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Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

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solidpro
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Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#1 Post by solidpro » Mon Jan 09, 2023 9:30 am

Hi

I'm trying to come up with a list of machines which, for whatever reason, were significant either in the development of computing and laptops/notebooks and/or significant design milestones for IBM or the industry. This can include machines which resulted in engineering or design dead ends...think of it like you were to create a museum timeline...

For starters:

7x0T - Perhaps the first released IBM idea of what a thinkpad should 'be' as a portable notepad.
700C - The first 'real' thinkpad with the trackpoint, an usable colour screen and 'bento box' notebook design. Possibly alongside the 300 noting the commercial importance of a decent screen.
701c - The iconic butterfly keyboard solving a problem which was to become extinct once the engineers realised people wanted bigger screens.
RS/6000 N40 - First machine down an IT cul-dec-sac of PowerPC architecture
T43p - Pinnicle of the traditional 4:3 executive laptop machine with a large, bright display, powerful, fast, strong and elegant.
230 or X20 - Two firsts in the range of 2xx and X series machines which were perfect small notebooks for the travelling engineer or professional
PC110 - Interesting Japanese design segway into tiny solid-state mobile computing and an early example of what some might consider a 'smartphone' (possibly the Simon could sit alongside this).

Any ideas or 'significant alternatives' to the reasons given?

Thanks!
WANTED: 220, 300 ,240Z, 300C, 315D, 320, 330x, 345x, 350x, 355x, 360x, 365x, 385x
ANY 5xx Series, 700, 700C, 701CS, 720, 720C, 730TE, 750, 750C, 750P, 755CD, 760x, 765x, 770x
ANY 8xx Series, A20P, A21p, A22p, A30p, A31p, R30, R50, R50p, R52, T40p, X23/4, X40

dr_st
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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#2 Post by dr_st » Mon Jan 09, 2023 10:07 am

I suppose you are limiting to IBM history, because you have no machines that were released under Lenovo?

Without this limitation - there are more interesting models:

For starts, I would take the T60p over T43p (the T60p was the last Flexview 4:3 system). Also the first generation with a Windows key.
There is also the X41 Tablet - first convertible tablet - a series which ran for 7 generations before being discontinued.
The Z60 series - first widescreen Thinkpads.
Probably the first Yoga Thinkpad (whatever that is) deserves a mention.
The X300/X301 series was unique
W700/W701ds - huge powerhorses containing almost every port imaginable + the second display
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad

solidpro
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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#3 Post by solidpro » Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:26 pm

I'm a bit of a weird snob when it comes to Lenovo. I love what they do and I appreciate some of their modern machines and modern weirdness (thinking Stack), but I feel I have to draw a line somewhere and it's whenever the IBM badge disappeared. This means I include the Z60 (although I find this a bit or a weirdity due to little online references to it, although I do own one! - feels lenovo, is branded IBM).

I think I might have to revisit the T60 series. I always thought it felt lenovo, branded IBM. Which is it, really? Although I stand corrected that it may well beat the T43p at being 'pinnacle'!

X41 Tablet - if that is indeed the first 'ever' then I would agree. Although I would also call it a bit of a pointless computing dead end....?
The X300/X301 series was unique
- I just looked it up and couldn't see what made it unique?
W700/W701ds - huge powerhorses containing almost every port imaginable + the second display
- hmmm as a 'first iteration', wouldn't that go to the G40?
WANTED: 220, 300 ,240Z, 300C, 315D, 320, 330x, 345x, 350x, 355x, 360x, 365x, 385x
ANY 5xx Series, 700, 700C, 701CS, 720, 720C, 730TE, 750, 750C, 750P, 755CD, 760x, 765x, 770x
ANY 8xx Series, A20P, A21p, A22p, A30p, A31p, R30, R50, R50p, R52, T40p, X23/4, X40

JBUK
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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#4 Post by JBUK » Mon Jan 09, 2023 4:22 pm

I am typing my contribution and support for the T60 series too using my 15" T60 which has the IBM ThinkPad logo badge, i.e. pre Lenovo. Definitely a pinnacle.
Where to begin......
390e FOR SALE : GONE
1 x T20 : SOLD
1 X T23 + 3 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !: SOLD
1 X T60
3 X T61
1 X T601 15"
1 X T520
2 X T530

MikalE
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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#5 Post by MikalE » Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:26 pm

W/T-520, 420.

The last of the real keyboards.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

JBUK
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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#6 Post by JBUK » Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:02 pm

MikalE wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:26 pm
W/T-520, 420.

The last of the real keyboards.
I agree - thats the end of the line as we know it.
I have a couple of T530s with their risible keyboards but use them with usb attached keyboards so not as portable laptops.
Where to begin......
390e FOR SALE : GONE
1 x T20 : SOLD
1 X T23 + 3 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !: SOLD
1 X T60
3 X T61
1 X T601 15"
1 X T520
2 X T530

Ibthink
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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#7 Post by Ibthink » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:35 am

I would name the following models (not limiting myself to IBM):

- 600: The 600 is famously the forefather of the ThinkPad T series and it marks a huge change for ThinkPad design - screens were starting to become bigger and the machines slimmer, moving away from the original "Bento Box" aesthetic of the 90s to something resembling a modern laptop much more

- A30p/A31p: Last models of the classic A workstation series, last dual UltraBay ThinkPads, first FlexView IPS display ThinkPads. Just an absolute versatile tank and for me THE representation of the last years of the IBM ThinkPad era: Technically amazing, but too expensive and not competitive in the market, leading to discontinuation and the end of this era

- T30: The T30 seems to be unpopular due to the Pentium 4 processors that were seriously not at all suited for laptops. Often overlooked though is that the ThinkPad T30 was the first model that added a touchpad to the ThinkPad line. For the PC world, this marks the beginning of the age of touchpad domination, as it became clear that laptops had to have a touchpad if they wanted to sell them - when even the king of the TrackPoint adopted a touchpad, the writing was on the wall

- W700ds/W701ds (already mentioned, just wanted to expand on that): First and so far only dual-screen ThinkPad, only model with an integrated, dedicated Digitizer in the palmrest. The Beast. Sadly horrible timing for the launch of such an expensive machine during the 2008/2009 economic crisis and the general tendency to cheap out laptops of the time. Tanked in the market and was discontinued, scaring of Lenovo pursuing the workstation market more seriously until the P50/P70 in 2015 happened

- X1 Carbon Gen 1 (2012): This is THE generational ThinkPad of the last decade, even if ThinkPad fans don't like it. As far as ThinkPad design goes, there is pre-X1 Carbon and post-X1 Carbon. Almost everything that came afterwards was in some way playing off the X1 Carbon, outside of the workstation sector. It is what the X300/X301 was not: An expensive "premium" ThinkPad that actually succeeded in the market

- X1 Carbon Gen 2 (2014): When Lenovo took it a few steps too far, the X1 Carbon Gen 2 happened. An absolute disaster and a case study how not to evolve on a wildly successful model line. Clearly the "dead end" type with the introduction of the "Adaptive Keyboard" and mechanical Five Button Clickpad. Important inflection point, because afterwards I think Lenovo became more careful and more responsive towards customer feedback than before

- A475: ThinkPad has been synonymous with Intel processors for a very long time. IBM's push for PowerPC failed, and AMD only popped up during the Lenovo era in some budget and education models before. This all changed with the new "A series" (which only lasted for two generations): For the first time, Lenovo put AMD processors in their mainstream enterprise models (the A475 was based on the T470). A year later, AMD would launch their mobile Ryzen CPUs and one year after that, Lenovo would simply integrate the A series into the T/X lineups. By now, almost all ThinkPads are available both with Intel and AMD CPUs, signifying how Intel has lost control over the laptop market in the last years and how AMD became competitive, even better than Intel in some cases
solidpro wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:26 pm
- I just looked it up and couldn't see what made it unique?
At the time when the first MacBook Air came out and everyone started talking about building slimmer laptops, the X300/X301 represented a different approach. Instead of removing features to make the device thinner and lighter, Lenovo kept it versatile, even keeping the DVD drive by developing a unique 7 mm thick model.

I think this old video ad shows of the conceptual difference between the MacBook Air and the X300/X301 very well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hnOCUkbix0

Unfortunately, due to being a failure in the market, the X300/X301 also ended as a dead end. Not coincidentally, the X1 Carbon that ended up succeeding where the X300/X301 failed, is more of a mixture between MacBook Air and X300/X301 than a straight successor of the X30x.
IBM ThinkPad R50e | lenovo ThinkPad X301 | lenovo ThinkPad Z61t

Bondi
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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#8 Post by Bondi » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:43 am

I'd suggest to add 755CD to the list as the first laptop with with a bilt-in CD-ROM drive.
Thinkpads: 330C, 360CE, 560, 755CD, 760LD, 760EL, A21p, A31p, X60s, X230

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Re: Ultimate list of Thinkpad machines which were of key importance...

#9 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Jan 18, 2023 1:56 am

dr_st wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 10:07 am
The Z60 series - first widescreen Thinkpads.
I believe also first series with built-in webcams and oddly implemented too, at least on the Z61m there's a strange daughterboard component and it requires a specific version of the ATI X1400 motherboard. It adds array microphones in the lid in addition to the mic under the palmrest. My sudden interest is that I've happened to acquire such a unit and am finding it quite an interesting device.
lenovo T530 QHD, T430s QHD, T430 FHD, T420 QHD, X330 WQXGA
Otros: P71 Y260 W530 T520 T420s T510 W510 T410 T410s X201 T500 R500 W500 T400 X200 X200s T601F X601T R61 T60 T60p Z61m Z61t X60s Z60m T42p R50p A31p T30
2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

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