Latest ThinkPads stay thin, add stackable accessories

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The X1 Carbon was one of the new devices announced by Lenovo at CES 2015 (Photo: Lenovo)

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ThinkPad is a name with some history behind it that shows no signs of slowing down, even after two decades, the sale of the laptop and tablet line to Lenovo from IBM, and Apple's more successful co-opting of the word "pad" as a suffix in the name of its hit tablet. To kick off CES 2015 in Las Vegas this week, Lenovo announced a refresh of its 14-inch ThinkPad ultrabook and the ThinkPad Stack, a collection of stackable accessories to increase the capabilities of a tablet or notebook.

Lenovo claims that 100 million ThinkPad units have been sold since the original ThinkPad 700 debuted back in the early 1990s. That first successful ancestor of today's ThinkPads (which followed an early tablet PC that flopped) weighed almost 6 lb (2.7 kg) and boasted a 25 MHz CPU and a monochrome 640x480 display, all for just a few thousand dollars back in 1992.

By comparison, the latest generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon unveiled today weighs half as much, will retail for US$1,249 when released later this month and runs off a fifth-generation Intel core processor more powerful than that original ThinkPad by at least two orders of magnitude. The full portfolio of 2015 ThinkPad models will be available starting in February with prices ranging from $599 to $1,149.

Aside from bumps in specs and battery life, particularly on the X1 Carbon, there's nothing very new about the new ThinkPads, but Lenovo did introduce an interesting new accessory called the ThinkPad Stack.

The ThinkPad Stack is part mobile office, part Legos, consisting of a stackable, inter-locking suite of accessories with the same length and width. The first four Stack devices include a 10,000 mAh power bank unit, a 1 TB USB 3.0 hard drive unit, a wireless access point that allows multiple devices to connect to a private network, and a Bluetooth speaker with 2 x 2 W multi-coil speakers. Sounds like a dream come true for the peripatetic productivity obsessed who like to mix and match.

For those who like to anchor their mobile office when not on the go, Lenovo also introduced a new thin, tabletop HD panel display in the form of the ThinkVision X24, which features an IPS panel with a 23.8-inch borderless screen that's just 7.5 mm thin.

The ThinkVision X24 and ThinkPad Stack will be available in April, with the Stack components available individually at varying prices and the ThinkVision X24 starting at $249.

Lenovo also has some more product announcements coming up at CES 2015 this week, and Gizmag will have the details.

Product Page: Lenovo

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