Concept Retro ThinkPad

David Hill has just written an article, which is supposedly a concept of the classic ThinkPad. Many ThinkPad fans have been waiting years for this, and now David Hill is expecting feedback and support to bring his classic design back to life.

Lenovo ThinkPad X300 - One of the best ThinkPads ever designed.
Lenovo ThinkPad X300 – One of the best ThinkPads ever designed.

Now you can expect the following features:

  • Design borrowed from ThinkPad X300
    Undoubtetly, the ThinkPad X300 is one of the most beautiful ThinkPads ever made.
  • Blue enter key
  • 7 row classic keyboard (no chiclet keyboard)
    Likely the biggest and most discussed change in Thinkpad history – the move to the 6 row Chiclet keyboards. While Chiclet keys in general were received mostly positive, the layout, was not, at least by many long time ThinkPad dies-hards. So, the Retro inspired model offers once again the all-original Thinkpad keyboard experince.
  • 16:10 aspect ratio of display:
    The choice for 16:10 was probably because there are  no 4:3 display panels available at this time. When we look at the laptop or display market right now, we can verify that not a single 4:3 panel was released recently. I used www.panelook.com to verify this. 16:10 is for example used by Apple for their Macbooks, or by Samsung for some of their notebooks.
  • Multi-color ThinkPad logo:
    Borrowing from the design of the old red-green-blue colored IBM logo, the logo for the retro ThinkPad would also be colored in the same way.
  • Dedicated volume controls:
    If you happen to have preferred the original dedicated volume controls over the volume controls that are integrated in the function key row, you will now have a way of adjusting volume more quickly.
  • Rubberized paint:
    Rubberized paint, which creates a smooth and luxury feeling under your hands, is being used on ThinkPad lids since the 90s. Flagship ThinkPads, like the 600, the X300 or the X1 also had fully rubberized bodies, and the Retro model would follow in these footsteps, of course
  • Exposed screws
  • Status LEDs:
    A lot of feedback on the forums of Lenovo over the past few years were the fact that the status LEDs disappeared entirely and that most people want to see them returned. This way you can quickly check HDD activity, whether the AC adapter is plugged in, battery life, whether sleep mode is activated or not, and so on.

Why wouldn’t it work?

In the past few years, I have seen many crowdfunding projects raising of the ground to bring a classic game back to the market. Here I am talking about H-Hour World’s Elite which is supposed to be the spiritual successor to SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs which Sony made disappear. The project raised more then 200k in no time and is now in development.

Also I am quoting the Lenovo Blog here, but this has also worked for Ford’s Mustang, Dodge’s Challenger and so on.

So why wouldn’t it work for ThinkPad?

Right now

What we need to do for Lenovo right now if show support and let them know we are interesting in purchasing the retro ThinkPad. David Hill also mentioned on Lenovo Blog that the retro ThinkPad also requires significant sales volumes to justify the research and development and tooling effort.

A lot of the parts have to be made specifically for the retro ThinkPad, making it obviously a risk since they usually make their parts forwards or backwards compatible with other ThinkPad models to reduce cost. But for the retro ThinkPad, a lot of these parts have to be made specifically for this one time occasion.

Feedback

Go to Lenovo Blog and let them know what you think.

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