Lenovo refreshes its ThinkPad T, W, L and X lines with Ivy Bridge processors, retooled keyboards

Now that Intel's Ivy Bridge specifications are finally out of the bag, you may as well resign yourselves to a deluge of PC refreshes over the coming months. Today Lenovo's up at bat, unveiling a slew of products under its business-friendly ThinkPad brand. If you were looking for a wholesale redesign, we'll kindly direct you to the X1, which was just reborn as a 14-inch Ultrabook. Otherwise, if you were just holding out for a little Ivy Bridge, we've got your refresh right here.

All told, the upgrades span Lenovo's ultraportable X series, mainstream "T" lineup, budget "L" models and the W-series workstation. In general, you'll find Ivy Bridge processors (natch), Dolby audio and, in some cases, optional 4G radios. Additionally, the company tweaked its famed keyboard ever-so slightly and added a backlighting option to almost every system, save the newly available T430u Ultrabook. That's the abridged version for those of you not actually in the market for a new system, but folks craving more nitty-gritty details can follow past the break for a more detailed breakdown of pricing and specs.


  • ThinkPad T Series. Starting with the mainstream systems, the T430, T430s and T530 replace the T420, T420s and T520, respectively. The T430, in particular, is lighter than its predecessor, and all three step up to a 720p camera. (Only some will be offered with 4G radios, however.) The T430s, in particular, gets a mini-Display Port, a new max resolution of 1600 x 900, Thunderbolt (on i7 machines only) and Lenovo's RapidCharge technology, which promises to recharge the battery to 80 percent in about half an hour. Look for the T430 and T430s in early June starting at $879 and $1,399, respectively. As of this writing, Lenovo hasn't said when the 15-inch T530 will be available or how much it will cost.

  • ThinkPad X series. Moving along, the 12.5-inch X230 and convertible X230T replace the X220 and X220T, and bring with them Dolby Advanced Audio, face tracking technology, a mini-DisplayPort and a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports. The X230 and X230T will both be available in early June, starting at $1,179 and $1,479, respectively.

  • ThinkPad L series. Precisely because these machines are more bare-boned than their stablemates, Lenovo isn't providing too many details, but we do know this line includes the 14-inch L430 and 15-inch L530, and that both will have 1366 x 768 displays. Battery life is rated to top out at 9.5 hours, and with this refresh the line gets USB 3.0, mini-DisplayPort, switchable graphics with up to 2GB of video memory and a SmartCard option via the 54mm ExpressCard slot. Each of these will start at $879 when they go on sale early next month.

  • ThinkPad W530. Lastly, the W530 mobile workstation replaces last year's W520. Though it has the same chassis as the last-gen model, the optional color calibrator is now 45 percent smaller, and can be placed on the palm rest. This is one of several systems that didn't previously have a backlit keyboard but is getting now, and it's also DisplayPort 1.2-ready. Otherwise, its core specs are the same (Ivy Bridge notwithstanding): Quaddro graphics are standard, and users can trick this thing out with a 1080p display, 1TB hard drive and up to 32GB of RAM. The W530, too, will land early next month, and will start at $1,529.