Lenovo’s ThinkPad celebrated its 20th anniversary last week.

The portable computer brand occupies a unique niche. Its distinctive looks are stylish and functional, not pretty. ThinkPad electronics focus on work, not play.

Don’t laugh, these are the reasons I chose a ThinkPad the last time I needed a laptop.

That was long ago. Mine is an IBM model. The company sold the brand along with its PC division to Lenovo in 2005.

It is a business class portable. It is a tool to get work done. When there’s a long feature to write or a report to compile, the ThinkPad is the fastest route from introduction to conclusion.

ThinkPads don’t look like toys. They are built like Russian tanks on the outside. If anything their innards are more sturdy. Mine had a hard drive that could detect if a knock was likely and safely park the drive heads. I could take it anywhere. I did.

Being this businesslike is unfashionable in today’s world of flashy gadgets. At least it is in most circles. Don’t get me wrong, I love my smartphone, my iPad and my big screen desktop. I’ve found ways to be just productive with them.

Yet none of them say “business time” quite like the ThinkPad.

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