The legendary ThinkPad has undergone the most significant change in this century so far – it now comes with widescreen displays. This is not the only innovation brought about by the new ThinkPad 61 series, and all of them will be described below.
The overall design concept of the ThinkPad series hasn’t changed much in the last few years. You can see the same jet black color, the shape of the case and lid, and the red dot of a TrackPoint, just as on earlier ThinkPad products.
The only thing you may find missing on brief inspection is red-blue-green IBM logos. They have been replaced with inconspicuous ThinkPad emblems, not with Lenovo’s own logotypes.
The material of the case is as practical as before. It is coarse plastic, resistant to scratches and wear. Practicality is the main priority here. The plastic might have been thicker, though. It sags unpleasantly above cavities in the case (the modular bay, the PCMCIA and ExpressCard slots). I don’t think it’s something serious, yet the notebook feels somewhat fragile in your hands, which is not the kind of feeling you expect from an expensive business machine.
The exterior of the lid has a rubberized coating from the so-called soft plastic. It is indeed soft and agreeable to the touch. It is also practical because the notebook is less likely to slip out of your hands. This surface is more resistant to small damage than the ascetic plastic the rest of the ThinkPad case is made from.
One could even wish to return to the good old times when the entire case of the ThinkPad would be covered with that miraculous material.