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How They Test the ThinkPad Hinge 30,000 Times

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 23 comments

Laptop use hinges on durability.

ThinkPads have a reputation of being the tough, durable laptops that are all business. Forget fancy or stylish, the ThinkPad lineage is all about being reliable and dependable.

Anyone who has had a loose hinge on his or her laptop can attest to the fact that it makes it very hard to use the computer. Lenovo demonstrated at the Venetian in Las Vegas how it tests the durability of its ThinkPad hinge. The hinge is designed to endure at least 30,000 opens and closures throughout its lifetime. Assuming that you own a laptop for five years, that's over 16 lifts of the laptop screen hinge per day.

It's a simple, piece of mechanical engineering, but a vital part to the computer.

ThinkPad Hinge Test

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  • 3 Hide
    seboj , January 10, 2011 7:00 PM
    It's kinda reassuring knowing that at least some notebook manufacturers put their products through extreme repetitive motion tests like that.
  • 5 Hide
    scook9 , January 10, 2011 7:05 PM
    Agreed, now if we could just get Dell engineers to actually use the M17x before selling it to beta testers, I mean customers
  • 0 Hide
    aracheb , January 10, 2011 7:11 PM
    I always love IBM product..
  • 1 Hide
    KBentley57 , January 10, 2011 7:42 PM
    I can verify this. I've got a thinkpad from 2001 that still works fine with all original hardware (though I've replaced XP with ubuntu.)

    The hinges on this thing are huge. It appears to be quarter inch hardened steel, and that is only the part you can see.
  • 1 Hide
    headscratcher , January 10, 2011 7:46 PM
    arachebI always love IBM product..

    Go try Lotus Notes
  • 1 Hide
    blackwidow_rsa , January 10, 2011 7:54 PM
    the hinge lasts way longer than that... Hardware gave out 1st (thanks to idiot users)
  • 0 Hide
    danimal_the_animal , January 10, 2011 8:10 PM
    LOL

    what about the g530 model....yeah the hinges last forever but the screws that hold the hinges back off over time ( a few months ) and then they pivot from within the chassis causing the video cable to go bad!!!!

    we have over 400 of these on our campus!!!

    at least they learned from their mistakes on the next model update....
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 10, 2011 8:35 PM
    The G530s are not that great, but they also are not the same tier of laptop the Thinkpad is in. The G530 is consumer grade garbage similar to an Acer Aspire, HP Pavilion, or Dell Inspiron. However the Thinkpads are a more rugged laptop designed for people who are harder on them. In return they are more expensive. In the end, you get what you pay for.
  • 0 Hide
    ProDigit10 , January 10, 2011 8:37 PM
    I thought they would open/close the lid at a rate of 100 flips per second or so...
  • 1 Hide
    jinxlab , January 10, 2011 8:54 PM
    Is that guy holding a wine glass?? Thats reassuring!
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 10, 2011 11:41 PM
    I'm sure at the actula factory they do it nonstop for months.
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , January 11, 2011 12:59 AM
    arachebI always love IBM product..


    IBM no longer designs or manufactures ThinkPads, Lenovo bought IBM's PC division awhile back.
  • 0 Hide
    hp79 , January 11, 2011 2:37 AM
    Sony Vaio Z also does this kind of stuff.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4iMjnnXrWg
    Crazy thin wobbling lid is kind of scary, but very durable.

    I currently own Lenovo x61t, but because the slow CPU, I'm waiting for a Sandy Bridge refreshed Sony Z. I read current Z's hinge gets loose though.
  • 0 Hide
    Scott2010au , January 11, 2011 3:49 AM
    Even after transitioning from IBM to Lenovo they've demonstrated that their products are solid. One of my mates used to sell notebooks & the ThinkPad line continued to be a popular (and a wise) choice.

    It's rare to see product lines that keep their quality, especially considering the business model IBM uses.

    - First one I used was an Intel 486 DX/2
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , January 11, 2011 4:35 AM
    I have a Lenovo Thinkpad and I sell them (not directly) to my clients. They are easily better built than the usual $400~800 notebooks on the market. They still have NORMAL shaped keys on the keyboard. The HINGE is dated, but looks fine against the black and works excellent. They are kind of designed for the abuse that people subject notebooks... like picking them up by the lids. :( 

    danimal_the_animalLOLwhat about the g530 model....yeah the hinges last forever but the screws that hold the hinges back off over time ~~ at least they learned from their mistakes on the next model update....


    The Lenovo G-Series is the Garbage line (was called 3000s) - value for the $300~500 market range. Can't expect much from a $400 notebook. The hinges on the G are nothing like ThinkPads. I wish Lenovo would jettison the low-end market, but business is business... and they want to make some money, BUT it can cost them sales for the higher end.

    The IdeaPADs are lenovo's consumer high end notebooks... much better materials and modern looking notebooks. They are $500~900, but they are NOT ThinkPads.

    ThinkPad support is still top end. Call them on the phone... go ahead. I do... great to get a human (who speaks english) even to ask them a question. Their staff usually knows their stuff.

    PS: IBM buys and resells Thinkpads to their clients. Actually, they sell refurbished ThinkPads for about $300 (Core2), not bad.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , January 11, 2011 11:00 AM
    i think compaq could learn frrom this as well, my roomate had one that just sat on a desk, within a year he had to put a book behind it cause the hinges stopped keeping the screen up... it kinda flopped around like a wet noodle
  • 0 Hide
    shadowmaster625 , January 11, 2011 11:24 AM
    Does it deriously not even close all the way? What kind of test is that? For all we know those last 2 inches might really wear on it.
  • -1 Hide
    cookoy , January 11, 2011 12:32 PM
    i like the build quality of Lenovo. if only they don't look so stale.
  • 0 Hide
    rhino13 , January 11, 2011 4:08 PM
    I hope their test machine has a life of more than 10000 cycles :D 
  • 0 Hide
    3doog , January 11, 2011 11:32 PM
    The sit-ups of laptop
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