New IBM ThinkPad X40 includes hard disk protection, advanced restore and recovery featuresMost teleworking is done part time \u2014 say, two days home, three days in the office. That means you\u2019re probably shuttling a notebook back and forth. While some notebook cases have become increasingly rugged, notebook insides have remained fragile, with plenty of moving parts and a delicate LCD display. They don\u2019t take kindly to being bumped and booted up time and again \u2014 which, of course, is what we demand they do.The exception is IBM\u2019s new\u00a0ThinkPad X40\u00a0ultra-portable notebook. It couldn\u2019t care less if you bump it, drop it or fling it across a conference room. A microchip on the motherboard senses a change in equilibrium \u2014 movement in any direction \u2014 and automatically parks the hard disk drive\u2019s read\/write head, protecting your data and preventing a system crash. You can adjust the system\u2019s sensitivity and even snooze it if you\u2019re not worried about accidents.\u201cIBM has set a real precedent here. The X40 isn\u2019t just groundbreaking in so far as the technology, but it really does meet a business need,\u201d says Maria DeGiglio, analyst with the Robert Frances Group.Other neat features perfect for teleworkers \u2014 who often need to solve their own system problems \u2014 involve data rescue and recovery. Upon a system crash, pressing the IBM button on the left-hand corner takes you to a pre-boot environment, and walks you through several options. You can re-image the system from your most recent back up, pull off just a few critical files and save them to an external drive or put the files off to the side until the system is restored.Another really cool thing? You can launch a Web browser right from the pre-boot environment. That way, you can access the company intranet or Web e-mail even before you start dealing with restoring data. Also from this pre-boot environment, you can access your system\u2019s critical information, things like the level of BIOS and the most recent Windows Service Pack installed.Another feature teleworkers will appreciate is automatic network connection management. Boot up in the office, the system connects to the LAN; boot up in an airport, it connects to Wi-Fi; boot up at home, the notebook connects to your broadband router. It\u2019s all seamless.At 2.7 pounds (without dock) the ThinkPad X40 is 20% smaller and 25% lighter than IBM\u2019s previous ThinkPad, yet retains the same 12-inch display and full-sized keyboard. Other features include a powered USB 2.0 port that lets you attach an external optical drive without a separate AC adapter and a new Secure Digital port. By adding the X4 UltraBase dock, you can add extra batteries, storage and media options. You can add 802.11a\/b\/g wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, and a modem, Gigabit Ethernet and infrared come standard.The base system has 3.5 hours of battery life; 7 hours and 10 hours are also available. The new ultra-portable notebook is available Feb. 24 and starts at $1,499.