Computing giant Lenovo Group will announce the first-ever ThinkPad Tablet PC at the Microsoft TechEd 2005 trade show today in Orlando, Florida. Dubbed the ThinkPad X41T, the new device has been in development for a few years. Sources at Lenovo told me last year that the company undertook the Tablet PC design at the request of its customers.
  
The ThinkPad X41T physically resembles the existing ThinkPad X41 laptop computer but features a swiveling, convertible, laptop-style screen. The device weighs just 3.5 pounds and offers 6.3 hours of battery life on a standard battery (8 hours or more with an extended battery) and a biometric fingerprint reader. The X41T will cost just $100 more than a comparably equipped X41 laptop computer. ThinkPads tend to be pretty expensive; the X41T will start at $1800.
  
For Microsoft, the entry of ThinkPad to the Tablet PC lineup is prestigious and demonstrates the strong momentum the innovative Tablet PC line is experiencing. The ThinkPad is widely recognized as the highest-quality laptop computer available from any PC maker, and Lenovo's entry into the Tablet PC market provides a new level of acceptance and support. According to Microsoft, this milestone will mark the point at which the Tablet PC goes mainstream.