Lenovo has announced that their 2018 ThinkPad laptops based on Intel’s 8th Generation Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs will get universal power adapters that use the USB Type-C connectors. The move will greatly simplify lives of road warriors and people who have to charge their notebooks often. In addition, select ThinkPad T-series laptops will get the ThinkShutter physical webcam cover.

Starting this year, all Lenovo ThinkPad models will use universal chargers based around the USB-C connector and the USB Power Delivery 3.0 specification. This does not mean that the new ThinkPad X1 and the ThinkPad T580 will use the same adapter, but it means that one power brick will be compatible with all laptops in the lineup. Of course, the more powerful laptops will be equipped with more powerful chargers, so usage of a charger for a low-power device to charge a high-performance PC will mean slower charging.

Meanwhile, an important thing about universal chargers relying on the USB Power Delivery 3.0 standard is that they are compatible with different notebook brands, so from now on it will be possible to charge new Lenovo ThinkPad laptops using universal adapters that support an appropriate current and voltage combination (keep in mind that officially Lenovo does not promise compatibility with third-party adapters). Such universal adapters can be purchased in various electronics stores and there will be no need to look for a proprietary adapter if you are travelling abroad and lose your ThinkPad power brick.

Traditionally different notebooks used different chargers because of different power requirements. A 15.6” mobile workstation naturally consumes more power than a 12” laptop and it was natural that power bricks supplied by notebook makers for such machines were different. A number of mobile PC makers unified chargers across their product lineups, but did not unify connectors with other suppliers, which is why power bricks from one brand were physically incompatible with notebooks from another. With the emergence of the USB Power Delivery revision 2.0 spec in 2014 and its consequent USB PD revision 2.0 version 1.2 evolution, there is a growing number of smartphones and notebooks featuring a USB-C connector as well as universal chargers from companies like Anker or Belkin.

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  • Hurr Durr - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    When will they all get good screens though? I`m not asking for much, just your bog standard 1080p IPS with acceptable colors and I`ll fix it with a calibration tool later but oh god let the TN die already.
    Lenovo is ESPECIALLY guily here.
  • jordanclock - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    You mean like the T580 that was just launched?

  • Hurr Durr - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    If their 1k dollar offerings don`t get this as a base option it just turns into a farce.
  • neo_1221 - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    No more power connectors that are the same size and shape as USB connectors? Hallelujah!
  • Lord of the Bored - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    I thought that was literally what this was.
  • DanNeely - Saturday, January 6, 2018 - link

    Some older Lenovo's have connectors that are the size of a USB-A port but aren't USB-A. This has included plugs with a different shaped tongue so that non-USB devices won't fit into the socket and the plug won't fit into a USB socket. On more recent laptops its included power connectors that look like USB but with 1 corner pulled out so that the power brick won't fit into a normal USB plug. Those sockets look like they'd support a standard USB device; but I've never tried to see what would happen if I did.
  • Tams80 - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    Will they be losing a USB port though? That is the question.

    As in will they decide that one of the existing USB-C ports will do double duty as the power port and not add in another USB (or Thunderbolt) port as a replacement.
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, January 6, 2018 - link

    Does it matter which USB-C port you plug this into?
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, January 15, 2018 - link

    Most likely, yes.
  • Gunbuster - Saturday, January 6, 2018 - link

    One step closer to the no brand knock off Chinese brick people will buy off amazon for $14 being able to fry your $1500 device, and it can compromise your security too since it's got access to the USB bus.

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