mechanical improvement over its predecessor is that it is less noisy and improved air flow reduces heat. USB ports are spaced wider apart so additional memory keys can be fit in.

Like other IBM desktops, the new model includes Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore, which is a one-button backup and recovery solution that restores previously saved data and systems settings.

The system will also come with IBM'ssoftware image management, which helps lower the costs for IT shops by reducing the number of software images that must be managed.

IBM has also added a new feature, the Access IBM button, which can deliver users to a portal for IBM support that includes diagnostic tools, a range of automated solutions, and links to technical updates.

IBM expected to ship the first units in July with broader availability expected some time in August. The entry level price will be just under $600.

Ed Scannell writes for InfoWorld


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