My Favorite ThinkPads from the Decade of Innovation

It’s been a full decade since Lenovo’s historic acquisition of the IBM personal computer business. So much has happened over the last ten years. We designed and  moved to a new building, hired a rock consultant for the courtyard landscaping, got new horizontally oriented ID badges, pulled off the IBM logo in a worldwide ceremony, introduced Lenovo-branded consumer products to the world, invented a Yoga hinge and designed a bunch of ThinkPads.

I was asked recently if I had a favorite ThinkPad that had been created since the acquisition. For me, the answer is quite simple. I have two. Interestingly enough, my favorite ThinkPads nearly bookend the decade. The X300 and the current X1 Carbon are at the top of my innovation list.

As close to perfect as it got in 2008

2008’s ThinkPad X300 was an important product for Lenovo. It was the first ThinkPad designed and developed under the umbrella of Lenovo. IBM as a company was totally out of the picture by this time, but the people who developed it were the same familiar faces, including myself. Strategically we had a desire to build a ThinkPad that would eclipse any ever created by IBM. We wanted to forever stop the chatter that Lenovo would degrade the ThinkPad franchise. Although this was a tall order, I think we succeeded. The X300 drew comparisons to the Macbook Air, it fit in an envelope, was featured on the cover of Business Week Magazine, and was immortalized in the Steve Hamm book “The Race for Perfect.” In addition to all the hype, it was a great ThinkPad.

More than perfect in my opinion

My other favorite is the current generation of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. What’s not to like? The design is razor thin, has the ports we all need, weighs less than you can imagine, and it has a great keyboard. If that’s not enough, it still has that classic ThinkPad design mojo decades after the introduction of the 700c. We also listened to the voice of the customer and moved past the dynamic function row and button-less TrackPad. I love the X1 Carbon and use it every day for work and life.

It seems hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the acquisition. I have certainly enjoyed the ride. Stay tuned for more innovation from Lenovo.

David Hill