updated 11:20 am EDT, Mon April 21, 2008
Lenovo ThinkPad T All Wide
Lenovo today signaled a change in its philosophy by pulling the last notebook in its signature T series with a standard ratio display from its lineup. The PC builder has withdrawn the 4:3 ratio, 14-inch ThinkPad T61 from its store and now offers all its mid-size notebooks, including the 3000 and IdeaPad series, only in a widescreen ratio. Lenovo hasn't explained the decision but is considered one of the few computer vendors in North America to continue selling standard-ratio designs.
The change represents the end to one of the last clear holdouts from IBM's notebook offerings, which used the taller but narrower screen ratio for virtually all its ThinkPad notebooks until the brand name was handed over to Lenovo in 2005. Both IBM and users have in the past touted the dimensions as better for text and other content that depends on vertical resolution, but have been gradually been outnumbered by PC vendors arguing for the more natural and visually attractive view of widescreens as well as their suitability to more common situations, such as use in an airliner cabin or for playing back movies with less wasted space.
The X61 tablet and its conventional alternative are currently the only Lenovo notebooks to still depend on a standard ratio screen and may be replaced by the future X200 series as part of the China-based company's move to capitalize on the success of the X300.