Titanium Returns

By on December 16, 2005

I was just looking at a Gadgetopia post, and smack in the middle of it was a promo banner from Lenovo shilling their spiffed up ThinkPad Z60. The promo asks “Which Side Are You On?” and includes an online poll to see whether the black or titanium-skinned ThinkPad is more popular. Titanium is winning by a huge margin worldwide.

I thought it was kinda funny that Lenovo is using titanium for the ThinkPads because Apple used it on the Titanium G4 PowerBooks that were sold from January, 2001 through 2003.

I carried a Ti for several years, and while it was a very decent machine, the titanium skin was really little more than a novelty. It was more durable — or rather more scratch-resistant — than the aluminum on the current crop of PowerBooks, and far more durable than the plastic shell on iBooks and your run-of-the-mill PC laptop. But still little more than a novelty.

Lenovo’s titanium-clad ThinkPad will likely enjoy some measure of popularity because of the perceived added durability. Also because of the novelty of having something other than black plastic on a laptop.



  1. Thinkpads for the past several years have been using some kind of Magnesium alloy that is extremely durable and very light. You can get a Thinkpad X40 down to about 2.75 pounds. I’ve been using X-series laptops since they were introduced about 5 years ago and have always been impressed with each new generation. They just keep getting lighter and more powerful, yet maintaining excellent durability. The titanium is flashy and I’m sure quite durable, but the new metal in my eyes is 90% marketing move (“let’s show the consumer market we can make something flashy”).

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