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.

I’d recommend reading up on the latest X62 and T70 posts at reddit.com/r/thinkpad for the latest news before pulling out your wallet. Or check out the LCDFans page on Facebook.

But if you’re cool with all the caveats, you can use the LCDfan’s order form to place an order.

via Geoff Greer and Hacker News

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10 replies on “Really retro ThinkPad: X62 and T70 mods put modern specs into old laptop cases”

  1. Really wish that they could just crowsource this out, but that’ll inevitably bring down the firestorm of Lenovo’s legal dept. faster than a NOS’ed up fart…

    Plus yeah probably there’s only so much bare X61s that they’re able to get anyways. This already present a very strong case for Lenovo to set the minimum RRP ceiling for the planned Retro model.

    1. It’s a really limited number of boards, and assembling require a little of skills, I don’t think could be a problem for Lenovo…However, I don’t think it’s illegal, so, hope for the best 😉

  2. After the ThinkPads transferred away from IBM, Lenovo made the worst possible mistake by redesigning the keyboard to be the more fashionable chiclet style. The older TPs had the best keyboard layout ever to grace a laptop. There were features and options that became a subset of Fn keys or were just not offered, unless you remapped your keyboard–which masks their functionality. This move also featured another value added option, fragile keyboards. A professional would break at least one of these before their three-year lease expired, and in the hands of teens, they would experience a high failure rate. Perhaps Lenovo was onto something, as they created a secondary revenue stream.

    There was a major uproar in the technical community when Lenovo did this. Yet, unlike most companies who make a mistake, Lenovo opted to stand firm and ignore the pleas from programmers and IT personnel worldwide.

  3. Gives me an idea, lots of thin itx board might fit into old cases .. I have lots of ThinkPad cases and ones with dead mobos.

      1. I’ll see if these boards don’t heat up too much. The rest is just making some adapter daughter boards. Sexy

  4. I’d buy a 13.3 inch Retro laptop like this, if it’s not overpriced like an Ultrabook.

    1. This is a small batch custom made notebook, there are probably no more than a hundred made of these. You won’t see it in a store, in an advertisement, you won’t get support and warranty with it. It can’t compete with a big batch modell that gets made in millions of units, obviously it’s gonna be more expensive. It’s actually surprisingly cheap if you consider the cost the Open Pandora or the Neo900. Custom made will never be cheaper than “those pesky overpriced ultrabooks”, because the point is not the price but to make a product no big companies are willing to make.

    2. T70 mobo with i7-7700HQ cost 780USD, only the I7 costs 378USD, and there are all the other components. It’s really a good price

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