Lenovo, RIM Launch 'Constant Connect'

The product uses Bluetooth to wirelessly sync corporate e-mails and other information between a BlackBerry and laptop, even if the computer is turned off.
Lenovo and Research In Motion have released a new product that lets Lenovo ThinkPad laptops easily connect and wirelessly sync with BlackBerry smartphones, even if the computer is powered off.

The product, called Constant Connect, is focused on mobile professionals who seek to avoid paying for Wi-Fi connections for their laptops. The product plugs into the laptop and it can pull corporate e-mails from the smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. Users can then use the laptop to read, compose, and send e-mails that will be sent through the BlackBerry's connection.

Constant Connect can also work if the computer is powered off. For example, if users compose e-mails on a plane with no network connection, they can cache those on to Constant Connect. The e-mails can be sent once the BlackBerry regains network connectivity, even if the laptop is powered off while the user is exiting the plane. Additionally, new e-mails that are pushed to the BlackBerry can automatically sync to the laptop when it's powered off.

"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, RIM's co-CEO, in a statement. "By leveraging the industry-leading push-based connectivity of the BlackBerry solution, Lenovo Constant Connect will simplify e-mail synchronization on the laptop and provide mobile professionals with greater flexibility to manage their e-mail on the move."

The partnership is just the latest move by RIM to maintain its dominance of the enterprise smartphone market, which is increasingly being encroached upon by Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Windows Mobile. Constant Connect can be added to new corporate machines for $149 though select business partners and Lenovo.

Deploying smartphones can produce a measurable boost on your employees' productivity, but businesses must be sure they're locking down that sensitive data. InformationWeek published an in-depth report on how to secure mobile devices, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).