ThinkPad marching to the future

CIOL Bureau
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MUMBAI, INDIA: IBM had first introduced ThinkPad, its laptop brand back in 1992. During the 18 years span, since ThinkPad was launched, there has been an array of changes in the technology and business world.


Many new technologies have evolved and many become obsolete. Even the business scene witnessed a major change as Lenovo Group Limited acquired IBM’s Personal Computer Division in 2005.

In spite of these changes, ThinkPad, the laptop brand hasn’t changed and still continues to inherit the traits of durability, reliability and quality on its way to the future.

While the brand is marching to the future, how one can forget the significant contribution to it by Arimasa Naitoh, Lenovo’s vice president — Development of Notebook Business Unit.


Naitoh, affectionately known as 'The father of the ThinkPad' is considered the real force behind the brand’s success and making it synonym with the corporate work culture world over.

“Work culture has changed. It’s no longer hourly paid but paid based on the output and performance as the concepts of global remote offices and work from home has evolved,” Naitoh says.

According to Naitoh, ThinkPad stands for productivity which involves two design aspects — mobility and transparency. He views that mobility allows information access from anywhere at anytime and transparency means the people don’t need to be professionals or have to think about how to use computers but only think about their work.


But what has made ThinkPad so popular and successful year after year? “It is thin, light, durable, high reliability, long battery life, best and easy connectivity, security, end-user usability and IT manageability,” Naitoh points.

ThinkPad laptops are loaded with unique features such as roll cage technology, stainless steel hinges, active protection system, hard disk drive impact protection, spill-resistant keyboards with integrated drainage system, combined hardware/software security, integrated fingerprint reader, password management software, backup and recovery tools.

With over 60 million ThinkPad units sold now, one can say Lenovo is reigning in the notebook business without any market competition and sustaining against new technology concepts such as smart phones, pads and cloud computing.


About commercial PC’s future, Naitoh says, “Commercial PC will need more performance in cloud computing. It will not get replaced by smart phones or pads and both will co-exists and continue to grow in future.”

According to Kevin Beck, Lenovo’s program manager — Customer Centres, the brand has 10.2 per cent market share world wide and has topped with highest growth rate for past four quarters among top computer manufacturers.

Even with Lenovo leading the computer business, Naitoh continues to look towards future technology and innovations to make the ThinkPad more advanced, eco friendly and powerful.

He says there are some serious technological challenges lying ahead beyond the short period of 2-3 year. “Flexible display or color e-ink display devices, convergence of PC and Smart phone architectures, more number of commercial 3D applications and large capacity of solid state devices,” Naitoh points the future challenges.

Though, Naitoh didn’t reveal much about the outlook of ThinkPad’s future but those technological challenges gives enough hint about what the users world over can expect from Lenovo and its future laptop range