Computer maker Lenovo revealed on Monday that it was going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its flagship ThinkPad laptop by releasing 500 special edition units, all of which will be manufactured in Japan. The computers will be customized versions of the slim ThinkPad X1 Carbon model, and made at a factory operated by subsidiary NEC in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture. All 500 units will have the words “Made in Japan” inscribed in red next to the serial number on the back of the laptop.
Preorders for the “20th Anniversary Edition” Lenovo ThinkPad will begin on November 13th, and priced at 175,000 yen (approx. $2,180), deliveries are to begin in December. The computers will come with commemorative desktop wallpapers installed, and the purchase price also includes a specially designed case, made to perfectly fit and protect your pricy new anniversary edition.
While originally developed in Japan in 1992, production of the ThinkPad laptop was moved exclusively to China under previous owner IBM. Development of products has remained in Japan, however. A spokesman for Lenovo says the special edition is part of a production test to study the expansion of manufacturing at the Yonezawa plant. Such a move would allow the company to shorten its delivery times for domestic orders. With the cost of production in China increasing, observers see some companies looking at moving their manufacturing bases back to Japan. Hewlett-Packard did just that last year, relocating the construction of its laptops for the Japanese market from China to Akishima, Tokyo in an effort to improve quality.