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ThinkPads get Broadwell and break the 100 million mark

Gordon Mah Ung | Jan. 6, 2015
Lenovo says it's crossed a huge milestone with its ThinkPad line that's impressive even if you say it without the Dr. Evil pinkie to the lips: 100 million.

Lenovo says it's crossed a huge milestone with its ThinkPad line that's impressive even if you say it without the Dr. Evil pinkie to the lips: 100 million.

That sales figure, of course, goes all the way back to 1992 and the ThinkPad 700 when Big Blue was hawking the line.

IBM, as we all know, gave up on the PC in 2004 and sold its PC division to Lenovo in a move that was first seen as prescient, but these days might be seen as trading away a graying quarterback who then goes on to win the Super Bowl the next season. Current events record Lenovo as the top PC vendor in the world, selling one out of every five PCs, while IBM has been in the doldrums for the last couple of years.

To mark the event, Lenovo said it actually pulled out ThinkPad No. 100,000,000, named it Eve and will be letting her (yes, it's a she) Tweet throughout the year. I'm hoping to snap a selfie with Eve at CES.

Lenovo is also apparently celebrating by giving its ThinkPad lineup a refresh using Intel's latest 5th-generation CPUs. That's pre-announcement-speak for Broadwell, of course. 

The most notable refresh is the benchmark for most commercial Ultrabooks: the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. 

For the most part the ThinkPad X1 Carbon hasn't changed much in external appearance since 2012, when it was first shipped with Intel 3rd-gen Ivy Bridge chips. The X1 Carbon saw one refresh last year with a 4th-gen Haswell Intel CPU, and now Lenovo is back with a 5th-gen Intel CPU version. Broadwell's big promise is slightly better CPU performance, a better GPU and longer battery life, too. Lenovo says the X1 Carbon will hit 10 hours of run time on a charge.

Although it looks almost exactly the same, the latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon does offer some differences. The top-end screen is still a 14-inch, 2560x1440 touch-enabled IPS panel, but the lower-resolution screen is now 1920x1080 instead of 1600x900. The keyboard is modified slightly (maybe an actual caps lock so we can scream in emails?), and an improved click pad appears as well.

Lenovo says it is now also offering a PCIe-based SSD, but we're not clear on how that's changed from the previous model's M.2 SSD. I'll let you know if I'm able to dig more info out of Lenovo during the chaos of CES.

Weight remains the same at 2.87 lbs, and Lenovo still claims the X1 Carbon is the "lightest 14-inch Ultrabook around." The price of the X1 Carbon starts at $1,250 and moves up as you ladle on options.

Other ThinkPads get buff

 

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