Why the ThinkPad X1? Lenovo Provides Answers
When I have the good fortune to speak with Lenovo ThinkPad partners about our new ThinkPad X1 laptop there is invariably one overriding question that comes up: Why? There are other words wrapped around that question that may offer some form of variation, but distilled it is still simply a question of why? I’d like to try to answer some of those why questions here.
Those questions and answers include…
Why bring a system like this to market?
The X1 occupies an interesting spot in our portfolio. It’s our Halo product. Some here at Lenovo also call it a Hero product. It is a notebook that is designed to show our leadership, our innovation, and give a glimpse into where the entire notebook portfolio is heading as we look to the future. It is a culmination of a number of different design and technology elements that we’ve brought together to make the thinnest ThinkPad ever. Thinner even than our X301.
Why would you not call this a follow-on to the X301?
X301 was a great system. Everyone remembers the thin and light design. Remember your first car? All you remember are the positives – which is great. We are extremely proud of that notebook. With the new X1 we address some direct user feedback. We added standard volt i5 and i7 Intel processors for more computing power. We added mainstream SSD or HDD options. We also added dual monitor support off the system via VGA and either DisplayPort or HDMI. Powered USB, USB 3.0 and an eSATA combo port are also featured. It’s as if your new car has leather interior, a bigger engine, sun roof and satellite radio. Do you fondly remember your first car? Sure. Would you trade your current one for it and go back? Probably not.
Why did you change the keyboard?
How do you feel when you open the lid of your notebook? Does what you see make you want to get started working? With an X1 you should. The most striking feature of the new X1 is our new keyboard. It is a departure from the traditional ThinkPad design. The island-style keys bring a more modern look, and the fact that the keyboard is backlit is also very noticeable to people seeing it for the first time. However, I do caution users not to be fooled into thinking that the functionality has changed. The X1 still has the same feel, the same compression and the same keystroke as any traditional ThinkPad keyboard. If you grew up on a ThinkPad keyboard you will feel the heritage when you start to type. Oh, and it still has the same spill-proof design as our T and X Series.
Why are there no latches on the X1?
First, we’ve changed the panel. The X1 has a super bright, 13”, 350 nit LED that is coated by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass. This acts as armor on the panel to prevent scratches and chips and strengthens the panel overall. By incorporating this technology we can create a thinner design. Second, we re-engineered the hinges to hold the lid closed to prevent anything from getting in between the panel and keyboard.
Why did you integrate the battery into the system?
By doing this we were able to make the system much thinner. It’s like a cell phone that allows us to maximize the space available on the system and give the best power management capabilities possible. We’ve also made significant changes to the battery itself to make it unlike any other ThinkPad battery. The battery can be charged from empty to 80% in 30 minutes. That’s just enough time to recharge between planes on a short airport layover. This RapidCharge feature is faster than any of our competitors.
I hope that you have a chance to see our new ThinkPad X1 in action. We are excited to bring it and other ThinkPad notebooks that show our continued commitment to quality and innovation to you, our customers. X1 is another step in that direction. Look for more from us coming soon.