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IBM Portables

Lenovo Could Remake the ThinkPad X300 With Current Technologies 219

MojoKid writes: The ThinkPad brand has been around for a long time; the first model was introduced by IBM way back in 1992. And although technological advances over the past two decades have lead to Lenovo ThinkPads that are lighter, much faster, and highly more cable than any model in the early 1990s could have ever imagined, there's still a clear visual link between yesteryear and today with regards to design cues. Well, apparently, Lenovo is seriously toying with the idea of making a "unique" model that would incorporate some of the strong ThinkPad language that has been erased in recent years. "Imagine a blue enter key, 7 row classic keyboard, 16:10 aspect ratio screen, multi-color ThinkPad logo, dedicated volume controls, rubberized paint, exposed screws, lots of status LEDs, and more. Think of it like stepping into a time machine and landing in 1992, but armed with today's technology." It might not be for everyone but some execs at Lenovo think there might be a market for it.
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Lenovo Could Remake the ThinkPad X300 With Current Technologies

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  • Holy Cow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 26, 2015 @08:27AM (#49994183)

    Shut up and take my money!

    • Re:Holy Cow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @08:40AM (#49994293)
      We just replaced an X301 with a Thinkpad Yoga 12.5" back in December. Honestly, if they would shrink the fairly large bezel around the screen but otherwise keep the feature set the same it would appeal. I can't deny that I like the keyboard on the X301 better than on the Thinkpad Yoga, and I certainly like the more modular nature of the X301 so that memory and storage can be replaced, as compared to how much of the Yoga is soldered-on.

      The biggest thing that could help the X301 replacement would be price. They've got experience with Netbook form factors, and with tablet and convertible tablet form factors, so if they can keep the price down along with the weight then it could be a good choice if they can also keep it durable.
  • Lenovo ThinkPads that are lighter, much faster, and highly more cable than any model

    As in wall-hugger?

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @08:30AM (#49994203)

    "have lead to Lenovo ThinkPads that are lighter, much faster, and highly more cable"

    I would've thought modern Lenovo's would be highly more WiFi than cable

  • by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @08:32AM (#49994219) Journal
    My first Thinkpad was the original Thinkpad 700 with DOS. I used to hit the Thinkpad, throw the Thinkpad against walls, smash the Thinkpad with my fists, and urinate on the Thinkpad. Once, a whale ate my Thinkpad and I pursued it for weeks across the ocean until it defecated the Thinkpad back out. The Thinkpad booted up to prompt on the first try after that. Is there any laptop more celebrated on Slashdot. I think not.
    • by DeBaas ( 470886 )

      I had the same thing. Then I installed Windows 95 and finally it was useless

  • WAT? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @08:34AM (#49994229)
    No pink model? And that blue enter key is a mark of the oppressive patriarchy.

    Insensitive clods.

  • Neat idea. But please ditch the old keyboard light. It was cute back in the 90ies, but seriously not anymore.
    Individually lighted, dimable keys please. If Apple can do it, so can you.

    • I say move the lights to the sides of the screen and use a backlit keyboard. This allows for a document to be lit next to the laptop (this would be nice for gaming in the dark when taking notes).

      And put a light on both sides rather than pandering to right-handed people...

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      For a technical user why are lights even needed? I have a macbook from work and find it incredibly annoying the damn keyboard lights won't stay off.
      • For a technical user why are lights even needed?

        Because wiring closets are often poorly lit, and some of us work in the real world. I've been a lab administrator, that's nice work. It's not all work.

        I have a macbook from work and find it incredibly annoying the damn keyboard lights won't stay off.

        That's funny given that macs are supposed to just work, but how does it reflect on the concept of a backlit keyboard that doesn't suck?

        • by Luthair ( 847766 )
          To me a technical user doesn't need to see the keys to type.
          • by Rinikusu ( 28164 )

            Gosh, you are the most awesome person ever. Can I subscribe to your newsletter? Man, I wish I was as cool as you.

        • Because wiring closets are often poorly lit.

          Somebody mod that up. I got no points when I need them.
          I might add, lights also come in handy when servicing blackouts and your UPS's are gasping their last breath, and on red-eye flights.

    • Neat idea. But please ditch the old keyboard light. It was cute back in the 90ies, but seriously not anymore.
      Individually lighted, dimable keys please. If Apple can do it, so can you.

      I prefer top lighting, but it doesn't really matter. It is a feature I use only a few times a year.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      They do that. My broadwell X1 Carbon has nicely backlit keyboard (though I never use it).

    • by ssam ( 2723487 )

      i've had thinkpads with both the top led and the backlit keyboard. I prefer the latter, but it is quite nice to have the LED illuminate your work space a little. Maybe there could be room for both.

    • My IBM ThinkPad T440p has a lighted keyboard with two levels of brightness. The best keyboard I've ever had in a notebook, and it has a nipple too! The rugged yet lightweight black boxy design is nice too.
    • I never liked Apples Keyboard light, I ended up disabling it. As when it there is dim light, the keyboard letters are at the same light color as the key background making it hard to read.

      The thinkpad light can light up other stuff such as any paper you are looking at too.

    • Not sure what they're doing on the current line, but my T430 has 4 levels: off, low backlight, high backlight, screen-mounted light.

      I use the backlit options all the time, don't think I've ever done much but blow past the overhead light though.
  • Would it have superfish and other viruses on there? Because I don't really remember IBM doing that. Lenovo might want to leave the Communist malware off. Or maybe they don't want to.

    • by bazmail ( 764941 )
      Superfish is an American company.

      Think before embarrassing yourself.
      • at least the name superfish isnt missleading, if not ironic.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        Note that Lenovo gets blame, and Superfish gets blame, but let us not forget that the critical flaw originated with Komodia, which managed to get their mistake into more than just Superfish. People who didn't even have superfish were exposed to the exact same problem.

  • I'd buy it if it had the old (non-chiclet) keyboard!
  • 16:10 screen on a laptop, where do I sign up ??

  • Since the post is related, I will take my time to off-topically cast my votes as a consumer:
    avoid Lenovo "ideapad" line like you'd avoid hell.

    Mine has the worst screen I had ever seen in my life - worst contrast and highest reflection ever!
    (it can't beat a generic sub $ 60 Chinese Android tablet's). Sound volume is poor almost as if non-existent,
    keyboard build is flimsy.
    Just say NO. And even if going to other Lenovo product lines, I'd be extra careful checking the overall building.

  • no, just stop. (Score:5, Informative)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @08:49AM (#49994391) Homepage

    Imagine a blue enter key, 7 row classic keyboard, 16:10 aspect ratio screen, multi-color ThinkPad

    so, Imagine IBM. This won't happen, and not because of cost or market, but because Lenovo has betrayed its actual intent as a profiteering multinational. Superfish should be all the average slashdotter needs to know about this company to arrive at the inevitable conclusion that lenovo is committed to realizing a captive audience and perpetual marketing revenue stream through their hardware. The only reason superfish was stopped was because lenovo got caught, not because they cared about what you think or how you approach general purpose computing.

    brand me a nihilist but commodity computing is dead. Dell, HP, and even apple all do the same marketing and targeted advertising song and dance. if its not bloatware its shady 'privacy settings' in the OS that are disabled by default. most laptops are nothing more than 20 gigs of branded content and apps store turd polishing. desktops are the literal epitome of the cheapest chinese plastic that can be extruded into peripheral and PCB form, combined with a disingenuous and underhanded disrespect for the users intelligence. restore partitions replaced media and the average consumer started getting coddled at the 4th grade level for everything from return and repairs to power user options and even system administration.

    build your own. pick an OS you like that helps you do what you want, not what some think tank in a conference room whiteboarded. And as for lenovo, you can have my full size aluminum tower when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    • Re:no, just stop. (Score:5, Informative)

      by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Friday June 26, 2015 @08:59AM (#49994477) Homepage Journal

      Superfish should be all the average slashdotter needs to know about this company

      Now you need to stop. The average slashdotter already knows that the Lenovo / superfish problem never included any ThinkPad laptops, period. It included basically every non-ThinkPad laptop made by Lenovo but no ThinPad ever shipped with superfish installed.

    • Superfish was never on the ThinkPads. I agree it reflects poorly on the company moral, but at least they know better than to try anything like that on their holy cash cow.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      One: Superfish was not exactly a Lenovo invention, it was crap shovelware that was gimped by their use of highly insecure Komodia (which also got their insecure interception into other products, just Superfish via Lenovo was the most notorious vector). All the PC/laptop vendors were basically playing russian roulette with crapware to get costs down and Lenovo lost. The somewhat silver lining is that it was a wake up call to the industry that crapware comes with a very real and very high risk.

      Two: Superfis

  • give us the butterfly! The only cool IBM laptop.

    Blue enter key? Are you kidding me?

    Also, some OS/2

  • I mean, if you're going to go old school, you need to go old school.

    FWIW, I thought the colored stuff on the old thinkpads was pretty awful anyway. Kind of how we knew parachute pants and double shoulder pads were a bad idea. Fun to look back and laugh at, but not something we really need to bring back.

  • Talk about vapor ware!

    Worse, the vaporware they are talking about doesn't even have anything new - it's just talking about design elements and style - that a company MIGHT return to.

    Hey, can I write an article about a theoretically possible new car that has an expresso machine built into the engine, using it for heat?

    How about my pipe dream of a house where all the furniture is built into the walls?

  • by SgtKeeling ( 717065 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @09:12AM (#49994573) Journal
    Here's a link to the actual blog post from Lenovo [lenovo.com]. At the end the author says, "If you think Lenovo should make the retro inspired ThinkPad, or have suggestions on how to make it better, please post your comments here. We're listening."
  • by alantus ( 882150 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @09:12AM (#49994575)

    After buying some Thinkpads X230, I discovered that I can only use the mini-pci slot with cards approved by Lenovo, and included in their stupid BIOS whitelist.
    I won't buy a Thinkpad again until Lenovo stops this abhorrent practice.
    And please, no more excuses for this behavior.

    This could never happen with an opensource BIOS.

    • Rumour says the PCI whitelist is no longer the case in the latest generation Thinkpad. I haven't tried it out myself personally though.
      http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog... [lenovo.com]

    • I suspect that this is a regulatory issue related to the fact that they treat those cards as field-replaceable items. Since almost all of the cards used are going to be wireless adapters linking into the built-in antennas, they may only be whitelisting cards for which they ran testing.

      I got burned by this trying to switch someone with cheap ThinkPad Edge systems over to 5GHz - turned out those cheap systems were sold with no choice of wireless, so the whitelist was very short. We ended up replacing some net
  • How about an Amiga made with current technology? I think there would be a bigger demand for that than for another thinkpad....
    • How about an Amiga made with current technology?

      Amiga fanatic from way back here.

      When you say "Amiga with current technology", what exactly are you referring to?

      Both CPU lines the Amiga used are dead.
      The true power of the Amiga was how the custom chips worked together; those chips hit an evolutionary dead end about the time Windows 95 was released
      The OS, whilst remarkable at the time, is sadly lacking in comparison to today's OS's in terms of services offered (think TCP/IP, for a start)
      Amiga, Inc [amiga.com] have tried many iterations of a business plan to get going

      • by Burz ( 138833 )

        Steve Jobs once said the Amiga was an inspiration for the NeXT computer (as I recall, he was quoted in BYTE magazine). What made the NeXT really interesting was not just on the software side (with heavy object-orientation and display postscript) but also in its hardware: DSP, smart IO controllers and plenty of DMA channels echo the Amiga's coprocessors attached to DMA channels.

  • I've always hated the Fn key position, I use the Ctrl key way to often to like that.

    That being said my W540 is the best laptop I've ever used.

  • Do it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @09:24AM (#49994675) Journal
    Perhaps Lenovo, even if they don't actually build this particular widget, should think very carefully about the fact that "Hey, what if we released a product that was just like what Thinkpads were before we started fucking with them?" is the most exciting idea they've had in a long time.

    That may not be fun feedback; but it's important to know your strengths; and your limits.
  • I'll buy one now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @09:31AM (#49994727)

    Please Lenovo, take my money. :-)

    Seriously, this may end up a very good example of a company finally getting the message and listening to what customers want. I have been a huge ThinkPad fan for ages, even when they were made by IBM and impossible to afford unless your company bought one for you. The last three generations of ThinkPad T-series models have taken away the traditional IBM keyboard (although the replacement is still half-decent), TrackPoint buttons and LED indicators, probably in an attempt to look like a MacBook Pro. The last model (T450/550) restored the buttons on the TrackPoint, but still lacks the lower physical buttons on the touchpad.

    All this time, all the traditionalists have bitterly complained and taken their money elsewhere. I'm living with the T540p now, hate the touchpad but I can't find another non-rugged laptop that can take the daily abuse it gets. (Funny note - being a product engineer for our company, I just had a meeting with a bunch of product managers last month. Each one of them had an identical MacBook Air. I hauled out my monster ThinkPad, and they said, "Heh, we need to get you a new laptop.")

    It's kind of like Windows 8. Yes, _most_ people like shiny flashy things; that's why Apple products sell well. But there's another market segment that appreciates solid design and functionality. Alienating these people, who have just as much money to spend as the shiny flashy people do, is a good way to lose customers!

    • by carou ( 88501 )

      Yes, _most_ people like shiny flashy things; that's why Apple products sell well.

      Yeah. 75 million people per quarter buy Apple products because they're shiny and flashy.

      It couldn't possibly be because they're also solidly designed and functional.

  • Thinkpads used to be good, but after having been burned and/or frustrated by several recent Lenovo purchases, I'm loathe to buy from them again. Doesn't seem to matter what it is... servers... laptops... it seems that all their care about nowadays is that when you push the power button it turns on. Whether it works properly after that is a different question entirely.

    If the original Thinkpads were released with the quality Lenovo puts out now, they would never have been heralded as the durable workhorse t

  • Perhaps Lenovo reads their mail. I have sent many suggestions to them like this.

  • I bought a Thinkpad W540 in January, and I love it. Hasn't crashed once, battery life is ample. My biggest problem is lack of HDD light (I want to see drive status, but can't) and the fact that the plastic bezel around the monitor pops loose occasionally (annoying, but doesn't stop me from using it, and not a big enough deal for me to act on it). They've got a winning idea here -- appeal to a sense of nostalgia among a demographic that won't mind paying a little extra for something "collectable" that's a
  • Not sure if this is actually an innovation, but it is a rare attempt to 'think different'. Remember that phrase? As an Apple evangelist for 36 years, I appreciate anything that goes beyond 'clone' status. Anyone who moves technology forward. Do we want adventurous leaders in our industry or do we want commodity followers?

  • 16:10 again? Yes please very much.

    None of those things sound like 1992... I don't think there even *were* widescreen laptops in 1992? I certainly never saw them, at least - was all 4:3 back then. I don't remember seeing too many 16:10 laptop screens until the mid-2000s?

    16:10 is definitely my preferred aspect ratio, so if this were to happen, and I could get it with everything else I would want in a laptop (17" screen, decent graphics card, SSD primary and large HDD secondary drive) for a reasonable price, I

    • by Burz ( 138833 )

      I second that. Anything between 16:10 and 4:3 would be an improvement. 16:9 doesn't suit the presentation of data.

  • I can't go back to a laptop without touch. I still have and use my thinkpad T500 as a test machine. Every time I use it for more than a few minutes I tap the screen and feel frustration that it doesn't do what I want. Touch should just be standard these days.

  • ... it included the tank like build quality of the old ThinkPads and wasn't just a visual overhaul.

  • For what it's worth: I've got good old T41. It's running 1.6MHz Pentium M on 2Gb RAM. I've installed SSD and Lubuntu 14.04 (with forcepae). Works great! Funny thing - I've already got rid of much more up to date notebooks, but this one is such a pleasure to use, it's still sits on the side of my desk, powered 24/7 for quick lookups, experiments and what not.
  • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Friday June 26, 2015 @12:01PM (#49995961)
    The Intellipoint controller is the single best pointing device I have ever used. Better then a mouse because there are 4 less fingers away from the keyboard. Don't even get me started on touchpads, they are so inaccurate it is laughable.

    If I want to buy a laptop and want to use it regularly for a long time without having to think about buying another, I buy a Thinkpad.
  • As a proud owner of Thinkpad 420 and X201, I want to say definitive YES! to this idea.

    An ideal notebook will have:
    1) a MATTE screen (no glassy nonsense, please!), preferably 4:3 (important for people who actually DO the job on the notebook instead watching films)
    2) traditional, normal, sane keyboard (no ridiculous chicklet, please!)
    3) decent computing power
    4) standard power cable (like on all other Thinkpads)
    5) ability to disassemble the whole thing with a screwdriver

    And like other Slashdotters
  • There are no physical stores that sell ThinkPad laptops that I know of. Every ThinkPad I have purchased in the past decade or so I have ordered through their website.

    Though if they can make a new X300 and put it in ultrabook pricing, I would rush to their website to make it mine.
  • I'm confused. I have a T320. It's about three years old. With two minor changes, the "mock-up" picture is identiacl to my T520. The only differences I can see are the ugly "ThinkPad" logo which in no way is reminiscent of the old, multicolor IBM logo.and the status LEDs being moved from the bottom edge of the lid to the keyboard where they replace the useless "ThinkVantage" button.

    Identical TrackPad and buttons. Identical fingerprint reader. Not very different. Makes me wonder what the latest ThinkPads look

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