Motorcycle manufacturers are no strangers to merch. Think of Harley-Davidson and its bar and shield apparel empire or of BMW and its Motorrad gear. Sometimes, companies think outside of the box and come up with a different kind of paraphernalia. Whether it’s a t-shirt, or a mug, or a bottle opener for that beer you should really only have after your ride, it feels like we’ve seen it all. Or have we? Some brands still manage to surprise us. This time, Ducati wants to keep you company in a coffee shop.
The Italian manufacturer teamed up with computer-maker Lenovo to unveil the Ducati 5 laptop at CES 2020. This isn’t Ducati and Lenovo’s first partnership—the computer manufacturer mentions in the release that it became Ducati’s “key technology partner” in racing two years ago. Motorcycle racing and computers, it’s getting pretty close at this point.
The good news is that despite all the fancy badging, it’s the cheapest Ducati available on the market with a price tag of €899 (or $999). The bad news is that the laptop runs on Windows (shots fired). The laptop is decorated with racing stripes branded Ducati Corse and makes motorcycle engine noises when you start it.
That’s where the computer and motorcycle overlap ends. The rest is all computer lingo. The 14-inch laptop features a 1920x1080 HD display, WiFi 6 connectivity, a USB-C port, an HD Webcam with privacy shutter, a Rapid Charge charger, and a battery good for 12 hours. The computer runs Windows 10 on Intel Core i5 processors and offers 8 GB of memory and uses a solid-state drive (SSD) with a storage capacity of 1 TB.
This is perfect for the people out there who are fan enough to want this computer but not enough to get a motorcycle license. Just be warned, you might encounter a Ducatista in the wild and have to fend off his questions about just how big of a Ducati fan you really are.
High-speed Performance and Design with Special Limited-edition Lenovo Ducati 5
At Lenovo, we love making purpose-built machines as does Ducati, who makes some of the best bikes in the world. Brand collaborations aren’t new, but meaningful ones tend to delight fans and last. It starts with a shared purpose or value, but where it organically ends up can be somewhere magical.
Creativity, passion and technology are at the heart of what Lenovo and Ducati do; two years ago, Lenovo brought its smarter technology to the racetrack by becoming the key technology partner of Ducati.
At Ducati Corse the saying goes, “The faster the computing power, the faster the motorbikes.” Ducati has undergone a transformation of its own; computer technology and artificial intelligence are reshaping motorsport in unprecedented ways.
Lenovo’s branding can be seen on Ducati racing bikes and MotoGP™ riders’ uniforms, and now, for the first time at CES® 2020, the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, superfans will get to see Ducati’s branding featured on our special edition thin and light laptop: the Lenovo Ducati 5.
Love at First Bike
A shared love for customers inspired the next frontier of product development for this successful Lenovo-Ducati partnership, built around making an emotional connection between the two brands. These are fans who value high performance in motorsports as well as in their personal devices and want to express their connection to Ducati both on and off the track. For this laptop, we harnessed that same passion for Ducati design, considering all the details, to deliver fans a PC they could love as much as their bike.
With wrap-around racing stripes, colorful gift box and companion carrying sleeve with an emblazoned Ducati shield, there’s no other PC quite like it in the world.
For an inside look at this collaboration, we spoke with Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group’s Vice President of Design, Brian Leonard, about some of his and Ducati’s favorite design details.
Brian Leonard: It has been an honor to co-create something together, something new and premium that people can’t wait to get their hands on as they roll out to market. Even now, people ask me if I can save them one. Much of the deep emotional connection that customers feel as they consider the new Lenovo Ducati 5 was purposeful.
What was it like to work with the Ducati team in coming up with podium-worthy designs?
Brian Leonard: It was our intention from the beginning to go bold. I was lucky to have visited several times with Ducati at their factory in Bologna, Italy, which on any given day is packed with motorcycle lovers—from museum visitors checking out the racing memorabilia next door to the gift shop staff and everyone on the factory floor.
The small parking lot was full of row after row of Scramblers, Monsters, Panigales, all different types of Ducati bikes. At first, I thought they were for sale and ready to be shipped, but was told that no, they belonged to their employees—many of whom I got to observe on the factory floor honing their craft. You can actually see how much they care about what they do. The quality and care that goes into every piece, one single person working on one part at a time to create a finished product that’s truly handcrafted and quintessentially Italian.
When they build a motorcycle, they’re building it for one customer, and they love their customers. It’s little wonder why so many leave Ducati’s showroom with a catalog under their arm; once you see the stylish, refined lines of some of these bikes, you’re hooked.
Compare Lenovo’s creation process to Ducati’s. What did we need to get right?
Brian Leonard: In short, everything. I love their ability to create a deeper emotional connection between their customers and their products, and that’s what we’re interested in doing at Lenovo.
Balanced design is part of Ducati’s brand and honoring that heritage was one of our drivers to producing a refined product. Each element chosen was no accident, there was zero chance we were just going to slap a logo on something—the materials, finishes and colors used all had to meet a high standard.
These devices feel special, almost custom-built. And with only 12,000 machines in this limited-edition model, it’s tailored for the biggest Ducati fans. Working with Ducati on figuring out how to make something new and different has been a lot of fun. Any creative exercise that gives our PC designers fresh perspective is good. We had to invent a way to add those authentic Ducati racing stripes in the right shade of red with the same precision and quality that Ducati’s artisans use in crafting their higher-end products.
As a team, we spent our time concerned with which aesthetics were going to resonate well with fans of Ducati and Lenovo – a design that fused the two brands. A look and feel that was understated but special to allow diehard Ducati fans to appreciate the quality of the finishes and unique details.
It’s more than simply making a new computer, we wanted it to be sought-after; a collectible intended for fans to show off their deep-rooted passion for Ducati.
Tell us what inspired some of the Lenovo Ducati 5’s most eye-catching design elements.
Brian Leonard: Riding a motorcycle is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy the open road, and Ducati’s variety of bikes offers endless design attributes that can be expressed. The colors chosen for the notebook come from one of the Panigale street bikes, but it’s the naked frame structure of the Ducati Monster that surrounds our bottom air intake vent.
Sports exhausts on Ducati bikes have a hexagon “honeycomb” shape vs. the circular hole shape customary to our air vents so we customized them to match. We added a pop of red inside the power well for a more punch-up look under the hinge. Fans will spot the special stitching pattern on the sleeve that matches the detailing on Ducati’s bike seats.
We also mirrored the unconventional way Ducati uses the effect of negative space on their machines by allowing the metallic grey materials underneath to shine through—we picked special aluminum materials and underglazed logo to imitate those heavy metal details.
Typeface used to stamp individual serial numbers on the bottom laptop covers and on the commemorative cards is the same one Ducati uses to mark its collector edition bike parts. Something fans can look forward to is the BIOS chime that sounds like the buzz of MotoGP riders racing around the circuit with the Ducati logo front and center on the bootup screen.
Lean, Mean Entertainment Machine
Now that we know all about the design elements that give the Lenovo Ducati 5 limited-edition that rev of raw energy, what about the ‘speeds and feeds’?
This premium 14-inch Windows 10 laptop has a lot of get-up-and-go and up to 12 hours of battery life1 with Rapid Charge2 for speedy battery pit-stops. Under the hood users will discover fast responsiveness with up to 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 processors, Intel integrated graphics, and upward-facing speakers and Dolby Audio™ for clearer sound without distortion.
Impress your buddies when streaming races with lightning-fast WiFi 6 connectivity and the immersive clarity of the Lenovo Ducati 5’s 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with razor-thin bezels for wide-angled viewing and in-plane switching (IPS) up to 300 nits bright.
Check out the cutting-edge USB-C port capable of fast transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps.3 Get optional white backlit keyboard and even more winning features including an integrated fingerprint reader in the power button supported by Windows Hello for faster log in, HD webcam with an integrated privacy shutter, and supercharged memory (with 8 GB DDR4) and storage (1TB SSD PCIe).
With its sleek lines, premium metallic chassis components, and standout Ducati design, the new Lenovo Ducati 5 is a fun device to race around town with weighing just 3.48lbs (1.58kg) and 0.66 inches (16.9mm) thin.
The special edition 14-inch Lenovo Ducati 5 will start at €899.00 (including VAT)4 and will be available in select markets starting in April 2020.4
Visit the Lenovo CES 2020 press kit for photos and full specs.
1 All battery life claims are approximate and based on test results using the MobileMark® 2014 at 150 nits screen brightness ver 1.5 battery life benchmark test. Actual results will vary and depend on numerous factors including product configuration and usage, software, operating conditions, wireless functionality, power management settings, screen brightness and other factors. The maximum capacity of the battery will naturally decrease with time and usage. See https://bapcocom/ products/mobilemark-2014/ for additional details.
2 Requires upgraded 95W adapter (sold separately). Power-up with Rapid Charge, 15-minutes of charge offers up to 3 hours of battery life, 30 minutes of charge offers up to 50 percent battery life capacity. The maximum capacity of the battery will naturally decrease with time and usage.
3 The actual transfer speed of the USB 3.1 Gen 1 will vary, and depending on many factors, such as the processing capability of host and peripheral devices, file attributes and other factors related to system configuration and your operating environments, will be slower than a speed of 5 Gbit/s.
4 Prices may not include tax, shipping or options and are subject to change without notice; additional terms and conditions apply. Reseller prices may vary. On-shelf dates may vary by geography and products may only be available in select markets. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings, features and specifications at any time without notice.
LENOVO is a trademark of Lenovo. CES is a trademark of the Consumer Technology Association. DUCATI is a trademark of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. MOTOGP is a trademark of Dorna Sports, S.L. Intel and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. DOLBY AUDIO is an un-registered trademark of Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Windows and Windows Hello are trademarks of Microsoft Corp. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2020, Lenovo Group Limited.
Even the boxes are special; the gift box has a luxurious feel with the Ducati logo atop a chameleon silver metallic-colored lid with a red bottom. When the laptop is unboxed for the first time, the customer gets all the feels – like when they saw their first Ducati bike. We even modified the outer shipping container with a bright red handle and Ducati logo on the outside, immediately marking it to onlookers as different.