Lenovo may be working on a 25th-anniversary ThinkPad with some retro design elements including a classic keyboard layout. But all signs point to the new ThinkPad 25th anniversary model sporting a widescreen display, which I know some folks have found disappointing.
But it turns out there is a way to get a truly classic ThinkPad with modern hardware: a group of enthusiasts have in China have been building their own for a while.
The X62 is a modified 2007-era ThinkPad X61s laptop that features a 1440 x 1050 pixel matte IPS display and an Intel Core i7-5600U Broadwell processor, an updated motherboard, 802.11ac WiFi, mini HDMI and mini DisplayPort output, and SATA III and mSATA storage support.
You can order an x62 motherboard for $450 and assemble your own laptop, or you can pay $780 to $980 for a fully assembled system, although memory and storage cost extra and batteries aren’t included.
There’s also a newer option called the T70 which is only available as a motherboard for now. A $740 version features a Core i5-7300HQ quad-core processor, and there’s a $780 model with a Core i7-7700HQ quad-core chip. Neither is available in an assembled laptop form yet.
Oh, and if those modifications aren’t enough for you, some folks also replace the backlight in their laptops with a new LED light system to increase brightness and reduce power consumption.
You should also keep in mind that the X62 and T70 are modified versions of ThinkPad laptops that are a decade old. They are not supported by Lenovo, and they’re produced in small batches, so it could take a while to receive your order, depending on when it’s placed.
But if you’re cool with all the caveats, you can use the LCDfan’s order form to place an order.