LAS VEGAS (Autodesk University) - The world is going mobile. Sales of desktop computers have suffered.
Most of the downward trend is on the consumer side, with family use and consumption of Web content, but most full time CAD users still prefer their stationary workstations with at least two big screens, right? Still there must be enough of a perceived need for mobility that most of the major computer vendors have created a line of mobile workstations.
Lenovo, which is now top PC vendor by shipments1, was on hand at Autodesk University. Having a special fondness for ThinkPads for my personal (non-CAD) use for years, I cannot resist seeing what Lenovo is offering. Though nothing new was being presented, Lenovo was showing its 30" dream monitor. With a 2,560 x 1600 resolution and a $1600 MSRP, the ThinkVision LT3053 is worthy of top users only (see PCmag review). The W540, introduced last Fall and though it's 5.5 lbs may seem heavy compared to laptops, it claimed to be the lightest in the mobile workstation category.
Tom Salomone, world wide segment marketing manager at Lenovo declares Lenevo's 30 inch monitor "perfect for CAD."
(picture from CADplace, taken at PTC event)
Lenovo bought the personal computer product lines from IBM many years back, the desktop products first, then later the ThinkPads -- resulting in a collective gasp from business users who had prized their ThinkPads for their bulletproof reliability and legendary keyboards. What would happen to them when they fell into hands of a Chinese company no one ever heard of? Unbeknown to us, Lenovo was a force to be reckoned with in Asia with the giant share of that area's computer market. The best surprise of all, however, was that quality of the ThinkPads stayed just as good as it ever was and innovation actually increased. The Yoga, which may be named for its ability to contort itself into all sorts of positions, may have no equal in the touchpad market.
video of Yoga touchpad by Lenovo
Lenovo may be the lone exception in our industry of a company that has successfully leapt across oceans. Companies floundering in their attempting to sell in the US should study Lenovo. It helps to have great products but I see many great products that suffer from lack of understanding of US marketing -- and US psychology. Lenovo has done its best to preserve the same image that IBM so carefully generated: solid and dependable. Perhaps Lenovo has hidden its foreignness, but even if no one may admit to it as a corporate directive, it was genius to not introduce such a discontinuity.
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