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My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

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elitistlinuxuser
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My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#1 Post by elitistlinuxuser » Tue May 15, 2012 3:28 pm

In my opinion the changes that Lenovo made to the Think brand of products are logical changes that any company would including IBM.
Screens-The 4:3 aspect ratio is outdated and modern applications will design themselves for wider screens in the future. Even Windows 8 is optimized for wider displays. Also consider how few screen manufacturers make 4:3, 5:4, or 16:10 displays almost none. Plus the X1 Carbon and X230 are getting upgraded to higher resolutions.
Keyboards: I actually like the new keyboard it feels better, it has the same tactile feel and curved key shapes but the keys are spaced which does help with typing. I tried a thinkpad X1 keyboard is my favorite laptop keyboard. Generally a lot of users are giving the new keyboard praise and so are reviewers. So generally the consensus is that the new keyboard is better. Also I will note that the new keyboard addresses a major flaw of the previous keyboard the new trackpoint no longer gets in the way of the G,B,H keys. Also consider that there are laptops with Thinkpad style keys and similar trackpoints exist in some other brands and there are many laptops with chiclets, if anything the new keyboard is completely different from anything that is available on the market, so no they are diluting their brand name they really are differentiating themselves. I do think that keeping the pg up, pg dn, delete, insrt in a separate row would have been better but the functionality is still there so that is a minor gripe if you ask me.
Mechanical latch: makes sense to get rid of it more moving parts = less durability. It also added thickness to the product too.
I guarantee you that these things IBM would do, IBM wouldn't just release the same product year after year. Consider IBM made some strange and diversified products the Trans-Note come to mind. Lenovo also has a much more diverse user base than IBM had in the early days, the Lenovo user base consists of not just hardcore thinkpad users and business men. Lenovo's user base consist business men, existing users, and new users. The thinkpad products might change over the years but the black bento box design philosophy remains the same. The mechanical keyboards are still there, the trackpoints are still there, they still make tablets with swivel screens, thinkpad durability is still there and has improved, thinkpad security and manageability features are still there etc. Anyways products change and people's needs change, but a thinkpad is still a Thinkpad will still stand out from the crowd of "regular" laptops.

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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#2 Post by Totoro-kun » Tue May 15, 2012 4:19 pm

but a thinkpad is still a Thinkpad will still stand out from the crowd of "regular" laptops.
Really? I look at these new so called thinkpad's and I only see logo. The color is there, the logo is there, but ThinkPad is gone.

Place one of the real ThinkPad's next to it and the difference is clear, new one just looks like s**t:
Hinges - symetrical
ThinkLight - Gone. Some dreadful keyboard back light instead. Doesn't it belong in a macbook? I certainly do not want to be blinded by keyboard. "I" people seem to like that.
Keyboard - Gone, only TrackPoint remains on this dell keyboard. Reviewers or users that do not type may like it, but it's still is crap in a sense that layout is not practical (missing keys, function keys pushed together). 7 row keyboard was truly great, only thing they really needed to do is to get rid of useless windows key imho.
TrackPad - way too big for a decent ThinkPad, looks like it should have ended up in macbook or something.
Screen - so wide, that now 14 inch model is as big as 15,4" one with 16:10 format. That's just crazy!
Latch - gone, why? ThinkPad doesn't need to be thinner, it needs to be sturdy and practical.

Whats next? numpad keyboard? Glossy screens? I think, if Lenovo engineers like to design macbooks so much, why they just go and find some work in Apple??

Change is good, but only if it's for the right reasons, and cheapening out best laptop in the market is not a valid reason. They should make them better, not cheaper. And I bet they could make them well, if they would just start thinking and stop making up excuses.
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#3 Post by EasyMac308 » Tue May 15, 2012 5:55 pm

I don't know... I try to avoid being closed-minded about such things (I used to *hate* the Windows key; now I accept, maybe even like it), but it seems to me that more and more companies are getting into "change for change's sake". Nobody expects time to stand still, but don't throw out the good features in pursuit of the new. The Thinkpad keyboard, Trackpoint, and quality materials are things that should not change.

4:3 is just a better aspect ratio IMNSHO. I can deal with widescreen (my T410 is one), but 4:3 is easier for me to use.

The Trackpoint is superior to a generic touchpad in almost every way, most notably because you don't have to move your hands off of the keyboard to mouse.

There's nothing to say about the Thinkpad keyboard other than it's superior to every other laptop I've ever touched, bar none.

If Lenovo decides to drop the ball on quality machines, hopefully some other existing or new manufacturer will pick up the slack.
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#4 Post by yak » Tue May 15, 2012 6:08 pm

Totoro-kun wrote:Hinges - symetrical
ThinkLight - Gone. Some dreadful keyboard back light instead. Doesn't it belong in a macbook? I certainly do not want to be blinded by keyboard. "I" people seem to like that.
Keyboard - Gone, only TrackPoint remains on this dell keyboard. Reviewers or users that do not type may like it, but it's still is crap in a sense that layout is not practical (missing keys, function keys pushed together). 7 row keyboard was truly great, only thing they really needed to do is to get rid of useless windows key imho.
TrackPad - way too big for a decent ThinkPad, looks like it should have ended up in macbook or something.
Screen - so wide, that now 14 inch model is as big as 15,4" one with 16:10 format. That's just crazy!
Latch - gone, why? ThinkPad doesn't need to be thinner, it needs to be sturdy and practical.
Hinges - Symetrical hinges look cleaner and take nothing from durability so why are they bad?
ThinkLight - Actually it's not gone. Backlit keyboard is an option. You will probably be able to have both.
Keyboard - I haven't seen any reports from people that tried it that said it's as useless as a dell keyboard. It looks different, yes, but most people say the key travel is on par if not better than the current keyboards.
TrackPad - (TouchPad actually, Macs have TrackPads) way too big? Since when a smaller TouchPad is better? Just because Apple was the first to improve usability of TouchPads by making them bigger doesn't mean everyone else should keep them inferior.
Screen - Much was said about aspect ratios of laptop displays. Whole industy is moving to 16:9 and we have to deal with it. IBM would've gone 16:9 as well. Luckily the new trend is to increase resolutions.
Latch - I'm still on X200 so I have the latch. I won't say taking it out was a bad idea until I try a latchless ThinkPad. Have you tried? If not then you can't say there's any impact on durability.
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#5 Post by ajkula66 » Tue May 15, 2012 7:18 pm

elitistlinuxuser wrote: Generally a lot of users are giving the new keyboard praise and so are reviewers. So generally the consensus is that the new keyboard is better. Also I will note that the new keyboard addresses a major flaw of the previous keyboard the new trackpoint no longer gets in the way of the G,B,H keys. Also consider that there are laptops with Thinkpad style keys and similar trackpoints exist in some other brands and there are many laptops with chiclets, if anything the new keyboard is completely different from anything that is available on the market, so no they are diluting their brand name they really are differentiating themselves. I do think that keeping the pg up, pg dn, delete, insrt in a separate row would have been better but the functionality is still there so that is a minor gripe if you ask me.
Welcome to the forum!

I hope you're not serious about the assessment that "the consensus is that the new keyboard is better".

What consensus? Most of the old-time ThinkPad users are downright outraged at the new layout.
I guarantee you that these things IBM would do, IBM wouldn't just release the same product year after year.
Unless you're Sal posting here under an assumed name you can NOT guarantee any such thing... :roll:
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#6 Post by elitistlinuxuser » Tue May 15, 2012 7:56 pm

Welcome to the forum!

I hope you're not serious about the assessment that "the consensus is that the new keyboard is better".

What consensus? Most of the old-time ThinkPad users are downright outraged at the new layout.
I guarantee you that these things IBM would do, IBM wouldn't just release the same product year after year.
Unless you're Sal posting here under an assumed name you can NOT guarantee any such thing... :roll:[/quote]
Many user reviews and tech review praise the X1 for its great keyboard and say it is one of the best they used. I would call that consensus. I think it is logical to assume that IBM would make changes to their products and address the wants and needs of there users. But yes you really can't know what any company is going to do.

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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#7 Post by jjesusfreak01 » Tue May 15, 2012 8:31 pm

elitistlinuxuser wrote:Welcome to the forum!

I hope you're not serious about the assessment that "the consensus is that the new keyboard is better".

What consensus? Most of the old-time ThinkPad users are downright outraged at the new layout.
It sounds like all the people with old thinkpads who have never tried the new one have problems with it. The reviews from those who have actually gone hands on are great. So, maybe we give Lenovo the benefit of the doubt until we actually try these keyboards.
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#8 Post by twistero » Tue May 15, 2012 8:40 pm

jjesusfreak01 wrote: It sounds like all the people with old thinkpads who have never tried the new one have problems with it. The reviews from those who have actually gone hands on are great. So, maybe we give Lenovo the benefit of the doubt until we actually try these keyboards.
Well, some people don't like it because the layout is different, and they don't have to try the new keyboard to know that this change will severely impede their productivity, because muscle memory. This I can understand, although I must say, those who can't adapt are stuck with keeping their classics alive for eternity.
Some people, on the other hand, are simply furious because things changed. Well... :roll:
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#9 Post by twistero » Tue May 15, 2012 8:45 pm

Edit: Nah, forget about it. I'll just laugh to myself if it actually happens.
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#10 Post by ajkula66 » Tue May 15, 2012 9:30 pm

jjesusfreak01 wrote: It sounds like all the people with old thinkpads who have never tried the new one have problems with it. The reviews from those who have actually gone hands on are great. So, maybe we give Lenovo the benefit of the doubt until we actually try these keyboards.
No need for me to try the new keyboard, or give Lenovo the benefit of a doubt regarding it.

As I've stated several times both here and on Lenovo's forum, it's the layout that doesn't work for me.

I'm sure that their island keyboard will be of good quality. That part of a change wouldn't necessarily have been a dealbreaker for me, and I would've most certainly given Lenovo benefit of a doubt.

But with this move...the verdict has been reached. I'm done.

Goodbye ThinkPads, Hello EliteBooks...
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#11 Post by Ibthink » Wed May 16, 2012 12:27 am

ThinkLight - Gone. Some dreadful keyboard back light instead. Doesn't it belong in a macbook? I certainly do not want to be blinded by keyboard. "I" people seem to like that.
Its not gone: http://www.laptopreviews.com/lenovo-unv ... gn-2012-05
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#12 Post by elray » Wed May 16, 2012 12:48 am

4:3 is not outdated. Ask Cupertino.
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#13 Post by Totoro-kun » Wed May 16, 2012 12:50 am

No need for me to try the new keyboard, or give Lenovo the benefit of a doubt regarding it.

As I've stated several times both here and on Lenovo's forum, it's the layout that doesn't work for me.
My thoughts exactly, if they kept the layout, which is tested with time, then the keyboard might even been an improvement.
Hinges - Symetrical hinges look cleaner and take nothing from durability so why are they bad?
ThinkLight - Actually it's not gone. Backlit keyboard is an option. You will probably be able to have both.
Keyboard - I haven't seen any reports from people that tried it that said it's as useless as a dell keyboard. It looks different, yes, but most people say the key travel is on par if not better than the current keyboards.
TrackPad - (TouchPad actually, Macs have TrackPads) way too big? Since when a smaller TouchPad is better? Just because Apple was the first to improve usability of TouchPads by making them bigger doesn't mean everyone else should keep them inferior.
Screen - Much was said about aspect ratios of laptop displays. Whole industy is moving to 16:9 and we have to deal with it. IBM would've gone 16:9 as well. Luckily the new trend is to increase resolutions.
Latch - I'm still on X200 so I have the latch. I won't say taking it out was a bad idea until I try a latchless ThinkPad. Have you tried? If not then you can't say there's any impact on durability.
Symmetrical hinges probably do not affect durability in any way. The quality of the hinges does. But I can't comment about the hinge quality. All I am saying is that they just doesn't look right. No mater how much I look at them, they just look weird on ThinkPad.

I misread about ThinkLight then, but still a shining keyboard on ThinkPad? Really? If both technologies that try to do the same are in one boat, one of them will have to go and I'm afraid ThinkLight days are counted.

The key travel might be good, may even be the best, but this ThinkLess layout I just can't accept.

TouchPad is too big yes. This is probably a plus for TouchPad users, but for TrackPoint users it gets in the way. T61 TouchPad was just right size and T400 is already too big. On T61 I can disable tapping, enable two finger scroll and use my thumb for scrolling, very comfortable. But when TouchPad got bigger, you can't use it this way, it just gets in the way, because a hand has to lay on part of it in order to use TouchPad. So now it needs to be disabled. Plus big ToughPad looks bad. I'm not saying they should remove it or make it smaller, but the option for palm rests without TouchPad would be a really nice compromise.

Screens I understand this is major trend and every computer manufacturer is affected, but 16:9 format still sucks.

Latch doesn't hurt anybody, so why remove it?
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#14 Post by dr_st » Wed May 16, 2012 2:20 am

So much has been said, I'd like to just comment on a select few points. Please don't take it as an attempt to start a flame war, merely an attempt to offer a different PoV. :wink:
elitistlinuxuser wrote:Screens-The 4:3 aspect ratio is outdated and modern applications will design themselves for wider screens in the future.
Well, people have been saying this for years, and will continue saying it for more years to come, and still it won't make it generally true. Applications design and layout may change one way or another, but one fundamental fact that for reading text it is generally better to have more rows than wider rows is not going to change.

With that said, it is true that the move to 16:9 is an industry-wide thing, and has nothing to do with Lenovo or any other company. I too doubt IBM would want or be able to to go against the flow as Apple does (and even then it only does it on the iPad, as the Macbooks are all widescreen).
elitistlinuxuser wrote:So generally the consensus is that the new keyboard is better.
There is no such consensus.

BTW, I got a chance to type a bit on the new chiclets, and I must say the tactile feel is just fine, and the keyboard feels sturdy. The layout is a mess, and therefore it doesn't matter how good the tactile feel is - it is an impediment to my productivity.
elitistlinuxuser wrote:I do think that keeping the pg up, pg dn, delete, insrt in a separate row would have been better but the functionality is still there so that is a minor gripe if you ask me.
To you it's minor, to someone whose productivity depends a lot on these keys it may be major.
elitistlinuxuser wrote:Mechanical latch: makes sense to get rid of it more moving parts = less durability. It also added thickness to the product too.
Not sure it actually added to thickness. You probably meant to say "more moving parts = more chance of something breaking", which is true. Durability is not really affected, if you ask me.
Totoro-kun wrote:Hinges - symetrical
Hinges were symmetrical on the vast majority of Thinkpads. The only ones with asymmetrical hinges were the 14" T4x and the T61/Tx00/X200 series (maybe I'm forgetting a few more, but they are the minority for sure). So please don't twist the facts. :) Some people may have fetishes for symmetrical hinges, others for asymmetrical ones, but neither has ever been a defining characteristic of the brand.

And as long as we are mixing personal preferences with facts, let me point out that to me, the "real Thinkpad with asymmetric hinges" you refer to (namely T61/T400 series) were the ugliest, worst designed Thinkpads in history. I'm sure more than a handful would agree. :)
Totoro-kun wrote:7 row keyboard was truly great, only thing they really needed to do is to get rid of useless windows key imho.
Well, looks like they decided to get rid of other useless keys instead (Pause, Scroll Lock for instance). Oops, these are not useless to you? Well, the Windows key is far from useless to a great deal of people.
elitistlinuxuser wrote:Many user reviews and tech review praise the X1 for its great keyboard and say it is one of the best they used. I would call that consensus.
You call that consensus? Please... Have those reviewers even compared directly the new keyboard to the old one?

I call this consensus:
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=103398

A whooping 9% of the respondents thinks the new keyboard is better, while a measly 44% thinks it's bad enough to be a deal-breaker. Yep, a definite landslide in favor of the new design...
twistero wrote:Well, some people don't like it because the layout is different, and they don't have to try the new keyboard to know that this change will severely impede their productivity, because muscle memory. This I can understand, although I must say, those who can't adapt are stuck with keeping their classics alive for eternity.
I agree with you on both points. With that said, I don't like being forced to adapt to something that only offers me disadvantages. If I am getting something and losing something else, then there is a trade-off, and I can weigh things and decide what's better. With this change I really don't see what I'm getting aside from a keyboard that "looks more modern" (as if anyone is going to buy a Thinkpad T-series because of that).
Totoro-kun wrote:My thoughts exactly, if they kept the layout, which is tested with time, then the keyboard might even been an improvement.
. Definitely agree.
Totoro-kun wrote:Symmetrical hinges probably do not affect durability in any way. The quality of the hinges does. But I can't comment about the hinge quality. All I am saying is that they just doesn't look right. No mater how much I look at them, they just look weird on ThinkPad.
As I said before, most Thinkpads have had symmetrical hinges, so if they look weird to you, it means your experience is limited to a very narrow batch of Thinkpads... Speaking of hinge quality - those asymmetrical ones on the T61/T400 were actually also among the worst in terms of flimsiness and screen wobbling. Still think these are "real Thinkpads"?
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#15 Post by FragrantHead » Wed May 16, 2012 3:16 am

While I'm one of the people who favour the old keyboards and voted in the deal-breaker category, the total number of people who voted thus far is 34. 34 out of how many people who frequent these forums? 34 out of how many people who use Thinkpads? Who use laptops? That's neither consensus nor disagreement. That's apathy.

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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#16 Post by pjk » Wed May 16, 2012 3:43 am

My 2.2 cents worth.

The keyboard on Thinkpads has always been one of the most important reasons why I have stuck with them. During many years when keyboards on competitors product were pure garbage, Thinkpads were always outstanding.

And while I grant you that from a distance, 'chicklet' keyboards can look more sleek and potentially allow for slightly thinner designs, here is the issue I have with most of them:

1) Not enough key travel. If you do a lot of typing, this is a serious problem because you have to stop and pay attention to what you're doing more often because it's harder to type fast without looking due to the lack of tactile feedback. (I type over 100 WPM)

2) Not wide enough key spacing. Similiar problems to the above. If the keys are too close together, you will mis-hit keys far more often.

3) Key layout. To begin with, apparently the new Lenovo keyboards get rid of the dedicated row for home/end/pageup/pagedown etc. This is not just a matter of 'muscle memory' as someone mentioned previously - if the keys are much smaller and harder to differentiate from surrounding keys, there is NO WAY you can hit keys as fast on a keyboard like that compared to one where the keys are A) larger, B) better differentiated, C) separated further from other keys.

I do I.T. support for a living and have been doing so for over 20 years now. I have used a LOT of different keyboards over the years, desktop and mobile. Very frequently when I am forced to try to work on some lousy piece of junk that has more 'mainstream' keyboard design - especially on a laptop - it slows me down MASSIVELY when I'm forced to hunt/peck trying to find tiny keys, in nonstandard places, in some cases major keys like Home/End/PgUp/PgDown need a secondary "Fn" type key to access them, ARGGGH!!!

The new Lenovo "chiclet" keys (in the small photos I've seen) seem like they may possibly be a little better shaped than average for "chiclet" keys. But because of the above issues, and because we don't know what the long-term reliability of such keyboards are (I'm guessing not very good), I'm not very happy about this at all.

With a company the size of Lenovo - which is now the NUMBER TWO PC maker in the world, you would *think* that they could afford to make a model or 2 to satisfy us purists. Something with a traditional Thinkpad keyboard, something with a nice IPS display, something with an ExpressCard 54 slot or 2 for people that always need to add I/O ports that aren't integrated, etc etc.

As someone mentioned wrt to the screen aspect-ratio - there is no substitute for vertical dimension when you have a lot of material to read through. I have ZERO interest in watching movies on my laptops. But decent color rendition and contrast with a wide viewing angle would be wonderful. (I've resigned myself to the 16x10 aspect ratios on my T4x models but that ended at the T410. 16x9 to me starts to feel like looking through a narrow porthole)

I suppose I could eventually migrate to a W series but those tend to be bigger/heavier than my traditional 14" T-series standby.(And no, I can't get by without an optical drive and docking option either)


(Edit: Add category "4" to the above: Most chiclet keys are shiny and slippery, which tends to make your fingertips slide around on the keytops - another disaster for someone that types fast.)
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#17 Post by dr_st » Wed May 16, 2012 7:32 am

FragrantHead wrote:]While I'm one of the people who favour the old keyboards and voted in the deal-breaker category, the total number of people who voted thus far is 34. 34 out of how many people who frequent these forums? 34 out of how many people who use Thinkpads? Who use laptops? That's neither consensus nor disagreement. That's apathy.
You are right of course. I just referred to it as a counter to the attempt to assign the aura of consensus to a handful of user opinions and "professional" reviews, most of which are actually highly amateur from reviewers that cannot form a deeper thought than "oooh! shiny!" or actually offer anything than dull repetition of the technical specs and some standard pointless "performance benchmarks".

At the very least, one cannot claim there is a consensus based on some set of opinions, when there is another comparable set of opinions that is completely skewed the other way...

And I also agree with you that the general public is apathetic to the change, as well as any other change. This is a forum where the most prominent posters are a handful of enthusiasts. They care about very specific aspects of Thinkpads, of which the general population is often quite oblivious (IPS screens, screen ratios). For this reason I just posted the poll on the Lenovo forums as well. I wonder how different the responses will be.
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X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

Jack Watts
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#18 Post by Jack Watts » Wed May 16, 2012 2:26 pm

I've been using Thinkpads since I had a work-issued 600 back in the late '90's, so I'm not exactly new to the brand. My assessment is pretty much the same as yours: I find that most of the changes are positive, and I find *most* of the criticism to be irrational and based on preserving some sort of anti-Apple aesthetic, and a simple resistance to change. I mentioned this before and was accused of trolling by one of the moderators, but that's my honest opinion.

-the hinges are symmetrical. Seriously?? I'm having a hard time figuring why this matters

-thinklight? It's still there? But personally, if I had an option to configure it with a back-lit keyboard and without the Thinklight, I'm not sure I'd pay for it. I find the backlit keyboard less obtrustive and more useful. Just because Apple came up with the backlit keyboard, doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

-the keyboard keys: I'm not sure why people are comparing it to "brand whatever" keyboard. The tactile feel of Lenovo's chichlet keys is way different than any other keyboard I've used, and I prefer it to any other keyboard. I type faster and more accurately on it, so the proof is in the pudding.

-the keyboard layout: I understand that for some users, the old layout is preferable. Like you, I'll miss (a little) the
page back/forward, but besides that I prefer the new layout. I don't find that hitting the "alt" key along with the arrow keys to be a massive impingement on my productivity. Obviously, some do... I literally never use most of those upper keys, though I realize there are those who do use them for certain applications. I prefer the less cluttered look, and the function keys not being the default keys. That said, I was hoping their deletion would result in more room on the palm rests on the X230, and it doesn't appear to be the case. I've invested a good bit of time on getting maximum use out of the touchpad, so page up and down have been completely replaced by two-finger scrolling for me. I realize this is a very subjective thing, so this is just my opinion...but I like the new keyboard layout better.

You're swimming upstream on this forum regarding your opinion on the new TP's. While I have no idea what the "consensus" will be among most end users, on this forum there is certainly consensus: the new models suck!

elitistlinuxuser
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#19 Post by elitistlinuxuser » Wed May 16, 2012 6:13 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CNGivwM ... ata_player
I know it is a marketing video but it does a good job of explaining how the keyboard works. Its has the same mechanical switches as previous ThinkPad keyboards. It is probably made in the same factories as previous keyboards. The reason I post this is because people compare the keyboard to standard Chiclet keyboard even they though aren't comparable. The keyboard is isolated or Island style but it isn't chiclet, chiclet refers to the style of the keys not keyboard itself an important distinction to make because Chiclet keys are flat and use non mechanical switches while ThinkPad isolated keyboard uses mechanical switches and the keys are concave not flat. To my knowledge only Lenovo makes isolated keyboards with mechanical switches and is one of the few manufacturers to make concave Chiclet keyboard.

ajkula66
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#20 Post by ajkula66 » Wed May 16, 2012 7:08 pm

Well, the consensus here is pretty much that the new layout needs to be flushed down the drain...yesterday...

http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/15/Leno ... qus_thread

I feel horrible for some very dear friends of mine who are employed by Lenovo, because their ears must be buzzing and their phones overheating...
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


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Utwig
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#21 Post by Utwig » Wed May 16, 2012 7:40 pm

Screens - while 4:3 is outdated, nothing beats 1400x1050 X61 Tablet, except maybe for 1400x1050 modified X61s. The new 12,5" is as wide as old 14" and even if it has 1600x900, that's still 2% less pixels and 17% less vertical pixels. Now instead of 12" I need to carry 15,4 3kg 373x245x31.8 – 35.6mm instead of 274x267x27-33mm to have more than 1000 vertical pixels. Pixel count, vertical pixel count, viewing angles, colour reproduction are to me the most important thing in a laptop next to keyboard.

Keyboards - the chiclets are not such a problem, the layout is. I know two people with Edge Thinkpads and I typed on them. Keyboard is OK (though I'd prefer to type on regular Thinkpad), better than most others but changed layout means huge loss of productivity for me
Mechanical latch - remember how Matt Kohut raved about monitor enclosed in a box and how it protects screen and how competitors have to use rubber spacers on bezel? It's now gone. Hello key edges etched in screen. This was done by IBM for a reason. Also latches never broke after years of daily use.

black bento box - it's no longer a bento box, it's a book. They thickened the base by going from ultrabay slim to ultrabay enhanced and lowered space between keyboard and screen. This trade-off was to make it cheaper not thinner.

Thinklight - while it's defining Thinkpad feature, I didn't miss it on X61 tablet
Touchpad - i don't care as long as I can disable it

The new keyboard layout is a deal breaker for me and loss of productivity. X220 will be the last Thinkpad I'd buy unless they bring back the 7-row keyboard. Otherwise Elitebooks (15" IPS) or Macs are no longer a worse option.
T540p, T420s, T400, R61, X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

dr_st
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#22 Post by dr_st » Thu May 17, 2012 1:58 am

elitistlinuxuser wrote:The keyboard is isolated or Island style but it isn't chiclet, chiclet refers to the style of the keys not keyboard itself an important distinction to make because Chiclet keys are flat and use non mechanical switches while ThinkPad isolated keyboard uses mechanical switches and the keys are concave not flat.
Good point and completely true. I edited my thread on the Lenovo forums. I would edit the poll here as well, but I'm afraid it will cause us to lose the existing poll responses, which I'd rather not.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#23 Post by bapatterson » Thu May 17, 2012 4:56 am

Used Thinkpads since the T600. My last Thinkpad was a T42p. Used it until about two years ago or so. Still love the 14" 4x3 screen.

Wish 4x3 was still available but, practically speaking, it isn't.

iPads are not laptops and the screen is only 10". I'd bash Lenovo harder on the screen issue if 4x3 screens were more readily available in useable laptop sizes and in regular use. But they are not so I have no choice but to move on.

When I left the T42p, I went to a Dell Adamo 13 because I liked the thin form factor and didn't really like the T400 series Thinkpads. More of a whim to try it out. First exposure to an SSD. Wow! Will never, ever go back.

Have always intended to go back to a Thinkpad, and will. My real decision is whether to buy a T520 or T530.

Addressing the issues posed in this thread, I note that posters are commenting about features that are not consistent ThinkPad line wide (e.g., latches), and further note that a lot of the complaints are simply because there is change. Not all change is good, but not all change is bad either. So I'll just address the T430/530 model as I know it:

Hinges: This is really an issue? Really? Makes zero difference to me, but I note they are symmetrical on the T430/530 models (at least as to what I understand the term symmetrical in this context to mean).

ThinkLight: It's still available on the T430/530s, so it is there for those who want it.

TrackPad: I've never liked them, but can't figure out why a bigger version is a problem.

TrackPoint: (or whatever it's called--I've always called it a nipple). Have always loved it and missed it terribly on the Adamo. Looking forward to having it back.

Latch: T430/530s have them. I prefer them, but don't think it is really a bid deal either way as long as the laptop is properly designed. My Adamo does not have a latch and works fine.

Windows key: Don't use it myself, but it has been around long enough that I don't care about it. Surprised its presence bothers anyone by this point in time.

Keyboard: Ok--the big issue. I always loved the Thinkpad keyboard. The feel of the Adamo keyboard is just awful. The layout, however, does not bother me at all. I adapted, and adapted quickly. What surprises me here is the negative comments about the new keyboard by people who have not yet tried it, although I appreciate the layout change is a legitimate concern for many. My position on the keyboard is that I will try it and see how I feel about it before I come to a conclusion. I don't expect the layout to bother me, particularly since even the 7-row would be an adaptation from my Adamo (and my desktop computer keyboard). If I hate the keyboard, I'll send it back and buy a T520.

The one comment I will make is that I am delighted they are making keyboard backlighting an option. It has been wonderful on my Adamo, although the Adamo backlighting is actually just the figure on the key and not the surrounding edges on the keys. I can adjust the brightness on the Adamo and trust I will be able to on the Thinkpad as well. That one factor alone I think is a major advancement for Lenovo.

Main question I have now is whether existing T520 accessories will work with the T530 (batteries/optical drive and bay devices/docking stations) as I already have a bunch of those that I want to use with the T530. Doubt the USB 3.0 will pass through, but that's ok.

I am keeping an open mind.

elitistlinuxuser
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#24 Post by elitistlinuxuser » Thu May 17, 2012 1:14 pm

Main question I have now is whether existing T520 accessories will work with the T530 (batteries/optical drive and bay devices/docking stations) as I already have a bunch of those that I want to use with the T530. Doubt the USB 3.0 will pass through, but that's ok.

I am keeping an open mind.[/quote]

I'd imagine the the accessories would still work because the chassis design has remained mostly unchanged.

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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#25 Post by erik » Thu May 17, 2012 9:06 pm

ajkula66 wrote:But with this move...the verdict has been reached. I'm done.

Goodbye ThinkPads, Hello EliteBooks...
which elitebooks have 7-row layouts?

why not just buy a current thinkpad before they sell out?
ThinkStation P700 | ThinkPad X1C7

ajkula66
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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#26 Post by ajkula66 » Thu May 17, 2012 9:18 pm

erik wrote:] which elitebooks have 7-row layouts?

why not just buy a current thinkpad before they sell out?
No EliteBooks sports a 7-row keyboard. But...

Some of them do have a rather impressive LCDs, as I'm sure you'll agree, in the desktop-replacement market segment.

So, if I'm going to live with a 6-row keyboard, may as well enjoy a superior screen...

As for ordering a new *20 series ThinkPad...I've done exactly that, the only model I was interested in, which is X220T.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: My thoughts on Lenovo's changes to the Thinkpad products

#27 Post by wolfman » Thu May 17, 2012 9:21 pm

erik wrote:why not just buy a current thinkpad before they sell out?
Agree with Eric - why not just get a current Thinkpad? This is basically what I decided to do in late February / early March as the rumors of the changes were pretty prevalent for a while now.
Thinkpad T420 | Core i-5 2520M | 16gb RAM | 120gb Intel 520 SSD + 750gb 7200 RPM | 6300 N | Ubuntu 12.04 x64
Desktop: AMD FX-8350 (8 cores) | 32gb ECC RAM | 240gb Intel 530 SSD + 1tb 7200 RPM | Ubuntu 14.04 x64 | HP ZR24w
Previous Thinkpads: A21m, R40, X61, T410

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