Called Lenovo Constant Connect, the service has a hardware and a software component that was developed over two years by Lenovo engineers in Beijing, Japan and North Carolina, Rich Cheston, a distinguished engineer and executive director in Lenovo's software and peripherals business unit, said in an interview Friday.
The hardware part is a small ExpressCard device with 512GB of flash RAM and a antenna that pairs up with the user's BlackBerry via Bluetooth to download any new e-mail. That e-mail is stored on the ExpressCard device and replicated to the ThinkPad e-mail client after the user turns the laptop back on.
That way, a traveler rushing between flights or in a taxi can get the latest e-mail without having to stop, turn on the PC and and log-in over a Wi-Fi hotspot, Cheston said.
Lenovo Constant Connect also serves as an alternative to 3G wireless services from Verizon and other companies, and -- for e-mail only -- can be faster and more efficient than instant-on solutions such as Phoenix Hyperspace and Splashtop, which still face problems related to Wi-Fi availability.
While BlackBerries typically cut down large images and other attachments, Lenovo Constant Connect's software will pull the e-mail all the way from the user's corporate Exchange e-mail server, Cheston said, to get full-sized attachments. This is done using AES 128-bit encryption and other security provided by BlackBerry, he said.