A look at some of the company’s greatest achievements.
Amidst pizza and cupcakes this afternoon, myself and other members of the media joined Lenovo in celebrating 20 years of innovation in the PC and computing world. Kicking off the presentation was Simon Murlis, Product Manager for Notebooks, who took us through some of the rich history of the Lenovo brand.
Going through a timeline of milestones, it’s rather inspiring to see just how much Lenovo has invested into their products, such as being the first to include a CD-ROM in their laptop in 1994, to including fingerprint scanning and HDD protection, to introducing a dual-screen mobile workstation in 2009.
Passing around some of the Lenovo flagship models around the table, there were laptops that had easy-to-service parts, some could unfold from a ledger, and one, the Thinkpad 701c, was particularly surprising with the introduction of the ‘butterfly keyboard’, as seen in the advert below from 1995.
After the presentation, Philippe Maigrot, Pre-Sales Technical Specialist for Lenovo cheerfully donned a protective apron and surgical gloves to reveal to us what really made Lenovo products as durable and industry-leading as they are. The company invests heavily into ensuring their products are built to last, and pours a remarkable amount of effort into even the smallest details. For example, Maigrot explained that the drainage holes used in the keyboard and case are oval rather than circular, to allow for better drainage. The shape of the fans that cool the systems were inspired by the silent nature of owl feathers – these are just a few examples of how Lenovo is looking at new ways to innovate their products, including drawing inspiration from nature. There’s also a serious amount of testing that goes into each and every component, above and beyond what the industry standards are, which is what makes Lenovo’s products as tough and long-lasting as they’ve come to be known for.
Looking ahead, the company is poised to launch the X1 Carbon, the lightest 14″ Ultrabook on the market. There are plans as well for tablets, as indicated by the very early version of the ThinkPad Tablet 2 that I played around with, running Windows 8. There was even a USB-powered lightweight display, that could be used as a secondary monitor for people on the go who value the extra screen real estate.
For most companies, 20 years may be a lifetime but for Lenovo there’s no sign of slowing down. Murlis indicated that Lenovo wants to be a part of four key markets – notebook, smartphone, tablet, and TVs. This of course doesn’t mean that they’re going to be churning out new flat-screen TVs, but they want to be involved in the technology powering these markets. For a company that’s constantly and consistently improved upon their product lineup, there are exciting things brewing at Lenovo.