20 Years of ThinkPad

  • 20 Years of ThinkPad

    Twenty years ago, IBM released its first ThinkPad. The brand’s current parent, Lenovo, gathered customers and media in New York last week to celebrate the anniversary of the flagship brand.
    The celebration included a display of some of the machines that turned the brand into a computing icon.
    By Lynn Greiner

    slide 0

  • 700T

    Bet you didn’t know that one of the very first ThinkPads was a tablet! The 700T was announced in April, 1992, and boasted handwriting recognition, a magnesium case, and flash memory instead of a hard drive.
    slide 1

  • 700

    The original ThinkPad 700, with its monochrome screen, had a 25 MHz 486 processor, whopping 4 MB of memory, and an 80 or 120 MB hard drive.
    The name “ThinkPad” was coined in 1991, based on the name of the leather-bound notepad with the word “Think” on its cover that was once issued to every IBM employee.

    slide 2

  • 750C

    1993’s ThinkPad 750C was not only a colour machine, it was the first ThinkPad to fly in space, on the shuttle Endeavour’s mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Check out the red TrackPoint cover; it’s been on every model since.

    slide 3

  • 755CDV

    The 755 CDV looks like a standard laptop, but remove the back of the display, lay it on the deck of an overhead projector, and you have a display panel.

    slide 4

  • 701C

    The keyboard on the 701c, better known as the Butterfly, expanded as you opened the machine to allow a nearly full-sized keyboard in a tiny form factor.
    The Butterfly is now part of the design collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

    slide 5

  • 600 series

    1998 saw the introduction of the 600 series, probably the most popular line of ThinkPads in the brand’s history, with sales of over two million units.
    It had a Pentium II processor, and both a hard drive and a CD-ROM drive, as well as a 56K fax modem.

    slide 6

  • Now we move into the 21st century. – S30

    The S30, only sold in limited Asian markets, is considered one of the rarest ThinkPads. It was one of the first ultralight notebooks, at just over 3 lb, yet had a 600 MHz Pentium III processor, 128 MB RAM, a 20 GB hard drive and 10.4 inch display

    slide 7

  • TransNote

    Also in 2001, the TransNote combined a mobile computer with a digital notepad. Users could write notes on a special paper pad with a digital pen and transfer them to the computer.

    slide 8

  • X41

    In 2006, the X41 convertible tablet arrived. Although it still bore the IBM name, it was the first ThinkPad sold by Lenovo.

    slide 9

  • X300

    2008’s X300, as well as being thin, light, powerful and power-frugal, was an extremely important model to Lenovo, says David Hill, VP, Think User Experience and Design, because it was the first ThinkPad that actually wore the Lenovo name. It had to prove to ThinkPad loyalists that Lenovo was not going to ruin their beloved machines.

    slide 10

  • x1 Carbon

    A birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without presents, and in this case Lenovo gave its users the gifts: three new machines.
    The X1 Carbon is the enterprise offering, weighing less than 3 lb. It has what Lenovo describes as a 14 inch display in a 13 inch form factor, yet still gives eight hours between charges.

    slide 11

  • T430u

    For small and medium business, Lenovo announced the T430u, which is less expensive and a little heavier, but still an Ultrabook.

    slide 12

  • Tablet 2

    The third new offering, which will launch with Windows 8, is the Tablet 2.

    slide 13

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

ITB in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

More Slideshows