Lenovo, which bought IBM's PC business in 2005, reverently cherishes the legacy of the Blue giant. Most of the brands, a number of proprietary technologies, style and some other attributes of IBM Think machines migrated to the Lenovo Think product families. In addition, for every ThinkPad anniversary, the company regularly releases the jubilee version of the laptop. This is exactly what happened this month.
Lenovo Group announced a new anniversary notebook ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25, marking the twenty-fifth birthday of the IBM ThinkPad 700C, released on October 5, 1992 by IBM. Unlike previous commemorative notebooks, the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 is based on the ThinkPad X series, but on the ThinkPad T470. At the same time, ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 has a number of structural changes compared to its prototype in order to give it a retro look. Another question that arises is whether such design is trendy today?
Without a doubt, the IBM ThinkPad family was the benchmark in the world of business notebooks since its inception in 1992 and is still largely in place. Becoming the first laptop to be in space, the first with a carbon skeleton, the first on the basis of the server processor (PowerPC 603e) and the first in a lot more, ThinkPad became a kind of legend with a reputation for highest reliability. The latter is in many respects true: in comparison with a number of popular notebooks, ThinkPad T series models are "unheard". Computers from this family are distinguished by hulls made of thick plastic with a carbon skeleton, which provides additional strength. In addition, you can spill up to 100 ml of liquid (and even more) on the ThinkPad T keyboard - the drainage system will lead it through the holes inside the body. As for the ThinkPad X models, in order to make them as thin as possible and to ensure long battery life, Lenovo had to donate a number of features to the "traditional" ThinkPad. Though the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the most reliable notebooks on the market, the main task of its design is to create the most compact machine. In part because of that, and partly because of the need to upgrade the case, Lenovo chose the ThinkPad T470 as a base for ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25, rather than the next X1 (as it was five years ago).
The main difference between Lenovo ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 from its prototype is its keyboard. First, the shape of the keys on the notebook is similar to that of ThinkPad in the early 2000s. Secondly, as in retrospective models, the novelty has seven rows of keys against six of the current models. The Delete, Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn keys are highlighted in a separate block for ease of use. Third, the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 has selected keys to control the volume of the sound, and the On/Off button is located at the center of the console. Fourth, the Enter key is highlighted in blue, as are the options for additional features on F and other keys activated by the Fn button. Of course, ThinkPad is equipped with a branded TrackPoint manipulator, and the trademark logo itself is made in different colors - like on notebooks from the early 2000s. Despite the completely altered keyboard, the dimensions and weight of the anniversary ThinkPad T470 remained the same - a thickness of 0.6 inches, and weight of 3.73 pounds.
As far as the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 is concerned, then we are dealing with a 14" high-quality modern-looking machine with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a brightness of 227 nits. The heart of ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 is the Intel Core i7-7500U processor (two cores, 4 MB cache, 2.7 GHz, 15 Watts), which comes with a NVIDIA GeForce 940 MX graphics processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a 512GB SSD (PCIe interface, NVMe protocol). Speaking of I/O capabilities, everything here is standard: three USB 3.0 Type-A, one Thunderbolt 3, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 module, HDMI output, a fingerprint scanner and an SD card slot. Regarding the battery life, Lenovo says it lasts about 18 hours, but since there are unknown workloads in such cases on the minimum brightness of the screen, you should refer to the company's data with a certain degree of caution.
As you can see, despite the retrospective design, the company did not create a retro-notebook. Thus, the transition to the aspect ratio of the 4: 3 screen was considered ineffective, and the obsolete COM and LPT ports seemed unnecessary to Lenovo’s engineers. In complete accordance with modern trends, the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 is not equipped with an optical drive (CD and DVD-ROM were removed from ThinkPad of the 2000s, and in their place, it was possible to install an additional battery, which provided a certain kind of freedom). In fact, the keyboard and some of the software features are the main differences between the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 and the ThinkPad T470. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the seven series of keys in the modern world seem rather strange. The fact is that an additional row of keys slightly increased the size of the keyboard, pushing the lower rows to the user. The latter is not a big problem for those who work at the table - at home, in the office, in a cafe, and so on. However, this is a problem for those who work in an airplane. It is worth remembering that in the past decade a number of airlines have reduced the size of seats, especially on short flights. As a result, one and a half of the "extra" centimeters can make the keyboard uncomfortable for work during travel.
Traditionally, the ThinkPad Jubilee will be released in limited quantities and will be available exclusively in some countries. The laptop runs with Windows 10 Pro. The initial price in the United States is $ 1,899.