Is the re-incarnation of ThinkPads is still actual? And possible?

Hi there! I’m using ThinkPads for 20 years, and now I could not buy the laptop with some great things I need:

  • TrackPoint like on T420, X220 (because newest is not so good - the buttons as a part of touchpad is bad idea)
  • functional and navigation keys like on X201 (where was separate Ins/Del/Home/End/PgUp/PgDn and key combinations was similar to the full-size desktop keyboard layout)
  • special hardware keys for volume and mute
  • easy-to-replace battery
  • black composite case with robust hinges
  • waterproof (holes in keyboard and case)
  • UltraBay multifunctional slot (modular notebook!)
  • UltraBase with a ports for external devices - easy to move between full-sized desktop equipment in home and office
  • Power-On button on front-side of the UltraBase - easy to turn on when lid is closed. Stackable notebooks is still works as the linux internet gateways on my workplace.
    What I’m need more: flat bottom surface without ventilation grill. Like an MacBook. Now I’m use the velcro-mounted UltraBase ThinkPads (mounted like on International Space Station) inside an aircrafts within the flight experimants.

A modded ThinkPad is probably more appropriate:

Framework is not and should not be a ThinkPad clone.


ThinkPad X62 (modded X61) and X2100 (modded X200) - is mods only and lost some useful options like UltraBase compatibility.
I know what the Framework is should not to be a ThinkPad clone but it could be a ThinkPad alternative that will take the best of technologies and pretty things was ever made.
But now Framework is like a mainstream Chinese MacBook-style notebook…
And modularity is very interesting advantage, but not only one modularity we (people who choice ThinkPads) are need.
I hope it possible to build the ideal notebook for me and my friends who still using old ThinkPads because there is no alternative…

if Framework is thinkpad reincarnation. it should have removable battery. But, it isn’t.

I feel like there actually is a surprisingly long list of people who would rather have a chunky, 90s/00s Thinkpad style laptop (but at least a bit more modern) than a modular Ultrabook. The achievable keyboard quality alone could be worth it imo. Maybe Framework will offer such a laptop at some point in the future, but probably not for the next 2 years.


I don’t get why people like ThinkPads. I used to work in a PC Repair shop that would buy computers at auction, and a lot of the ThinkPads we got were obsolete. I tried popping a hard drive in them and loading up Windows before tossing them. Never really saw much advantage to the devices. More of a Dell guy myself. I probably would have bought a Dell XPS if it was not for the repair-ability of the Framework.

Those TrackPoints are like Trackballs imho, a few dedicated users.

The Expansion Cards are the modern equivalent of the UltraBay. They cannot accommodate internal batteries nor internal optical drives, but can accommodate the modern equivalents of just about everything else.

Sounds like the UltraBase is a dock. There are universal docks now, Brydge makes a few good ones. Personally, I hated the UltraBase style docks. I can get behind the Surface Dock, with its magnetic connector. Back when I used my Surface Pro as a Desktop, the Dock was essential. The Power-On button on the outside was very nice for use as a Desktop workstation.

The Stackable concept plays into the Raspberry Pi style DIY side business the Framework is gearing towards. If more people want stackable Frameworks, there may be a business model for low profile cases that are alternatives to 1-U rack mount servers. Framework stackable server cases.

I am curious as to why you need to stack multiple laptops together for these aircraft flight experiments. Process isolation, so that each application is isolated from another? Avoiding lag at the hardware level for time sensitive data recording? Or is it simply the existence of a battery?

For the aircraft experiments, what is the benefit for a full laptop over some other hardware shell? Presumably a laptop is chosen for the battery. Is a separate LCD truly required, or can the devices be configured from a single laptop? Since they are stacked while cooling, you are not monitoring the data on the devices while running. Do you often need separate displays to review the data once collection is complete?

With the DIY Framework, there is the potential to create a better option than a ThinkPad, which may not be the best configuration for your needs.


The TrackPoint is not TrackBall because TrackPoint allows to move cursor by force of mind and muscle micro-tension:)
Because there are mo need finger movement while cursor moves - only muscle tension. It is not native action so many people have no time and motivation to learn and training. But if You will disable TouchPad and use TrackPoint for 3 days - You’ll understand people who think the TrackPoint is The Best Thing In The World:)) And it allows to do some high-precission things (like move cursor by one pixel, fix, correct by pixel, and then press left button) also then working in a flight or running vehicle.

And about our flight experiments - we are using separate notebooks for separate tasks (recording and real-time analyze of pilot and co-pilot bio data, multiple sensors placed in a different places inside the cabin, videoanalyze) because there are too much data to analyze it after each flight and high-frequency data analyze is preferred.

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The is a different thing from a Thinkpad but it would still be nice to be able to get these, perhaps as optional components in the Marketplace:

The Thinkpad’s drainage holes would be a neat thing to emulate as well. And it’d be super-cool to be able to get the case in black as an option!

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