From Academic Kids

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IBM ThinkPad R51
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IBM ThinkPad T40
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IBM ThinkPad R32
The Japanese lunchbox that inspired the ThinkPad design
The Japanese lunchbox that inspired the ThinkPad design

ThinkPad is the brand name for a highly successful range of portable laptop and notebook computers manufactured and marketed by Lenovo, which purchased the IBM PC division in early 2005. Traditionally black in color, ThinkPads feature innovations such as the TrackPoint pointing device, solidly constructed keyboards (including the fold-out butterfly keyboard on the 701 models), and the Active Protection System (a device that detects when a ThinkPad is falling and shuts the hard drive down to prevent damage). ThinkPads have a reputation for being solidly built and dependable.

The ThinkPad name was inspired by the leather-bound pocket notebooks issued to all IBM employees with the corporate motto 'Think' embossed on the cover. IBM's corporate naming team was initially against using the ThinkPad name since all previous IBM computers were referred to by model numbers rather than names. However, the popularity of the ThinkPad brand with the press convinced IBM to retain the name.

Design work on the first ThinkPads was done at IBM's Yamato Design Center in Japan. The clean black lines of the ThinkPad were inspired by Shōkadō bentō, a traditional black-lacquered Japanese lunch box. IBM launched the ThinkPad line in 1992 with the ThinkPad 700. The first ThinkPad 700 sold for US$4,350, weighed 3 kg (6.5 lbs), and had dimensions of 2.2 by 11.7 by 8.3 inches (56 by 297 by 210 mm). It featured a 10.4 inch (264 mm) LCD (the largest at that time), a 25 MHz 386SX processor, a 120 MB hard disk drive, and an easy-to-use keyboard featuring the TrackPoint pointing device. The bright red TrackPoint, embedded in the keyboard, enabled the notebook to be used on an airline tray table without a mouse.


ThinkPad model types

The following is a list of various recent families of ThinkPad models.

  • ThinkPad A: All-in-one notebook, heavy, large, three drive bays total of which two are swappable bays. Discontinued.
  • ThinkPad R: Consumer notebook with two internal bays, one of which is swappable. There are now 'mobile workstation' configurations to replace the A series.
  • ThinkPad G: Desktop replacement machines built around desktop processors, large and heavy with limited battery runtime.
  • ThinkPad S: Subnotebook, extremely small and light, produced for Japanese market only.
  • ThinkPad T: Thin and light notebook aimed at the corporate market, two internal drives, one of which is swappable.
  • ThinkPad X: Subnotebook, very small and light, hard drive internal, no internal optical drive, small screen.
  • ThinkPad i: Budget consumer series notebooks manufactured by Acer under license from IBM. Discontinued.

Model specific information

  • ThinkPad 235
    • Type 2607, or the Japan-only ThinkPad 235, is an interesting product because it is a progeny of the IBM/Ricoh RIOS project. Also known as Clavius or Chandra2, it contains unusual features like the presence of 3 PCMCIA slots and the use of dual Camcorder batteries as a source of power. Features an Intel Pentium MMX 233 MHz CPU, support for up to 160 MB of EDO memory, and a built-in 2.5" hard drive with UDMA support. Hitachi markets Chandra2 as the Prius Note 210.
  • ThinkPad 600 series
    • The 600 series (600, 600E and 600X) are the direct predecessors of the T series, and are legendary for their portability and sturdy construction. The 600 series packed a 13.3" LCD, Pentium II or III processor, full sized keyboard, and optical bay into a package weighing roughly 2.3 kg (5 lbs). IBM was able to create this light, fully featured machine by using lightweight but strong titanium composite plastics.
  • ThinkPad T4x series
    • Includes the T40, T41, T42, T43, and associated "p" series (for "performance"; e.g., T43p). A typical T4x weighs 2.2 kg (4.9 lbs), slighly less than the 600 series, and features an Intel Pentium M Processor (ranging from the Intel Pentium M at 1.3 GHz to the Intel Pentium M 770 at 2.13 GHz), a 14.1" or 15" LCD (XGA or SXGA+), an integrated GPU (Intel Graphics Media Adapter 900) or a discrete GPU (ranging from the Mobility Radeon 7500 to the FireGL V3200), and a hard drive ranging in size from 30 to 80 GB with the IBM Active Hard Drive Protection System (T41 and later models). "p" models are also available with a 15" UXGA FlexView display with wide viewing angle and high density IPS technology with resolutions up to 1600x1200. These 15" display models weigh slightly more than their lesser brethren, with optical drive and battery, at 2.7 kg (5.9 lbs). Some T42 and T43 models feature a biometric security system with built-in fingerprint reader.
  • ThinkPad X40
    • An example of the lightweight X series, weighing in at 1.2 kg (2.7 lbs), 25% lighter than its predecessor, the X31. [1] (

IBM UltraBay

UltraBay is IBM's name for the swappable drive slot. Introduced on the 770 series ThinkPads, this technology has gone through redesigns with almost every new generation of ThinkPad, possibly leading to some confusion that is hopefully cleared up here. The following table gives an overview of the different UltraBay types, in which models they occurred and what drives are available for them. Note that the optical drive bay in G series ThinkPads is not an UltraBay in that the drives are fixed and not removable.

On the media side different UltraBays relate to the form factor of the drives they accept; for example, early A, T and X series models can accept UltraBay devices up to 12.5 mm thick, whereas current T and X series machines are limited to devices no more than 9.5 mm thick.

IBM UltraBay Nomenclature

Overview of UltraBay types and available devices
UltraBay Type Featured in Available devices
UltraBay II 770, 770E, 770ED, 770X, 770Z FD, CD/DVD, CD-RW/DVD, HD, Battery, ZIP-100, ZIP-250
UltraBay FX 390, 390E, 390X FD, CD/DVD, CD-RW/DVD
UltraSlimBay 570, 570E, 600, 600E, 600X FD, CD/DVD, CD-RW/DVD, HD, Battery, ZIP-100, ZIP-250, LS-120
UltraBay 2000 A20, A21, A22, T20, T21, T22, X20, X21, X22, X23, X24 FD, CD/DVD, CD-RW/DVD,

Multiburner, HD, Battery, ZIP-100, ZIP-250, LS-120, LS-240

UltraBay Plus A30, A30p, A31, A31p, R30, R31, R32, R40, T23, T30, X30, X31 FD, CD/DVD, CD-RW/DVD, Multiburner, HD, Battery, ZIP-100, ZIP-250, WorkPad Cradle, Numberpad
UltraBay Slim R50, R50p, R51, R51p, T40, T40p, T41, T41p, T42, T42p, X40 CD/DVD, CD-RW/DVD, Multiburner, HD, Battery

External links

fi:ThinkPad ja:シンクパッド zh:ThinkPad


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