IBM's ThinkPad notebook turns 15

IBM's ThinkPad notebook turns 15

Big Blue's offering reaches landmark anniversary

The IBM ThinkPad notebook is celebrating its fifteenth birthday this month, with Big Blue and new owner Lenovo having shipped more than 30 million models in more than 160 countries.

The ThinkPad was introduced in 1992 after a group of 10 engineers and designers were tasked with creating a portable computer that fused usability with design.

The group took its inspiration from items as diverse as the Shokado bento, a traditional black-lacquered Japanese lunch box, and an IBM-issued employee pocket notebook with the corporate motto, Think, imprinted on the cover.

“This anniversary is not only a testament to the unparalleled design and craftsmanship of the ThinkPad but it also speaks volumes to the legions of ThinkPad enthusiasts that have been with us for so many years,” claimed Fran O’Sullivan, senior vice president of Lenovo product group.

“The ThinkPad is our flagship product, but more importantly it is a proven personal tool for millions of customers who depend on their ThinkPad to achieve great things.”

The ThinkPad has pioneered some key technology changes for portable computers over the years. These include being the first laptop with a built-in CD-ROM drive, a night-time light for illuminating the keyboard, full-sized keyboard, protective roll cage and the first with integrated Wi-Fi technology.

Scott Di Valerio, corporate vice president of the OEM division at Microsoft, said: “Over the past 15 years, the ThinkPad notebook PC has been the industry leader in innovative design with a track record of productivity enhancements that set the standard business customers have come to expect worldwide.

“Congratulations to Lenovo on making the ThinkPad a prominent fixture in offices worldwide and for being a major force in the mobile revolution,” added Sean Maloney, executive vice president at Intel.

“We have participated in its growth both in evolving the mobile technology at its core and in making ThinkPads the mobile office for millions of workers.”