back to article Lenovo proclaims PC victory, re-orgs to take on Apple

Lenovo will alter its structure in 2013 to create a “Lenovo Business Group” that will sell commodity products and a “Think Business Group” to push premium kit and take on Apple. News of the restructure emerged at Sina Tech, which quotes an email sent to staff by Lenovo chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing in which he proclaims ( …


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  1. CADmonkey
    Thumb Up

    When I bought my 'mobile' workstation 4 years ago...

    ....I could have gone for HP (as used by the US army),

    ... or Dell (yawn),

    or Thinkpads: as used in space. FRICKIN SPACE!!

    everything else was details, really.

    (I chose a W700, which still pulls it's (considerable) weight and has a PROPER SCREEN @ 1920X1200. I wish they still made them.)



      I'm surprised no one has yet pointed out the fact that Lenovo is in fact the re-animated corpse of the IBM PC division. It's a Zombie version of IBM that seems poised to smack down Apple.

      Seems kind of hilarious really, especially since HP was going to jettison it's PC division too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brains!

        It's a Zombie version

        Yes, tell me more ...

        HP was going to jettison it's PC division

        Oh... you so nearly had it :(

      2. Steve Todd

        Re: Brains!

        "Seems poised"? Has aspirations but is currently showing no signs of doing so more like.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brains!

        "I'm surprised no one has yet pointed out the fact that Lenovo is in fact the re-animated corpse of the IBM PC division......"

        Probably because it's such old news that no one really cares....bit like saying Compaq is actually owned by HP.

        1. JEDIDIAH

          Re: Brains!

          > Probably because it's such old news that no one really cares...

          Of course it's "old". It goes all the way back to the first time Apple's name meant something.

          IBM triggered something that would marginalize Apple for the next 20 years still seems to still be a menace to Apple despite an apparent surrender. There's more to tech than what a modern feeble attention span can manage to focus on.

    2. DuncanL

      Re: When I bought my 'mobile' workstation 4 years ago...

      A nice W520 gets you most of the way there - it's 16:9, rather than 16:10, so 1920x1080 but that's about as good as it gets in PC laptop land these days.

      1. Shoot Them Later

        Re: When I bought my 'mobile' workstation 4 years ago...

        I'm sitting here typing this on my work-provided W510.. Oh wait, no I'm not, because it is a hugely disappointing piece of junk that only has a 1600x900 resolution (which is as good as you'll get on a W5*0 unless you pay extra for the "full HD" screen option, which my employer didn't) - so I'll only use it when I really have to. This replaced a T61p that - while physically smaller - supported 1920x1200 and had a much more useful screen ratio. Still, I guess I was lucky - the "base" model comes with a 1366x768 display, which for a 15.7" display in a "mobile workstation" (i.e. big, heavy and expensive) class of notebook is criminal. Looking at the Lenovo site, the current crop of T series is no better. Says a lot about the way Lenovo has gone really.

        However, I think the experience of Apple shows that there is still a lot of potential profit in personal computing hardware if you produce a good product and avoid the commoditised end of the market, as long as you do it right. You might say then that IBM's decision to sell Lenovo was a mistake, but on the other hand I'm not sure that IBM was or would be capable of claiming a chunk of the high end high margin market. It remains to be seen if Lenovo as a standalone can do it, but of they do want to they need to produce some better hardware than the W & T series.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Fuck that.

        If I'm putting out the dosh for a laptop having a permanently attached screen I can't upgrade, I want a decent res, and 1920x1200 is a *lower* limit, TYVM.

        No pixels, no money. It's sad that my cheap shitty old Sceptre monitor beats anything I can buy today in resolution and response rate.

  2. toadwarrior

    Thinkpads are the best non-Macbook laptop you can buy but they're always handicapped by Windows. It would be nice if they'd sell me one without windows so I don't have to contribute to masking the unpopularity of Win 8.

    1. beep54

      Had an old ThinkPad. Loved it. I really get quickly annoyed by touch pads on laptops. ThinkPad had that wonderful Track Point in the middle of the keyboard that was just brilliant. Dell actually licensed it for a few of their laptops. Great line of machines. Have zero idea why IBM wanted to spin it off (that's the d'oh part).

    2. Silverburn

      Lenovo Thinkpads are not IBM Thinkpads

      ...if the bundle of dead/broken units sitting in our storage room waiting for dispatched back to base is anything to go by. Build quality is just not as bombproof as the old IBM units.

      1. FreeTard

        Re: Lenovo Thinkpads are not IBM Thinkpads

        I cannot speak for the newer lenovo's but the X60s & X61s's are rock solid.

        Case in point - my daughter dropped BOTH of them down the stairs - from the top, yet they work fine.

        I've dropped them off the coach many times, no issues. My son is a disaster zone and manages to drop things when you tell him to be careful - yet they still work flawlessly.

        My daughter dropped my ibook ONCE, it died horrifically - the screen came off completely, parts across the floor - this was the same drop that the thinkpads endured with hardly a scratch.

        As for Dells, I can only speak of their business range, but I am very happy with my latitude, only complaint is the screen is too big for my liking - but feck me the battery lasts long... I managed en entire day of almost constant use. That's bloody amazing for a laptop.

        1. jrd
          Thumb Up

          Re: Lenovo Thinkpads are not IBM Thinkpads

          Typing this on a Lenovo Thinkpad X60 Tablet, my main computer. Bought it second hand 4 years ago and still going strong! Excellent bit of kit - vendors who offer 3 year warranties build their kit to last.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lenovo Thinkpads are not IBM Thinkpads

          Wouldn't it be safer to stop p**sing off your daughter so much?

    3. Gerhard Mack
      Thumb Down

      Windows isn´t the largest downside

      It is the fact that they feel compelled to tell you what addons you can use with your device. Just try swapping the WiFI card sometime. It will fail to boot with an "unauthorized device" error.

      I am the unhappy owner of an E520 and I will never buy another Thinkpad until they get it into their heads that if I pay money for the machine than it is MY machine and I am the only one who can decide what is authorized or not.

    4. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

      I love my Thinkpad, and since I upgraded from Win 7 Pro to Win 8, it's even better. I don't care to enter into a pointless Win 8 argument, but the reality is that it starts up and shuts down quickly and as I spend most of my time in email, browsing or using Mathematica, I find it difficult to get that fired up about the change in UI.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "double fist strategy"


    1. Shagbag

      Re: "double fist strategy"

      One in the the pink and one in the stink.

  4. Skymonrie


    I just bought one of the new Thinkpads and have to say, they are rather fine pieces of kit; my only grudge is the 1366x768 screen resolution *sigh* just like every other half serious computer user on Earth.

    With great build quality, it also came with a small 16GB SSD stick to act as a cache alongside the 500G HD. With a little format here and a little Linux there, it screams performance at a low power cost.

    All in all a thing of beauty if you like simple black, my partner thinks the thing is ugly though. So, this move might address her only concern; looks.

    Jaa yo Lenovo!

    1. beep54

      Re: Interesting

      Me, I don't care what it looks like (although, if it were say, shocking pink....well, I'd have a problem then). I care how it performs. Come to think of it, the thing could be freaking plaid and I, er well, I would probably paint it or something. Point being performance trumps looks.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    why then is w530 uefi/cms bios undocumented crap?

    Enterprise systems require enterprise level documentation and support.

    What is up with the GOP and nvidia discrete?

    What is up with vt-d so that it required to pass no2xapic?

    Why does one have to discover by trial and error that to run the intel tianocore shell one must select efi-only and disable cms in the bios settings.

    And how does one set one's own PK? That BIOS option is truely mysterious!

    Take on Apple? Then the MS fellating must stop!

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Point being performance trumps looks.

    Yes, but... Build quality is important too (especially for portable equipment that gets (ab)used in bags, car boots, in the field, etc). This is what the IBM ThinkPads had a reputation for: Tough as old boots & lasting forever. There's no point in having the fastest laptop on the planet if you have to handle it with kid gloves.

  7. GitMeMyShootinIrons

    Give'em a break!

    "A Think-branded business unit's chance of taking on Apple seem slim."

    The Think brand is their strongest hand. To those with the knowledge, it has some pedigree. To those who don't, but do their research, they'll pick up on this.

    In these days when people foam at the mouth for a pretty badge and something that looks nice, Lenovo have to start somewhere and the Think brand is a good place. Also, they need to set an objective - with Apple and HP being obvious ones. To set anything 'less' would be limp-wristed.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Have a Lenovo Yoga 13....lovely piece of kit.

    One particularly nice touch...despite being ultrabook form factor, it actually has a spare, empty 1.8" sata slot. Can just pop in a second SSD if you need more space. Somehow doubt Apple will ever offer any similar future proofing.

  9. Disintegrationnotallowed

    Good Kit, Best for Corps

    I loved the IBM Thinkpad ranges, best corp kit ever. Always well built, easy to manage with great support for a good corporate environment. Can't see them taking on apple in the home/coffee shop/cool environment though. Whether you like them or not Apple kit is good for those people looking for that, the tough old black boxes don't really cut it against the aluminium and high res screens at the moment.

  10. chekri

    Thinkpad is a revered brand

    The fact that the Thinkpad brand isnt stalking the Interbrand top 100 isnt that important really. Not in the segment that they are trying to play in with that brand anyway. The fact that Lenovo is not listed on Interbrand 2012, that is an issue. I wont pretend to be an expert on Interbrands methodology however my understanding is that the list is based largely on recognition. This leaves out important qualities that are also important to a brands value such as perceived quality, trust and differentiation. An example of this with photographic brands for example: Canon is ranked #30 in best global brands by Interbrand, Leica is nowhere to be found...for those who arent across it Leica has such a strong brand in photography that they can charge ~4x as much as Canon for similar goods. The Leica brand is not mass market but it has a 100 year history that is associated with innvovation, quality and 'solid german engineering'. Sure Canon is more popular for the masses but Leica is a much more revered brand and it shows in their margins.

    IMHO ThinkPad is a Leica-like brand. As far as mobile computing goes, ThinkPad has a long history with a strongly perceived sense of quality and sturdy engineering. Lenovo have recognised those qualities and tried not to toy with the brand too much.

    Lenovo as a brand is not all that recognised, and for those that do recognise it, it is perceived as a mass market "cheap" brand. Mixing the ThinkPad and Lenovo brands was never a good idea IMHO.

    From what I read above they are looking at seperating the two identities, kind of similar to the way Toyota/Lexus run seperate identities but leverage each other.

    1. bonkers

      Re: Thinkpad is a revered brand

      Thinkpads are revered - but not in any way that a marketing droid could ever understand - they are of robust good quality, they work properly, and they don't make you look like you're aspiring to be some poncy "brand model" - with the right cufflinks, watch, shirt etc.

      It seems to have needed the CEO himself to plough through all the marketing bollocks and arrive at this simple conclusion, make good stuff, let a well-informed and un-selfconscious customer base buy it.

  11. DeathSquid

    Lenovo Fail

    Thinkpads used to be the best of the best, and I wouldn't buy anything else. Over the last few years, however, Lenovo quality and service appears to have gone into freefall. My recent experiences with them have convinced me to spend my money elsewhere. It's a shame to see such a great brand brought low by short sighted management, but everything has a lifespan.

    The fact that Lenovo management are claiming they lead the industry when they are no longer even in the top 100 list of brands shows how out of touch they are.

    If you are looking for high build quality that the manufacturer will stand behind, Macbooks are great. If Lenovo thinks they are competing with Apple, they are in for a terrible shock. They should focus on their true competitors; no-name, shoddily built laptops with no meaningful warrantee.

  12. Technowallah

    Lenovo epic new keyboard fail

    Please Lenovo, offer 'proper' keyboards, it's the(my) main reason for buying, when my T520 dies I won't be buying it's successor with dumb mac style chicklet/island keyboard it's just horrible and typing speed error rate is MUCH higher.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think Lenovo is confused if they believe they are the top PC supplier.

    BTW, I have considered their product in the past but they never offered what I wanted and their Customer Support is MIA, IME.

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Heavenly KISSes ...... Keeping IT Seriously Simple

    Novel Future Imaginative Content is King whether for PC or Tablet formats. Such is what Leads and Creates New Orderly Worlds ..... via Virtual Means with CyberIntelAIgent Memes which is Quantum Communication Control Systems Virtual Team Terrain with what the Future Offers, Delivered.

    I wonder if that sort of thing is first flashed through to the Home Office [Team MI5] or Foreign Office [Team MI6] and would they and their colleagues be well enough equipped to deal with its NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Message and with what is coming?

    More Great Flashing Storms, methinks, rather than Becalmed in the Doldrums Daydreams.:-)

    Well, who do you think delivers the future? You surely can't think that IT just happens and nobody knows anything about Immaculate Source.

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