Lenovo celebrated the 20th anniversary of ThinkPad laptops- dating back to their creation and launch under IBM – with a posh event on Wednesday in New York at The Museum of Modern Art.

Highlights included the launch of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, with a case made from light-weight but sturdy carbon materials, and also the announcement of a developers program for Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 software.

“The Lenovo Developer Program, the company’s first worldwide software developer program, will create a specialized catalog of apps that take advantage of unique features of Lenovo’s Windows 8 products,” Lenovo said.

“The program takes advantage of the unique Lenovo capabilities across the company’s PC+ devices, from laptops to tablets to smart phones and smart TVs. It also gives developers access to Lenovo tools and technologies, development support and an easy way to deploy and merchandise their apps with revenue opportunities through the Lenovo section of the Windows 8 Store and other platforms.”

The Carbon was first unveiled in Beijing on Monday. It’s a lighter, quicker ThinkPad notebook computer inspired by the convenience of tablets and smartphones with a starting price of $1,299.

“Very few brands are fortunate enough to become an industry icon with loyal fans who are passionate about each generation of ThinkPad products,” said Peter Hortensius, president of Think Product Group for Lenovo. “With that in mind, we’re excited to debut the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the pinnacle of our ongoing quest to push the boundaries on great design and engineering. It meets the demand for an extremely thin and light laptop with the performance users need to accomplish their professional and business goals.”

Lenovo also introduced the ThinkPad T430u Ultrabook, touting the “same thin and light designs found in consumer ultrabooks without sacrificing business-class performance.” It’s starting price is $799.

The world’s No. 2 PC manufacturer says the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon will go on sale later this month.

The latest ThinkPad has third-generation wireless connectivity and other features inspired by tablets and smartphones, said Dilip Bhatia, vice president of the ThinkPad business unit. He said that was in response to demands by customers who want a tablet’s convenience but need a notebook’s wider range of functions.

“They want faster. They want thinner,” Bhatia said.


  • 14-inch screen
  • Weighs less than 3 pounds
  • Includes carbon fibers for strength and durability as well as enabling lighter weight
  • Embedded 3G wireless capability
  • Rapid charge features – Battery can reach 80 percent charge in 35 minutes

Lenovo shaved the 14-inch (35.5 centimeter) laptop computer’s weight to three pounds (1.3 kilograms) from the 3.7 pounds (1.7 kilograms) of last year’s model, Bhatia. He said it would have up to eight hours of battery life and the startup time was reduced by as much as half to under 20 seconds.

Lenovo acquired the ThinkPad brand with IBM Corp.’s personal computer unit in 2005.

Lenovo passed Dell Inc. last year to become the second-largest PC manufacturer after Hewlett-Packard Co.

[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out six years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]

(The AP contributed to this report.)