The Retro Thinkpad is Actually Happening!

in technology •  last year


Two years ago David Hill, Chief Design Officer of Lenovo, wrote a blog discussing about the evolution of ThinkPad design. He entertained the idea of taking the latest technologies in computing and putting that in a classic ThinkPad body that we know and love.
A Mockup from David Hill's Blog in 2015

Just look at it

The classic Trackpoint. A 7 row keyboard that actually travels. Dedicated volume keys instead of fidgeting with F-keys. And what are those blinking lights? Status LEDs? Remember those?

As you can imagine, this brought a lot of hype to this potentially majestic machine. The comments on his blog blew up with excitement and there were so many questions. Will there be a blue enter key? Are you bringing back the Thinklight? David was so impressed with the response of his post that he decided to launch surveys to get feedback on what features should be on the Retro Thinkpad. Here are some notable results from the surveys:

Favorite Thinkpad Model:

  • T60
  • X220
  • X300
  • X1

Keyboard Layout:

  • 7-Row Keyboard: 80.3%
  • 6-Row Keyboard: 19.7%

Keyboard Illumination:

  • Thinklight: 50.6%
  • Backlight Keys: 49.4%

Display Size:

  • 14.1" 41.7%
  • 13.3" 25.0%
  • 15.6" 15.1%
  • 12.5" 14.3%
  • Other 3.6%

DHill_Timemachine5.png ThinkLights!

After the surveys happened, there was nearly no talk about the Retro Thinkpad coming out of Lenovo for almost two years. Until now. David posted another blog yesterday confirming that the Retro Thinkpad is in production as part of their 25th anniversary. He confirmed that it will have black rubberized coating, three different types of TrackPoint caps, and keyboard that will hopefully make Thinkpad diehards happy. Pricing was not discussed but he quickly shot down a rumor that it will be $5,000.

What do you guys want to see in the Retro Thinkpad? For me it would be an X1 chassis that allows for upgradable parts, a nice QHD 3:2 display, classic 7 row keyboard with the TrackPoint of course. I'm not sure about the ThinkLight compared to backlit keys, but if it came with both, why not?

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