Good news if you own a ThinkPad X200, X300 or T400 or a few other Lenovo laptops: You actually got a mil-spec semi-ruggedized computer and didn't even know it!
We've always known that ThinkPads were surly bastards, but Lenovo submitted eight of its notebooks—ThinkPad X200, X301, X200s, X200 Tablet, T400, T500, R400 and SL300—for the military's semi-rugged specification tests, which they passed. Meaning they're certified to give the finger to 95 percent humidity vibration, getting baked at 140 degrees or frozen at -4, vibrations and dust, as well as some other brutalities.
The T400's also getting an option for a 680-nit high brightness screen, so it's even more usable outdoors.
Lenovo Puts ThinkPad Laptops to the "Tough Test": Meets Military
Specifications for Semi-Rugged Computing
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – February 24, 2009: Lenovo today announced that it is designating eight ThinkPad laptops for use in field and vehicle semi-ruggedized computing environments such as in public safety, utilities, construction and the military. The ThinkPad X200, X301, X200s, X200 Tablet, T400, T500, R400 and SL300 laptops meet a barrage of military specifications tests and are enhanced with specially-designed durability features such as an air-bag like protection system and a roll cage in select models. Because field computing requires excellent screen viewability, Lenovo is also adding a new optional 680-nit high brightness panel to its most popular laptop, the ThinkPad T400 laptop.
"ThinkPad is well known for quality, reliability and innovative security technologies for business computing," said Tom Ribble, executive director, Worldwide ThinkPad Product Marketing, Lenovo. "The truth is we've always built tough laptops that can weather extreme conditions from hiking the rainforests of the Amazon to flying in space. You don't need a PC that looks like a tank to excel in harsh environments, and unlike many of our competitors, we don't put an extra charge on toughness."
Optimized for Outdoors
As the adoption of laptops increases and connectivity options continue to expand, users are spending more and more computing time outdoors. That makes screen visibility extremely important. For a crisp and easily readable experience, Lenovo is equipping the ThinkPad T400 laptop with an optional high brightness, wide angle screen, making it nearly four times brighter than previous ThinkPad laptop screens. The high contrast screen eliminates reflections with its anti-glare finish. And by using
energy-efficient LED technology, the laptop maintains long battery life.
Police Departments like the Conover Police Department in North Carolina are using ThinkPad laptops to turn their patrol cars into mobile offices. Reduced time spent at the station writing reports gives officers extra time on patrol to protect their community. Officers are using ThinkPad T Series laptops to write and print incident reports, issue tickets and conduct criminal background checks from their cars. For IT Director, Chris Niver, Lenovo's engineering made ThinkPad laptops the easy choice.
"Although not billed as a 'ruggedized' laptop at the time, the features offered far surpassed the other manufacturers. The fact that the ThinkPads came with a roll-cage design, shock resistant hard drive, built in security chip and the familiar red button as well as touchpad all as standard features really made my choice clear."
Military Spec Tested Against the Elements
Baked, battered, blistered and blown with sand, Lenovo put the lineup of eight ThinkPad laptops through the gauntlet to pass a significant number of specifications for military-grade computing.
The ThinkPad laptops met tests for:
Low Pressure – Tests operation at 15,000 feet
Humidity – Cycles 95 percent humidity through the environment
Vibration (operational and non-operational) – Jostles and jolts the laptops to make sure they can withstand shocks
High Temperature – Simulates high heat conditions by baking the laptop up to 140 degrees
Low Temperature – Tests operation at minus 4 degrees
Temperature Shock – Fluctuates between minus 4 and up to 140 degrees to test operation
Dust – Blows dust for an extended amount of time
The tests confirm the durability and reliability that many customers already rely on to battle the elements. Geophysicist, explorer and expedition leader Pasquale Scaturro travels to the far reaches of the planet with his ThinkPad laptop.
"For over 180 days a year I can be found on the road traveling with my with my ThinkPad laptop -sweltering in the hot jungle terrain and surviving frigid arctic and mountain blasts, said Pasquale Scaturro, Exploration Specialists, Inc. "From bugs and humidity, to sand and dust, heat and cold, my ThinkPad laptop has been exposed to them all. I've logged more miles on my ThinkPad in the roughest and most extreme environments in the world than perhaps any person alive. From the heights of Mount Everest to the full length of the Nile, the world's longest river, it's been with me. The Active Protection System is a must in the rough environments I've taken this laptop into. Besides using my ThinkPad to help me navigate in my airplane when I'm flying in the African bush (it's my real co-pilot) and send Internet dispatches to my website from Mt Everest, I depend on it to keep my geophysical business and my personal connections going. It's withstood every imaginable environment on Earth and is still performing
without missing a beat."
Lenovo durability features include the:
Active Protection System – Temporarily parks the hard drive when the laptop detects a fall or sudden movement via an air-bag like system
Roll Cage – Serves as a protective frame around the internal components where the data resides and processing takes place with an extra top cover
roll cage on the ThinkPad X301 laptop
Shock Mounted Hard Drive – Offers extra protection around the hard drive to
Spill Resistant Keyboard – Withstands spills of up to two fluid ounces on
select laptops allowing liquid to drain beneath the keyboard
In case of the unexpected, Lenovo offers Warranty and Accident Protection plans to help customers protect their PC investment. Lenovo also offers ThinkPlus Priority Support to give businesses around the clock technical telephone support, priority routing of calls and quick onsite repair. For an even faster response, ThinkPlus Priority 4 Support provides onsite repair within four hours after the original troubleshooting. Online Data Backup services are also available.
Built upon a strong foundation, Lenovo's laptops offer the latest technologies with models including solid state drive storage for reliability, switchable graphics for longer battery life and the latest Intel® Centrino 2 processor technology for fast processing. They also come with choices of large hard drives, multimedia like Blu-Ray DVD players and a host of wireless connectivity options including WiMAX, mobile broadband, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. Lenovo has also collaborated with AT&T and Ericsson for price reductions on ThinkPad laptop AT&T mobile broadband connectivity. Additionally, the ThinkPad X200 Tablet is the first Tablet to offer WiMAX connectivity.
Pricing and Availability1
The ThinkPad T400 laptop with the high brightness screen is available through Lenovo business partners beginning immediately. Pricing starts at approximately $1,350.