In this Apple-Dell age and dichotomy saturating the electronic and internet market in droves, you can almost swim past all of the brands and totally miss one of the oldest companies for computers: IBM. Still running and still strong! And here you have probably one of the most overlooked pieces of hardware, a mini laptop that has been around since 1992! And it was subbed the “ThinkPad”. No, Apple didn’t use the term ‘pad’ first, apparently.
There are already numerous models since 1992, but because of the design quality that was way ahead of the game back then, IBM has won numerous awards for their ThinkPads to date. Even the keyboards themselves made headlines, especially with the Museum of Modern Art in New York which showcases one of IBM’s ThinkPads! A piece of electronic hardware as an art masterpiece? Really?
Moreover, the technology is indeed space age. One model of the IBM ThinkPad, the 750 model, actually flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor for a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope on December 2, 1993. A31p ThinkPad models were also used on the International Space Station throughout 2006 and even as early as 2010! Probably the only laptop in existence used by astronauts.
ThinkPads were even praised for some of their unusual designs, features you wouldn’t find on any other laptop. The 760 Series hosted an two-arm elevated keyboard on small rails toward the side of the screen for optimized tilt to provide a more ergonomic feel. The 755CV model featured something even more unusual: the screen could actually be removed and used as a display for projectors! That’s a multi-functional laptop right there. And not something you’d see every day.
Yes, the ThinkPad: a study on “space-age technology” and a reason to believe that powered marketing and a consumer share in the industry doesn’t always mean quality. IBM is still state of the art.