It used to be that IBM’s ThinkPad was the Cadillac (Mercedes, Lexus – you fill in the blank) of notebook computers. Prized foremost by road warriors (particularly of the business class), it always was held in high regard in our household. Starting with the 755CD, moving onto the 560 and later the T20, these survived the wear and tear of heavy business use as well as heavy child use. (They didn’t get the reputation for being built like tanks for nothing.)
However, while time waits for no one, neither does innovation in consumer electronics. While IBM struggled to make money in personal computers, Toshiba and then later Dell and HP challenged IBM in this slot. In recent years, IBM seemed to have a solid hold on the third position in notebook computers – solidly behind Dell and HP. In fact, our most recent notebook purchase was a Dell Inspiron 700M.
With the sale earlier this year to Lenovo, the Chinese computer company, one was left to wonder where the proud ThinkPad name was headed. Now, it looks like Lenovo is pointed at challenging the leaders with the news last week that it had recruited William Amelio, a senior vice president from Dell as its new chief executive and president. He had also worked earlier at IBM for nearly a decade.
With this move only a little more than six months after Lenovo completed its purchase of IBM’s personal computer business, analysts believe this signifies that Lenovo wants to try to match Dell's growth.
With these developments, I’m looking forward to seeing if the ThinkPad can once again gain the top spot. Who says competition isn’t good?