Lenovo has announced an all-new product at CES 2015, known as the ThinkPad Stack, which consists of a series of stackable mobile accessories.
While the ThinkPad brand is mostly associated with laptops and other notebooks, the ThinkPad Stack is a whole other beast.
Through an interlocking design using magnets, mobile accessories like bluetooth speakers, battery packs, USB charging hubs, extra storage, and an even a wireless access point can be stacked and organized into one complete single system, taking up lest surface area on your desk and uses less cables than what would otherwise be required.
The big thing to take note of is that the system is completely proprietary, so in order to take advantage of the stacking system, all of the mobile accessories will need be from Lenovo. This means that you simple can’t buy a bluetooth speaker from Logitech and then a portable storage system from Western Digital and expect to stack everything together. However, you probably already knew that.
There are four mobile accessories total so far in the ThinkPad Stack system, which includes a 10,000mAh Power Bank, a Bluetooth speaker, a wireless access point, and a 1TB hard drive — all of which can be stacked on top of each other for maximum space saving.
The Power Bank allows you to plug in your mobile devices to charge them up, while the Bluetooth speaker allows you to get better sound through your smartphone or tablet, as we all know the built-in speakers in mobile devices aren’t that terrific. Plus, the Bluetooth speaker comes with a built-in mic that can be used for conference calls.
The wireless access point gives users a better WiFi signal, while the 1TB hard drive gives you quick access to large files through microUSB 3.0.
All four accessories can easily stack together using magnets, and they all have pogo pins on them, allowing them to talk to each other and connect to each other, as well as make it easier to charge all of the accessories with just one cable.
The ThinkPad Stack will be available at some point in April, and each of the accessories will be sold separately, with prices starting at $49 for the Power Bank, while the Bluetooth speaker will be priced at $89, and the wireless access point and hard drive will be sold as a combined unit for $199.
Essentially, a product like this is great for businesses, as you can put it in the middle of the conference table and all it done, and with only one cable needed to provide power to each of the stackable accessories, you won’t have to deal with cable clutter that’s usually an inevitable problem in every workplace.
The only problem that could be an issue in some workplaces is that the hard drive and the Power Bank both use microUSB, which is perfect for Android devices and other smartphones and tablets, but iOS devices seem to be left out of the picture, unless you purchase a microUSB-to-Lightning adapter for $19.
However, the wireless access point and the hard drive can work together to provide wireless storage, allowing any device to wirelessly connect to it and access the storage on the ThinkPad Stack.