Lenovo confirms upcoming special-edition ThinkPad won’t cost $5,000

Special Edition ThinkPad
Earlier this week, Lenovo senior vice president of commercial business Christain Teismann briefly mentioned that the company will produce a special edition ThinkPad laptop that will be officially revealed in October. He said it would include “throwback” features combined with the new innovations of today without providing any additional detail. However, Lenovo’s David Hill followed up on Thursday with a few more nuggets of information to chew on regarding the mystery device.

Hill confirmed that Lenovo is indeed working on a “retro” special edition ThinkPad laptop to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary. It’s aimed at enthusiasts and “superfans” who provided Lenovo with ideas of what the special edition laptop should provide in terms of looks and features. The final product will contain many of those requested features and ideas in a special edition model that Hill calls “quite impressive.”

“As with any new product we develop, there are always technical and cost limitations,” he said. “It has a wonderful black rubberized coating, three TrackPoint caps, and a keyboard to die for. I will proudly carry one.”

The first batch of ThinkPad notebooks were the 700 Series consisting of the 700, 700C, and 700T models produced by IBM in 1992. The 700C actually served as the first product stemming from IBMs “differentiated product personality” strategy. Lenovo didn’t’ claim the ThinkPad brand until it acquired IBM’s personal computer business over a decade later in 2005.

Here’s what we could dig up for the ancient ThinkPad 700 and 700C models:

ThinkPad 700 ThinkPad 700C
Display size: 9.5 inches 10.4 inches
Display type: Passive LCD Active-matrix LCD
Display colors: 64-shade monochrome 256 colors
Processor: IBM 486SLC @ 25MHz
IBM 486SLC @ 50MHz
IBM 486SLC @ 25MHz
IBM 486SLC @ 50MHz
Storage: 80MB hard drive (a)
120MB hard drive (b)
120MB hard drive
Input: Keyboard
TrackPoint controller
Keyboard
TrackPoint controller
Weight: 6.5 pounds 7.6 pounds
Operating systems: Microsoft DOS 5.0
IBM OS/2 2.0
Windows 3.1
Microsoft DOS 5.0
IBM OS/2 2.0
Windows 3.1
Price: $2,750 (a)
$2,950 (b)
$4,350

While the old technology is laughable now, this was high-tech goodness in 1992. They had plenty of spunk to run the original Doom (IBM 386 CPU or better), which arrived a year later from GT Interactive and id Software. They could also run 1992’s original Wolfenstein 3-D shooter, which only required a 286 processor, 528K of system memory, and 8MB of storage for the full version.

What will be interesting to see is how Lenovo will blend the old with the new in its upcoming special edition ThinkPad laptop. However, Hill confirmed that the resulting product will not cost an insane $5,000 despite recent rumors. But he also admitted that he has no idea how much the laptop will cost, or when it will hit the market.

“I’ve held early development hardware in my hand, powered it on, looked at the screen, and even typed on it,” Hill added. “Those who have seen it can’t help but smile. Please be patient, there’s more to come. It’s alive.”

Until additional information about the special edition ThinkPad arrives, check out our reviews of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017 model), and the Lenovo ThinkPad X260 (late 2016).

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