The ThinkPad – 15 Years Old

thinkpad birthday Lest we forget, it was 15 years ago today that the first ThinkPad came out. Of course, it’s not the ThinkPad as we know it – more of a Tablet actually, the ThinkPad 700T, or model # 2521, sporting a then-high resolution 10″ touchscreen display (640×480). Even though the ThinkPad 700 and 700C were introduced first, it was the 2521/ThinkPad 700T that rolled out first.

Quoting Reg Hardware:

That honour goes to the IBM 2521 ThinkPad – known at the time as the ThinkPad – a pen-operated portable that Big Blue actually announced on 17 April 1992, but which didn’t ship until the following July – hence, according to Lenovo, today’s anniversary….

Amazingly in an era long before the current debate over the future of hard drive technology and the emergence of Flash-based alternatives, the 2521 incorporated a 20MB solid-state drive. The 2521 ran PenPoint, an tablet-oriented operating system from Go Corporation.

Come 5 October, IBM renamed the 2521 the ThinkPad 700T to bring its naming into line with the three new laptop models. It also tweaked the design slightly to make it more robust.

Technically speaking, as Reg Hardware points out, the ThinkPad design as we know it (clamshell display/keyboard) would not come around until the 300, 700, 700C ThinkPads rolled out.

Specifications:
Model: 2521-001 and 2521-002 (only difference: 4MB or 8MB memory)
CPU: 20MHz 386SX
Display: 10″ 640×480 Monochrome
Hard Drive: 20MB Solid State Drive
Connectivity: 2.4Kbps Modem, Serial/Parallel ports, external floppy, external keyboard

Articles:
Reg Hardware – The IBM ThinkPad: 15 years old today
ThinkWiki – 700T – thinkWiki.org
ThinkPad 700T Tech Specs – pkhour.com

Photos: Wikimedia Commons and ThinkWiki

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