The Incredible Shrinking IBM Desktop

New ThinkCentre S50 ultra small will be 35 percent smaller than previous model; Offering IBM’s smalles desktop PC ever and pumped up functionality

Markham, ON., June 9, 2004 – IBM today provided early details of the upcoming new ThinkCentre S50 ultra small, the smallest desktop PC ever introduced by IBM (1). With a footprint smaller than many notebook PCs, the new ThinkCentre S50 saves space without compromising function. It also includes IBM’s patented ThinkVantage Technologies, which can help reduce system operating costs and improve employee productivity.

At 13 pounds, the new ThinkCentre S50 ultra small weighs almost the same as IBM’s first notebook computer, the 12-pound IBM 5140 PC Convertible launched in 1986. Companies in space-saving environments that also demand high-performance desktops, in fields such as finance and health care, will be able to take advantage of the small footprint of the S50 ultra small — about the size of the New York City phonebook or a typical box of breakfast cereal. With a size of 11 inches wide by 10.2 inches deep by 3.3 inches high, the S50 effectively serves as a pedestal for a desktop monitor.

Simplifying usability, the S50 ultra small also features IBM ThinkVantage Design. Encased in a tool-free durable steel chassis, components inside the machine, such as the hard disk and memory, can easily be removed by the customer. This helps make the PC serviceable and upgradeable, helping to limit the downtime and cost associated with on-site support.

“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. “People need to use their office space more efficiently, and every square inch on their desktop is important. When your desktop PC occupies a footprint even smaller than a notebook, you’ve got more room for the folders, pads and documents of everyday office life. And to reduce the costs of owning that PC, the new ThinkCentre S50 ultra small will include IBM ThinkVantage Technologies designed to address other everyday office problems, such as viruses, lost data, and reducing time on the phone with the help desk.”

The ThinkCentre S50 ultra small is 35 percent smaller than the current S50. Its footprint is actually 8 percent smaller than a ThinkPad T41 notebook computer. It is also IBM’s quietest desktop PC ever (2).

ThinkCentre ThinkVantage Technologies

The ThinkCentre S50 ultra small features numerous IBM ThinkVantage Technologies, which improve security and simplify PC “fleet management” for IT organizations. These include Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore, a one-button backup and recovery solution that can easily restore previously saved data, settings and applications after a software failure. Equipped to take advantage of ImageUltra, IBM’s software image management technology, the ThinkCentre S50 ultra small helps companies lower costs by reducing the number of software images managed by IT departments. Also included on the S50 ultra small is the Access IBM button, a “portal to IBM support” that taps into a rich set of onboard resources, diagnostic tools, automated solutions, and links to updates and service on-line for customers with Internet access.

IBM PCs are also some of the most secure standard PCs in the world when equipped with the Embedded Security Subsystem, which consists of an integrated security chip and downloadable IBM Client Security Software. This hardware and software-based solution provides a higher level of security for the client, providing a secure repository for storing sensitive keys, identity information and confidential data. Customers cannot purchase from any other manufacturer a personal computer with a higher level of security as a standard feature.

“There is growing demand for the full complement of ThinkVantage Technologies on the desktop and we continue to respond to customer needs for quick deployment, broad management and instant connectivity at an affordable price,” said O’Sullivan.

The ThinkCentre S50 ultra small features an internal power supply, one PCI slot, one slim-line optical drive slot, one 3.5″ internal hard drive, and Intel Pro-1000 Ethernet. It also features an innovative “caddy” that surrounds the hard disk drive, locking it into place without the use of tools or screws. Rubber bumpers on the caddy decrease vibration and deliver quiet operation. Compared to the first version of the ThinkCentre S50, other mechanical improvements have been made to the overall design, including noise reduced from 41 dBA to 39 dBA, improved air flow, and wider spaced USB ports to fit most memory keys. Cable routing is bundled out of the way for easy access to components and cable ends, and user “touch points” most commonly needed for maintenance are colored blue for easy identification.

Pricing and Availability

The new ThinkCentre S50 ultra small is scheduled to be announced and generally available in August 2004 through selected business partners and through Pricing for the ThinkCentre S50 ultra small will start under $1699.00 (CDN).

About IBM

IBM, the world’s largest IT company, has helped customers innovate for business advantage for more than 80 years. With ThinkPad notebooks, ThinkCentre desktops, and ThinkVantage Technologies, IBM personal computing solutions address today’s business needs. These include reducing IT management costs, increasing systems uptime, improving security and enabling wireless solutions. For more information, see