Some interesting news was released by RIM and Lenovo yesterday, as the two companies jointly announced a new mobile solution for ThinkPad laptops. Called Constant Connect, the solution will allow enterprise email received on a user’s BlackBerry smartphone to be automatically synchronized via Bluetooth onto the user’s ThinkPad laptop – even if the ThinkPad laptop is off – without the user having to take any additional steps. However, my boy Ronen over at BerryReview seems to question whether or not Constanct Connect is too specific of an enterprise solution to be of use to many people.
The card is essentially a Bluetooth radio with 500 Mb of storage and works with Outlook/Exchange, POP3, & Gmail. This might be cool if it would automatically let you use your BlackBerry as a tethered modem, but it doesn’t. From the wording of RIM’s press release, it will not even let you send email! The only use I can see for it is for attachments that open better on a laptop, otherwise this is a useless piece of… Who the hell is going to pay $150 to read email they already have on their BlackBerry? This will also tie up their Bluetooth connection and kill their BlackBerry battery and not letting them use a headset while on the go! Many workers who have $150 to spend and are mobile enough to justify a product like this probably already have a wireless data card built into their ThinkPad.
I’m leaning toward agreeing with Ronen here. Either you’re a ‘on-the-go business user’ that is more likely to invest in a wireless data card or a tethering solution, or you need email on your laptop so infrequently that you could simply find a wireless hotspot (at your nearest Starbucks, for example) when necessary. Post a comment and tell us who you think this product is for; the full press release is after the jump.
Lenovo ThinkPad Laptop Computers to Gain New Level of Integration with BlackBerry Smartphones
Research Triangle Park, NC and Waterloo, ON – Lenovo and Research In Motion (RIM) today announced that the two companies will work together to promote new Lenovo mobile solutions that will help on-the-go business users enhance their mobile computing and communications experience through tighter integration between Lenovo ThinkPad laptop computers and BlackBerry® smartphones.
Leveraging Lenovo’s extensive global R&D capabilities and engineering prowess in laptop computers together with RIM’s expertise in smartphones and wireless solutions, Lenovo plans to develop and deliver a range of industry-leading solutions and technologies that can help professionals conduct business more effectively on the go.
Lenovo Constant Connect, the first solution developed by Lenovo, will leverage the strengths of the BlackBerry® solution and Lenovo ThinkPad laptops to deliver an unparalleled user experience for flexible, real-time access to enterprise-based email. Lenovo Constant Connect will allow enterprise email received on a user’s BlackBerry smartphone to be automatically synchronized via Bluetooth® onto the user’s ThinkPad laptop – even if the ThinkPad laptop is off – without the user having to take any additional steps.
This level of integration and availability dramatically improves access to email on the Lenovo ThinkPad laptop from wherever a BlackBerry smartphone can access a connection. In addition to greater flexibility and convenience, it can also reduce the need to use the laptop with fee-based Wi-Fi® networks. Lenovo Constant Connect is expected to be available from Lenovo and its business partners in the second quarter of 2009 in the U.S, and to be rolled out in markets around the world later in 2009.
“With more and more mobile professionals relying on both their BlackBerry smartphone and ThinkPad laptop PC, we view better integration between the two devices as a necessity. Today’s announcement is the first step in combining these best-in-class solutions to deliver a more useful and powerful mobile work experience,” said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing.
“Lenovo is adding significant value for our mutual customers by developing tighter and more seamless integration between Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and BlackBerry smartphones,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion. “By leveraging the industry-leading, push-based connectivity of the BlackBerry solution, Lenovo Constant Connect will simplify email synchronization on the laptop and provide mobile professionals with greater flexibility to manage their email on the move.”