On Oct. 5, 2017, Lenovo's ThinkPad laptop brand for business turned 25 years old. The company marked the day by releasing a ThinkPad Anniversary Edition 25. Devotees of Lenovo ThinkPad's classic design will no doubt be enthused over this limited-edition device, especially since it comes loaded with Windows 10 Signature Edition (i.e., without bloatware), but for most business users, it's probably not the most logical choice of laptop.
Lenovo clearly wanted to pay homage to its longest-standing line of laptops, which over the years have maintained popularity with business users across many industries. Interestingly, the actual ThinkPad 25 is built less for businesses and more for individual enthusiasts who want a powerful machine that has status as a limited-edition product.
Price and configuration
The Lenovo ThinkPad 25 retails for $1,899 and only comes in one configuration, which is the primary reason we don't recommended it for most business users. If the configuration happens to suit your exact needs, the ThinkPad 25 is a solid machine, but it's probably overkill for most standard users.
Lenovo's limited-edition laptop comes with an Intel Core i7-7200U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage and an Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card. In addition to these impressive, top-of-the-line specs, the ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition has plenty of ports for business users, including a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, three USB 3.0 (Type-A), an HDMI port, an ethernet port, a standard headphone/microphone combo jack, and a 4-in-1 card reader capable of handling MMC, SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.
The ThinkPad 25 weighs 3.56 pounds (though Lenovo specs say 3.7 pounds), and the 14-inch display (1920 x 1080 pixels) with multi-touch is a step up from the otherwise very similar Lenovo ThinkPad T470, which also has a 14-inch multi-touch screen, albeit with much worse resolution (1366 x 768 pixels). The battery life of the ThinkPad 25 depends on whether you opt for the standard 3-cell battery, in which case you can expect about 6:52 of continuous use, or the 6-cell battery, which extends the life to 13:14.
The physical design of the ThinkPad 25 is a major part of its appeal, especially for old-school Lenovo devotees. Unlike the similar ThinkPad T470, which has a modern chiclet-style keyboard, the ThinkPad 25 sports Lenovo's classic seven-row keyboard, complete with the blue Enter key, dedicated audio control buttons, page up/down buttons, home/end buttons, scroll lock and pause. The soft finish around the keyboard is a nice touch, and as always, the red TrackPoint center button is prominent (and it comes with three swappable covers, with varied textures).
Each ThinkPad 25 comes in a package reminiscent of the original bento box-inspired ThinkPad, but the actual laptop sports a unique RGB ThinkPad logo that we can only assume is an effort to differentiate this special anniversary edition from other Lenovo laptops, which look nearly identical.
The Lenovo ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition has the robust security features (including a fingerprint scanner and infrared camera for facial recognition) and the internal specs for heavy-duty business use, but its target demo is clearly die-hard fans of the ThinkPad line who want a special limited-edition laptop. It's not that the ThinkPad 25 is a poor machine – quite the opposite – but most business users value the ability to select from multiple laptop configurations, to avoid overpaying for features that aren't necessary.
If the ThinkPad 25 has caught your eye but you can't justify the price tag, consider the ThinkPad T470. The T470 comes in various configurations, with the lowest-end machine starting at just $873. That said, if you love the classic ThinkPad and want a powerful machine that celebrates its history, the Lenovo ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition is for you.