Design Product Design

Back in November of 2008, I first learned of the Lenovo super secret project that would eventually become the Skylight smartbook . It sounded fascinating to me that we would attempt to create an entirely new offering category in the computer space. I could only imagine a device that would behave similar to a smart phone, but be of a size and scale that would make it more suitable for viewing or typing data. The design goal was also to create something that would turn heads. It could not look like just another miniature notebook computer. I thought it would be a great project to get Richard Sapper, our long time design guru, involved with. After all, Richard has specialized in turning the ordinary into the extraordinary for decades. I've seen him do it over and over again with things as seemingly mundane as a desk lamp, cheese grater, tea kettle, kitchen timer, transistor radio, television set, and of course our own ThinkPad classic. When I first proposed the idea to the executive team I was asked by several if Sapper had ever designed a consumer product. Not such a surprising question if your view to Sapper and his work has been through the restricted lens of business computers, but I knew better. I quickly made a Powerpoint slide show of Sapper's work, to make it...

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ThinkPad X100e ThinkPad Edge 13"

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AC adapters are an ever increasing part of our lives. Cell phones, digital cameras, GPS devices, MP3 players, and of course laptop computers all use them. I personally have at least a dozen in my house, most are ThinkPad adapters which are deployed in critical spots to power my T400s.  I also have  four or five in my office, and of course one in my backpack. I certainly don't want to be stranded somewhere without one.  Working at Lenovo exposes you to more computer users in one day than probably any job in the world. Everyone I see has a ThinkPad in hand either on the way to a meeting or is already there using one. It's very common for Lenovians to carry an AC adapter to meetings, especially if they are long ones.  Trust me I've certainly been in my share of  those. Martha would be proud Over the  years I've noticed that people are not just physically, but are also emotionally connected to their AC adapters. It's scary just how much attention is paid to them. People zip them into special pouches, carefully carry them their in laptop bags, or purses, slide them into a convenient pocket, or sling them over their shoulder like a jaunty scarf. Some people label them with their business card to avoid disappearing adapter syndrome. This happens way too often in the corporate world. I've had a few people even suggest we make the adapters the exact size of their...

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ThinkCentre A70z with chrome wire form stand It's been a while since we got to design and introduce an all-in-one computer targeted at the business user. Lately we have been designing primarily towers and pancakes of various sizes. My team pioneered this category way back in the year 1999 with the watershed design of the NetVista X40.  The head turning design was done in close collaboration with our design guru Richard Sapper. It was a great experience for all involved. The trim flat panel based X40 was a serious counter punch to the overtly pudgy and candy colored CRT based offering introduced by a "fruit" company. Amazing how they have changed their design approach since then.  One reviewer humorously mentioned that the design we created looked as though it could beat up the "pudgy one"  after school and steal their lunch money. In 2001 we significantly updated the design of the X40. You can watch a short video we shot that highlights the design of the X41 on YouTube. The hair styles may look a bit dated but the computer doesn't. It was a dramatic improvement not only in terms of overall appearance, but also ergonomic flexibility, serviceability, configurability, and system performance. Domus magazine ran a major story on the X41 design which included the world's first, and I think only,

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ThinkVision L2251x Wide Monitor Today Lenovo unveiled five new ThinkVision monitors that take "green" design and user critical ergonomics to a new level. The new line-up includes Lenovo's flagship ThinkVision L2251x wide monitor, the company's most environmentally-responsible monitor.  The innovative L2251x is the world's first PC monitor to be TCO Certified Edge. In case you have not heard of it, TCO Certified Edge is a supplemental award open to those products that already meet the stringent worldwide TCO Certified criteria for environment and usability in IT design. The supplemental award was created by the TCO to recognize those special products and technologies that go well beyond the call of duty within their existing eco-labeling programs. All the monitors are TCO Certified, EPEAT Gold Rated, and are more than 50% more energy efficient than previous models. ThinkVision reusable packing bag Here are some of the highlights related to our reduce, reuse, recycle strategy: Reduce. The ThinkVision L2251x Wide features a webcam,microphone, ambient light and  proximity sensor to further lower power...

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