Lenovo partners with iFixit to improve laptop repairability


ThinkPad T14s Gen 5
Fionna Agomuoh / DigitalTrends.com

Lenovo’s latest ThinkPad updates have been unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, and while they are consumer laptops, they highlight some interesting features in the worlds of sustainability and accessibility. The new models being showcased in Barcelona, Spain, include the ThinkPad T14 Gen 5, ThinkPad T14s Gen 5, and the ThinkPad T16 Gen 3.

iFixit sustainability partnership

Lenovo announced its partnership with the computer repair brand iFixit to rate the level of internal accessibility and repairability of the laptops on an IT level within large companies.

Prior models of the T series were rated at a 7 repairability score from iFixit, but the updates Lenovo has introduced into the new models have earned a 9.3 across the board. I got a chance to see a deconstructed ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 model ahead of MWC. It revealed how the laptop can easily be opened, with its most important components visible and available for exchange or repair. The screw setup for the underside of the device is intended to make for easy access to its innards.

“There are little keyboard markings that allow you to take the keyboard off without removing the entire D cover. Both of the DIMM slots are open now, they’re not soldered down, as well as the WAN and the SSD,” Lenovo’s Kelly Corrigan told Digital Trends. “There’s labels for everything to make it more quickly identifiable. Then the battery itself, we’re moving away from having that ribbon cable, making it easier to replace, less delicate,” she added.

While the ThinkPad T14s Gen 5 and the ThinkPad T16 Gen 3 have different designs underneath, they have similar internal makeup and the same repairability score. The partnership intends to be a conduit for accessibility, ease of use, and less electronic waste.

Lenovo’s T series is the rugged, powerhouse among its laptop options. The 2024 updates include Intel Ultra Core processors across the board, in addition to several features that have trickled down from the flagship X1 series.

More accessibility features

Along that same theme, Lenovo also spotlighted a partnership with Governor Morehead School for the Blind, in which it added tactile markings onto its updated ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12. Those features are now coming to the T series too, including the down arrow, enter key, insert key, and volume key markings. The laptops will also have a bumped-out LED light on the left, next to the charging ports, to show where the ports are located.

Other highlight features include the communications bar being located on the top of the laptop’s cover, which helps make the system easier to open and also houses the microphone and webcam components. Lenovo has also reversed the control and FN keys back to the industry standard on the updated T series.

Lenovo noted that consumers can expect to see many of these features to trickle down further to its L and E series in the future.

Keeping up with the current AI trends, the T series models will also feature a physical Copilot key to power various productivity tasks. They will run either Copilot in Windows or Copilot for Microsoft 365 in terms of software.

ThinkPad T16 Gen 3
Fionna Agomuoh / DigitalTrends.com

The Lenovo ThinkPad T14i Gen 5 will be available in April 2024 starting at $1,200. The T14s Gen 5 will also be available in April starting at $1,400. The ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 AMD will come out a month later in May with a lower starting price of $950. Lastly, the ThinkPad T16 Gen 3 will come out in April starting at $1,220.

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