Lenovo is celebrating 25 years of the IBM ThinkPad laptops, which were first released in 1992, with the special-edition ThinkPad 25.
The 25th anniversary edition of the ThinkPad is essentially a ThinkPad T470 that comes with the original IBM rubberised palm rests, the classic ThinkPad keyboard, a blue Enter key, the original colourful ThinkPad logo, and those status lights that used to blink at you at a seemingly random pace. It also comes with the iconic red mouse “nub,” called the TrackPoint, but all modern ThinkPads still come included with the nub.
While the $US1,900 ThinkPad 25 might be about celebrating the old, the innards are decidedly modern. It runs on a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of fast SSD storage, and a dedicated graphics chip. It also includes modern ports, including USB ports, a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI port, an ethernet port, an SD card port, a fingerprint sensor. The ThinkPad 25 also runs Windows 10, instead of Windows 3.1x from the original ThinkPad.
This is a great piece of nostalgia for those who fondly remember the original ThinkPad, but there’s another model of ThinkPad laptop that Lenovo should also think about bringing back: The 1995 IBM ThinkPad 701C with a “butterfly keyboard.” Check it out in action:
When you opened the 701C’s lid, the “butterfly” keyboard would slide outwards and expand into a keyboard that was wider than the laptop itself, making it more comfortable to type on than if it was as compact as the 701C.
When you closed the lid, the keyboard would slide back into itself and fit snugly within the 701C’s compact design.
As clunky as it looks, it was actually an ingenious design that allowed for a compact laptop to offer the typing comfort of a larger laptop back when they had more of a square design rather than the wider design they have today.
Laptops back in the day were more squarely designed because they mostly used almost-square screens with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Now that most laptops come with wider 16:9 screens, they have wider designs, which allow space for wider and more comfortable keyboards.