1IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops Remain Corporate Favorites After 25 Years
Lenovo this week is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its venerable ThinkPad laptops. The ThinkPad line was introduced by IBM in 1992, back when Big Blue was still a top producer of PC hardware that was ubiquitous on corporate desktops. ThinkPads were designed to appeal to corporate users who demanded reliable laptops that could survive the rigors of constant use on the road and in the office. Carrying a laptop with the ThinkPad logo became a mark of prestige among business road-warriors starting in the 1990s. The ThinkPad remains a corporate workhorse. But Lenovo has kept up with the latest technologies and customer preferences and introduced ThinkPads in the forms of progressively thinner and lighter ultrabooks and convertible notebooks. This slide show looks back at some of the design milestones in the long line of ThinkPad laptops.
21992: ThinkPad 700
IBM kicked off the ThinkPad line in 1992 with the ThinkPad 700. The hefty notebook was the first to have the iconic red eraser head TrackPoint, a pointing device in the middle of the keyboard that allowed users to move the cursor without a mouse. It was so impressive that IBM won more than 300 awards for the ThinkPad 700.
31993: ThinkPad 750C
41994: ThinkPad 755cd
51995: ThinkPad 701C
61998: ThinkPad 600
71999: ThinkPad 240
82001: ThinkPad TransNote
92002: ThinkPad X30
By 2002, ThinkPad laptops were earning rave reviews, and the ThinkPad X30 was among the most popular models. Combining a “travel-friendly” design and built-in WiFi, which was far from a standard feature in those days, this laptop delivered outstanding battery life for the time. The ThinkPad X30’s design was a winner and it sold well, too.
102005: ThinkPad Z Series
In 2005, Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC division in a $1.25 billion deal. While many worried that Lenovo would ruin the ThinkPad, that year’s ThinkPad Z quelled their fears. The computer was actually an IBM design and a minor upgrade from the previous year’s model, but its big change was mostly cosmetic: The ThinkPad Z ditched the familiar matte black for a brighter titanium finish. It was a popular choice.
112008: ThinkPad X300
122015: ThinkPad X1 Carbon
132016: ThinkPad X1 Yoga
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga has proven to be one of the company’s most popular computers. Combining notebook functionality with tablet flexibility, the Yoga is a strong seller to this day. In 2016, it became the first Lenovo ThinkPad to come with an OLED display.