Lenovo's 25th anniversary Thinkpad corrects years' worth of wrong turns

I am a die-hard Thinkpad user: they have the best warranty service of any laptop, by orders of magnitude, they're rugged enough to survive book tours, and it's very easy to install GNU/Linux on them (which is a good thing, given Lenovo's penchant for preinstalling spyware on the stock OS).



But starting in 2011, the company "modernized" its beloved keyboards, which was the first of a series of small tweaks that made a huge difference in the quality of my Thinkpad experience (for the worse). As the models and the years ticked by, it became transcendentally difficult to swap the keyboards (even as the keyboards themselves declined in quality and started burning out in less than a year), and swapping the hard-drive became a piece of major surgery, instead of the kind of thing you could do by removing one screw, in less than a minute.


I keep buying Thinkpads (I'm typing this on an X270), but whereas I used to buy them because they were the best option, now I buy them because they're the least-worst.

Now, for the Thinkpad's 25th anniversary, Lenovo is releasing a retro-styled Thinkpad that has thoroughly modern internal hardware, but a "retro" keyboard that restores the old clacky keys and the superior layout that all Thinkpads sported until the 2011 catastrophe.


I can't tell from the announcement whether the other deficits have been corrected. I'm going to buy one of these and I can only hope that six years in the wilderness hasn't cost Lenovo the institutional knowledge of how to make their keyboards so reliable (he typed, while cursing his burned-out trackpoint which no longer will register any movement between E and NNE).

Inside it’s all modern, though. Lenovo is using Intel’s 7th generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, an Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics chip. It also has all the modern ports you’d expect from a laptop in 2017: USB-C port (Thunderbolt 3), three regular USB ports, an SD card reader, HDMI port, and Ethernet connectivity. There’s even a fingerprint reader that lets you log into Windows 10 with Windows Hello.

Lenovo unveils retro ThinkPad for 25th anniversary
[Tom Warren/The Verge]