If you've been reading TrustedReviews for a while you'll know that I'm a big fan of IBM ThinkPad notebooks. I've always found ThinkPads a joy to use - I love the black styling, while the keyboards that IBM implemented into its notebooks were second to none. So, like many ThinkPad fans out there, I was a little concerned at the announcement that IBM had sold its PC division to Lenovo - would the ThinkPad retain its air of quality?
Sitting in front of me is the first Lenovo branded ThinkPad to make it into the TrustedReviews lab - the Z60t. This is also the very first ThinkPad to implement a widescreen display - something that's very welcome in my opinion. Now, I first saw this ThinkPad a few months back at a Lenovo event in London and I was horrified to see that there were silver versions on display. It seems bizarre for Lenovo to start producing silver ThinkPads, when a large part of the ThinkPad branding has been the black design. After all, every other company makes silver notebooks, ThinkPads have always been different.
Thankfully the model that I was sent is finished in the traditional matt black. But it just doesn't look or feel like a ThinkPad. I'm sure that the casual observer will disagree with me, but the ThinkPad faithful (of which there are many) will know exactly where I'm coming from.
ThinkPads have always had a very angular look about them that you either loved or hated, but the Z60t is rounded at the edges, like it has been softened up. The lid is also very different - where old ThinkPad lids acted as a sort of cowling around the screen, this one is fairly flush with the display, apart from the very top which has a lip.
But just because Lenovo has changed some of the design properties, it doesn't mean that the new ThinkPads are in some way inferior to the old ones. Sometimes change can be a good thing, but is it good in this case?