How to make a real, live, weapon-resistant laptop from a cheap, plastic motherboard
The new Lenovo ThinkPad X230s is a laptop made entirely of plastic, but that plastic can withstand almost anything, thanks to an array of sensors that track how hard a user is typing, and can also detect if a user has dropped something.
Lenovo claims that its sensors can detect “thousands of individual drops” in a single sitting, and even pick up “fingerprints” from people who use the laptop for long periods of time.
The ThinkPad team has used this sensor array to create a real-world prototype of a laptop that can survive almost anything you throw at it.
Lenovo is still not showing off the actual ThinkPad laptop, but it does have some of the best looking hardware on the market.
The laptop’s aluminum chassis is lined with a thin, flexible layer of polycarbonate, while its display uses a custom aluminum coating.
The design includes four USB-C ports, four HDMI ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports, with a 3.5mm audio jack, for a total of four ports.
That’s just enough to power a single 4K monitor and a high-end laptop, and the ThinkPad T230s has enough power to power two laptops—that’s four laptops in one—which means the laptop can run on a battery pack that lasts for two days.
Lenovo isn’t showing off its full range of sensors, but we’ve reviewed the ThinkPro T230’s webcam and fingerprint sensors, which work in concert to give the T230 an uncanny sense of smell.
There’s also a webcam that can pick up the angle of your nose, which Lenovo says works well for making sure you don’t accidentally shake your phone when you’re trying to type.
The webcam also works to tell when the user is sleeping or standing up, or when someone is trying to sneak up on you.
Lenovo says the T220s and T230 models are the first to feature a fingerprint scanner, which can be used to unlock the lid of a computer.
We’ve also seen this in a couple other laptop designs from other manufacturers.
The T220 uses an iris scanner, and a similar design is found in the ThinkPros T460s and ThinkPad M430.
In the T470, Lenovo uses a laser scanner.
It also offers a scanner that works with an Android Wear smartwatch.
It’s unclear if the T450s and the T460 have a fingerprint sensor, though Lenovo does say it’s working on one for the T420s and a T460.
While the T440s is also available with a fingerprint reader, Lenovo says that the new models feature a newer, larger sensor array, and its “proprietary” sensor technology is capable of reading fingerprints from objects with up to 100 microns in diameter.
The sensor is also able to read images at up to 1,000 dpi resolution.
Lenovo also says that its sensor tech “has a maximum accuracy of about 10,000,” and that it can read the “fingerprint of a person standing next to you for up to one minute.”
If you’re interested in seeing the Lenovo ThinkPads new camera and sensor technology, check out our Lenovo T220 review.