Lenovo Limits Its Leather ThinkPad

If you want the ultimate, ultra-light ThinkPad, take a number. Lenovo today announced the “limited” release of its Thinkpad Reserve Edition, commemorating the 15th anniversary of the original ThinkPad notebook.

The leather-encased notebook is available for $5,000. Lenovo said it only plans to make 5,000 of the units available and each one will be specially numbered like a collector’s item. In addition to the “hand-stitched, saddle-grade premium French Leather,” the special ThinkPad’s come with a new “executive class” level of service and support.

Lenovo said each ThinkPad Reserve user will get a dedicated, specially-trained PC support specialist that is available at the touch of a button, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

ThinkPad Limited Edition

There are only 5,000 to go around. Just wash your hands first.

Source: Lenovo

In addition, customers are provided a local toll-free and an international phone number to reach their support person regardless of where they are calling from. The company is promising Reserve customers will have their incoming calls answered before the fourth ring and that a technician directed by support staff will be at a customer’s location within four hours if needed. Replacement machines will be shipped overnight if required.

System specs of the Intel Core 2 Duo L7500-based ultra-light notebook include 2GB of RAM, 12.1-inch ultra-light display, “about” seven hours of battery life, a 160GB hard drive, Ultra Connect II antennae for improved Wi-Fi and WWAN  for wireless broadband connectivity.

Analyst Roger Kay said the Reserve Edition notebook sounds like a branding exercise for Lenovo as it looks to expand its market presence.

“It’s basically a richly configured X series ultra-portable covered in leather,” Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, told internetnews.com. “I don’t think they’re trying to make money with this as much as they’re trying to create a halo effect.”

Kay notes that Lenovo has tried to position the sleek X series of ThinkPads as a kind of executive jewelry, but has also touted it as much more affordable (starting at just over $1,000) than other so-called ultra-light notebooks.

But at $5,000, Reserve customers will expect more than style. “The only risk I see for Lenovo in this is that they have to deliver on the guaranteed tech support response time,” said Kay.

There have been other “special edition” and commemorative computers over the years that have met with mixed results. Ten years ago, Apple trotted out a special 20th anniversary version of the Macintosh (in honor of Apple’s anniversary, not the Mac’s which first came out in 1984). The system was over-priced and not a big seller, though it’s now considered something of a collector’s item.

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