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IBM Hardware Technology

Lenovo Looks To Commemorate 25th Anniversary of IBM's Notebook Brand With Thinkpad 25 (theregister.co.uk) 132

New submitter Provocateur writes: Lenovo will be marking the 25th anniversary of IBM's well known notebook with the Thinkpad 25. Andrew Orlowski writes via The Register: "The long-awaited 'retro' Thinkpad will be based on the guts of a contemporary T470 laptop, Lenovo's business workhorse, according to a German certification site. Lenovo inherited IBM's notebook brand 12 years ago, and with it a design classic. However, in 2012 Lenovo saw fit to 'modernize' the iconic keyboard, along with other unwelcome changes. This didn't meet with approval from some stalwarts, who clung to the superior X220 and T420 lines, the last that you could buy with the 7 row QWERTY. Two years ago Lenovo's design chief Dave Hill acknowledged that some people 'would stand in line' for the classic version. In June, Hill confirmed that for the Thinkpad's 25th anniversary this year a retro edition would indeed be produced, which Hill promised 'will embody many of the things people asked for.'

The German certification site has found the 'Thinkpad 25' variant described as a Thinkpad T470 here (hat-tip to NoteBook Check). A Chinese notebook forum has a picture purporting to be the Thinkpad 25."

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Lenovo Looks To Commemorate 25th Anniversary of IBM's Notebook Brand With Thinkpad 25

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I *know* I want this [wikipedia.org] one. Especially suited for Emacs [xkcd.com]!

  • Sign Me Up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nateman1352 ( 971364 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @03:17AM (#55146471)
    To this day my ancient T-40 has my favorite laptop keyboard. I wrote soooo much code on that thing. Alas it is nowhere near fast enough for today's software, and the drivers haven't been updated since the WinXP days. Even modern Linux distros don't really work with its antique ATI gfx anymore. A new laptop with that keyboard would be awesome. I'd buy one.
    • by stooo ( 2202012 )

      >> "Exact pricing and availability are not finalized but I can assure you it will not cost $5,000!" Hill said in June."

      Expect 4999$.

    • Me too. Where do I stand in line for it?
    • by cb88 ( 1410145 )
      An ATI Radeon 7500 or 9000 should work just fine.

      You just need to avoid 3d heavy desktop environments like Unity. I'd suggest XFCE, Mate or LXDE instead.
      • I gave it a try with Ubuntu 14.04 a couple years ago (before 16.04 came out,) basic 2D graphics do work fine, but even with XFCE I get a lot of screen tearing, much more than I got with Ubuntu 6.06 back in the day. The display drivers appear to be much slower than they used to be. It seems like 3D acceleration support no longer works either.

        That said I didn't put a ton of effort in to editing xorg.conf files... I just don't have the patience for it like I used to... esp. since It Just Works(tm) on most lapt

    • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

      I'm on a T420 for that reason. The T420 isn't a bad machine, oooold though. 2011 old.

      You can cram a T420 keyboard on a T430 and get a 3rd gen Corei7. Not sure I would recommend the hack:

      http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Install_Classic_Keyboard_on_xx30_Series_ThinkPads [thinkwiki.org]

      The only difference to me is that they messed up the insert key, but the esc key position is an improvement.

  • If they run OS/2.

    • They probably would run this variant [ecomstation.com] just fine.

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        You'll need something newer such as https://www.arcanoae.com/ [arcanoae.com] which at least will run on a T540p and hopefully soon with USB3 and wireless support. OS/2 is still not quite dead.

        • I still have a Warp box that boots :) It's a Pentium 133. Back in the day I did a lot of OS/2 Systems Engineering plus some coding. Fun times. Great OS.

          • by dryeo ( 100693 )

            Yea, I'm typing this on an ArcaOS install, basically Warp v4.52 with updated drivers etc. It is showing its age, memory above 4GB is only good for a ram disk and running modern apps such as Firefox or Openoffice means having to reboot every few days due to memory fragmentation. I have a Warp v4 install on a different partition, but it isn't SMP safe and crashes pretty quick with more then one core enabled.
            ArcaOS will install on much modern hardware, as long as it isn't too cheap or expensive and will emulat

            • I recall having SMP issues on a Pentium Pro (I know, I keep dating myself) dual CPU system and Warp/LAN Server.

              • by dryeo ( 100693 )

                Yea, even the last from IBM had SMP issues. There's about half a dozen components that needed patching including such gems as tcpip32.dll and keybrd.sys. It's the shits not having source. At least Arca Noae has permission to patch the OS.

  • Did Thinkpad die?
    • Did Thinkpad die?

      Yes, around the time IBM decided to branch it off and sell it to Lenovo.

      (Though, the thinkpads themselve didn't. They are all still running. They'll probably survive a nuclear holocaust).

      • They'll probably survive a nuclear holocaust

        They are the weapon of choice [wikipedia.org] for computing in space, you can guarantee they will.

      • They're not ALL still running. I bought a T40 for about $2500 CDN just before IBM sold the franchise to Lenovo. Despite babying it, over the next five years the CD-RW drive failed, then the hard drive, then the motherboard itself due to "lead free" solder on the GPU. Then there was all the Thinkpads with nvidia graphics that failed. The Asus netbook that replaced it has been trouble free for a longer period and cost 1/10th as much. But hey, bullshit makes the world go around.
  • I've always used them because they are solid, like if a tank ran over it, the tank would still be ok. I'm using a T420 to post, which is kind of struggling now. I was nervous when lenovo bought the thinkpad line from IBM however they have still been pretty good.

    Plus I get to say they are space rated to all my friends with Macs because it's true - even if it is lame.

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      That's not lame at all. Lame would be if the astronauts engaged in blatant product placement. They don't. Although you can see Thinkpads stashed on the wall/bulkhead in some photos, they're just part of the equipment.

      Imagine the collective fanboi orgasm^W^W^W fooforaw IF the Macbook Pro was spotted on the ISS?

    • My T420 is going strong, 5+ hours of battery life and more than fast enough for everything I need (generally a web browser and Spotify. I have simple needs).

      But I would replace it with a T440 or newer in a heartbeat.

    • Put in an SSD, that will really help it. Amazing how a SSD brings old systems to new life

    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      I'm using a T410 here - 8GB of RAM, SSD, it runs well enough for me, and it is much lighter then my Precision M4500 that I was using before.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A manufacturer listened to their customers. Yay.

  • Lawsuit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @03:57AM (#55146541)

    Yeah, I guess they should also celebrate how they dodged the Superfish lawsuit with a slap on the wrist and how the law has basically approved their shady tactics on installing malware on firmware and putting spyware on their laptops to scam costumers out of their data. *clap clap*

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      What are the "code audits" that they agreed to have for the next 20 years like? Seems like that could be a more effective deterrent than fining them 0.01% of last quarter's profit and giving all their victims a $1.75 gift card.

    • Same here
  • No 4:3 screen? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @04:04AM (#55146553)

    Then count me out.

    • Agreed, video screen formats have contributed more to the decline of the Western world than Trump, ISIS and Kim Jong Un put together. Though they do at least leave plenty of room for taskbars on the left or right of the screen. Fashion, marketing and screwing the customer between them have a lot to answer for.

    • Well it's quite easy to fix. Simply put a vertical video [youtube.com] on each side, playing in a loop, and you'll get your 4:3 display. You could also use a different smartphone wallpaper on each side, or just put an arcade bezel [google.com] cropped for your display.

    • Since people are making snide comments below, and I am typing this on a 4:3 laptop (old thinkpad from ebay!) I will explain. Many tasks benefit from a minimum amount of vertical screen real estate: some UIs have too many menus and notification bars, sometimes you want a vertical stack of windows because of how things line up, sometimes you need to read large blocks of text in pdfs. A screen vertical of 8.4" with a 4:3 ratio makes a compact, easy-to-carry laptop without miniaturized keys. A screen vertical
      • by jwdb ( 526327 )

        Is it vertical extent you want, or would vertical resolution be sufficient?

        I can understand if you prefer the former, and in the past I'd have advocated for 4:3 screens to give me enough screen real estate, but now I've got a 14" WQHD (2560x1440) and with a low zoom factor that feels like enough. That'll change as my eyes wear out and I need to up the zoom, but for the time being it works.

        Support for high-dpi is sometimes still iffy, however.

  • And bogus security certificates? Do we get a load of bloat- and crapware preinstalled that nothing but a total wipe and clean install can cure, where we then get to beg forever to get drivers for their hardware (only to get told from support that we can always revert to the "clean" original state and they're happy to provide a CD with an image ... for a small three-digit fee of course?

    The Thinkpad died for me the moment IBM sold the brand.

  • My T420 still runs great for development (maxed RAM and SSD) but when my equipment refresh came up and I was faced with the damned keypad and minus the t-bar I jumped ship to a Surface Book. It also doesn't have a t-bar (less important with a touch screen for paging), but the layout doesn't have a keypad, and a bonus is a 3:2 screen ratio which is easier to use for vertical work and gives more real estate.

  • by KozmoStevnNaut ( 630146 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @06:45AM (#55146807)

    However, in 2012 Lenovo saw fit to 'modernize' the iconic keyboard, along with other unwelcome changes. This didn't meet with approval from some stalwarts, who clung to the superior X220 and T420 lines

    I've got a T420 as my personal laptop, and a T440 at work. Anyone who claims the T420 is a better laptop is a blithering idiot. It's heavier, slower, has much worse battery life, worse screen hinges, an inferior touchpad (the trackpoint is obsolete when compared to modern touchpads) and is just a worse package.

    Even the much-vaunted keyboard on the T420 has issues. It's wobbly and I've have to add little pads of duct tape in strategic places to make it feel nice and solid, like my T440 or my old T42.

    Don't get me wrong, it's still a better laptop than most non-Thinkpads, but it is absolutely not a better laptop than the newer Thinkpads.

    • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @10:48AM (#55147705) Journal

      (the trackpoint is obsolete when compared to modern touchpads)

      Yeah, well, that's just, like, YOUR OPINION, man!
      Seriously, for us who got used to the clit, it is superior to any trackpad/touchpad, because there is no chance to move the cursor with your thumbs while touch-typing.
      Fuck the stalwarts? No, fuck you for stating as fact something that's just an opinion.

      • I will admit to a bit of hyperbole, in order to rile people up a bit.

        I was a die hard trackpoint user for years, through my T42, numerous HP Elitebooks at work and so on. Yes, touchpads were inferior, but the modern ones just completely outperform any trackpoint implementation for speed and accuracy.

        If you hit the touchpad with your thumb while typing, why isn't your thumb on the space bar where it belongs? And why have you disabled the thumb detection while typing?

        • touchpads were inferior, but the modern ones just completely outperform any trackpoint implementation for speed and accuracy

          When I think of the two or three seconds I lose each day using the Trackpoint... well, I don't fucking care.

          When I think of the substandard accuracy of the Trackpoint - you know what? It's never been a problem. Ever. In the nearly 25 years I've been using them (started circa 1993).

          If you hit the touchpad with your thumb while typing, why isn't your thumb on the space bar where it belongs?

          "Yes, we put a control right where you'll hit it by accident. It's your fault if you can't learn to avoid it."

    • The issue for me isn't the key feel - the new ones feel fine, and I can look past the chiclet part. The issue is that they went from having a top-tier keyboard layout to having a below average layout. They've made slight improvements but it's still poorly designed.
  • Upgraded the RAM, replaced the battery and hard drive, even replaced the screen. Still one of the best laptops I have ever used. Biggest problem is it is heavy compared to modern laptops.
    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      Similar boat here - I replaced my Precision M4500 with a T410 because of the keyboard and weight. Switched it to an SSD, and maxed RAM and it is still running fine (dual boot Fedora and Windows 10). Since I don't game any more I don't feel compelled to replace it.

    • If you like the strength and durability of Thinkpads, show it by having BIG MUSCLES!
  • Thinkpad 25 /w AMD Ryzen 2700U
  • by Kurdy ( 1697480 )

    Will it include a retro version of Superfish?

  • It comes pre-loaded with SuperDooperFish!

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @03:10PM (#55149221)

    1. Display aspect ratio no "wider" than 16:10

    2. Ultra bay with swappable HDD/Disc/Battery options

    3. Matte screen, IPS or TN I don't care as long as it's a LCD display that isn't (AM)OLED.

    4. Must be reasonably thick.. there must be space for normal internal 2.5" HDD and usable ports. Nothing must be compromised because "thin is cool" or any such BS.

    5. Absolutely no non-removable batteries. I don't believe I have to say this.

    6. T60/T400 era keyboard or more to the point any of insert + delete, home + end, page up + page down MUST NOT be on the same row

    7. Small or non-existent track pad

    8. Lots of USB3 ports and some C types.

    9. Microphone + Headphone jacks

    10. At least 1gbit Ethernet and ESATA port

    11. HDMI or DP

    12. Intel graphics option

    13. Option for no fingerprint readers and no cameras.

    14. Physical switches to directly control internal mic and wireless radios in a manner that can't be bypassed in software/firmware.

    15. Option for a good standalone internal GPS without your typical crap coupled with WLAN cards.

    16. Must be upgradable to at least 64 GB RAM and must support ECC

    17. At least 12hrs battery life.

    18. Must be easy to replace internal boards if necessary with screws and ribbon cables.. absolutely no MS surface style glue and shit.

    19. Must support Linux and not be locked down in any way.. I don't believe I have to say this.

    20. Must be plain boring black with no annoying public facing advertisements like glowing apples and shit.

    21. If I am forced to pay for an OS license it had better be one licensed to allow installation of standard non-Lenovo molested version of the OS.

    22. Must not nerf standard hardware virtualization features

    23. AMT, *jack and associated BS must be able to be disabled AND permanently fused in BIOS.

    24. Reasonable amount of useful indicator lights. When lid closed there must be at least power/battery indicator visible. When open there must be HDD & Network activity lights.

    25. Option for no touch screen

    • by ELCouz ( 1338259 )
      Good luck with that!
    • Lenovo, I hope you are listening, because many of us would like this type of configuration. There are no laptops IMO currently on the market which meet these specs in a quality configuration for business users.
    • by sracer ( 534850 )
      I would like to live in a world where this is possible.
  • Since my R50 bought refurbished in 2004 and running an obsolete version of Lubuntu, suddenly won't play youtube videos anymore. Must be time to upgrade. Sure will miss that 4:3 screen though.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351