Lenovo has announced a new service built into select ThinkPad Classic and ThinkPad Edge notebooks that will allow customers who need casual Internet access via 3G the freedom to do so without requiring a contract. The service is called Lenovo Mobile Access and will be available to customers in the US and certain parts of Europe starting today through a partnership with mobile broadband provider Macheen.
The wireless service will be available in varying-sized bundles called a Time Pass. The smallest package contains 30 minutes of access with 30MB of data for $1.95 or $8.95 for a 24-hour period with up to 200MB worth of data. The latter package seems to be in the ballpark of what you’d pay for daily Wi-Fi service at a hotel.
If a user needs more 3G airtime, there are monthly packages that provide 2GB of data for $44.95 or 6GB for $79.95. Another monthly option includes only 200MB per month but the company predicts that most users will utilize the 30-minute or 1-day options. Note that these packages aren’t designed to replace existing mobile broadband packages from traditional carriers. They are simply for the casual user who needs short-term access without a contract.
More specifically, Lenovo Mobile Access will be available to users in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the US. All new WWAN-enabled ThinkPad Classic and ThinkPad Edge models will ship with the service.