Lenovo may bring back a classic foldable ThinkPad laptop keyboard

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6)
(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

Lenovo filed a patent for a foldable keyboard akin to the classic IBM ThinkPad 701C laptop, indicating fans may see a modernized version of the iconic ThinkPad Butterfly that first launched in 1995.

The patent was recently approved by the laptop manufacturer, showcasing designs for a new foldable full-sized keyboard. What's more, it references existing patents of the keyboard used in the original ThinkPad. All signs are pointing towards a special resurgence.

(Image credit: US Patent)

Spotted by Laptop Retrospective (via Notebookcheck), the patent shows off a similarly-designed Butterfly keyboard, which would operate by opening and closing the lid of the device.

While the patent doesn't offer any details as to what type of device it could be used for, it appears it could be more of an external keyboard to be used with tablets, like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold. However, the concept could be used in a special edition Lenovo laptop.

IBM ThinkPad 701C (ThinkPad Butterfly) (Image credit: Wikipedia)

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the brand released the Lenovo ThinkPad 25 — a special-edition laptop that takes the ThinkPad T470 and adds a handful of classic ThinkPad design elements, including an old-fashioned 7-row keyboard, a luxurious soft-touch palm rest, and a special anniversary logo.

With its 30th anniversary coming up, Lenovo could be kicking off the design for the Lenovo ThinkPad 30. An updated throwback to a classic foldable ThinkPad keyboard would certainly garner attention. Laptop Mag's very own Editor-in-Chief Sherri Smith even listed the classic laptop as one of the Sexiest Laptops of All Time.

Speaking of all things Lenovo, the brand is still known for making some of the best business laptops around. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.