A Lenovo ThinkPad T420s. (Picture from Lenovo’s Facebook page.)
The Lenovo ThinkPad T Series. The bread-and-butter of the ThinkPad brand. Probably the most beloved ThinkPad – I mean, there seem to be a lot of people who love/have a T series. According to the newsletter I received today from Lenovo, the first T series (the T20) was released in 2000, which means the T series turns 13 this year. The goal for the T series was to make the most well-rounded PC out there: Performance and durability with a near-forever battery life – at a real-life price. It has obviously achieved that goal since users and critics love (and respect) it. Not only has it achieved that goal, but it has maintained that goal – while improving every time – for 13 years.
In honor of the T series’ 13 birthday, I thought I would make a (detailed) list of all the T series ThinkPads I’ve seen (so far, in real life):
T23 – This is the first T series I’ve ever seen. I was almost 16 at the time I saw it (this was in 2006). I was in school (I was in 11th grade at the time) when a friend of mine showed me her T23. I even got to play around with it a bit. All I can say is that I was amazed by it, I don’t think there any words that can describe this experience.
T30 – I was at my local Barnes & Noble when I saw a T30 back in 2010 or 2009 (can’t remember exactly when). As with every Lenovo that I spot in public, I was ecstatic – I was just so excited. I almost got the chance to see another one and to actually play with one (from a friend of mine) but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
T41 – This was the first T series ThinkPad I’ve ever owned (still have it), as well as my third encounter with a T series. I got this off the thinkpads.com forum marketplace in August 2007 for $175 (if I remember correctly) as a barebones unit (not only did I want to get a T series at the time but I also wanted one that I could restore). I wanted to see how its like to own a T series so that’s why I decided to get one. As with all the computers I own, I named “him” “T.K.” (or “Theodore”). My next experience with a T41 was at my local Micro Center – I got to see a refurbished unit (this happened in 2008).
T42 (14″ only) – The second T series I’ve used. I got to use this for about 4 years after a friend of mine lended it to me in 2008. Served me well during that time, it was a unique experience. Was very happy to have it around while I still could and was sad to see it go. I even named it “Stevie”. Maybe I’ll get my own later on (which is very likely considering that I want to have my very own “ThinkPad Museum”).
T43 (14″ & 15″) – The third T series I’ve seen. This happened in 2007 on a school field trip. I got to see a 14.1″ model up close (and even got to snap a picture of it) and walked away with a great feeling. My next encouter was with a 15″ model in 2010 when I got my T60 – the seller accidentally shipped me a T43 when he was supposed to ship my T60. As a result, I got to keep it for a few days while I waited to send it back to the seller (I even got to snap several pics). It was fun having it around and was sad when I had to ship it back (I’m definitely going to get one for myself later on – and it’ll be a 15″ as well).
T60 (14″) – It was 2008 when I had my first encouter with a T60. I was at Borders when I saw it, and I even got to meet its owner. This was a great day because back then I was dying to see one. I had another encouter at that same place later that year and again, I got to meet its owner. In early 2010, I finally got one of my own. I got it off the thinkpads.com forum marketplace for $300. I wanted one every since they came out so it was a great day when I finally got it (I named ‘him’ “Justin”). In 2012 or 2011, I got see another one at a local Starbucks (unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet its owner – whom seemed to be running her own business).
T60p (15″ 4:3 screen model) – I was at my local Barnes & Noble when I first saw this ThinkPad (this was back in 2010 or 2009). I got a chance to see it up close but that’s about all. The coolest thing about this experience was that its user was an IBM employee! It was also the first time I’ve seen a mobile workstation in person. My next encouter with a T60p was in December 2011, when a friend of mine brought his over to my house. I got to play around with it for about 30 minutes and was my first time using a mobile workstation.
T61 (except for the 14.1″ 4:3 screen model) – In 2008, I went to my local Micro Center. It was there where I saw a T61 for the first time (a 14″ widescreen model). I didn’t get to play with it, but I did get to feel it a bit. Later that year, I got to see a 15.4″ widescreen model that one of my friends let me see a little bit. I got to play around with that same T61 in December 2011 when my friend came over to my house. I loved the bigger screen that it had, which is very useful for the type of work I do. I’m definitely getting one when I get the chance to. (I have a long history with the T61, which I’ll explain in a later post.)
T400 – I first spotted one at Barnes & Noble in 2008. I even got to meet the guy using it. I then spotted another one at my local (and now extinct) Borders in 2008 or 2009. Then I spotted two more at the same place in 2009, this time I was sitting right next to the guys using them.
T410 – I got to see and use one when I went to my local Microsoft Store in April 2011 or 2010 (It was my first time there). I found it to be a huge improvement over my T60 and T41 (not that there’s anything bad about them, ’cause there isn’t – except for the GPU issue on the T41, of course). I mean, It felt so sturdy! It was fun playing around with it and something I’ll never forget (this experience really made me want to get one of my own, which I still do).
T410s or T400s – I saw one wihle I was at jury duty last September. I was right next to it and its user/owner. Sure made my day (I saw a total of 4 – possibly 5 – ThinkPads while at jury duty)! This is the latest T series and ThinkPad I’ve seen in person.
T520 – The second ThinkPad I saw while at jury duty. Was right next to its owner too. Very cool experience!
As a bonus, I’ll list the T series ThinkPads I’ve seen on TV & Film:
T40 (T4*) series ThinkPads – I saw two on two shows on TV a few years back (2009). Then again on a commercial in (I think) 2011.
T60 (all 3 screen size models) – I saw a 15.4″ T60 on the Bravo TV series “Flipping Out” seasons 2 & 3 (Jeff Lewis used one. I started watching the show in 2009 and been watching it ever since then). (I named ‘him’ “Trey“.) I also saw a 15.0″ on a commercial once and several 14.1″ models on a few commercials (with the most recent this week).
T61 (15.4″ only) – I saw two of them several times on “Barefoot Contessa: Back To Basics” Season 1 on the Food Network (both Ina & Jeffrey Garten use them. They each seem to have their own.). I spotted the first one in 2009 (afterwards, I started watching the show). One has a “ThinkPad T Series” logo and the other has a “IBM ThinkPad” logo. (I named them “Ivan” and “Ian“.) There also seem to be a few more on the episode “The Magic Factor” (at Ina’s out-of-home office).
T500 – On the CW show “90210″. I saw it from 2011-2012.
T420/s or T430/s – On the NBC show “1600 Penn” in the last week of February, on the episode “To The Ranch”.
Possibly a T510 and/or T520 – On last weeks segment of “Rock Center with Brian Williams” on the story about the company Under Armour. Then again on a segment of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” earlier this month on the story about the lights on the Golden State Bridge.
5-02-2013 Update: Saw a 14″ non-widescreen T61 last Friday!