The VAR Guy

June 23, 2009

At first glance, Lenovo’s new ThinkPad T400s model fits somewhere between Lenovo’s existing X300 and T400 notebooks. But take a closer look, and VARs will find the T400s designed for customers that have fallen for voice-over-IP (VoIP) applications. Here’s why.

First, the nitty-gritty details. On June 17, Jay McBain, director of SMB for Lenovo, hinted that a new notebook market segment was set to emerge. McBain’s prediction:

Another segment of computer that you will see very soon is Thinbook. These devices are very thin and light, stylish, have larger screens and longer battery life than Netbooks. Powered by Ultra Low Voltage technology from Intel, these devices weigh around 3 pounds, are less than an inch thick and have all day computing ability. The price point will be between a Netbook and a full function Notebook.

Of course, McBain had inside information about the June 23 T400s launch. You’ll find the T400s technical specs here. But The VAR Guy has never been a “speeds and feeds” type of guy. So let’s focus instead on design and innovation.

The following video from Lenovo’s David Hill offers a quick look at the T400s’s design, and some nifty elements related to the keyboard layout and VoIP application support:

Though not a rugged laptop, Lenovo has gone viral with the following video, showing the T400s surviving quite a beating. Smart marketing:

The Book on Lenovo ThinkPads

Hmmm. To learn more about Hill and Lenovo’s design team, The VAR Guy read “The Race for Perfect: Inside the Quest to Develop the Ultimate Portable Computer.” That book and a related BusinessWeek article focused on the X300.

Looking ahead, Lenovo plans to migrate some of the new T400S design elements into the original T400 as well as the X300. Translation: Lenovo plans to eventually promote VoIP application support as a differentiating factor for its business laptops, The VAR Guy believes.

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