2023 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities, IT Challenges


    2023 Top 10 Channel Partner Business Challenges, Marketing Priorities


    2023 SMB & Midmarket Security Adoption Trends


    2023 SMB & Midmarket Cloud Adoption


    2023 Channel Partner Trends


    Networked, Engaged, Extended, Hybrid




    Influence map & care-abouts


    Connected Business


    SMB & Midmarket Managed Services Adoption


    SMB & Midmarket Analytics & Artificial Intelligence Adoption


    SMB Path to Digitalization


    SMB & Midmarket SaaS Adoption
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13

Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

One year with Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition: A Celebration of ThinkPad Excellence

Sitting in a hotel in SoHo district in New York City on a cold winter day in October 2022, I received my 30th-anniversary edition of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Upon unboxing, I was immediately drawn to the thoughtful details that set this edition apart. The packaging, crafted from eco-friendly bamboo and compostable sugarcane materials, was encased in a 30th-anniversary sleeve. Nestled within was a pamphlet chronicling the ThinkPad’s journey, a commemorative anniversary sticker, and interchangeable TrackPoint heads in vibrant RGB red, green, and blue colors. The lid branding was the first thing that caught my eye as I unveiled the laptop. The tri-colored logo is a delightful throwback to the old branding, reinforcing the nostalgic theme of this special edition.

My journey with the ThinkPad brand began in 1993, when I first laid hands on an IBM model, though I can’t recall if it was the 700 or 700c. The day the screen shattered was a heart-wrenching one for me. However, the efficient tech support at IBM’s Exchange Square in Hong Kong swiftly replaced the screen, much to my relief. In 1994, I switched to 701, also known as the Butterfly.

Fast forward to 2005, Lenovo took over IBM’s PC division, continuing the legacy of innovation that the ThinkPad line was known for. Among their offerings, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon stands out as a highly sought-after business laptop, earning critical acclaim for its slim design, robust performance, and impressive battery life.

In honor of the ThinkPad’s 30th anniversary, Lenovo introduced a special edition of the X1 Carbon. I am fortunate to have spent the last twelve months with this 30th-anniversary edition of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition is a remarkable milestone, celebrating three decades of the esteemed ThinkPad series. With a mere 5,000 units in circulation, this limited-edition model pays homage to the ThinkPad’s illustrious past and its progressive evolution.

Retaining the body design of the Gen 10, this compact laptop is a traveler’s dream with its 14-inch frame. Its slender 0.6-inch profile and feather-light weight of 2.4 pounds make it my constant companion during my relentless travels. Indeed, the laptop’s negligible weight in my backpack is such that it allows me the added convenience of carrying a ThinkVision M14. The two together have traveled with me three times around the world in the last twelve months. The presence of 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports proves incredibly handy. They allow for effortless connection of an external webcam or a light, eliminating the need for additional dongles.

The keyboard boasts a unique anniversary design, with the TrackPoint cap mirroring the classic ThinkPad colors. These nostalgic colors pay tribute to the original ThinkPads and serve as a recurring theme on this device. I’ve carefully preserved these interchangeable heads in a Ziploc pouch in my backpack.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition version I’ve been using is a powerhouse. It’s equipped with an Intel Core i7-1270P processor, which ensures robust performance for all my demanding tasks. Accompanied by 32GB of LPDDR5 memory, it allows for seamless multitasking.

The laptop also features a 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD, providing me with ample storage space and facilitating quick boot times and rapid data access. This feature is a boon for someone like me who accumulates a lot of information.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition display is indeed a highlight. Its 14-inch screen, with a 3840 x 2400 pixels resolution, delivers crisp visuals and vibrant colors. This enhances every task, whether working on spreadsheets, watching videos, or participating in video calls.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 30th Anniversary Edition is more than just a laptop; it’s a testament to thirty years of innovation and quality. Its top-tier specifications, sleek design, and limited availability embody the ThinkPad brand's legacy. This powerful and stylish laptop is a device that celebrates the ThinkPad’s journey, making it an excellent addition to any workspace. My workspace.

thinkpad 30th


Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is a phenomenal multitasking notebook for the discerning SMB user

Occasionally there comes along a compelling, impressive, persuasive, and differentiated notebook design that astonishes you. Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is that design. The new Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 has a 17.3-inch ultrawide 3K display AND an additional 8-inch color display beside the keyboard. It is built for multitasking. And I love it.

I first fiddled with Thinkbook Plus in November 2019. The notebook gripped my attention because of its “Think” pedigree, focus on the SMB segment, and unexpected E-Ink screen on the lid. It was an intriguing design. Fast forward two years to September 2022. The innovation difference between the Gen 1 and Gen 3 has been nothing but exponential. I distinctly remember quizzing engineers during analyst council sessions with many PC OEMs about a notebook with multiple or extensible screens. Two models with dual screens have been introduced, and Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is far better than its competitor.

techaisle lenovo thinkbook plus gen3 image

I have been using a fully configured (1 TB SSD, 12th Gen Intel core i7-12700H processor, 32 GB memory, a fingerprint scanner on the power button, TPM 2.0) production model for most of the last month. It is an innovative and practical notebook that exudes the quiet confidence of imaginative applied design. When I powered on the notebook, my synapses fired on all cylinders. Lenovo still has one of the cleanest setups and installs of any PC OEM. Lenovo Vantage is one of the best apps to personalize device settings, update drivers and software and manage security configurations.

Dual displays are more productive than one

The touchscreen 17.3-inch main display of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is ultrawide and has a resolution of 3072 x 1440 with an aspect ratio of 21:10 and 400 nits brightness. The ultrawide display in a laptop makes multitasking more accessible and allows users to see more content with less distraction. The massive and roomy display is a visual treat, a productivity enhancer, and ideal for Windows 11 snap layout. Straddling the line between business, work, and life, ThinkBook boasts Dolby Vision for lifelike images, blue light reduction, and 2 X 2W Harman Kardon audio for superior sound. The Lenovo Integrated Pen is a bonus for the secondary display. There is a built-in pen garage in the right corner of the chassis rear. I found the pen responsive on the 8-inch display when using Microsoft OneNote. I have extensively used the secondary 800 x 1280 multitouch LCD display for email, note taking, meeting calendar, WhatsApp desktop, skype, web browsing, file explorer, and Teams chat. Its 10:16 aspect ratio works very well, in my experience. It is one of the best examples of multitasking. Although the screen resolution is not the best, it is very productive to have an additional display. The high point is that I can drag and drop most applications and snap windows from the main to the secondary display and vice versa. I have effectively used the screen to glance at my talking points during presentations. The two screens combined optimize my productivity. The backlit keyboard is helpful.

Continue reading

Lenovo melding hybrid work and Work for Humankind

On the heels of its success in 2021, Lenovo has launched its second iteration of Work for Humankind to show how everyone can think differently about the future of hybrid work. In partnership with Lenovo, Island Conservation, and the Robinson Crusoe community, volunteers work their own jobs remotely from one of the world’s most far-flung offices. The NGO Island Conservation and the local community on Robinson Crusoe Island thoroughly vetted and screened prospective volunteers from across the world who sought to participate in this initiative through an open application process. These volunteers use Lenovo’s technology and donate their professional skills spanning design, technology, sustainability, and biodiversity to support conservation efforts. Lenovo’s efforts recognize that technology is pivotal in creating the flexibility to fulfill knowledge workers’ desires to work from anywhere while enabling them to do good in their communities. Through the Work for Humankind project, Lenovo demonstrates what is possible when people and technology are brought together for the good of humanity.
After launching the volunteer application form in December 2021, Lenovo received thousands of applications worldwide for fewer than a dozen volunteer spots. All volunteer finalists went through multiple rounds of screening before selections were made by Island Conservation (NGO) and the local Robinson Crusoe community.

Since first announcing the Work for Humankind project, an enormous amount of work was done to prepare for the arrival of volunteers on the island. From a technical perspective, Lenovo had to increase the island’s internet bandwidth to support its local NGO partner, Island Conservation, and enable the island to advance its own community goals and equip the volunteers to do their own day jobs remotely. Together with Island Conservation and the local community, Lenovo has established a community technology hub, fully equipped with some of Lenovo’s devices, solutions, and services, and significantly upgraded internet connectivity from 1 Mbps to up to 200 Mbps, bringing high-speed internet to Robinson Crusoe Island for the first time. The broad portfolio of Lenovo’s devices, solutions, and services being used include:

Lenovo 2

The Lenovo technologies incorporated into this project aim to accelerate proven conservation actions that preserve the rare habitats and endangered species thriving on Robinson Crusoe Island. After the program, the technology will remain on the Island for the community to use long-term.

Capturing and highlighting the meaningful work on Robinson Crusoe Island is a priority for Lenovo. Therefore, Lenovo uses its www.lenovowfh.com microsite to post blogs from its volunteers, testimonial interviews, videos, and photography.

Better hardware equipment and mobile devices are an essential component of remote work, but remote work enablement extends beyond hardware to applications, solutions, and work habits. Besides selecting the volunteers, the most challenging parts were setting up island connectivity and building the tech hub. The initiative focuses on empowering the volunteers to improve the Island’s ecosystem and advance the community’s desire to become more socially, economically, environmentally sustainable, and resilient while enabling the volunteers to work from anywhere on their day jobs indeed.

The industry is abuzz with hybrid work discussions, home office, safe return to the office, shared space, meeting rooms, and hot desking. Although most agree that hybrid work is here to stay, many cannot ascertain the trend's longevity because forecasts tend to be very wrong in volatile times. Most IT suppliers are focused on providing innovative technology solutions for the hybrid work model. Lenovo is showing how hybrid work can be melded with Work for Humankind.


Evolve Small – a differentiated small business campaign from Lenovo focuses on business mentoring and community outreach

SMBs are an excellent indicator to measure the economy's pulse in any country as they constitute over 90 percent of global businesses. They intricately link to large companies, government departments, and educational institutions as both suppliers and customers. In addition, a large percentage of consumers rely on SMBs for products and services that they consume within their households. Technology plays an integral part in the daily operations of SMBs across all departmental functions, including sales, marketing, operations, finance, and customer support.

Over the last three decades, the global SMB (1-999 employee size) market has been the growth engine for the IT industry at large. The path to business growth, strategy to deal with the competitive landscape, route to profitability were predictable and linear. And the way to adopting technology was also predictable and linear. The business pressures existed, but they were few and came on slowly. But it is not so anymore. Today, business pressures are increasing, coming from all directions - cash flow constraints, access to capital, competitive landscape, need for innovation, digital transformation, erratic revenue, uncertainties, the pace of technology change, and many more. A Techaisle survey found that a typical business leader deals with an average of five business pressures daily.

What is more telling is that 52 percent of SMBs deal with more than five pressures daily. These would be enough to put the brakes on any regular business operation. COVID did just that. Small businesses are struggling with revenue loss, attracting and retaining workforce, and lacking access to capital. As a result, technology has become even more important than two years ago. To manage costs, drive growth and enable resiliency, Techaisle data shows that 41 percent of small businesses have accelerated their digital transformation initiatives. However, for 55percent of small businesses IT budget is not sufficient to meet their needs. In addition, 63 percent of small businesses are actively looking for external guidance on cost-effective technology solutions.

Launched in July 2021, Lenovo's "Evolve Small" is a purpose-driven campaign centered on lending small businesses a helping hand. Founded on the principles of aid, mentorship, and community, the "hug and a hand" approach essentially focuses on three primary vital areas:

1. Financial assistance
2. Business mentoring and consulting
3. Rallying local communities to support their small businesses

The chief architects of the "Evolve Small" campaign are John Bischof (Executive Director, SMB Sales) and SMB Segment Marketing Managers, Megan Wine & Michelle Wiese.

As part of the program, Lenovo has committed US$1 million in grant funding to support BIPOC-owned (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) small businesses. To facilitate and administer the grants, Lenovo has partnered with LISC, a non-profit organization in the US and a non-profit organization in Toronto, Canada. What is unique about the grants (average of US$10,000 per small business) is that they come with business development support. Techaisle believes that business development mentoring and community outreach is essential differentiation. Techaisle data shows that small businesses prioritizing growth are more likely to thrive in today's unpredictable economy than those focusing primarily on cost reduction or other 'business as usual' objectives. Business growth is more than simply increasing the top line in the digital world – though, of course, expanding the top line is a crucial measure of success. But growth also includes the ability to reach into new markets, identify and capitalize on adjacencies, and identify and integrate with suppliers who can extend the relevance of the small business in new ways. There is also follow-up, built into the campaign, where business development organizations that partner with the non-profit, LISC, help small businesses identify the best ways to use the funds (e.g., prioritize paying off some rent or paying employees) which new technologies they need.

lenovo 321 coffee

The campaign has been rolled out across seven geographically diverse cities, including Raleigh, Chicago, Austin, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Seattle in the USA, and Toronto, Canada.

Continue reading

Search Blogs

Find Research

Blog Archive

Research You Can Rely On | Analysis You Can Act Upon

Techaisle - TA