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.

User Comments: 7

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Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

I've got a Thinkpad T40 It's a great laptop!

Upgraded CPU to Pentium M 765 2.1Ghz & RAM to 2GB, it works really well

veryfriendlee veryfriendlee said:

I still use my R31 & R32 Thinkpads still today. Solid as a rock. only gripe. Plastic was inferior and always cracked by hinges. But other than that superb.

p0werfuse p0werfuse said:

I love my thinkpad!

Guest said:

Still using my W700 , looking to get a w530 soon, anyone know the best time they offer their discount deals

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Here is some legit "revolutionary" and "innovative" piece of equipment not some apple crap..

Guest said:

I wish the guy with the camera wasn't drunk. The constant swaying in the video makes me seasick, I can't actually see any details of the old models, it's worse than MTV.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My first laptop (after I left the smaller alternatives like the Psion 5mx) was a used Thinkpad X21 I bought on eBay and whose disk IBM restored to the factory setting for me for free (because it came with an unlicensed Windows XP and I didn't like that). I currently have a Thinkpad X120e.

I hate touchpads and I love the trackpoint. To me that's a big selling point, which is why the Thinkpad is always a good choice for me. My Fujitsu P1510D, my previous small laptop, also had one.

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