Thinkpad Reserve: Lenovo (Almost) Gets Hardware as a Service.

The photo above isn’t just a leather portfolio. It’s the Thinkpad Reserve Edition, reported by Crunchgear and Engadget.

For $5,000 you can be part of an exclusive club, since only 5,000 units will ever be made. You’ll also get access to the exclusive, concierge-style support service: immediate access, your own personal support consultant, next-day delivery of a replacement computer ..etc for 3 years, the expected life-time of the Thinkpad. And therein lies the rub.

If you exclusivity is so important that you spend $5K, do you really want to carry a 2-year old computer? Your Thinkpad will be obsolete in 6 months, but let’s say you don’t have to be cutting-edge… in a year it will feel so uncomfortably old… a shame to be seen with, so you might as well keep that nice leather portfolio closed at all times. 😉 Joke apart, here’s what Lenovo missed: adding the strong service part was good, so why not go all the way? Introduce Hardware as a Service: charge an annual fee, include annual computer replacement, but make the transition painless – from contacting the owner through shipping the new units to transferring user setup and data – now that’s real Concierge! Charge whatever they want: $3k -$4K – $5k annually -probably doesn’t matter… exclusivity is priceless. Tongue