Differences Between ThinkPads & Other Conventional Laptops

By Marie Cartwright

ThinkPads use a characteristic black design on all models.
i laptop image by Du...¬°an Zidar from Fotolia.com

The ThinkPad brand is one of the more iconic names in the world of personal computers. Starting off as an IBM product in 1992, the modern ThinkPad is now manufactured by Lenovo. Though these laptops do not have any specs that make them entirely unique when compared to other brands, current models do offer some features that make them stand out from more utilitarian laptops.

Safety and Security

The ThinkPad is designed with on-the-go users in mind. Most current models of ThinkPads have roll-cage or impact-protected structures, in order to help defend the internal hardware from any hard knocks. Selected models in all six ThinkPad series have fingerprint readers to keep your files safe from unauthorized users. Additionally, the ThinkPad has a special preventative feature for a common, clumsy mishap: the keyboard is resistant to spilled liquid.

Environmental Impact

All ThinkPad models are Energy Star compliant, meaning that they use an optimal amount of electricity for environmental protection standards. ThinkPad models also have earned either Silver or Gold ratings with EPEAT, an international green technology program. The integrated Power Manager helps the user to keep an eye on their overall power usage. If you are looking for a laptop that is especially friendly towards the environment, begin with the L Series models, which are made with up to 30 percent recycled materials.

Multimedia Support

Though ThinkPads are intended primarily for the business professional, they still offer a number of bells and whistles when it comes to multimedia playback. Most ThinkPad models have memory card readers that can support a variety of different formats, making it easier to get access to stored videos and pictures. Some models, but not all, offer writable DVD drives or Blu-ray disc drives.

Visual Display

The current generation of ThinkPads have lighter, more power-efficient backlight displays compared with previous ThinkPad models. These LED screens are also mercury free. The T and W Series have jumped on board the touch screen bandwagon, offering a multitouch panel in conjunction with the traditional QWERTY keyboard and mousepad. The W Series also offers a built-in Wacom digitizer and pen, giving the user the ability to create hand-drawn digital images.