“Imagine stepping into a time machine and landing in 1992 but with today’s technology”. That is exactly what Lenovo is planning in the near future and this how David Hill, the company’s vice president of corporate identity and design describes the revived ThinkPad model.
The Chinese multinational is planning on introducing an updated model of the historic 700C, the first ThinkPad by IBM launched twenty-three years back. The new model will retain the original design and still be enriched with the latest technology. Hill has given an illustrative insight about the ‘retro ThinkPad’ stating that it might bear features like a blue enter key, seven-row classic keyboard, 16:10 aspect ratio screen, multi-color ThinkPad logo, dedicated volume controls, rubberized paint, exposed screws, a plethora of status lights, and more.
The legendary ThinkPad, which bore the award-winning design created by Richard Sapper, was powered with a 25MHz 486 SLC and it came with users’ choice of four or 8MBs of memory. It came with 640×480 resolution 10.4-inch VGA display and had a 120MB hard-drive weighing a little above seven and a half pounds. Its price in 1992 was $4350 which is equivalent to around $7400 at present.
Hill has suggested some improvements using classic ThinkPad technology by speculating to include two of the ‘ThinkLight’ feature in the previous ThinkPad. This feature was a light facing downward embedded in the centre of the lid meant to illuminate the keyboard when the user is typing in darkness. He has also recommended an 18 mm/0.7 inches casing rather than the old 56mm/2.2 inches which should surround the computer’s innards. The design cues are strikingly similar to the X300 model.
This blended version of old designs and new technology is aimed to attract more customers and align with the shifting dynamics of the market. The company has already unveiled the new X1 Carbon, T450s, X250 and ThinkPad Yoga bunch which came equipped with a TrackPoint pointing stick at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas.
It is just a rough idea as of now and Hill is keen on taking the feedback of potential customers for building such a model. Even if the idea gets materialized and it is eventually developed and launched, the sales volumes will be able to decide its future. It has to be known whether or not the sales revenue is able to at least break even the expense incurred and justify the immense efforts put in to build it. David also pointed out that the new model would not cater to everybody’s needs, but there will definitely be a few professionals willing to purchase the same.
Lenovo has indeed recognized the need to bring about a revolution in the technology domain in an era of declining sales of desktop computers and replacement of laptops by tablets and other hybrid models. This retro model might actually be built as Hill has already received over 1000 comments on his feedback survey most of them being positive. It’s likely to be a costly device but certainly worth its price.