IBM has released the world's first laptop with "drop protection" in its line of Thinkpads.

In most cases with dropped laptops, you run the risk of losing information upon impact. This is due to the read/write head bouncing about the hard drive, overwriting data with junk.

To prevent this horrible event from taking place and most likely pissing you off, the Thinkpads will have an onboard accelerometer. An accelerometer is a device which simply detects, you guessed it, acceleration. It is of course usefull to know when the laptop is accelerating since objects that fall tend to do just that.

So the accelerometer detects the fall and in less than a tenth of a second, the read/write head will store itself safely away such as to prevent it from skidding across the disk, erasing and corrupting data in the process. This acts sort of like an airbag for your laptop.

Unfortunately, other areas of the laptop that usually are damaged in falls such as the keyboard and delicate LCD display are still unprotected. But hey, at least one will be able to retrieve their data in case the laptop becomes otherwise useless in a fall.

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