Lenovo ThinkPad laptops getting Windows Precision trackpads, Kaby lake processors & Windows Hello; Business laptops to offer Intel Optane SSDs

By @ritwikroy1985 on
Lenovo ThinkPad
A model displays the latest IBM ThinkPad Z60 series notebook during a news conference in Taipei, Taiwan, October 18, 2005. Reuters/Jameson Wu

Lenovo has big plans for 2017 for its ThinkPad laptops. The company has announced massive changes in laptop configuration and that includes improved trackpads, more authentication features and new high-performance processors.

According to The Verge, a number of laptops will be getting support for Microsoft’s Windows Precision Touchpad. The laptops include ThinkPad Yoga 370, ThinkPad 13, four new ThinkPad T Ultrabook models and ThinkPad X270. The Windows Precision Touchpad is a comparatively new set of and interface for configuring touchpad gestures.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad trackpads have been a subject of criticism for long. Even though the TrackPoint button will still be there on the newer laptops, the Precision Touchpad support will reportedly make it smoother. The ThinkPad line is Lenovo’s biggest business and it is essential for the company to upgrade the systems in 2017 to keep ahead of the competition. That is why Lenovo is also bringing Intel’s Kaby Lake chipsets to these laptops in 2017.

Other top features that are being incorporated into the Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are biometric matching on a fingerprint sensor that includes onboard firmware for fingerprint matching and the facial recognition feature, Windows Hello, that utilises an infrared camera. Lenovo acquired the ThinkPad business from IBM in 2004 and it has become the largest profit-making unit for the company.

However, the laptop maker is going through a tough phase due to an overall contraction of the PC market. Lenovo’s smart device and personal computing business group shipped 14.5 million units for the quarter and that’s 3.3 percent down from 2015. Lenovo may reveal more about the changes in the ThinkPad line during CES 2017.

As per CNET, Lenovo is also one of the first manufacturers to introduce the Intel Optane solid-state drive as an option. The company’s new business laptops may offer the Optane option. This technology uses Intel and Micron's 3D XPoint technology for rapid and long-lasting storage than traditional SSDs. Lenovo has also upgraded its dock alternatives to include options with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3.