Lenovo ThinkPad X1
Lenovo (since 2005)
ThinkPad is a line of laptop computers and tablets by Lenovo. The series was originally designed, developed, and sold by IBM until Lenovo acquired the brand in 2005 after purchasing IBM's personal computer business. ThinkPads are known for their minimalist, black design which was initially modeled in 1990 by industrial designer Richard Sapper based on the concept of a traditional Japanese Bento lunchbox revealing its nature only after being opened. According to later interviews with Sapper, he also characterized the simple ThinkPad form to be as elementary as a simple, black cigar box and with similar proportions that offers a 'surprise' when opened. ThinkPads are popular with large businesses and schools. Older model ThinkPads are revered by technology enthusiasts, collectors and power users due to their durable design, relatively high resale value, and abundance of aftermarket replacement parts. ThinkPad laptops have been used in space, and was by 2003 the only laptop certified for use on the International Space Station.
- 1 History
- 2 Recent models
- 2.1 ThinkPad Yoga
- 2.2 ThinkPad Twist
- 2.3 ThinkPad Helix
- 2.4 Tablets
- 2.5 T Series
- 2.6 W Series
- 2.7 X Series
- 2.8 L Series
- 2.9 Edge Series
- 3 Legacy models
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
IBM introduced the ThinkPad line in 1992.
IBM began to explore a new naming system for personal computers in 1990. John Akers, then chairman of IBM, realized that he had no idea what the letters and numbers in product names meant and thought that customers must be confused as well. He set out to rectify this problem. A Business Week article from February 1990 said, "IBM has a new corporate department whose mission is to kill the acronym. Simply put, all new products must actually be meaningful to customers."
A group in the laboratory that developed the first ThinkPad worked with IBM's corporate naming office to find a name for their new product. Debi Dell, a manager in the Boca Raton laboratory with responsibility for product announcements assigned veteran engineer Denny Wainwright to help with naming. After discussions, all involved determined that they wanted something that would not intimidate novice users, while reflecting the purpose of the device. At one meeting, when Denny Wainwright was asked to report on the progress toward a name, he took a small leather pad with the word "THINK" embossed on its cover and dropped on the table. He declared that "ThinkPad" would be a perfect name.
Wainwright took the name to lab management. They rejected it because the naming scheme at IBM at that time always included model numbers. Wainwright and others contacted customers to lobby for support. Letters from customers and support from IBM's senior executives for easier-to-understand product names aided the eventual approval of the ThinkPad name.
The name "ThinkPad" is a product of IBM's corporate history and culture. Thomas J. Watson, Sr, had first introduced "THINK" as an IBM slogan in the 1920s. As stated above, the name was initially opposed by the IBM corporate naming committee as the names for IBM computers were all numerical at that time. With time, "ThinkPad" stuck due to praise from journalists and the public.
In April 1992, IBM announced the first ThinkPad tablet computer at a news conference. The first ThinkPad tablet, formally known as the IBM 2521 ThinkPad, was positioned as a developer's release. The ThinkPad tablet became available for purchase by the general public in October of the same year.
In addition to giving it an innovative name, IBM marketed the ThinkPad through imaginative activities such as early customer pilot programs, numerous pre-launch announcements, and an extensive loaner program designed to showcase the product's strengths and weaknesses. IBM even worked with archaeologists excavating the ancient Egyptian city of Leontopolis to field test the ThinkPad. The device was loaned to the dig team for the summer. The resulting report documented the ThinkPad's excellent performance under difficult conditions. The report said, "The ThinkPad is an impressive machine, rugged enough to be used without special care in the worst conditions Egypt has to offer."
The first three ThinkPad notebook models were the 700, 700C, and 700T. They were publicly announced in October 1992. The bright red TrackPoint, a kind of pointing stick embedded in the keyboard, enabled the notebook to be used on an airline tray table without a mouse. The first ThinkPads were very successful, and soon collected more than 300 awards for design and quality.
Traditionally black, ThinkPads have commonly featured magnesium, carbon fiber reinforced plastic or titanium composite cases. The ThinkPad has introduced innovations, including the TrackPoint pointing device, the ThinkLight, a LED keyboard light at the top of the LCD screen, the Active Protection System, an accelerometer sensor which detects when a ThinkPad is falling and shuts down the hard disk drive to prevent damage, roll cage design to minimize motherboard flex, stainless steel hinges, a biometric fingerprint reader, Client Security Solution, which improves security using a built-in Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and facilitates deployment in corporate environment, the ThinkVantage Technologies suite of computer management applications, and drain holes to help reduce damage to the keyboard and components from accidental spillage.
The original design concept of ThinkPad was created in 1990 by Italy-based designer Richard Sapper, corporate design consultant of IBM and, since 2005, Lenovo. Sapper is noted for the design of classic products such as the Tizio lamp for Artemide, office chair for Knoll, kitchenwares for Alessi and ballpoint for Lamy. The first ThinkPad notebook (700C) announced in 1992 was the first new product to emerge from the IBM "differentiated product personality" strategy resulting from a collaboration between Sapper and Tom Hardy, head of the corporate IBM Design Program. Development of the 700C also involved a close working relationship between Sapper and Kazuhiko Yamazaki, lead notebook designer at IBM’s Yamato Design Center in Japan and liaison between Sapper and Yamato engineering. This 1990-1992 "pre-Internet" collaboration between Italy and Japan was facilitated by a special Sony digital communications system that transmitted high-res images over telephone lines. This system was established in several key global Design Centers by Hardy so IBM designers could visually communicate more effectively and interact directly with Sapper for advice on their projects. Since 1992, the ThinkPad design has been regularly updated, developed and refined over the years by Sapper and the respective teams at IBM and later Lenovo, which included Yamazaki, Tom Takahashi, Sam Lucente and, since 1995, David Hill, Vice President of User Experience & Design, who leads and manages the design/user experience of ThinkPad. Hill's approach to maintaining the evolution of Sapper's original ThinkPad design is analogous to how Porsche manages evolution of the classic 911.
The fold-out butterfly keyboard, which appeared in the ThinkPad 701 series designed by Sapper in collaboration with Sam Lucente and John Karidis, is widely considered a design masterpiece and is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The late Dr. John Karidis invented the unique mechanism that enabled the expanding keyboard function. The ThinkPad 760 series also included an unusual keyboard design; the keyboard was elevated by two arms riding on small rails on the side of the screen, tilting the keyboard to achieve a more ergonomic design.
Although all models feature a trackpoint, not all models have a touchpad; of those that do, not all have left and right buttons below, possibly making mouse clicks less ergonomic. The pad of the x220 even doubles as a button. This can cause problems, such as accidental clicking if too much pressure is exerted during mouse movements.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of ThinkPad's introduction, design leader David Hill authored and designed a commemorative book about ThinkPad design. Titled ThinkPad Design: Spirit & Essence, the book was revealed at an event held at the MoMA. The book articulates Hill's ideas about ThinkPad design and celebrates it's essence through insightful text and graphic imagery.
Reviews and awards
The Lenovo ThinkPad was the PC Magazine 2006 Reader's Choice for PC based laptops, and ranked number 1 in Support for PC based laptops. The ThinkPad Series was the first product to receive PC World's Hall of Fame award.
The ThinkPad X Tablet-series was PC Magazine Editor's Choice for tablet PCs. The 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) ThinkPad X60s was ranked number one in ultraportable laptops by PC World. It lasted 8 hours and 21 minutes on a single charge with its 8-cell battery. The Lenovo ThinkPad X60s Series is on PC World's Top 100 Products of 2006. The 2005 PC World Reliability and Service survey ranked ThinkPad products ahead of all other brands for reliability.
In the 2004 survey, they were ranked second (behind eMachines). Lenovo was named the most environment-friendly company in the electronics industry by Greenpeace in 2007 but has since dropped to place 14 of 17 as of October 2010.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T400-Series was on PC World's Top 100 Products of 2009.
Use in space
NASA purchased more than 500 ThinkPad 750 laptops for flight qualification, software development, and crew training.
Laptops used aboard the space shuttle and International Space Station feature safety and operational improvements for the weightless environment they must operate in. Modifications include velcro tape to attach to surfaces, upgrades to the CPU and video card cooling fans to accommodate for the lack of gravity (hotter air doesn't rise) and lower density of the cabin air, and an adapter to the station's 28 volt DC power.
The ThinkPad 750 flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour during a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope on December 2, 1993. The ThinkPad 750C's task was to run a NASA test program which determined if radiation inherent in the space environment causes memory anomalies in the 750C or generates other unexpected problems.
Throughout 2006, a ThinkPad A31p was being used in the Service Module Central Post of the International Space Station and seven ThinkPad A31p laptops were in service in orbit aboard the International Space Station. As of 2010, the Space Station was equipped with 68 ThinkPad A31 computers along with 32 new Lenovo ThinkPad T61p laptops plus a dedicated IP phone which also has limited video phone capabilities. Work incorporating those laptops into the station's LAN continued into June 2011. All laptops aboard the ISS are connected to the station's LAN via Wi-Fi and are connected to the ground at 3 Mbit/s up and 10 Mbit/s down, comparable to home DSL connection speeds.
Acquisition by Lenovo
In 2005, Lenovo purchased the IBM personal computer business and the ThinkPad brand along with it. Speaking of the purchase of IBM's personal computer division, Liu Chuanzhi said, "We benefited in three ways from the IBM acquisition. We got the ThinkPad brand, IBM's more advanced PC manufacturing technology and the company's international resources, such as its global sales channels and operation teams. These three elements have shored up our sales revenue in the past several years."
Although Lenovo acquired the right to use the IBM brand name for five years after its acquisition of IBM's personal computer business, Lenovo only used it for three years. On 7 December 2007, an event called "Lenovo Pride Day" was held. After words of encouragement from management, employees ceremoniously peeled the IBM logos off their ThinkPads and replaced them with Lenovo stickers.
In 2012, Lenovo partially moved production of its ThinkPad line of computers to Japan. ThinkPads will be produced by NEC in Yonezawa, Yamagata. Akaemi Watanabe, president of Lenovo Japan, said, "As a Japanese, I am glad to see the return to domestic production and the goal is to realize full-scale production as this will improve our image and make the products more acceptable to Japanese customers.”
The ThinkPad Yoga is an Ultrabook-class convertible device that functions as both a laptop and tablet computer. The Yoga gets its name from the consumer-oriented IdeaPad Yoga line of computers with the same form factor. The ThinkPad Yoga has a backlit keyboard that flattens when flipped into tablet mode. This is accomplished with a platform surrounding the keys rises until level with the keyboard buttons, a locking mechanism that prevents key presses, and feet that pop out to prevent the keyboard from directly resting on flat surfaces. Lenovo implemented this design in response to complaints about its earlier Yoga 13 and 11 models being awkward to use in tablet mode. A reinforced hinge was required to implement this design. Other than its convertible form factor, the ThinkPad Yoga is a rather standard ThinkPad device with a black magnesium-reinforced chassis, island keyboard, a red TrackPoint, and a large buttonless trackpad. 
The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is a laptop/tablet computer hybrid aimed at high-end users. The Twist gets its name from its screen's ability to twist in a manner that converts the device into a tablet. The Twist has a 12.5" screen and makes use of Intel's Core i7 processor and SSD technology in-lieu of a hard drive.
In a review for Engadget Dana Wollman wrote, "Lately, we feel like all of our reviews of Windows 8 convertibles end the same way. The ThinkPad Twist has plenty going for it: a bright IPS display, a good port selection, an affordable price and an unrivaled typing experience. Like ThinkPads past, it also offers some useful software features for businesses lacking dedicated IT departments. All good things, but what's a road warrior to do when the battery barely lasts four hours? Something tells us the Twist will still appeal to Lenovo loyalists, folks who trust ThinkPad's build quality and wouldn't be caught dead using any other keyboard. If you're more brand-agnostic, though, there are other Windows 8 convertibles with comfortable keyboards – not to mention, sharper screens, faster performance and longer battery life."
The Helix is a convertible laptop satisfying both tablet and conventional notebook users. It uses a "rip and flip" design that allows the user to detach the display and then replace it facing in a different direction. It sports a 11.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, with support for Windows 8 multi-touch. As all essential processing hardware is contained in the display assembly and it has multitouch capability, the detached monitor can be used as a standalone tablet computer. The Helix's high-end hardware and build quality, including Gorilla Glass, stylus-based input, and Intel vPro hardware-based security features, are designed to appeal to business users.
In a review published in Forbes Jason Evangelho wrote, "The first laptop I owned was a ThinkPad T20, and the next one may very likely be the ThinkPad Helix which Lenovo unveiled at CES 2013. In a sea of touch-inspired Windows 8 hardware, it’s the first ultrabook convertible with a form factor that gets everything right. The first batch of Windows 8 ultrabooks get high marks for their inspired designs, but aren’t quite flexible enough to truly be BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solutions. Lenovo’s own IdeaPad Yoga came close, but the sensation of feeling the keyboard underneath your fingers when transformed into tablet mode was slightly jarring. Dell‘s XPS 12 solved that problem with its clever rotating hinge design, but I wanted the ability to remove the tablet display entirely from both of those products."
ThinkPad Tablet 2
In order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad, Lenovo held a large party in New York where it announced several products, including the Tablet 2. Lenovo says that the ThinkPad Tablet 2 will be available on 28 October 2012 when Windows 8 is released. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 runs the Windows 8 Professional operating system. It will be able to run any desktop software compatible with this version of Windows.
The Tablet 2 is based on the Clover Trail version of the Intel Atom processor that has been customized for tablets. The Tablet 2 has 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 64-gigabyte SSD. The Tablet 2 has a 10.1-inch IPS display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1,366 by 768. In a preview, CNET wrote, "Windows 8 looked readable and functional, both in Metro and standard Windows-based interfaces." A mini-HDMI port is included for video output. An 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera are included along with a noise-canceling microphone in order to facilitate video conferencing.
Released in August 2011, the ThinkPad Tablet is the first in Lenovo’s line of business-oriented Tablets with the ThinkPad brand. The tablet has been described by Gadget Mix as a premium business tablet. Since the Tablet is primarily business-oriented, it includes features for security, such as anti-theft software, the ability to remotely disable the tablet, SD card encryption, layered data encryption, and Cisco Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Additionally, the ThinkPad Tablet is able to run software such as IBM's Lotus Notes Traveler. The stylus could be used to write notes on the Tablet, which also included software to convert this handwritten content to text. Another feature on the Tablet was a drag-and-drop utility designed to take advantage of the Tablet's touch capabilities. This feature could be used to transfer data between USB devices, internal storage, or an SD card.
Slashgear summarized the ThinkPad Tablet by saying, "The stylus and the styling add up to a distinctive slate that doesn’t merely attempt to ape Apple’s iPad."
The T Series historically had high-end features, such as magnesium alloy rollcages, 7-row keyboards, screen latches, the Lenovo UltraBay, and ThinkLight. Models included both 14.1" and 15.4" screens available in 4:3 and 16:10 aspect ratios, with premium durability, usability, comfort, and design taking priority over minimalism. Newer models have prioritized aesthetic design over business functionality. In newer T Series models (T430, T530, T440, etc.), the 7-row keyboard has been replaced with a chiclet-style 6-row keyboard. Many other features important to business users have been removed. Newer models have non-replaceable batteries, the removal of separate buttons for use with the TrackPoint, removal of separate audio control buttons, removal of screen latch, and the removal of LED indicator lights. 16:10 and high-resolution displays are no longer available.
The W Series was introduced in 2008 to replace the p-suffixed performance T Series (e.g. T61p), and are geared towards CAD users, photographers, hardcore gamers, and others, who need a high-performance system for demanding tasks.
The current model is the W530, released in June 2012. Minimum specifications include an Intel Core i5 (or i7) CPU, 15.6" HD screen, Nvidia Quadro K1000M graphics processor and 4 DIMM slots capable of running 32 GB memory.
Previously available were the W7xx series (17" widescreen model), the W500 (15.4" 16:10 ratio model), the W510 (15.6" 16:9 ratio model), and W520 (15.6" 16:9 ratio model). The W700DS and the W701DS both had two displays: a 17" main LCD and a 10" slide-out secondary LCD. The W7xx series were also available with a Wacom digitizer built into the palm rest. These high-performance workstation models offer better screens and faster components, such as quad core CPUs and higher-end workstation graphics compared to the T-series, and are the most powerful ThinkPad laptops available. These retain the ThinkLight, Ultrabay, roll cage, and lid latch found on the T-series. The W7xx line has been discontinued.
The X series is the main ultraportable ThinkPad line, offering a lightweight, highly portable laptop with moderate performance. The 12" X200-series carries all the high-end ThinkPad features like a ThinkLight, 7-row keyboard, and rollcage. The 11.6" x100e/x120e though are all plastic, lacks both the latch and the ThinkLight, and uses a variant of the island keyboard (known as chiclet keyboard) found on the Edge series. The x100e was also offered in red in addition to blue, and white in some countries. Those were more like high-end netbooks, whereas the x200 series were more like full ultraportables, featuring Intel i series CPUs rather than AMD netbook CPUs. The 12.5" X220 features a roll cage, Thinklight, 7-row keyboard, and an optional premium IPS display, the first IPS display on a ThinkPad since the T60p. However, it lacks lid latch (which the previous X201 and X200 had). A 13.3" thin and light line was offered (the X300/X301), though it has been discontinued. A slim 12" line (X201s) with low voltage CPUs and high resolution displays was also offered, though they were also discontinued.
The X Series tablet is a variant of the 12" X Series models, with low voltage CPUs and a flip-screen tablet screen. These include the traditional ThinkPad features, and have been noted for using a higher quality AFFS-type screen with better viewing angles compared to the screens used on other ThinkPads. A 12.5" X220T model is available.
The ThinkPad X100e is an entry-level ultraportable notebook. The X100e is available in standard non-glossy black, red, or white outer cases. It contains unusual features like the presence of three USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, Ethernet LAN port, 4-in-1 card reader, headphone and mic combo jack. Features an AMD Athlon Neo X2 Single-Core MV-40 (1.60 GHz, 512 KB) CPU, support for up to 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 memory. It comes with ATI Radeon HD 3200 IGP 128 MB graphic cards, 11.6in HD AntiGlare (1,366 × 768-pixels) display and six-cell lithium-ion. Unlike most ThinkPads, it uses the chiclet keyboard of the ThinkPad Edge series.
The ThinkPad X120e is an entry-level ultraportable notebook. It is available in black to consumers and white, black, and red in certain markets. It contained the same ports as the x100e except for an added HDMI port. It features either the AMD Fusion E240 (1.5 GHz single-core) or E350 (1.6 GHz dual-core) CPUs (both of which are Zacate), along with integrated Radeon 6310 graphics. AMD calls this configuration an APU, or Accelerated Processing Unit. It also supports 4 GB of DDR3 1333 MHz memory, though many users have reported that it actually supports 16 GB (2x 8GB s0 pc3-8500 1066Mhz). It also uses the new chiclet keyboard design like the x100e and ThinkPad Edge.
The line is being continued with X130e now consists of both AMD E-series and Intel i3-series based versions. External features are kept identical with the motherboard being the only difference between these editions. Memory support is officially expanded to 8 GB, other features are very close to its predecessor.
- Intel Celeron processor 857, dual-core 1.2 GHz
- 4 GB Memory
- 320 GB HDD
- 11.6" HD (1366 × 768)
- Integrated 0.3MP camera
- Integrated Bluetooth
- Weight: 1.78 kg with 6-cell battery
- 2 years warranty.
ThinkPad X131e Chromebook
The X131e is a Chrome OS powered laptop designed for the education market. It has a durable case fitted with rubber bumpers in order to improve its durability. The X131e's 11.6-inch display has a resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels and has an anti-glare coating. It can be customised with various colors, school logos, and asset tagging. 
ThinkPad X60 series
Includes the X60 and X61, with their associated s and Tablet series. The X60 is the first X-Series ThinkPad to feature Intel chips using the Intel Core architecture. The Core Duo L2400 (Low Voltage) CPU on the X60s model achieves 7+ hours of battery life on standard benchmarks, and can reach around 10 hours under light use, when using the extended-life battery. This model lacks a built-in optical drive, unlike the larger T60. The X61, like the T61, also is the first X-series ThinkPad to use Intel's Santa Rosa platform and to be available with a 3G WWAN option. This series includes the ThinkPad Reserve Edition, a 5,000-model limited edition laptop designed for executive class professionals. It was clad in hand-stitched leather, and came with a three-year 24/7 service warranty.
Codenamed "Kodachi". Released February 26, 2008. Distinguished from other ultraportable laptops by its usage of LED backlighting, removable battery, solid-state drive, and integrated DVD burner, it is the flagship model for the X-series. The ThinkPad X300 used the small form factor Intel GS965 chipset, instead of the standard GM965 along with Intel Core 2 Duo L7100 low voltage CPU with only 12 W TDP. Its successor, the ThinkPad X301 uses the Intel Centrino 2 mobile platform with GS45 chipset and an ultra low voltage CPU. It also integrates GPS, WWAN, and a webcam in the top lid. The thickest part of the laptop is 0.92 in (2.3 cm) and the thinnest part is 0.73 in (1.9 cm).
ThinkPad X200/X200s, X220, X230
Successor to the X60-series, the ThinkPad X200 laptop leverages the new technology from the X300, including the options of a solid-state drive (SSD), an optional integrated camera, 12.1" widescreen display, optional 3G WWAN, a new 9-cell battery for extended running time up to 9.8 hours, weight as low as 2.95 lb (1.34 kg), and CPU up to 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. The X200s is a newer model of the X200 which is lighter and thinner, and has the option of a WXGA+ screen with LED Backlighting for increased battery performance. The X200 series included Tablet PC models.
An addition to the lightweight X series, weighing between 1.36 kg to 1.72 kg depending on configuration. It was the thinnest ThinkPad laptop to date at 16.5 (front) and 21.5 mm (rear). The screen is a 13.3-inch (340 mm) LED-backlit HD inifinity panel with 1366 × 768 (WXGA) resolution. Base configuration uses an Intel Sandy Bridge 2.5 GHz Core i5-2520M (up to 3.20 GHz) with 4 GB of RAM (up to 8 GB), SATA or SSD hard drive, Intel Integrated HD Graphics, USB 3.0, backlit keyboard, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and an average of eight hours of battery life. The battery is internal and not removable, and there is no optical drive. A 13.3" X1 ThinkPad was announced to be available in the UK on June 7, 2011.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The X1 Carbon features a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a hard drive. The base model has 4 gigabytes of memory, an Intel Core i5-3317U processor, and a 128-gigabyte SSD. The most expensive model has an Intel Core i7 processor and a 256-gigabyte SSD. The X1 Carbon requires the use of a dongle to access wired Ethernet and some models include 3G cellular modems.
The X1 Carbon has a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1600 by 900 pixels. The X1 Carbon weighs 1.36 kilograms (3.0 lb) and measures 13.03 by 8.9 by 0.74 inches (331 by 230 by 19 mm). The X1 Carbon's case is made of light carbon-fiber and has a matte black finish.
In a review published for CNET, Dan Ackerman wrote, "At first glance, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon looks a lot like other ThinkPads, but in the hand it stands out as very light and portable. The excellent keyboard shows up other ultrabooks, and the rugged build quality is reassuring. With a slightly boosted battery and maybe a lower starting price, this could be a serious contender for my all-around favorite thin laptop."
In November 2012, Lenovo announced a touch-screen variant called the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch designed for use with Windows 8. Its display makes use of multi-touch technology that can detect simultaneous inputs from up to ten fingers. On the performance of the X1 Carbon Touch's SSD, Engadget states, "The machine boots into the [s]tart screen in 11 seconds, which is pretty typical for a Windows 8 machine with specs like these. We also found that the solid-state drive delivers equally strong read and write speeds (551 MB/s and 518 MB/s, respectively), which we noticed the last time we tested an Ultrabook with an Intel SSD."
The L Series replaced the former R Series, and is positioned as a mid-range ThinkPad offering with second generation Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs. The L Series as launched had two models, the 14" L412 and the 15.6" L512. In March 2011, Lenovo revamped the series to launch the 14" L420/L421 and the 15" L520/L521.
The Edge Series was released early in 2010 as small business and consumer-end machines. The design was a radical departure compared to the traditional black boxy ThinkPad design, with glossy surfaces (optional matte finish on later models), rounded corners, and silver trim. They were also offered in red, a first for the traditionally black ThinkPads. Like the SL, this series was targeted towards small businesses and consumers, and lack the roll cage, Ultrabay, lid latch, and ThinkLight of traditional ThinkPads (though the 2011 E220s and E420s had ThinkLights). This also introduced an island-style keyboard with a significantly different layout.
Models included 12.5"(E220, E220s) 13.3" (Edge 13), 14"(Edge 14, E420, E420s), and 15.6" (Edge 15, E520) sizes. An 11.6" Edge 11 model was offered, but not available in the United States.
The Japan-only ThinkPad 235 (or Type 2607), was the progeny of the IBM/Ricoh RIOS project. Also known as Clavius or Chandra2, it contains unusual features like the presence of three PCMCIA slots and the use of dual camcorder batteries as a source of power. Features an Intel Pentium MMX 233 MHz CPU, support for up to 160 MB of EDO memory, and a built-in 2.5 in (64 mm) hard drive with UDMA support. Hitachi marketed Chandra2 as the Prius Note 210.
The ultraportable ThinkPad 240 (X, Z) started with an Intel Celeron processor and went up to the 600 MHz Intel Pentium III. In models using the Intel 440BX chipset, the RAM was expandable to 320 MB max with a BIOS update. With a 10.4 in (260 mm) screen and an 18 mm (0.71 in) key pitch (a standard key pitch is 19 mm (0.75 in)). They were also one of the first ThinkPad series to contain a built-in Mini PCI card slot (form factor 3b). The 240s have no optical disc drives and an external floppy drive. An optional extended battery sticks out the bottom like a bar and props up the back of the laptop. Weighing in at 2.9 lb (1.3 kg), these were the smallest and lightest ThinkPads ever made.
ThinkPad 300 series
The 300-series (300, 310, 340, 350, 360, 365, 380, 385, 390 (all with various sub-series)) was a long-running value series starting at the 386SL/25 processor, all the way to the Pentium III 450. They were lower specified versions of the ThinkPad 700 series, available at a lower price.
ThinkPad 500 series
The 500-series (500, 510, 560 (E, X, Z), 570 (E)) were the main line of the ultraportable ThinkPads. Starting with the 486SLC2-50 Blue Lightning to the Pentium III 500, these machines had only a hard disk on board. Any other drives were external (or in the 570's case in the UltraBase). They weighed in at around 4 lb (1.8 kg).
ThinkPad 600 series
The 600-series (600, 600E, and 600X) are the direct predecessors of the T series. The 600-series packed a 12.1 in (310 mm) SVGA or a 13.3 in (340 mm) XGA TFT LCD, Pentium MMX, Pentium II or III processor, full-sized keyboard, and optical bay into a package weighing roughly 5 lb (2.3 kg). IBM was able to create this light, fully featured machine by using lightweight but strong carbon fiber composite plastics. The battery shipped with some 600-series models had a manufacturing defect that left it vulnerable to memory effect and resulted in poor battery life, but this problem can be avoided by use of a third-party battery.
ThinkPad 700 series
The 700-series (700, 701, 720, 730 (tablet), 750, 755, 760, 765, 770 with various sub-models) were once considered cutting-edge Intel-based ThinkPads. They featured the best screens, largest hard drives and fastest processors available at the time. This was the first successful ThinkPad introduced in 1992 (the first ThinkPad was a tablet PC without a keyboard and a mouse).
ThinkPad 800 series
The ThinkPad 800-series (800/820/821/822/823/850/851/860) were unique because they were based on the PowerPC architecture, rather than the Intel x86 architecture. They all used the PowerPC 603e CPU, at speeds of 100 MHz, or 166 MHz in the 860 model. The 800 may have used a 603, and it is unclear if the 800 was experimental or not. All units used SCSI 2 instead of IDE hard disks. The entire series was likely very expensive, as the 850 costed upwards of $12,000. The 800-series could run Windows NT 3.5 and 4.0, OS/2 Warp Connect PowerPC Edition, AIX 4.14, Solaris Desktop 2.5.1 PowerPC Edition, and Linux.
ThinkPad Z60 series
This is the first ThinkPad laptop to feature a widescreen (16:10 aspect ratio) display. The Z-Series is also the first ThinkPad equipped with a titanium lid (on some models). Integrated WWAN and/or webcam also found on some configurations. The series includes, as of 2006, the Z60 (Z60m and Z60t) and Z61; the latter of which is the first Z-Series ThinkPad with Intel "Yonah" Dual Core Technology. The processor supports Intel VT-x; this is disabled in the BIOS but can be turned on with a BIOS update. Running fully virtualised operating systems via Xen or VMware is therefore possible.
The SL Series was launched in 2008 as a low-end ThinkPad targeted mainly geared toward small businesses. These lacked several traditional ThinkPad features, such as the ThinkLight, magnesium alloy roll cage, Ultrabay, and lid latch, and use a 6-row keyboard with a different layout than the traditional 7-row ThinkPad keyboard. Models offered included 14" (SL400 and SL410) and 15.6" (SL500 and SL510). A 13.3" model (SL300) was previously offered, but discontinued.
ThinkPad A series
The A-series was developed as an allround productivity machine, equipped with hardware powerful enough to make it a desktop replacement. Hence it was the biggest and heaviest ThinkPad series at its time, but also had features not even found in a T-series of the same age. The A-series was dropped in favor of the G-series and R-series.
The A31 was released in 2002 as a desktop replacement system equipped with a Pentium 4-M processor clocked at 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, or 2.0 GHz (max supported is a 2.6 GHz), An ATI Mobility Radeon 7500, 128 or 256 MB of PC2100 RAM (officially upgradable to 1 GB but can be pushed to 2 GB) also equipped with a 20, 30, or 40 GB hard disk drive.
ThinkPad G series
The G-series consisted of only three models, the G40, G41 and G50. Being large and heavy machines, equipped with powerful desktop processors, this line of ThinkPads was consequently specialized in serving as a desktop replacement.
ThinkPad R series
The R-series was a budget line beginning with the R30 in 2002 and ending with the R500 in 2008.
ThinkPad i series
The i-series introduced the ThinkLight and were also the first notebooks equipped with wireless LAN.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to ThinkPad.|
- thinkpad.com, portal to ThinkPad module on Lenovo's official website
- ThinkPad models on ThinkWiki
- Collection of manuals for Thinkpads