It's been 15 years since IBM first unveiled the ThinkPad laptop and about two years since Lenovo acquired it as part of a $1.25bn spending spree. So, in an attempt to capitalise on its purchase, Lenovo has unveiled a leather-bound, 5000-unit limited edition ThinkPad. ThinkPad_Reserve_side Lenovo's ThinkPad Reserve Edition: …
Back to the caves, then
It amuses me that human would-be alpha males still seek to enhance their status by wrapping themselves and their possessions in animal skins.
Lost the plot - sales or gimmicks ?
Nothing special indeed, except a bit of dead animal skin (Saddle Grade indeed - imagine your shoe were made of the stuff !).
Lenovo need to provide a ground breaking machine that is:
1) Lightweight (<2Kg)
2) Enhanced Graphics Capable (GeForce 8600M GS or GT)
3) Fast (2GHz + Core2 Duo)
4) Innovative (BluRay and HDMI included)
5) Really innovative - 15.4 inch screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution
Keep the leather, charge £2000 and we have a deal :)
Oh, and unlike Dell with the XPS 1330, don't make people wait 6-8 weeks !
The specs quoted may sound like nothing special, but you forgot to mention the brilliant keyboard (most laptop keyboards are dire), the fact that it's on a par with some 'ruggedised' laptops in terms of ability to survive rough handling, that the components have been selected for stability and reliability, and that you get a 'trackpoint', which in many people's opinion is vastly superior to a trackpad.
I'm sure you could buy an Acer or Dell with a 'better' spec, but those of us who like to get work done prefer to have a laptop that doesn't crash due to dodgy hardware, doesn't break, has a keyboard you can type on and doesn't need a mouse plugging in to be usable.
They got it right...for many people, it ISN'T about the Ghz, the hard drive size, or the graphics power. It's about the ergonomics (IBM's have always excelled), the screen clarity (ibid), and the overall user experience. KEY to this announcement was the upgraded phone support, with the phone being answered in 4 rings and in the native language. Who the HELL else does that for laptops?!?! Or any PC...it is reminicent of a luxury goods company's approach to CRM, not a mass consumer brand company.
Great market positioning, fantastic understanding of what executives TRULY want (support, not specs!) and I wish them great success with it. If it was a convertable tablet, I would love one, even at that price...
"I'm sure you could buy an Acer or Dell with a 'better' spec, but those of us who like to get work done prefer to have a laptop that doesn't crash due to dodgy hardware, doesn't break, has a keyboard you can type on and doesn't need a mouse plugging in to be usable"
Your not seriously suggesting that a lenovo fits this bill? The only reason that you would get more work done with a Lenovo is because they take so long to do anything simple that you have plenty of time to do proper work with a Pen and a bit of paper.
RE: Nothing special?
Well, if it is ruggedised in any way shape or form, I can't find any mention of it on the bloody irritating website that they've set up to promote it.
Really, that seems like a 2k markup for some leather, why not just buy a macbook :)
Since Lenovo took over, the quality of IBM laptops has taken a massive hit. Fair enough their keyboards are still the best to type on, but they are no longer what they once were in terms of durability and reliability.
it looks like something else a cow produces and it's not milk
"Your not seriously suggesting that a lenovo fits this bill? The only reason that you would get more work done with a Lenovo is because they take so long to do anything simple that you have plenty of time to do proper work with a Pen and a bit of paper."
Perhaps if you're an architect wanting to use ArchiCAD or a user of other 3D software. I haven't come across a machine that runs office apps or development environments slowly for about 5 years now. Just what do people use all these GHz for nowadays?
Robert - you're bang on with the "Sales Pitch" but will Execs really get a useful response ? Have you tried turning it on and off sir ? Oh, if you have and it's still not working then you'll have to bring it in for a swap out - please backup your data to a DVD first. Oh, it's broken you say, well, then I'm obliged to tell you that you could lose all your data.
Most CEO's I've dealt with will love the idea of the better support, large companies will support in-house or have existing SLAs in place because of specific PC builds. Execs won't want to be seen as having anything different - the idea of coating the PC in leather is simply ludicrous.
What CEOs are is impatient, the better specs will help with impatience and the Graphics card will help make the bloated Vista more usable IMHO.
Calls in your own language
So the support line staff will answer in the customers native language eh?
"For English - press one... Pour le Francais - écrivez deux..."
So what this extra chunk of change gets you is a bit of dead cow on top and tech support that doesn't suck?
I won't dispute the advantage of a nub mouse or quality of the parts (except ruggedness. You expect me to believe that, when dropped, the leather stays spotless?). But really, any Thinkpad has that, saddle or not.
The tech support seems to be the only real value added. To some, it's a bargain at twice the price, really. It's just that it's a wasted oppurtunity.
They could have made it a desktop with wood panelling, and a subwoofer in the power supply. Then call it a "Twentieth Anniversary Mac."
IT'S NOT BLACK!!!
It claims to be a thinkpad, but it's not black. I can't have a tan laptop. What were they thinking?
For $5 Grand...
You'd think they could put a *real* operating system on there, instead of the Romper Room/Sesame Street/Fisher Price travesty called Microsoft Fistula.
You know: BSD, Mac OSX, Ubuntu, DR GEM, Solaris...
How about offering the premium service as a stand-alone product? I would definitely pay a premium for better service.
What I would really like is to have customer service that does not ask me scripted questions, and have personal knowledge of the product rather than a troubleshooting database...
Leveno is playing to its audience. This is not a laptop I'd buy. This is not a laptop you'd buy. However, there are people out there with business degrees.
These are people that go out and buy BMWs. These are people that need to feel privileged and exclusive, despite herd mentality. Who think leather is a good idea for something that would likely slip out of your hands and break. And who knows, surely there's 5000 of these executives that actually like Vista, because it sounds enterprise-y.
And with so few laptops (But meaning $25mil in sales), it'd be easy to have a half dozen different phone numbers, one for each language.
Don't know about the laptop, but I love the executive support idea. Hoping IBM get some positive feedback, and offer it as a super-upgrade on other laptops. I know I'd pay for it.
I have a BMW and wouldnt buy this! This is more for someone who would buy a Cadillac. You know, get a CTS-v instead of a Menaro/GTO. Somehow convince themselves that they were, in fact, different cars to justify the price hike.
I love thinkpads for their quality (at least my old one was a tank) but you would have to be pretty thick not to see that this is basically an x61 in leather with the accompanied USB DVD bay. I assume you cant even use a docking station or media slice because of the leather cover.
No, this is definately targeted above the BMW sect. This is for the REAL managers, the ones who dont do any actual work. This is for someone whose title is 3 words and begins with Chief. These are the Maybach fans.
Interesting way to sell a service contract...
While I am in total agreement with everyone about the specs, what you are paying for besides the moderate innovation (the external antenna connector and the spiffy covering) is essentially a 3 year extended warrenty which covers accidental damage, on site preventative maintenance and assistance. Essentially, an on site support contract. If they are using IBM's support for that, then it might actually be worth it...
Is it worth 5 grand US? I don't know. Would I buy one if I had the cash? Probably not. Does the leather cover look spiffy? in a round about way, yes.
Why do companies seem to think that leather is some sort of premium?
I personally think leather is mingin, its a bitch to clean and it just looks cheap.
If you want decent design buy a MacBook pro. If you want to do hardcore 3d tasks on the move then your an idiot.
IBM/Lenovo's Laptops have always looked like something produced by the Easten Block at the height of the cold war. The 'reserve' looks like any other ThinkPad except its been smuggled through the iron curtain inside of a cow and an ugly cow at that.
The other run ...
is wrapped in human skin and will be called "the dissident." 500 will be made and sent to special people at Yahoo, M$ and Google.
Are support contracts good then? For what?
A few of you are saying its worth it for the support. Why is that? Are you saying you can't fix your own computer problems? Are you sure you are on the right web site?