Lenovo puts ThinkPads to test

Lenovo puts ThinkPads to test

Summary: Chinese PC maker subjects its ThinkPad laptops to dust, noise and drop tests, among others, in its Yamato Laboratory in Yokohama, Japan.

TOPICS: Laptops, Hardware

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  • YOKOHAMA, JAPAN--The Lenovo Yamato Lab designs and tests the Chinese PC manufacturer's ThinkPad line of products.

    Previously part of IBM, Yamato Lab became part of Lenovo when it took over Big Blue's PC division in 2005.

    In 2010, the laboratory moved from Yamato to its current location in Yokohama's urban business district Minato Mirai 21 but its name remained unchanged.

    In a tour of its test facilities, Lenovo showed ZDNet Asia how it puts its laptops through rigorous tests before bringing the devices to market.

  • During the thermal shock test, ThinkPad devices and chargers are subject to cold and heat tests ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius for a few days.

    This is to simulate airplane cabin temperature which may drop below zero degrees Celsius because of high altitudes, and ship cargo temperature which may go up to 50 to 60 degrees Celcius.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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  • How about the non-Thinkpad line of laptops?

    How about the non-Thinkpad line of laptops? Are they also designed and tested there?

    Long ago (before the lines like Ideapad existed), a friend of mine would swear by the Thinkpad line and not their non-Thinkpad line due to the amount of validation and testing they'd do on the former.
    • Re: How about the non-Thinkpad line of laptops?

      Hello ac3_z,

      The Yamato Lab only design and test Thinkpad laptops.

      The non-Thinkpad laptops are designed in Beijing, but I'm not sure if as much tests are done on them.

      -Yun Qing
    • I use both and can say they are worlds apart

      I use thinkpad provided by my office and non-thinkpad at home. Both are worlds apart when it comes to quality of construction. Their iconic keyboard is also replaced in non-thinkpad products which was bit surprise to me.

      I know Lenovo wants to compete in lower end of market as well; however in doing so they should not end up losing consumer trust. As Dr. Kurien once said, "A brand is unwritten contract between company and a customer to deliver customer's specification at reasonable price; it is renewed every time customer purchases product".
  • And the opposite...

    I have 3 Thinkpads, and 2 non-commercial/business Lenovo laptops. All three Thinkpads are broken, and both of the non-commericial Lenovo laptops are working perfectly. All three broken Thinkpads have malfunctioning mouse buttons, or keyboards. IMHO the mouse button design is pathetic. The flimsy plastic waffer that suspends the button always breaks and leaves the laptop unusable. I would never purchase a Thinkpad, and have refused any more being supplied by my employer. This issue helped make BYOD a reality at my company.
    • Thinkpad owner

      Have a Thinkpad T61p bought in late 2007. Still use it occasionally and it's my fastest laptop. Haven't had any trouble with it other than the letters rubbing off the keys. I'm still on the original battery as the Power Manager software lets me control how much I charge it up to. I'm not killing it by always charging to 100%.

      My father has a T61 bought a few months after mine. He doesn't use it much, admittedly. Everything's great other than the DVD drive is a bit flaky.

      Have a Thinkpad X100e bought in late 2010 and it works fine as well. Never had a prob.

      All of these are on the original battery, again thanks to the Power Manager software. I'd say it's pretty good track record and in the future, I'd be willing to pay a little more for Lenovo given my usage patterns and how I'd not likely need new battery for a long time. (Went thru 4 batteries on an old Dell laptop I had.)
  • What kind of ThinkPad?

    I have a T series T410 and it's built like a tank. My wife has an older 3000-N200 non ThinkPad and it's OK but not nearly as well built as my ThinkPad. It got stepped on and the case got cracked I ordered a replacement from Ebay for 20 bucks which also added a fingerprint reader. I don't know about the non T series. But the ones like mine are proven to be very sturdy and reliable. And the keyboard is pretty much as good as it gets. The touch pad is OK but nothing special, it does what it's supposed to do. You can also pour water in the T4xx keyboard without killing it. It drains out of little channels in the bottom. I have seen videos of people doing this with it turned on and the system still worked fine. I have also seen people on You Tube throwing the and dropping them and they still worked. I saw one just like mine get run over with a car and the screen looked bad but it still functioned. I have to wonder what you're doing with yours to make three of them fail. The cheap Lenovo's are not more sturdy or reliable by any measure. One thing about Lenovo's is they are easy to work on and upgrade. I replaced my wives processor in less than 10 minutes.