Lenovo is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ThinkPad line of business-minded laptops by releasing a retro special edition that borrows a lot of design cues from the original model. First teased in a series of blog posts two years ago, the new ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 – or “ThinkPad Retro”, as it was referred to while in development – will be a limited edition release. Its main appeal will be a seven-row keyboard with standard (non-chiclet) keys, dedicated volume buttons and status LEDs, the classic blue Enter key, a multi-coloured ThinkPad logo, and special Anniversary Edition branding and packaging.
In terms of hardware, the device is pretty much the same as the ThinkPad T470 model, which it is based on. There’s an Intel Core i7-7500U CPU, Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch full-HD touchscreen. There’s also Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, a Thunderbolt 3 port, stereo speakers and dual mics. Battery life is claimed to be 13.9 hours, and weight is 1.6kg. It will be priced at $1,899 (approximately Rs. 1,23,600).
In a series of blog posts in mid-2015, Lenovo’s Chief Design Officer David Hill explored the idea of bringing back features and design touches that have been dropped over the years, and questioned whether customers preferred laptops the way they used to be 25 years ago compared to now. The four-part survey included detailed questions about preferred screen sizes and aspect ratios, keyboard layouts, backlighting options, the shape of the TrackPoint’s rubber caps, and even the long-debated positioning of the Fn and Ctrl keys on ThinkPads. Each post attracted thousands of comments, through which debates raged about the poor quality of today’s laptops.
In the two years that have passed since then, it seemed as though Lenovo might have abandoned the idea of a retro ThinkPad, but it turns out that many of those insights made it into the Anniversary Edition 25. The original ThinkPad 700C was launched on October 5,1992, and over 130 million units have been sold since. After IBM sold the brand to Lenovo, its new owner has continued to release new models and innovate with designs.