IBM has always been famous for innovation. Fortunately, that tradition did not die with the sale of their PC business to Lenovo. In fact, Lenovo maintains an R&D investment that is 50% higher than the industry average. This includes maintaining research labs in the US (Raleigh, North Carolina), China, and Japan with 1,700 engineers, designers and scientists.
When it comes to the Lenovo ThinkPad notebook design, their principal design center is the Product Development Lab at Yamato, Japan. Lenovo ThinkPads may look similar to notebooks from other companies, but they incorporate unique technologies that make these notebooks the choice of many businesses. Many of these technologies may be invisible to the user, so Lenovo is now taking great pains in educating their users about the effort that goes into each ThinkPad.
Recently, Masaki Kobayashi of the laboratory at Yamato, Japan, dropped by to demonstrate the cutting-edge technologies hidden away inside each ThinkPad. He is no ordinary engineer. He is no less their laboratory's Executive Director of Research and Technology! Yes, this is the guy in charge of what goes on in what is probably the most important laboratory in Lenovo.
As ThinkPads have always designed for use by businesses, they have to be really, really rugged to withstand daily abuses at the hands of careless, uncaring and/or disgruntled employees. The protection of data stored within each notebook is also a critical issue for Lenovo, as any data lost or stolen can wreak havoc on any business.
So, Kobayashi-san's laboratory has been at the forefront of developing technologies to tackle those issues. He was obviously very enthusiastic about the work done at the Yamato labs. You can't help but notice his pride when he showed us how his laboratory worked to improve the reliability and ruggedness of each ThinkPad.
They also seeked to protect the notebook from a common "user problem" - beverages spilling onto the keyboard area. How did they solve all these issues? In the next two pages, we will show you exactly what Kobayashi-san demonstrated in our session. Not just photos. We have video clips of the demonstrations for you to check out. Let's start with Lenovo's shock protection technologies!