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IBM Portables Hardware

IBM Thinkpads now in Titanium 265

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-enough-for-jets dept.
Darksoftnet writes "Lenovo (who now owns IBM's PC business), has introduced a new shade to the Thinkpad range with the launch of a Z-Series laptop that comes both in a "classic black" case or a "special-edition" brushed titanium cover."
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IBM Thinkpads now in Titanium

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  • by jigjigga (903943) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:16AM (#13612439)
    Whoopty doo?
  • by Artie_Effim (700781) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:16AM (#13612440)
    The on keypad volume now goes to 11 !!
  • TiPad (Score:5, Funny)

    by LittleGuernica (736577) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:19AM (#13612455) Homepage
    If there is a big Lenovo sticker on the lid right in the middle, that looks like it's covering something up, something fruitlike, then don't buy them....they could be a few years old..
    • Re:TiPad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:33AM (#13612532) Homepage Journal
      I wouldn't mind having one of these, though. I have an iBook myself, my girlfriend has had an iBook and now has a ThinkPad, and a friend used to have a TiBook and now has a ThinkPad. All of us actually prefer the Apple hardware, which is queiter, lighter, runs longer on a battery, and has a proper CPU architecture, and (used to?) look better.

      Of course, it depends on what's most important to you. A ThinkPad can run Windows, is generally faster (depending on the application), costs less on initial purchase, and has an internal wireless network adapter that is supported by Linux (I use a supported USB one with my iBook).
      • ibook vs thinkpad (Score:3, Interesting)

        by brlewis (214632)
        You may not have noticed this using a USB wireless network adapter, but the built-in ibook wireless doesn't get signal very well. I have an IBM thinkpad 600E with a Belkin PCMCIA wireless card. I get 80-90% signal in places where my wife's ibook get's none. I think Apple wants to sell lots of airport stations. (This is with a linksys B router).
      • My brand new 15in Powerbook can only last 2 hours without needing a recharge. "runs longer on a battery" my ass ;).
  • http://www.ibmuser.idv.tw/viewtopic.php?t=19990 [ibmuser.idv.tw] I'll always think the real deal is sexier. I [heart] my Thinkpad.
    • FWIW, I've heard rumors that the R60 and T60 will be the same way, with curves and all. (NOOOO!) Also, there's a Windows key.

      Rumor has it that the Z series was going to be released by IBM, but Lenovo bought the company out.

      The Z60t is a 4.5lb, 14" widescreen model with integrated graphics, meant for business.

      The Z60m is a 6.5lb, 15.4" widescreen with integrated or ATI discrete graphics, meant for home.

      The titanium COVER (yes, it's a faceplate) is .25lbs, on top of the base weight.
    • by BWJones (18351) * on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:28AM (#13612510) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, so Lenovo has a titanium top cover on their laptop, while the Powerbook had a complete casing made of titanium. (The chassis was magnesium). Of course Titanium was expensive, and had problems with holding paint and could not be effectively anodized, leading to the new aluminum Powerbooks, but hey....They were sooo cool, and even though they have not been around for a couple of years, still look better than most of the current laptop offerings from other companies.

  • Special punishment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PincheGab (640283) * on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:22AM (#13612470)
    There should be a special punishment for people who post stories abut how something looks, and then the link has no pics of it...
  • So, is this IBM doing this or the computer company in China that bought IBM's PC division? I can never know who I'm buying from yet when dealing with IBM PCs right now.
    • IBM designed most of this.

      Lenovo, that Chinese computer company, is selling this.

      Here's how it works:

      When you order an IBM PC (read: ThinkPad or ThinkCentre) or an accessory, you're dealing with Lenovo. All models except for the Z series were completely designed by IBM, and the Z series was mostly designed by IBM.

      When you get support for an IBM PC, (as far as I understand), you're calling IBM, not Lenovo.

      When you order a server from IBM, you're dealing with IBM, and Lenovo has nothing to do with it.
    • As explained to me when I ordered my T43p, if the serial number starts with an L, it's a Lenovo product.

      I love the black magnesium cover of my Thinkpad, and it's interesting to see a change. My only concern is that they'll change things too often -- when they make a change to the design, they need to commit to it for at least 5 years. Or come up with another brand for their consumer and SOHO laptops, so that they don't dilute the Thinkpad brand.

      Thinkpads are not trendy "Japanese schoolgirl" computers.
      • Well, Lenovo's plan is to have a line of trendy Japanese schoolgirl computers in the US, but NOT under the ThinkPad name.

        FWIW, your T43p's cover is titanium composite. Not magnesium. That's the base.
  • Why is this news? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by UnderAttack (311872) * on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:24AM (#13612487) Homepage
    So there is a different color thinkpad, and this is newsworthy? Not even a picture of the thing in the article. Nothing a can of spray paint wouldn't be able to do.
    • Info-tising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NineNine (235196) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @08:34AM (#13612934)
      Slashdot is pioneering a new type of advertising that actually is disguised to appear as if it's actually useful information or "news". I like to call it "info-tising"! It's been used on our TV news broadcasts in smaller, more subtle ways for years, but Slashdot takes it to a new level, whereas they just barely try to conceal the advertisement.
    • Hmmm... can't say I've ever purchased a notebook based on its color. However, I rather liked IBM's idea of keeping them all basic black while concetrating on other, more important features.
  • by onpaws (685894) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:24AM (#13612490)
    For more design history of the thinkpad, check out the "Thinkpad Genesis Series" on:

    http://www.thinkpads.com/Genesis3.htm [thinkpads.com]
    http://www.thinkpads.com/Genesis%204.htm [thinkpads.com]

    Richard Sapper is the German designer who designed the famous Artemide Tizio lamp (which also shares the Thinkpad's red controls and silver hinges).:

    http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/11/euwcm/ho_1988. 236.10.htm [metmuseum.org]

  • I wish Apple had thought of this
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:28AM (#13612509) Journal
    that titanium is flamable ???

    ok, it takes in excess of 4000C to ignite it, but with the heat those things are putting out [theregister.co.uk] i believe they'll soon have to recall the notebooks and replace the titanium by asbestos or ceramic compounds...
    • Mmmm...AsbestosPad...
  • by UpLateDrinkingCoffee (605179) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:29AM (#13612511)
    From the article (about how Thinkpads that are anything but black will be rejected by consumers):

    IBM in 1999 offered individual buyers "optional coloured covers" for laptops in Mars Red Metallic, Andromeda Green or Polaris Blue for an extra US$30. The idea did not take off.

    Uh, maybe because the charged $30 extra? Also, the color names sound like they are marketed to 8 year olds. Considering who buys these things, they would have been better off with "Merger Magenta" or "Big-bonus Blue". Seriously, titanium is not that extreme.

    • Didn't Nokia's cell phones trounce Motorola's for offering colors and changeable faceplates when Motorola insisted on the "black with red LED" signature Motorola design? At least, that's what I was told on a tour at some Motorola museum.

      So yeah, probably the increased cost had something to do with it. Or maybe they still marketed to business. As a lawyer do you really want to walk into a courtroom with an Andromeda Green laptop cover? Or wearing jeans and a bright T-shirt? Didn't think so. Also, I i

    • in 1999 it was only 8 year olds who knew how to use laptops....

      *sigh*
    • Also, the color names sound like they are marketed to 8 year olds.

      Which maybe tells us how lost IBM has been about how to broaden their "market space."

      We all "get" that the look and feel is part of that whole brand thing that companies kill for, and that IBM offering two color choices maybe, maybe rates a news item based on their brand being associated with black cases. But those earlier color names go to the problem here, which is that IBM doesn't know how to get past the limited market they have now.

    • They should have offered additional "flavors" instead of plain old "colors"...would have sold 'em like hotcakes!
  • Ti + WiFi (Score:4, Informative)

    by c4seyj0nes (669515) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:29AM (#13612513)
    Didn't Apple move to aluminum because the titanium interfered with WiFi reception?
    • Re:Ti + WiFi (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A fairly incoherent response from one of the image sites linked below that if correct answers your question (also, what does aluminum do that titanium doesn't? "costs less" is all I can think of):

      Posted Sep 13, 2005, 2:25 PM ET by Jonathan Moore

      "1) The Apple Titanium PowerBook had the weakest 802 reception because of the titanium case"

      Actuly that was not the issue. The antenna was on the side of the body wich was carbon fiber. There is more of a sotry that has to do with the indstrual designers where

    • _Every_ metal will stop WiFi...
      But titanium is more expensive (as material, to shape, ect)
    • Re:Ti + WiFi (Score:5, Informative)

      by dr.badass (25287) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @10:10AM (#13613858) Homepage
      Didn't Apple move to aluminum because the titanium interfered with WiFi reception?

      That might have been one of the minor reasons. Some others include: Titanium is more expensive, the titanium shell didn't really make it more durable, they had to paint it to make it look like people expected titanium to look, the paint often started bubbling and chipping off after a few months, the aluminum designs could be produced with fewer parts, and the new anodization process looked pretty fucking hot.
      • Re:Ti + WiFi (Score:5, Informative)

        by RevRigel (90335) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @10:57AM (#13614282)
        Additionally, they were using commercially pure (CP) titanium; that is to say, unalloyed. This made it possible to form it into the shapes required, but it's extraordinarily weak, normally only used for decoration or for applications that need a corrosion resistant material (racks for aluminum anodization are made of CP titanium). Alloyed aluminum of pretty much any type is going to be cheaper, easier to form/machine, and much stronger. And with a decent anodization, it will be far more scratch resistant.
    • Yeah. That experiment only lasted for one model. Apple is really good at fabrication technology. They have a few patents of extensive research just to get paint to stick. Titanium does interrupt radio signals so they needed to have a wire (I think under the screen) that wasn't under titanium to get a signal through.

      With Ti, you can get really strong and light. But I seemed to keep a bit more heat in than aluminum. The paint scratched easily, so you need to have anodized aluminum with the color infused in t
  • Pictures! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Viceice (462967) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:32AM (#13612529)
    Pictures in stories here [laptoplogic.com] and here [engadget.com]. Enjoy!

    • Meh, if I'm not mistaken, only the display part of the notebook is titanium. I was thinking more along the lines of a full-metal casing.

      Oh well, back to waiting for Powerbooks with Intels inside...
  • Here's a link to the IBM/Lenovo page with pictures which everyone's been asking for:

    IBM [ibm.com]

  • by tyroneking (258793) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:40AM (#13612569)
    ... because it heralds the first noticeable change in the Thinkpad line since it was sold. Thinkpads have a reputation the workplace for reliability, performance and build quality; the corporate standard (usually HP) pales in comparison. Unlike the HP line, Thinkpads don't 'squeak' when you lean your hands on them, don't get too hot, don't make loud fan noises, don't crash mysteriously, and don't have their case colour rub off over time. A new titanium casing could be a disaster if it starts to rub off like it does on other makes of laptop because that will turn high-end corporate customers off in droves because it will be taken as emblematic of what will happen to the inside of the IBM laptop.

    I know, sounds like a little thing, but the solid case is a mark of quality that Lenovo can't afford to lose.

    PS I love my Thinkpad ;)
    • I too love my thinkpad - an X30. It's at least several years old now.

      It's got a Ti case "lid" on the flip-up part of the LCD. It's black. I've not had any "wear" problems for hte last two years that I've had it, and it looks brand new still.
    • The R-series is their budget, entry-level line. Perhaps threats of rub-off are one reason it isn't being used on the higher lines like the T-series.

      (PS I also love my Thinkpad)
      • I meant Z. ug.
      • Taking your reply to yourself into account...

        The R series actually IS their entry level line.

        The Z series is an interesting beast. In some ways, it's clearly a widescreen R (compare the Z60m pricing and feature sets to the R50e/R51/R52). However, with options, both it and the Z60t target some of the T series market, and it's got T-class build quality. (Actually, Lenovo says that it's 30% more durable than the T series...)
    • by LowellPorter (466257) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @08:41AM (#13613000) Journal
      Thinkpads have a reputation the workplace for reliability, performance and build quality; the corporate standard (usually HP) pales in comparison

      Not anymore. Since Levono has taken over, the quality has gone downhill. The company I work for has had a 20% failure rate with the laptops since Lenovo took over. On top of that, it now takes 6 - 8 weeks to get one because they're shipped directly from China. The same goes with their desktops. The company I work for orders around 2,000 computers a year, and this is unacceptable.
  • I was always under the impression that Apple originally went with Titanium because it was lighter. So of course in my infinity stupidity, I drew the conclusion that it was solid titanium. Was it just brushed? Is the IBM titanium purely for aesthetics or does it serve some sort of purpose?
    • "Brushed titanium" means that the titanium has been finished by brushing it. This gives a noticeable grain-like effect to the surface. It doesn't mean that it's a something else with titanium brushed over the top of it.

      In this case, the titanium element is a removable fascia and not a structural element of the laptop - it's purely cosmetic.
    • IBM's case lids on their high-end laptops (X and T series) have been titanium composite for a while now, but it wasn't visibly different from the plastic of other models.

      Now, THIS is a FACEPLATE. You can take it off, and get the basic black that IBM is known for.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:46AM (#13612595) Homepage
    When are they going to come up with ideas that truly make your laptop better. Sure titanium is stronger than plastic, but I bet it costs a lot more. If it doesn't you're getting gipped on the plastic version. I want a laptop with better battery life. They have made advancements in batteries, but these have been trumped by making chips and drives that require more power. Where's my 10 hour laptop? and I mean 10 hours while actually doing real work on the laptop.
    • Just as a side note they're not replacing plastic with titanium, they're replacing a magnesium composite with titanium... functionally this is a lateral move, it's all about design.

      To me the bigger news here is the widescreen, bigger speakers, "consumer" style laptop... Lenovo is taking a traditionally business line and going after a student/home user market with the design changes, and quite frankly, I don't see them both maintaining quality and competing well there...

      You've always paid more for thinkpa
  • What next? (Score:4, Funny)

    by CrazyTalk (662055) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @07:52AM (#13612632)
    What next, a black iPod? Oh wait...
  • Well, I've often felt like this boring black box fixation was not the most sensitive design strategy from the customers' perspectives. IBM's engineering has always been solid enough inside the box--but that's not what the customers see first. I think the black-box approach also made customers doubt IBM's attentiveness to the customers' other interests. I'm hoping that means we'll be seeing a range of more interesting ThinkPads now. They've also recently announced a widescreen model.

    (Disclaimer: I'm in the

  • Lenovo and AMD get along pretty well. When will Lenovo make an AMD Turion version of the Thinkpad? THAT would get my attention. Same old 32-bit-only notebook in a new shiny case, not so much.
  • by joib (70841)
    I have to say, I find it hard to imagine a market for a mainframe laptop. ;-)
  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milimetric (840694) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @08:30AM (#13612896) Journal
    whereas that's a nice color and everything, what's inside is what matters. I've always really respected IBM because contrary to what everyone else did, they always stuck with quality of design. They never had the fastest processors. They kept the insides simple, only what you need and no more. Now Lenovo is adding all sorts of connectors, buttons, shortcuts, changing the keyboards, basically fucking everything up. I just hope I can raise enough money to get an IBM T42p before they're not made by IBM any more. The T series is the best laptop that has and will ever be made. The very fact that IBM saw it as unprofitable is indicative of its supreme quality.

    No Lenovo, bad move. Instead of distancing yourself from IBM you should spend the 5 years you have been granted in worship of the IBM design, understanding every little piece and reasoning that went into every corner and design. Only when you fully understand their genius, then can you try to duplicate and move the products in a worthy direction. Otherwise, you're going to drive the whole thing into the ground. Dell and HP already have you beat on the "do-it-all" laptops. You're never going to win there. The only thing you have is quality. Once you ruin that, you're fucked. And from your new buttons and architecture changes, it looks like you like getting fucked.
    • Colour matters, as does design style. I completely agree with you that what's inside is most important, but as laptops move from office machines to home / lifestyle appliances, the external design styling of your boxes will differentiate and add sales. Just ask Apple. I'm willing to bet that a sizeable percentage of Apple sales happen because their computers look cool. You might laugh but to be honest I think computer functionality is topping out for most people, laptops are much of a muchness powerwise, an
    • Re:No (Score:3, Informative)

      by Halo- (175936)
      I'm not sure that it means, but the T42p is current the standard laptop issued to developers in my division of IBM. I just got mine about a week ago, and so far, so good.

      One thing to note is that even though it's easier to run Linux on that other computers there are still some warts. For example the built-in 802.11a/b/g card needs the MadWifi drivers, and to really make the display perform well you need the proprietary ATI drivers. Both of these taint the kernel.

      On the plus side, a lot of stuff "just

  • When I see zSeries, I think mainframe (such as zOS and VTAM), not laptop. I know it's technically not IBM anymore, but couldn't they try to be a little less confusing?
  • From the article:

    The Z-series is intended to win such customers with features such as a specially wide screen suited both to making data presentations and watching DVDs, as well as built-in wireless data access in the US.

    This is interesting (and potentially bad). I was at a Ph.D. candidacy talk last week where using a widescreen laptop to design a PowerPoint talk was bad. The projector she was connected to could only do a 4:3 aspect ratio, so when she kept her laptop in its native resolution, the text

  • IMO, Titanium is only part of the story. The (IMO, much bigger deal) is the new Widescreen display (finally). The lack of a widescreen is a big part of the reason I did not buy a Thinkpad - Visual Studio runs better with the wider aspect ratio. I don't know if they offer resolutions past WXGA (1280x800), but we should all welcome IBM to at least 2002.
  • by Necron69 (35644)
    Am I the only one that read that as "Itanium" and got really confused for a second?

    Just think, a laptop that doubles as a waffle iron! :)

    - Necron69
  • but I would prefer to hear that they finally come up with a Laptop that *fully* and *flawlessly* works with Linux, and a pre-installed Linux distro that fully and flawlessly supports all the hardware (ACPM, drivers for operating the WLAN with WEP encryption, all the function keys work as intended, legal and working software for playing DVDs and music, etc). *That* would be news that would really wake me up.
  • WiFi Range? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ChePibe (882378)
    My old 12" PowerBook was a great machine, and I appreciated its durability and looks, but the metal case seriously cut into it's WiFi range. My wife's 12" iBook was always much better than mine. To be honest, this is one of the things that's keeping me from buying a PowerBook again and just getting an iBook until the new Intel books come out to see if Apple fixes this.

    At least the Ti cover is removable - so you can keep it for the looks/protection, then take it off when you need to get in touch with a dis
  • Now they made it sucky just like in all the other countless laptops on the market: microscopic Ctrl and Alt keys, useless Windows keys.

    The fact that IBM laptops did not give in to Microsoft and always, so far, had normal sized Ctrl and Alt keys was a MAJOR reason why I was buying them.

    Also, for all the talk about design, they did not do the one thing that should be really obvious: increase the keyboard width to full-size now that it is possible with the wide-screen format!

    I regard this new Z line the first
  • The titanium cover really speeds up that processor. I'm going to slap an R-Type sticker on it too for that little extra boost of power.
  • - I read the article all the way through, and I actually do get why this isn't just "barely disguised advertising B.S. on Slashdot once again".

    Normally, yeah, who cares? A laptop now offers a new top plate? But here's the thing: It's the long-standing IBM Thinkpad doing it. Unlike practically every other laptop on the market, the Thinkpad, under IBM's guidance, remained much more about usability and practicality in a business enviornment than about catering to style-conscious consumers. Leaving a lapto
  • by iggymanz (596061) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @11:33AM (#13614563)
    if I become disgruntled and use my super-geek skills to commandeer a secret government earthquake producing satellite while on board a train, and ex-Navy seal turned chef shoots me in the laptop I hold in front of my heart, WILL IT STOP THE BULLET??!!
  • by scottme (584888) on Wednesday September 21, 2005 @11:56AM (#13614786)
    IBM ThinkPads have traditionally omitted this small homage to Redmond, but it looks like this model may see them conforming at last.

    Oh well, my next laptop will be a Powerbook anyway.

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