Lenovo recently confirmed that a 25th-anniversary ThinkPad laptop is coming later this year, but the company hasn’t provided many details about what that means.

Now we have (a little) more information. About two years ago Lenovo’s chief design officer David Hill started hinting that the company was considering releasing a “retro ThinkPad” that combines modern hardware with classic design, and then began soliciting ideas from ThinkPad fans.

Now he’s confirmed that some of those ideas will be incorporated into the upcoming 25th anniversary edition ThinkPad.

Retro ThinkPad concept (2015)

There still aren’t a lot of details, but here are a few things Hill is saying:

  • “It has a wonderful black rubberized coating, three TrackPoint caps, and a keyboard to die for.”
  • “Exact pricing and availability are not finalized, but I can assure you it will not cost $5000!”
  • “Lenovo has never been keen on broadly sharing details concerning unannounced products. Retro ThinkPad has not been granted an exception to the corporate policy.”

As for the sub-$5000 price tag line, Hill says that high price tag is nothing more than a rumor. Lenovo does offer some expensive laptops that sell for well over $1,000. But the company also has entry-level models that are priced closer to $300… even in its ThinkPad lineup. I suspect the Retro ThinkPad won’t be that cheap, but it’s nice to know it probably won’t be priced like an iMac Pro.

I’d be surprised if the Retro ThinkPad had anything other than a black and red color scheme, which has been the case for pretty much every member of the ThinkPad family. It’ll also likely have a TrackPoint in the center of the keyboard as well as a TouchPad below it. But as for retro features, perhaps we’ll get a multi-color ThinkPad logo, a throwback-style keyboard with 7 rows, and maybe a screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio?

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that last one… but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. While most notebooks in recent years have shipped with 16:9 displays, there are a handful of recent models with 3:2 screens. Maybe PC makers are finally deciding that one size/shape doesn’t fit all.

We should know more about the Retro ThinkPad this fall. Lenovo plans to launch the 25th anniversary edition laptop in October.

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10 replies on “Lenovo’s 25th anniversary ThinkPad will feature retro style design (a few more details)”

  1. I am SO SO SO upset (but also satisfied to a degree). Lenovo has introduced like hundreds of different useless models with so minor differences. 12 inch, 12.5 inch, 13, 14, 15.6 different thinkpad series, different lenovo series, and so on. Microsoft on the other hand or apple do the simplest thing. They maintain only a small number of different devices. It is so obvious to anybody with brain bigger than a nut that this is the most reasonable thing to do. They can properly support the models in terms of drivers and hardware and the customers can be happy since any problem that appears can be solved for all users. While with lenovo models all customers keep having their problems because each problem is totally different. Why on earth is lenovo doing that? do they want to send customers to other companies and then shut down???? So, despite all the help that we customers are providing to them, still they do not listen. They hate their company more than we love it. They were saying it was impossible to have 3:2 ratio displays and it is not profitable for them. How is then surface pro such a huge success? So, while we say what we need, lenovo keeps making hundreds of different models and it took them 5 years to reach the point to announce a retro thinkpad !!!!! Please somebody show me the stupid people who are behind all this, i really want to meet them.

  2. Too late! As a Thinkpad user from 2000 I had lost my faith in Lenovo
    (their online purchase system even screwed up me the last second I was going to purchase an X-1 carbon and that was game over for me)

    I have converted to an Apple user -MBP and iMac n stuff… A retro Thinkpad sounds very tempting but don’t think I am looking back … 🙁

  3. The biggest “Retro” thing Lenovo could do is stop actively trying to be incompatible with Linux.

  4. > and maybe a screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio?

    Toss in Linux-friendly hardware components for true install-n-play distro support… exciting to think about.

    3:2 would be great too. 16:10… ok. 16:9 would just kill the dream.

  5. What this really needs is to harken back to the incredible and innovative ThinkPad 701 and drop the expanding butterfly keyboard in there, updated for 2017 of course.

  6. If Lenovo does this right and not simply for hype, I’d be all over it. Something along the lines of a modern re-do of a T42 would do it. I have a T42 (and T61) and love that design.

    1. Those were my 2 favorite models as well. Still had my T61p hanging around until I gave it away to a friends Niece so she could surf the net and write school reports.. they were Solid machines.

  7. Would absolutely LOVE a notebook with a 4:3 display. I don’t multitask often, so there’s wasted space on a 16:9 for me.

  8. This is hilarious. Imagine that, a Lenovo with a retro design!

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