Air Force freshmen get laptops

All incoming freshmen at the Air Force Academy will be given IBM Corp. ThinkPad T30 laptop computers, thanks to a contract awarded to government reseller GTSI Corp. this month.

The academy purchased 1,200 laptops on the $2.5 million order July 5, and GTSI will hand-deliver the customized and configured machines Aug. 6, said Dendy Young, chairman and chief executive officer at GTSI.

Young said the Air Force Academy examined a variety of products during the acquisition process, but was impressed with the functionality of the T30, which "won on its superior functionality, reliability and availability."

The IBM T30 laptop features a titanium composite case and built-in air shock sensor. At the GTSI Integration Center, each computer will be loaded with software and customized with Air Force Academy images, he said.

In addition to the laptops, GTSI will provide external mice, docking stations, extra batteries, cases, and Intel Corp.'s 802.11A wireless cards for wireless networking.

GTSI and IBM will also provide a custom warranty, supported by Air Force Academy and IBM staff members, and provide laptops on loan for use during service, Young said.

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