IBM laptops officially ceased to exist, as we knew them on May 1st 2005 when the PC division of IBM was sold to a Chinese company called Lenovo.
As a result, this Chinese giant became the third PC manufacturer in the world. For the next five years, until 2010, Lenovo will be allowed to use the Thinkpad, which was the brand name of the line of IBM laptops.
Now that IBM laptops are made and marketed by Lenovo, what does it mean for the laptop shopper?
All I can really comment is that except for the name change and ownership, the quality of Lenovo/IBM laptops should remain the same. Many consumers are worried that the transfer of ownership from an American company to a Chinese one will impact quality. That’s because these consumers ignore the fact that most electronics around us are manufactured in Asia and marketed by American companies.
In other words, what’s inside has remained the same, all that has changed is the name and owner.
What have been the effect of the sale on IBM laptops?
Beside the name and ownership change, I have not read any report of sales dropping or anything affecting the brand negatively. I still see that IBM laptops under the Lenovo moniker are still promoted as the finest laptop computers for business use.
What is the current line of IBM laptops?
At this time of writing (30th August, 06), Lenovo, formerly known as IBM laptops are available in five distinct series.
1) The Z series noticeable for the bright widescreen and color availability (Black or Titanium).
2) The R series which are the mainstream models and are the cheapest of the bunch but are still capable to satisfy the computing needs of the average laptop computer user.
3) The T series look like they’re the perfect Lenovo/IBM laptops for power hungry computer users.
4) The X series Tablet are the notebook/Tablet PC hybrids. The only thing I know about them is that they’re expensive and that I personally know one person who uses a Tablet PC. He’s a raving fan but his raving praises did not sell me on Tablet PC especially as laptops are getting smaller and cell phones smarter (end of personal rant :o) .
5) Finally the X series. These are the thinnest and lightest of IBM laptops. They’re the obvious choice for those professionals who value battery life, space and their shoulders. The privilege of course will be quite expensive starting from $ 1500, which is why most people I have seen with one of these IBM/Lenovo laptop computers tell me that it belongs to the company they work for.
To conclude, I must say that it’s interesting to note that the Lenovo/IBM laptops are still marketed on IBM’s website but nowhere do you see the IBM logo as opposed to Lenovo’s. I guess that this is the agreement in action.