Retro ThinkPad: Time to Think

Two weeks ago we launched the fourth, and perhaps final, in a series of surveys related to the “Retro ThinkPad” concept. The passion for the concept and survey participation rate continues to amaze me and others at Lenovo. On average each survey has had approximately 13,000 respondents. By any standards that’s a lot. Thanks to everyone who took the time to weigh in. All of the surveys are still available if you have not had the chance to take them. Click here to take survey 1, here to take survey 2, here to take survey 3, and here for survey 4 if you have not responded yet. Please keep the feedback coming!

Survey four had some key insights that I can share in this blog. I tried to use a multi-color logo as a means to connect to the heritage of the original ThinkPad, but it doesn’t appear to resonate as strongly as I had hoped. A few of the explorations were more interesting than others, but none could beat the current design we developed shortly after the Lenovo acquisition.

Is it time to give up on a colorful version of the logo?

Battery life preference hovers at the 9-10 hour mark and swappable batteries were highly preferred. My current X1 Carbon gets such great battery life that I rarely find myself checking the battery gauge anymore. Technology has really changed since 1992!  Physical sliding display latches vs. today’s closure method was surprisingly split. I would have guessed that the retro audience would be more definitive on this attribute.

The Winner!

Regarding TrackPoint caps, the current Rubber Dome is the individual winner with strong interest in shipping all three. I was surprised the golf tee cap did so poorly, even placing behind the original rough (cat tongue) texture.

Are three caps better than one?

At this point we’re moving into the deep analysis phase of this retro experiment. We have thousands of customer responses to analyze, as well as write-in comments, news articles and emails to read. It’s a daunting, but important task. Fortunately, I’m not the only one doing it. The ThinkPad business unit is highly engaged in this effort. We also have to investigate technology roadmaps, component availability, projected sales volumes, development budgets, engineering resource, projected product costs, pricing and so much more before any decision can be reached. This is true for every product Lenovo brings to market. It takes time. Expect to see more blogs on this topic as Lenovo determines what’s next. Thanks for your incredible interest!     

David Hill