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October 5, 2017

It’s real! Lenovo announces 25th Anniversary ThinkPad with retro keyboard, styling

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If you’re a longtime fan of the ThinkPad laptop series, you may be tickled pink by what Lenovo is offering with this limited edition laptop.

As promised, October 5 marks the 25th anniversary of the ThinkPad laptop brand, and Lenovo is celebrating by releasing a special edition of its ThinkPad T470 laptop for business. Although it will have the same modern internals as the T470, the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 model sports the look and feel of the classic ThinkPad 700C designed by Richard Sapper and engineered in Japan’s Yamato Labs all those years ago.

Images of the throwback laptop surfaced in the middle of September. Now we have the official hardware specifications:

Screen size:
14 inches with Touch
Screen resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Screen aspect ratio:
Intel Core i7-7500U
Nvidia GeForce 940MX
16GB DDR4 @ 2,133MHz
512GB Samsung NVMe PCI Express 3.0 SSD

Intel Dual-Band Wireless AC 8265 (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.1
1x gigabit Ethernet
3x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x Thunderbolt 3 Type-C
1x SD card reader
2x Dolby Advanced Audio speakers
720p HD webcam
Dual array microphones
24WH battery promising up to 18 hours
13.25 x 9.15 x 0.79 inches
Starting at 3.48 pounds
Operating system:
Windows 10 Pro
Starting price:

As the specifications show, there’s nothing “retro” going on inside this limited-edition laptop. Instead, the rewind button was pressed on the aesthetics, such as multiple status LEDs, a backlit 7-row keyboard, dedicated volume buttons, a colorful logo, and a blue Enter key. But don’t worry: this model won’t sport the same thick, blocky design used on the original 700C model.

According to Lenovo, the 700C’s design was inspired by the traditional Japanese bento box. By today’s standards, it was incredibly thick, weighing around six pounds. The components included an Intel 386 processor clocked at 25MHz, between 4MB and 16MB of memory, a hard drive with roughly 80MB of space, a 9.5-inch LCD screen with a 640 x 480 resolution, and a 3.5-inch disk drive. MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1 were two operating system choices.

On the pricing front, you’ll be getting more for your money with the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25. The original ThinkPad 700C was marketed by IBM before the company sold its personal computer business to Lenovo in 2005. It cost around $2,375 in 1992, so when you take inflation into consideration, that’s roughly $4,156 in 2017. By contrast, this new special edition of the ThinkPad T470 has a starting price of $1,899. Overall, IBM and Lenovo have pushed around 130 million units since the ThinkPad brand emerged in the early 1990s.

Despite its “retro” feel, the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 has everything you need for modern computing: a seventh-generation Intel Core processor, a discrete graphics chip to handle graphics-intensive applications, and speedy SSD storage. It even has a Thunderbolt 3 port pushing data transfers at up to 40Gbps for daisy-chaining external displays, adding peripherals, external storage, and more. What you won’t find here is a built-in 3.5-inch disk drive, but instead a fingerprint scanner mounted to the right of the keyboard.

You can purchase the ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25 laptop now for a starting price of $1,899. It will be available in limited quantities in select countries, so grab one now before they’re gone for good!

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