Happy Birthday: The ThinkPad turns 20 years old today

By on October 5, 2012, 4:00 PM

Lenovo is celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the ThinkPad today by releasing a collection of classic media designed to guide consumers along a trip down memory lane. The ThinkPad line, named after a classic notepad given to IBM employees with the word “Think” written across the front, was first announced at IBM’s old headquarters in New York on October 5, 1992.

Surprisingly enough, the overall general design of the ThinkPad has remained largely unchanged over the past two decades. Early models utilized the familiar black body, the prominent red trackpoint mouse pointer and the overall clamshell design. Inspiration for the ThinkPad line came from a Japanese Bento-Bako box, otherwise known as a lunch box.

The Thinkpad is also the only computer certified for use on the International Space Station. As Gizmodo points out, NASA owns hundreds of ThinkPads – many of which have seen action outside of earth’s atmosphere. Furthermore, it was the first notebook computer to ship with a DVD-ROM inside, the first to have an integrated fingerprint reader and the first to include Wi-Fi connectivity.

Lenovo purchased IBM’s PC business in 2005 for $1.25 billion in cash and assumed half a billion in debt, bringing the total acquisition cost to $1.75 billion. IBM also picked up an 18.9 percent stake in Lenovo as part of the deal. Since then, Lenovo has continued to build the ThinkPad brand which is now one of the most respected in the industry for business professionals and enterprise users.

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