Lenovo’s “superslim” ThinkPad X300 – one of the computer industry’s worst-kept secrets – makes a smashing official debut with a cover spread on the new issue.
And what an article it is, starting with the huge headline: “Building the Perfect Laptop.”
Lenovo’s marketing team worked with BusinessWeek to give the magazine an inside look at the two-year project that produced the lightweight (around 3 pounds but packing a 13.3-inch screen and many other features) but powerful machine. It is Lenovo’s counter to the Macbook Air, and the .
While Apple’s Steve Jobs got the jump on Lenovo by a few weeks with the Air, Lenovo has been creating unofficial buzz about the X300 for weeks. Reports on blogs and pricing details as well as hardware details on Web sites such as Best Buy have whetted the appetites of people wanting an alternative to the Air.
Lenovo will unveil the X300, developed under the codeword “Kodachi,” which is Japanese for short sword, on Feb. 26. The marketing folks at Lenovo are certainly pleased about the BusinessWeek publicity, however.
“It’s a good publication to be in,” said Lenovo’s Kristi Fair, who handles much of the laptop marketing for Lenovo. When asked about what Lenovo can say on the record about the X300 to other media, though, she said, “I can’t give out a lot.”
As for the headline – well, the reporters do say about a third of the way into the story: “The X300 isn’t perfect. Perhaps no computer can be. But its development over the past 20 months shows the journey of one team striving for perfection, while at the same time being forced to make hard compromises.”
The article focuses heavily on the development process led by David Hill, a Cary resident who is Lenovo’s chief designer. Bringing the X300 to life was hardly an easy process from design to prototype to final product. And despite the heavy investment in money, intellectual capital and resources, BusinessWeek said Lenovo doesn’t expect the X300 to be a “huge seller,” given its price range from $2,700 to $3,000.
However, it is important to Lenovo’s strategy of becoming a worldwide brand, one that’s separated from IBM. Lenovo bought IBM’s PC division two years ago and no longer uses IBM logos. The ThinkPad name is still used, due in no small part to the fact IBM machines always had reputations for high quality.
“They believe it will be a ‘halo’ project,” BusinessWeek said of Lenovo execs and their attitude toward the X300, “leading to positive reinforcement to the corporate brand and for the more affordable ThinkPads.”