What really stood out with ThinkPads and other laptops is the ThinkPad keyboard. I once let a friend in my class use my X200 and she raved about the keyboard. Now that it's gone chiclet I hope that it at least feels tactile, has good feedback, has water-spill protection, and is easy to replace.
I can assure you that tactile feedback, spill protection and easy replaceability are all going to remain. Even engineers who like to mess with things for no good reason are usually not stupid enough to downright ruin them.
However, the traditional keyboard layout, which to many (yours truly included) is as important as the rigidity is gone, and that is sad.
AND on top of that, there don't seem to be any dedicated F-keys (you have to hold down FN to get them- so hitting Control-F1 on some programs is going to be more awkward than normal).
In all laptops where the Function keys serve as multimedia keys by default, and you need to hold Fn for the original functionality, there is a setting in the BIOS to restore normal behavior.
So unless they're offering a CTO option (or some other model) that has the option to use the old keyboard (the bezel being the same dimensions as the X220)
They are not going to. Might as well stop saying that, it's not going to make it come true.
Mac decides that glossy screen are IN, everyone decides that Glossy screens are IN.
In their defense, Apple were the last in the non-business brands to still offer matte screen options, and now it seems they are bringing some of them back.
The reason why Macs are always on top is because they don't follow trends, they set them. I hope some folks at Lenovo are listening.
You are totally right. And it is doubly sad that Lenovo seems to want to relinquish its unique identity in order to be more like everyone else. Short term it may be good for their profits, but long term - never.
Lenovo has several PC lines that they can use to follow trends and satisfy the masses, why would you cheapen a brand that you spent so much money acquiring? Makes no sense.
Again, could not agree with you more. I always like innovations and additions and more options. The X300/
T400s series were great addition to the business line. The SL/Edge series in my mind was also a great move - a cheaper series of more multimedia-oriented machines, with some Thinkpad characteristics (yes, the keyboard is only 6-row, but it was good, and there is a trackpoint, and matte screen options, and above average design. Overall it filled a previously empty niche in the small business sector, or for consumers who want a little extra without paying too much.
But while I'm happy with the fact that there is such a thing as Thinkpad Edge, I would not be happy to see every Thinkpad become a Thinkpad Edge. And with this keyboard it's another step in that direction.
I've had difficulty swallowing the Windows key on Lenovo-era ThinkPads
Well, my friend, this is just your conservatism.
The Windows key is standard, and it's good. I became fond of it when I realized it has more functions than accidentally minimizing my full-screen video game and pi**ing me off in the process; it actually allows easy access to a few convenient shortcuts. Besides, it was added without sacrificing much of anything (the Ctrl and Alt became a little smaller, and that's it).
To me the Windows key versus the 6-row is exactly the two examples that illustrate the difference between a small improvement without breaking anything, and a major unwarranted change which partly reduces usability. Good vs bad.
I'm staring at my seven row X220i keyboard. There's only six keys on the seventh row, none of which I use much - print screen, scroll lock, pause, insert, etc. Six seldom used keys wouldn't make much of a difference to me.
You are lucky. Unfortunately not all are as lucky as you.
6-row, 7-row - these are just buzzwords. Technically the keyboard is 8-row (count the arrow keys), but it's beside the point. It's the layout that matters.
Breaking the 6-key navigation block is quite annoying for someone who is using it a lot and is used for the keys to be in the same locations on all his keyboards. Print Screen is still there, but also moved, and now the menu key is gone (I personally don't care as much, but some users surely do). Same goes for Pause and Scroll Lock (which are probably still accessible using some Fn combinations, but it's counter-productive).
Yes, overall probably less than 1% of the people use these keys. And I would understand a compromise which makes things bad for this 1% while making it better for the other 99%. But there is nothing in the new layout that is better for anyone (except maybe for Lenovo's manufacturing department if it's cheaper). That's the problem.