back to article Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

After teasing techies for months, Lenovo has finally unveiled the ThinkPad 25: a laptop designed to mimic the look and feel of the legendary IBM ThinkPad but with all modern components. This 336.6 mm x 232.5 mm x 19.95 mm ThinkPad 25 has the seven-row keyboard beloved by ThinkPad devotees but which Lenovo dumped in 2011, the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the best Retro bit is...?

    It runs Windows. Yay.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the best Retro bit is...?

      Oooh, a new take on "but... ...can I wipe it and put a PROPER linux on it?"

      1. M. Poolman
        Linux

        Re: And the best Retro bit is...?

        "put a PROPER linux on it?"

        Whadya talkin bout? All Linux is "PROPER"!

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: And the best Retro bit is...?

          All Linux is "PROPER"!

          Unless it's been infected with systemd that is - it then becomes more of a Windows-linux love child that shares none of the advantages of the parents but displays all their flaws..

          1. M. Poolman

            Re: And the best Retro bit is...?

            " All Linux is "PROPER"!

            Unless it's been infected with systemd that is... "

            Yes of course, absolutely, have a thumbs up. It's something that I tend subconciously blank out and hope it will one day go away.

  2. ecarlseen

    I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

    Although as noted they started screwing up the designs a few years ago, which happened to roughly coincide with Apple launching the MacBook Pro with Retina Display - a productivity beast if you valued the ability to have between 100 and 120 lines of cleanly legible text (assuming great vision or a great optometrist) on your screen. I miss the TrackPoint, but Apple does many other things well (including a UNIX-based operating system with generous third-party software support) and other than that I haven't looked back. This 25th anniversary edition is giving me a pretty strong nostalgia kick, though....

    1. andrewj

      Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

      I switched from Thinkpad to Macbook about a year ago and can't wait to go back!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

        You know the saying: once you’ve tried Mac you can never go back.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

          You know the saying: once you’ve tried Mac you can never AFFORD TO go back.

          There, FTFY.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

            I love nipple mice so much that all three of my desktop machines have IBM Spacesaver keyboards, which include a nipple. Not a separate mouse in sight.

            1. enormous c word

              Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

              @Ian Johnston - yep - me too - and those Rack Save keyboards dont come cheap - I spent hours looking for a Bluetooth kbrd with a nipplemouse - sadly none found.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

      I miss the TrackPoint

      I have alway, and always will, hate the nipple-mice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

        I don't know, I miss the way once they started to get a little worn, the mouse will start to move in random directions all on it's own.

      2. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: I was a devoted ThinkPad user for many, many years...

        "I have alway, and always will, hate the nipple-mice."

        Agree completely.

        I thought they were just put there to make you concentrate your big fat fingers on typing accuracy. My big fat fingers seem drawn to the f_cker when I am absolutely not trying to type what I am typing into a completely different paragraph :-(

        {Note: Loved everything else about the Thinkpad though}

  3. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

    +1 for X220 mention

    Only just retired the last X220 here recently. With a SSD fitted (and boy was it easy to swap hard disks) and extra RAM (and boy was it easy to add RAM), they were still performing well. It's just that the battery had decided to only give 25 minutes of life.

    1. keithpeter
      Coat

      Re: +1 for X220 mention

      "Your humble hack's old X220 is one of the last units with the old-style keyboard, which is why it's in service six years later despite being so slow to boot you can make a cup of tea and be back before it's ready to use."

      X220 + SSD + no-name battery = boot in 45 sec (cos Slackware) seriously snappy and fully functional.

      Time for a reinstall?

      Comment on OA: 4:3 ratio and same form factor as X60 but with bright non-reflective screen and 12 hour battery life and I'll buy two.

      1. mdava

        Re: +1 for X220 mention

        I have a very similar X220, except with Xubuntu, and I swear that it boots in well under 45 seconds (although maybe it only feels fast by comparison to my work issue X220 with Windows that takes aaaaaaaaaaaaaages to boot).

        Perhaps I should time it.

        1. keithpeter
          Coat

          Re: +1 for X220 mention

          "I have a very similar X220, except with Xubuntu, and I swear that it boots in well under 45 seconds"

          Probably does. Slackware does an old school boot and for some reason the 'kernel test' takes 10 seconds. But I mostly suspend and reboot once a week or so or when kernel updates arrive.

          Coat: mine's the one with the Slackware DVD in the pocket

          1. Fr. Ted Crilly

            Re: +1 for X220 mention

            Mint 17xx 28 seconds to desktop if i crash through the login first fast try. the SSD helps :-)

      2. gjw1992

        Re: +1 for X220 mention

        Similar here on an x201 - bought 3 yrs ago 2nd hand v cheap then totally forgotten until rediscovered a few months ago. SSD, another battery and boost to 8Gb and it's fine. A HD screen would be nice but probably not worth losing the 4:3 aspect ratio.

        Lenovo should've tried to source a similar panel to the one on the surface pro and this 25 would've been irresistible.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: +1 for X220 mention

          A HD screen would be nice but probably not worth losing the 4:3 aspect ratio.

          Um, 1280x800 isn't 4:3. And neither is 1440x900 (my current X201s).

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: +1 for X220 mention

        "Your humble hack's old X220 ... which is why it's in service six years latner despite being so slow to boot you can make a cup of tea and be back before it's ready to use."

        Yes, time for a SSD.

        Perhaps commentards (with X220s) can crowd-fund a SSD for Iain. Better still, Vulture Management could just pay him more.

    2. a pressbutton

      Re: +1 for X220 mention

      my x220 is still going and its disc spins and it is the original battery and having seen x230s/x250s you can keep those overgrown calculators.

      .. it boots in about 2 mins but that is all the $employers security crapware that expects you to login connected to their lan

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: +1 for X220 mention

      It's just that the battery had decided to only give 25 minutes of life.

      Well, it's ridiculously easy to replace that too.

    4. Milo Tsukroff
      FAIL

      Re: +1 for X220 mention

      > It's just that the battery had decided to only give 25 minutes of life

      That's because Lenovo recommends that your battery be charged to only 50% to increase battery life. What a laugh! Lithium batteries must be kept at or as near as possible to 100% for as long as possible to maintain good battery life. I tell everyone who cares about battery life in modern appliances that a Lithium battery should never be allowed to dip down beyond 50% charge. (I have an HP iPaq 951a which had its battery replaced in 2004 and still works well, because it's kept charged to 100% all the time.) The only thing that Lenovo users get by following their recommendation of keeping the battery charged to 50% is the privilege of purchasing a new battery from Lenovo every few years.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: +1 for X220 mention

        "What a laugh! Lithium batteries must be kept at or as near as possible to 100% for as long as possible to maintain good battery life."

        I don't know if thats true or not. But I do know that if you keep hitting a battery with charge when its 100% then it shortens its life. Or it did in the old days anyway.

        1. Loud Speaker Bronze badge

          Re: +1 for X220 mention

          My t61's have software that allows the battery to fall to about 95% before recharging each time. The family has four, and I have only bought two new batteries (I think they date from about 2008). Two are in constant use, and tow just get occasional use.

          I also have a T21 which is still used as a dumb terminal for Sun servers, and a T43 with SSD which I use when travelling cos its smaller than a T61. Some have had CPU upgrades. All have max supported memory, and one runs windows - but has an SSD in where the DVD used to be and runs FreeBSD.

          I will probably buy one of these new-fangled devices. It will probably run FreeBSD.

  4. mikeyg
    Happy

    Maybe I'll try one

    They missed the serial port - a real ThinkPad has a serial port.

    I still have a T23 in regular use with the original battery that's good for about 2 hours.

    I tried Panasonic Toughbooks for a while but could never get used to them.

    The only laptop that comes close to the old ThinkPads is the General Dynamics GoBooks.

    1. Loud Speaker Bronze badge

      Re: Maybe I'll try one

      And if it doesn't, there is a docking station.

      I HOPE there is a docking station which takes biggish PCIe cards - or how will I connect my LTO drive?

  5. fobobob

    I'd buy that for a dollar! (or several)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

    Superfish... You might forget, but we won't!

    1. trapper

      Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

      My T60 was in a house fire. The fire melted the bag around it, after which it was fire-hosed and then frozen. Two days later, I retrieved it. I thawed it, cut the remnants of the bag away, removed the HDD, the optical drive, the battery and the RAM, wiped everything down, and let it all dry in a warm room for three days. I reassembled it - and it booted. I then used it without incident for another two years before installing Linux to deal with the now-slow-and-antiquated hardware. I wanted a tank for my business - and I got one. This is one rugged laptop!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

        Cool story bro. How does it relate to Lenovo factory installing Superfish advertising, allowing MITM modification of SSL traffic?

        1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

          Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

          Cool story bro. How does it relate to Lenovo factory installing Superfish advertising, allowing MITM modification of SSL traffic?

          That's easy to bypass. Just wipe the disk clean and install Linux. Both problems (junkware and junkOS) fixed in one simple step.

          I first did this to an IBM 560Z (Redhat Linux 7.2), and a few years later to the new Lenovo R61i that replaced it (Vista immediately wiped and replaced with Fedora). This is still running though on its second screen, keyboard and fan though the DVD drive died and so did its HDD, which got replaced by a Sandisk 128GB SSD - the R61i hardware can't handle disks bigger than 200GB but you can't buy HDDs that small now, hence the SDD.

          However, for everyday use I now have a Lenovo T440 that also got wiped immediately and Fedora 25 XFCE installed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

            Not doubting its easy to bypass or that (anyones choice of OS) can be placed on there. His cool story is not a reply to a comment mentioning (only!) Lenovo + Superfish, its just some random shite that he's tried to tag higher up the threads.

      2. Cynical Observer
        Trollface

        Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

        The Toyota Hilux of Laptops?

      3. fobobob

        Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

        I had a T60 (given to a friend that needed a decent machine, or else I'd still have it) which was abused quite mercilessly. Knocked off the bed/stand many times, kicked, cord yanked out, held by any give point along the screen bezel. While it was likely a matter of chance, the LCD panel itself survived being struck quite hard on several occasions. Only thing that ever failed was the palmrest itself, which was easily replaceable. Replacement included a fingerprint scanner, as it was the cheapest available at the time. Also wore the texture off of the trackpoint nipple.

        Went through a bunch of 600Xs back in the early-mid 2000s, giving/selling them to friends and acquaintances (my dad's company had heaps of broken 600Xs and 600Es which were being discarded). For their day, they were pretty stout as well. While not exceptionally durable, I did have one get yanked off a meter-high countertop by the charge cord, by someone who's velcro shoe strap interfaced with the cord's own velcro. The outer shell of the screen actually shattered, sending the front bezel flying off, and a missing arc of material equating 1/3 of the total shell was ejected as a few large plates of plastic.

        If I remember correctly, the panel survived with a small bit of superficial impact damage at the very corner, though I might be confusing it with another more minor incident. At worst, a minor crack with a few vertical lines on the damaged side. On the other hand, if you put a few pounds of pressure on the back of the lid, a disheartening crunch and RIP panel... nothing's perfect, but older thinkpads were pretty close.

        I actually destructively "tested" (totally not wanton destruction for lulz) a couple of 600-series machines cobbled together from the non-working remains of others, and found them to be able to withstand several arm-powered vertical excursions terminating on the asphalt without losing too much material before finally coming to bits, though it seemed dependent on whether the struck hinge-side first (more survivable) or not. I would do some more testing, for science, but they're becoming a relatively rare breed these days.

        I think I've now made a long-winded Thinkpad-exalting spiel every day this week, albeit in disparate spots on the net... and it feels good :)

    2. SwizzleStick

      Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

      I think Lenovo has learnt its lesson after the internets opened a can of whoop-arse.

      My Thinkpad P50 I bought this year doesn't have it, I checked with Lenovo's own removal tool.

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Only have one thing to say to Lenovo....

        "My Thinkpad P50 I bought this year doesn't have it"

        None of the Thinkpads had it. Only some consumer models were preloaded with Superfish. And yes, Lenovo handled their blunder surprisingly well. They owned up and cleaned up.

        In this sense OP is missing the mark by a wide margin. This is an article about Thinkpads after all.

        Righteous yells à la "we will remember" would be more justified if people actually did remember.

  7. Gordon 8
    Coffee/keyboard

    Leaving Thinkpad after 20 years

    I got my first Thinkpad in March 1997, (and apart from a 12 month stint on a Dell when Corp IT demanded it) I have had one after another (X30, X31, X60, X61 X201, X220, T420p T440p(using it now)) but I've finally had enough.

    The hardware has been magnificent over the years. Hardware manuals on line and driver support great. It's Lenovo here in Singapore that have forced me to take a look at other brands.

    It used to be I could take a machine to the service center (and have a good coffee) and they would sort it while I waited.Now you have to jump through so many hoops for support it's a waste of time. Also the recent changes of docking connector every couple of generations It's time to change..

    I'll be sad to see the TP go, but Lenovo does not seem to care about customers any more.

    1. mdava

      Re: Leaving Thinkpad after 20 years

      What are you going to replace it with? (Asking out of genuine interest)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leaving Thinkpad after 20 years

      Don't let the T440p put you off. That has to be the worst laptop ever produced. They started to improve since then. The T470 isn't too bad

      1. insane_hound

        Re: Leaving Thinkpad after 20 years

        Agreed I absolutely despise my T440p. other than T440p, the only other thinkpad I have not loved was the X61s

  8. Captain DaFt

    Original IBM Thinkpad? Nah!

    It was just the first laptop with the name.

    This was the original! ☺

  9. Codysydney

    That stupid little keyboard light is a quintessential part of the ThinkPad experience. That and a really good keyboard feel. And you could pop out all the various important bits (batteries, RAM, HDD) for upgrades and replacements.

    You could also beat a mugger to death with one then go right back to Lotus Notes and keep working.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      go right back to Lotus Notes and keep working

      Heh heh. Lotus Bloats and working using in the same sentance (sentence? both seem appropriate) without a negative..

      Does not compute. Computer says no. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 $CURRENCY_UNITS.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      If my computer had Lotus Notes on it, I'd give it to the mugger.

      Then later he'd probably sue me for mental cruelty, and win.

    3. Loud Speaker Bronze badge

      I would expect Lotus Notes to beat a mugger to death without the help of the hardware.

  10. jrd

    Another fan

    Now on my third Thinkpad - a T420 I bought second-hand four years ago for £329. All three machines still work (the X30 runs XP and the X60 runs Linux). Solid, dependable workhorses and I love the nipple mouse. They have their flaws but I wish everything in my life was as reliable as my Thinkpads.

  11. LazLong

    Not "nipple"....

    Clitoris! Get it right, dammit.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Not "nipple"....

      That's where I'm going wrong...

    2. Cynical Observer
      Joke

      Re: Not "nipple"....

      I can't find it on my keyboard....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not "nipple"....

        Just start at the navel, move your finger slowly downwards while stroking gently from side to side until you hear a moan. It really is as simple as that.

        1. Mark 110 Silver badge

          Re: Not "nipple"....

          You tease you!!!!!!!

    3. fobobob

      Re: Not "nipple"....

      Everyone knows it's supposed to be called a TrackPoint-Style Strain Gauge Pointing Device, or TPSSGPD for short. You're just being petty.

  12. PhilipN Silver badge

    Transnote

    Friend of mine gave me his.

    I wanted to love it I really did. A really good idea. But fundamentally a pig of a machine.

    And a far-too-heavy one at that.

    On the other hand I have a working T30 with XP loaded which I fire up occasionally to enjoy the keyboard. But only briefly - I have to blow hard into the air vent to clean out the cooling fans before they seize.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Transnote

      But only briefly - I have to blow hard into the air vent to clean out the cooling fans before they seize.

      My X61 decided to get the CPU fan to seize while on holiday for a week. A trip to one of those local Pakistani-run WeSellEverythingIncludingKitchenSinks store somewhere in London for a set of jeweller's screwdrivers, a tin of lighter fluid and a flacon of universal oil solved that.

      Remove keyboard, peel sticker off fan hub, mix a bit of lube with lighter fluid (otherwise it's too viscous for that bearing) and put that in the fan hub.

      Done. Kept going for several weeks, long enough to get home, order a new fan and wait for it to arrive.

  13. wolfetone Silver badge

    Finally they've brought back the proper keyboard and done away with that chiclet shite. I'm still using my T500 which I bought second hand to replace my R50e ThinkPad (which was my first). Still a capable development laptop with the proper keyboard.

    It's just a shame that I don't have $1800 to spend on a new ThinkPad. Oh well, I'll just keep buying new batteries for my T500 until it dies of overuse. But what am I saying? It's a ThinkPad. They'll outlive me!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Chiclet KB is still better than the competition, I think.

      I use a W500 at home, so first grumbled when work gave me a T550 with the chiclet KB. They replaced that with an HP Elitebook - upon which I found myself wanting to grumble about how the keyboard was inferior to the T550.

      But I stopped myself when I realised how bad consumer laptops' keyboards are....

  14. Krack73

    Lenovo T410

    My old T410. With added ssd and 8 gb might be replaced by this. Don't get me wrong it still works and runs beautifully.

    Just be nicer to have a model which might last me another 7 years of solid and reliable working no thrills laptop. Plus looks like it comes with a proper keyboard and not the clicklet one.

  15. SW10
    Happy

    Happy days

    I was issued a Thinkpad along with a Blackberry and a Nokia 6110i., thus becoming one of the ultimate work-anywhere road warriors.

    Have we made progress since?

    1. JulieM Bronze badge

      Re: Happy days

      Progress? Sure. Processors have been getting faster, and RAM and storage have been getting cheaper. Meanwhile, software has been doing its best to cancel out these improvements.

  16. 45RPM Silver badge

    Would you like a side order of OS/2 to go with that?

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Would you like a side order of OS/2 to go with that?

      Oy. Don't diss the mighty OS/2. OK - so it might have had the ultimate dysfunctional parental unit(s) but, despite all that, turned out to be friendly and approachable.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        @CrazyOldCatMan

        I wasn’t. Actually, I found my old OS/2 2 install CD last month - but not the boot floppy disks which are also a prerequisite for install. Besides, if I recall correctly, you can’t install OS/2 2 on a system with more that a certain amount of memory (8MB?) or speed (33MHz?) - although it’ll run correctly once installed. Something like that anyway. I can’t remember the specifics.

        I used to run it on my 25MHz Opus 386 PC. Happy days.

  17. Dave K Silver badge

    Missed opportunity

    The problem is that Lenovo were talking about this being a retro Thinkpad, yet what they've actually released is just a T470 with a classic keyboard and a few transfers stuck on it.

    No buttons on the trackpad.

    No status LEDs.

    No ThinkLight.

    Nasty 16:9 screen.

    Basically the only thing in its favour is the keyboard.

    I was eagerly looking forward to this when Lenovo first mooted it some time back as a possible replacement for my X201 (last one Lenovo made with a 16:10 screen), but the actual product is a real let down.

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Missed opportunity

      I don't care about the ThinkLight, I can live without that. The rest are disappointments I could live with except the 16:9 screen, that kills it for me and nixes a sale of 2 units. FFS a DVD resolution screen on a laptop. How original. How work focussed.

  18. AndrueC Silver badge

    Bah. All I want is a laptop with a large screen (17" is currently adequate - bloody presbyopia) and dedicated mouse buttons. I don't need anything else. Ought to be possible to find one for a few hundred quid.

    <old git rant>

    Why is it laptops never seem to really come down in price? They get faster but somehow the lowest spec laptop always costs about £400. And large screens don't seem very popular. Odd that. Maybe as the rest of the population ages they'll become more popular. It wouldn't be so bad if web site designers didn't waste so much screen space these days. O! for the days when you could read most of what you needed to without having to scroll the screen.

    </old git rant>

    Happy Friday, everyone :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Bah. All I want is a laptop with a large screen (17" is currently adequate - bloody presbyopia) "

      https://www.cnet.com/products/acer-predator-21x/review/

      "hey get faster but somehow the lowest spec laptop always costs about £400. "

      £133?

      "https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/acer-aspire-es1-132-intel-celeron-n3350-4gb-32gb-ssd-11.6-inch-windows-10-l-nx.ghlek.001/version.asp"

      If you could live with a 15.5"

      https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/hp-15-ay078na-pentium-n3710-4gb-1tb-15.6-inch-windows-10-laptop-1bw60ea/version.asp

      1. Buzzword

        17" laptops

        I'll direct you to this handy chart of laptops with matte screens (because glossy screens are the devil's creation): https://www.productchart.co.uk/laptops/sets/1

        Basically the only 17-inch options are gaming laptops such as Asus ROG (Republic Of Gamers), Dell Alienware, Acer Predator, or MSDI Dominator. There's one decent-looking HP Pavillion laptop too.

        Screen size seems to be inversely proportional to screen resolution: my pocket smartphone has something approaching 4K resolution, whereas hardly any of the 17" laptops have anything more than 1920x1080.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: 17" laptops

          I believe that they are planning to release a laptop with the 36" screen in a year for the old folk.

          1. Alan Edwards

            Re: 17" laptops

            > I believe that they are planning to release a laptop with the 36" screen

            And it'll be 1080p, grumble grumble, rubbish laptop resolutions.

        2. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: 17" laptops

          Guess I was really lucky to get my Acer Aspire ES 17 then. It was just under £500 and aside from the large screen is just a bog standard laptop. With a crappy touchpad :-/

          And yeah I guess I should have said 'the lowest, reasonable spec laptop' but rants don't have to be accurate :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yep, a 17" ThinkPad with 4K resolution would be just the ticket.

    3. fobobob

      Desktops I build with current generation parts once every few years... laptops, on the other hand... I buy second-hand business laptops that are 2-3 years old, and save gobs of cash on quality products. I briefly thought you were off mark on large laptop screens being uncommon, but I'm having trouble finding ANY > 17" that aren't overpriced gaming laptops... that being said, I'm writing this on a 23" 16:9 monitor, and I actually feel like a 21" machine wouldn't be all that insane for a desktop replacement machine, especially if they minimized the bezel.

      edit: I see now that someone replied to you with an absolutely ridiculous 21" gaming laptop xD ... I purchased my current car (used Crown Victoria, with only 11K miles on it) for as much as that thing costs.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a special logo and design to celebrate the 25th anniversary

    If this line, taken, presumably, from lenovo glossy sheet is meant to be a selling point, it's pretty ironic, because thinktop laptops were loved by "techies" for a set of different features to "special logo and design".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    x220... slow to boot

    I don't know what you did to yours, but mine boots in about 10 - 15 sec. And I'm not a penguinista, old plain W7, with an ssd, true, but still...

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: x220... slow to boot

      Agreed. I have an even older X201 (also with Windows 7). With an SSD and an 8GB RAM upgrade, it boots to the Windows desktop in about 20 seconds. Not as fast as new machines, but certainly doesn't feel slow to me!

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: x220... slow to boot

      I've got the Dell equivalent (Latitude e6220) with SSD and Solus (distro optimized for fast boot and shutdown) and it boots in <10s.

    3. fobobob

      Re: x220... slow to boot

      Had my T60 booting Windows 8 on spinning rust in ~10-12 seconds from pressing the switch, albeit with substantial optimization.

  21. QXL

    T470

    I've been running the T470 which this retro version is basically for about 6 months, I've nothing but good things to say about it, it replaced a Macbook Pro 2011. I did buy a XPS 15 and the new Macbook Pro before landing on this but both went back faulty.

    The build quality on the T470 is excellent, best keyboard I've ever had on a laptop, beats the clacky thing on the new Macbooks, and above all it just works. I use it 8-10 hours a day, get 4-5 hours battery out of it running Visual Studio with Resharper, SQL Server and IIS on it.

    I am converted, which given I was a hardened macbook fanboi prior was a bit of surprise.

  22. Fihart

    A survivor.

    Found a T410S in the trash; lid hanging by one hinge, screen hanging from lid, keyboard sticky from ciggy smoke.

    After a little kitchen table engineering, W7 reinstall and shitload of drivers from Lenovo site, now my favourite laptop. Touchscreen, SSD, silly light over the nice keyboard. Wish they'd implemented the mobile broadband more sensibly !

    Love the TP almost as much I loved my first laptop -- Dell Latitude CPi Pentium2 in blue, built from two flea market wrecks for under £20.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keyboards

    Don't forget the IBM standard desktop keyboards.

    I've kept several for when they wear out, so far I'm still using the first one as I type this and every key works.

    It's a Model number SK-8815, a few letters are fading but that's it.

    Great engineering.

  24. Fihart

    Desktop Keyboards @AC

    "Don't forget the IBM standard desktop keyboards.

    I've kept several for when they wear out, so far I'm still using the first one as I type this and every key works."

    As far as I can see, they don't wear out -- typing this on a model built in 1991 (in Scotland, from girders).

    1. silks

      Re: Desktop Keyboards @AC

      The legendary IBM Model M keyboard - in good condition they're worth a few hundred pounds on a popular auction site.

  25. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Tempting

    I'll wait on UK pricing, availability, and I presume it is the case that they're being lazy and not creating a UK keyboard with an inverted and mirrored L shaped return key.

    I did have a Thinkpad 701CS, it was quite good, but the expanding keyboard was just not as durable as normal thinkpad ones, the hinge eventually started failing, and the screen resolution was rather low.

    Currently still on an X61, but web browsing is a bit slow in OpenBSD (part of this will be BSD's fault). I was pondering an X230 with a 220 keyboard and a new screen transplanted into it (this is possible), but now the 25 is out it's a little tempting. A little disappointed by screen resolution and lack of a thinklight, but the discrete GPU and thunderbolt are decent additions.

    I've used lots of Thinkpads in the past, the X40/X41 had a lovely form factor, but the dog slow custom hard drive was awkward.

  26. phuzz Silver badge
    Joke

    "On the port side, the ThinkPad 25 is lavishly equipped"

    What about the starboard side?

    1. Cynical Observer
      Joke

      Klingons?

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "What about the starboard side?"

      After you've had the broadside from the port side, the starboard side will be of very limited interest to any survivors.

  27. Jon Massey
    Thumb Up

    Might be a worthy replacement

    for my W520 workhorse which hasn't skipped a beat since 2011. Had an SSD upgrade and a bit more RAM a couple of years ago but other than that it's all original, including the 9-cell battery which is still good for about 4-4.5h.

    1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

      Re: Might be a worthy replacement

      Not sure why you need to upgrade the W520, which has the blue "ThinkVantage" key and the screen light, with an otherwise identical keyboard layout to the 25. With 24 or 32 GB RAM, it runs just fine. It won't drive a 4K display at 60 Hz is all.

      While the 700C was the first Thinkpad, the most iconic was the 701C which came out not long after. OS/2 was sweet and, of course, the butterfly keyboard. The main weakness of the 701C was the hinges. That would have been a fitting machine to honour.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where are the LEDs then

    Not even a HDD activity light? No thanks. My T430 was the last ever Lenovo product I will buy

    1. fobobob

      Re: Where are the LEDs then

      Always a buzzkill to find an otherwise decent machine lacks meaningful indicator lights :( It is, however, one flaw I can deal with, as I tend to leave top/htop/taskmgr/Process Explorer/{other arbitrary system activity monitor} running most of the time anyhow.

  29. Salestard

    The Thinkslab. My back doth protest

    Put down the rose-tinted Friday afternoon beer goggles chaps - the Thinkslab was an absolute nightmare if you had to actually lug it around with you all day.

    Got my first one upon joining Sema; it was basically an anvil with an HDD. Of course, backpacks weren't invented then, or if they were, no self respecting salesgit would ever use one - creases the suit and makes your back a sweaty mess. Shoulder bag it was, which would include paper stuff, charger, fags, bottle of water, etc.

    Many, many, years later I'm having physio on a shoulder injury. Lying there, physio lady says "you carry weights on your right shoulder? Your spine is curved to the left where you're always compensating"

    No wonder I went fully insane and bought a BlackBerry PlayBook... anything but carry that damn laptop around.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Thinkslab. My back doth protest

      > it was basically an anvil with an HDD

      lovely line...

  30. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Wot, no butterfly keyboard?

  31. Alan Edwards

    Thinkpads

    Had quite a few ThinkPads over the years, and loved most of them.

    The T43 was a bit of a donkey, that went in favour of one of my favourites, the T61. My T510 was dropped by it's previous user hard enough to break the plastic fan vent and bend the heatsink fins, and was still working when I was made redundant.

    My personal laptop is a T410, I have an X240 from work, and my mum has a T410 I set up for her. I've played with getting a X230 or T420 for myself, but I don't really like 16:9 screens.

  32. DrXym Silver badge

    Serviceability

    I've used a few Thinkpads and the biggest attraction of them was the fact that if something broke you could order a replacement part. And aside from that they were quite rugged with nice lids that closed shut properly. The red nipple thing was and still is vastly easier to use for precision than a touchpad.

    I wonder if this is true for the Thinkpad 25 or if it's going to break if you look at it sideways and the whole lot has to be junked.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't a drive-locking accelerometer be problematic in space?

    If so then obviously they just turned it off, but can somebody smarter than I speak as to that?

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Wouldn't a drive-locking accelerometer be problematic in space?

      It relies on a device driver that reads accelerometer data and issues park commands to HDD if any unhealthy movements are detected. No driver, no problem.

    2. fobobob

      Re: Wouldn't a drive-locking accelerometer be problematic in space?

      It would need to be reprogrammed, of course, but an SSD might be a more sensible cure, methinks. I do not, however, know what ill effects SSDs might encounter with increased radiation exposure, as hard disk media seems less likely to be impacted.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Informal

    Yes, a female friend usually preferred the "informal" name for the Trackpoint mouse, and I suggested that was the reason she liked using it so much (my Micron laptop at the time had both trackpoint and touchpad).

  35. Matt_payne666

    I dont see the appeal...

    I have a T450, I think - 15" sandybridge i7 with 8GB RAM its big... aesthetically and physically... yes its got the silly think light... but nothing to write home about...

    then earlier this year I have a X260 to replace it with - 7th Gen i7, 16GB RAM and a 500GB SSD... considering how small it is, its big!

    I do concede, the keyboard is good... but I just cant see how people get all wet over them!

    1. jrd

      Re: I dont see the appeal...

      Here's what I like about the business-class Thinkpads:

      Keyboards are generally very good

      Machines are usually easy to service, and upgrade

      Good documentation available and easy to get parts for

      Usually, Trackpoint and trackpad and decent buttons

      Big user base means pretty likely to find a solution to any problem you encounter

      Robust, reliable, well built and last a long time

      Usually reasonable selection of ports

      No one thing makes me think I must buy a Thinkpad but whenever I look at the alternatives, they always seem to be missing features I want, even if they have better screens, higher performance and less weight.

  36. billdehaan

    Everything old is new again

    Blackberry is back again.

    There are new Nokia phones coming out.

    The Palm name is being revived for PDAs.

    Even a new Psion Revo was recently announced.

    I'm surprised there's no 25th anniversary Sony MiniDisc player yet.

    I'm getting nostalgic for the good old days when I wasn't nostalgic all the time...

  37. JulieM Bronze badge
    Pint

    I love mine

    The Thinkpad is basically an industrial tool. It is designed to do a job of work, and to do it well. Not like some of the crappy computers you see out there; which seem to be designed to look as though they were designed to do a job, by someone whose actual experience of that job goes no further than "seen it being done, thought the tools were ugly".

    My own Thinkpad -- an Edge 15; now running Xenial Xerus, having been upgraded a few times from Oneiric Ocelot -- has been flung around in a rucksack on buses and trains, sat on by cats and even opened too close to a candle (evidenced by just a slight smooth spot in the otherwise rough texture). And yes, I'm fully aware that by many standards it's hardly a "real" Thinkpad! But the HDD is being a bit slow, after one drop too many; and I'm now torn between buying myself a whole new Thinkpad that might not be as good as this one, or spending rather less on an SSD (more drop-proof, as well as faster) and a pair of 4GB SODIMMS (it has two 2GB ones in it) just to see if I can get another 5 years out of this one.

    Icon: Another case of one drop too many .....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I love mine

      I went the SSD route on my T61p a couple of years ago, and haven't looked back.

  38. Steve Evans

    No Thinklight?!

    *wails*

  39. gharris999

    The display is still 16x9 which makes this ThinkPad 25 nothing but a disappointment. How about a PROPER reto laptop with a display aspect ratio that allows actual work to be done?

  40. Concrete Gannet
    Boffin

    How to fit old keyboard in newer Thinkpad

    People have worked on retrofitting the old seven-row keyboard in newer Thinkpads:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzmm87oVQ6c

    http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Install_Classic_Keyboard_on_xx30_Series_ThinkPads

  41. Concrete Gannet
    Thumb Down

    Why oh why only 1080 ?

    All other specs for computers advance over time. Why are we so locked into 1920x1080 for screen res? I understand it would cost more, but I for one would be willing to pay a premium. Everything else about the Thinkpad 25 is fine, but that screen res is a dealbreaker.

    1. fobobob

      Re: Why oh why only 1080 ?

      I have a strong preference to 16:10 screens, and a 1920x1200 screen is really all it takes to appease me. I'll even take two discolored, dim 1280x1024 monitors turned sideways and live with the bezels, if given the opportunity. I especially dislike working with 1080p content on 1080p screens... that extra 120 pixels of height for WUXGA make it seem absolutely massive by comparison, the benefits far exceeding the slightly over 10% gain in total pixels. There have been many times when I have taken work home with me just so I can use my own screen, as my company has been a bit slow in upgrading monitors to suit our current product.

  42. Allonymous Coward

    Still running my T500 here

    I bought it second hand seven or eight years ago. Since then it's had two new SSDs (first a speed upgrade, second for capacity), more RAM, and three new power supplies when the cables give up. Surprisingly still the same battery though - I don't use it on batteries a lot.

    Running Ubuntu MATE. Fan sounds a bit like a chainsaw these days but other than that the darn thing just won't die. And much as I'd like to I can't really justify buying a new one until it does.

    Side note: I particularly like the T5xx-series as a compromise between full-size machines and portables. Nice big screens and keyboards. My work-supplied T440 is nowhere near as nice, though that may also be because the T440 is the worst ThinkPad ever made.

  43. Z Ippy

    One Work T420 has outlasted Three Personal Dells!

    It is now over 5 years old (an i5) and is still ok, having been upgraded in 2016 to Windows 7. I have had to change the battery once.

    In that time, I have had 3 Dells for personal use, they have all had problems, which effectively wrote the machines off, mainly to do with the power socket failing and requiring a solder or new motherboard and this includes an XPS model which died 1 month after the 3 year extended warranty expired. The other two were Inspirons.

    Not going to buy a Dell ever. Would consider a ThinkPad for personal use, but as they are expensive, I might have to go for a re-conditioned one.

  44. Richard Neill

    Still a shortscreen though

    Nice to get the keyboard back. But I'd still pay double for a machine with a full height 16x12 screen rather than the 16x9 that this one has ... and it's not even a retina display like the X1 carbon.

  45. Schultz
    Stop

    ThinkPad 25 has the seven-row keyboard, the familiar nipple mouse and a special logo and design ...

    So that's one hit in 4 tries.

    I want the trackpoint but I don't care about the logo or the design - and I learned to like the chiclet keyboard. What I want instead is a good screen (my ancient netbook outshines every Xnnn Thinkpad screen by miles). And make them robust again. The Lenovos look similar to the old Thinkpads, but they are much much easier to break. It took a good tumble with the bike to crack a corner of the old X40. The newer ones damage so easily that every year-old model seems to be missing a corner.

  46. Matthew Collier
    FAIL

    Funny (but sad) review...

    This:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxQGhqF60zE

    His presenting style cracks me up (lots of swearing (but it's funny)), but he's accurate in his condemnation of this new Thinkpad.

    As he says, check out the 1080p 16x9 screen :( and the crappy U CPU (check out the CPU Benchmark score, it's pretty shocking!)

    And again, as people have said, no proper indicator lights, no hardware buttons etc.

    Such a missed opportunity. I was waiting to see the specs, I've decided to buy an old (2011) W520 and upgrade that for relative peanuts in cost (and will run a modern linux pretty damn quick (don't need any games)). I really like the old keyboards, this is the newest old Thinkpad with a reasonable sized screen that you can buy, sadly... :(

    (I bought a fairly recent E550 too, but it's crap compared to the "proper" Thinkpads... :( )

    Probably going to have to spend some serious money next time to get a decent keyboard (via a "gaming" laptop).

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