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Leather-bound laptop marks ThinkPad's 15th anniversary

The $5,000 laptops offer special cooling to keep leather from overheating your thighs

September 5, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Lenovo Group Ltd. today unveiled a laptop bound in hand-stitched brown leather to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the ThinkPad line. It will sell for $5,000.

Each laptop in the Lenovo ThinkPad Reserve Edition line will be individually numbered, Lenovo said. Only 5,000 will be sold.

For the price, buyers will receive 36 months of "executive class" services that include a one-on-one setup call between the customer and a dedicated service representative, Lenovo said. The same service rep will stay with the customer throughout the laptop's life. Around-the-clock access to service reps will be available, and Lenovo is even promising access via a toll-free number that will be answered before the fourth ring. If an in-person support call is necessary, the service rep will reach the customer's location within four hours, and a replacement machine can be shipped overnight if required, Lenovo said.

Rich Fennessy, CEO of Insight Enterprises Inc. in Tempe, Ariz., said in a statement that the service features of his ThinkPad Reserve Edition are impressive because "Lenovo will provide me immediate assistance and a solution no matter what it takes."

The leather binding makes the laptop appear to be a large book or an elaborate personal leather folio instead of a computer. The cover, which is actually bound to the machine, is described by Lenovo as "saddle-grade premium French leather" and it features a rounded spine that is carefully designed to avoid covering up the opening for the exhaust fan and various ports, including the CD port.

Lenovo leather-bound laptop
Lenovo leather-bound laptop (Photos courtesy of Lenovo)
Laptop heat is emitted without harming the leather, Lenovo said in a statement. But anyone who has ever rested a laptop on his thighs for very long knows that laptops can get quite hot. Regarding this point, a Lenovo spokeswoman said that the leather wrap on the ThinkPad Reserve doesn't trap heat that is emitted by the device. "Plastic ducting that sits between the computer and the binding allows air to vent out the sides of the system," she said.

The new laptop features a 12.1-in. display, and its battery lasts about seven hours. It supports wide-area wireless connectivity over cellular networks from four cellular service providers, and it has an external antenna that can be extended to improve performance. In addition, it supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless.

It's equipped with a 2.2-GHz Intel Centrino Pro Core 2 Duo L7500 processor, has 160GB of storage and 2GB of memory, and runs the Windows Vista Ultimate operating system and the Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 productivity suite.

The ThinkPad first appeared in 1992 under the IBM brand. In May 2005, Beijing-based Lenovo purchased the IBM personal computing division, which included ThinkPad products. Lenovo's U.S. operations are based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Read more about Laptops in Computerworld's Laptops Topic Center.

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