Chinese original equipment manufacturer Lenovo is said to be thinking about bringing back the original 1992 ThinkPad laptop. On Thursday, the company’s Vice President of Design, David Hill, posted a blog post about his thoughts of a classical ThinkPad laptop, that will combine its classic design with modern specs.
For more than two decades, the ThinkPad design evolution has gone through hundreds of modifications, since the 1992 baseline. Some loyalists miss the seven-row keyboard and Lenovo is now looking for a design that will have a distinct unit that embodies all the advanced contemporary technology specs, while retaining the best of its original design details. Lenovo is thinking about bringing back the 1992 ThinkPad laptop and it calls the concept “retro ThinkPad.”
Tech fans can imagine a laptop sporting a 16:10 aspect ratio display, exposed screws, multi-colored ThinkPad logo, rubberized paint, many status LEDs, dedicated volume controls and more. It will be a past machine that embodies contemporary technology.
In the blog post, Hill said people today can buy a machine with a connection to one conceived by Richard Sapper in 1992. Sapper’s black machine served many users well. He expressed that the design could be too old school and while many would be lining up or the retro ThinkPad, it will not please everyone.
Lenovo acquired the ThinkPad from IBM. Since then, many laptops with the ThinkPad mark have been great. For instance, Ars Technica mentions the beautiful PC, third-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon which had a pretty display. There was also X300 in which the insert key was above delete, while X220’s delete was bigger.
VP Designer Hill is thinking of paying tribute to the legacy of IBM. He points out that throwback designs have worked well in other industries, like the automobile industry, where Dodge Challenger and Fiat 500 by Fiat-Chrysler were welcomed, as well as the new Mustang by Ford that sports some old-school styling.
Hill starts to think about the looks, with a T92 that is less than half thick as the machines in the 90’s, perhaps about 18mm. The skinny keyboard will look chunky with the classics of IBM, physical volume keys and the signature blue enter key. Placed on the GHB key area is the red pointing stick that is loved by fans. There will be a keyboard space for the six page-navigation keys, plus mute keys and dedicated volume.
To appear in red-green-blue rainbow is the ThinkPad logo and the lid will have two ThinkLights. Ars Technica says it will look very much like the X300 machine, and if it has to make changes, it will go for touchpad discreet buttons, touchscreen and a backlit keyboard. The rainbow logo is recommended to be ditched since the RGB “ThinkPad” looks less attractive.
For now, the retro ThinkPad is but a concept. Lenovo’s VP of design encourages everyone to join him in the ThinkPad design time machine and express their opinions on how it should be shaped or made better.
Lenovo is currently offering a wide variety of ThinkPad series of laptops and ultrabooks. These contemporary machines feature legendary useful tools in modern and ultra sleek designs. Most are powered by Intel Core fifth-generation processors, which up game performance to 2.5 times better. They feature longer battery life and better productivity in the workplace.
While Lenovo is thinking about bringing back the 1992 ThinkPad, it is currently selling modern ThinkPad machines. ThinkPad T flagship laptop series are priced at $800 on average; the light, slim and ultra-portable X series come with a $836.10 average price while ThinkPad Yoga, the 2-in-1 ultra-sleek laptop-to-tablet convertible, is available for $890.10. The ThinkPad Yoga package includes a stand and a tent.
By Judith Aparri
Microsoft News: Classic ThinkPad Laptop With Modern Specs Coming?
Lenovo Blogs: ThinkPad Time Machine?
Ars Technica: My dream machine: Lenovo may build a new “classic” ThinkPad
Geek: Lenovo wants you to help them create a retro ThinkPad
Lenovo Shop: Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops & Ultrabooks
Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Ghedin‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License