~ What is the intention of becoming a 6-column keyboard
Lenovo Japan announced the 2012 model of the ThinkPad series on June 5. In Lenovo, the ThinkPad T series (type 14/15 type), ThinkPad X series (type 12), ThinkPad W series (type 15) called "Classic ThinkPad" As you refer to the article, here I would like to introduce the characteristic parts of the 2012 model of ThinkPad.
The most noticeable change for Classic ThinkPad users is that the keyboard has not been changed from the traditional 7-column layout to the 6-column arrangement previously adopted in ThinkPad X1, ThinkPad Edge, etc., and to an isolation type keyboard I wonder. This seven-row keyboard is a layout adopted since the ThinkPad was sold under the name "PS / 55note" before it became a ThinkPad brand, although there were some changes such as addition of a Windows key Basically it is an array that has been adopted as a ThinkPad identity for over 20 years since the beginning of the 1990s.
Since it was greatly changed in this 2012 model, not even a ThinkPad user would be interested in "Why, Why, How and Why?" In this article, I would like to think about the background of the new ThinkPad adopting a new keyboard, how to accept existing users, etc. based on interviews with Lenovo Japan.
● The historical background that ThinkPad's keyboard has been adopting the 7-column layout
Except for some exceptions, ThinkPad has adopted a 7-column keyboard almost exceptionally. As other companies' notebook PCs adopt a uniformly arrayed 6-row keyboard, its "commitment" stands outstandingly.
So why was the ThinkPad keyboard in 7 rows in the first place? For that, it will be necessary to unravel history. In the first place, the predecessor of the ThinkPad series was a notebook PC named PS / 55 note which IBM Japan launched in 1991. At that time, Mr. Kensomu Yonomo, who was also one of the directors of Lenovo Japan, in a book "All about ThinkPad" (published by Softbank) which explained the history of ThinkPad from 1991 to 1998, I thought that the most commonly used function on a personal computer would be a word processor and, to some extent, made it conscious of a special machine for word processing "(extracted from the book above).
Initially, before the notebook PC, only the desktop PC existed. IBM was not a compatible machine, it was only an original manufacturer, at that time IBM's desktop keyboard layout (106 arrangements now, 101 in English) was standard. However, this keyboard also had numeric keypad etc., and it was quite space-proof to put it in the notebook PC because it was quite a lot of keys.
Therefore, what IBM Japan made was to reduce the ten-key and bring the keys such as PageUp, PageDown, etc. between the numeric keypad and the character input key to the upper right as it was at the time for a word processor dedicated machine at the time In the key arrangement, this is the source of the 7-column keyboard as it is now. In short, at the time desktop PC, for users using IBM PC / AT compatible machines, this seven-row keyboard was easy to adapt.
Given the background at the time, it was inevitable that this 7-row keyboard was designed, but once it is done, it becomes a standard, which makes it difficult to change easily. After all it is easier to use existing things than to remember human beings new things. Indeed, during the IBM IBM era, ThinkPad developers tried several rows from array to six columns.
In the famous place, "ThinkPad 240" series announced in 1999 adopted a 6-row keyboard. In the previous model of 240, "ThinkPad 235" also adopted the 7-row arrangement, so I remember well that it was a pros and cons among ThinkPad users at the time. In fact, when I showed ThinkPad 240 at that time IBM Japan, I still remember what I said about 6 rows of keyboard. As for the result, the successor of the ThinkPad 240 became a series called "ThinkPad s 30", but by adopting a unique design of letting the radio antenna protrude to the bezel part of the liquid crystal , It was decided to adopt the keyboard of the 7 column arrangement. In other words, it seems that the voice that seven rows were good was also great, and in fact the person in charge of IBM at that time gave such explanation.
Since the ThinkPad Edge series in recent years and some exceptions (ThinkPad X1 and X100 / 121e), most ThinkPads have been adopting a 7-column array since. PS / 55note, which is a direct ancestor of ThinkPad, was released in 1991, so it has been adopted for over 20 years. Because the keyboard of that Classic ThinkPad is all six rows, can you understand how serious this is?
A new 6-column keyboard adopted for ThinkPad T430, the 7-column keyboard of the current ThinkPad (T420si). Adopted an isolation type key top, ThinkVantage button and enter key etc are changed from blue to black (That's IBM's color right?)
The current situation that the majority of the world will be disadvantageous in the competition at the time of enterprise introduction to the keyboard of 6 row arrangement
This time Lenovo announced the version with Ivy Bridge of ThinkPad T series (T430 / T430s / T530), X series (X230), W series (W530), but adopting the 6 row array keyboard in either model There. A 6-row keyboard was adopted as a part of the model, but it was common to accept that it is a cheap model (ThinkPad Edge, X100e / 121e) or a special model (Thinkpad X1).
However, T / X / W announced this time is a product of ThinkPad Maintenance Mainstream called Classic ThinkPad, which is also a product group that is conscious of being introduced to a large number of enterprises as well. Having 6 row arrays adopted in such products will make all ThinkPads 6 rows in the future?
Kentaro Doi, Think Client brand manager, Lenovo Japan, explains, "Basically all will be arranged in 6 rows in the future." In other words, the ThinkPad to be released in the future will adopt the 6-row arrangement adopted in this new product unless there is a good reason.
So why did Lenovo adopt the 6-column array until we discarded the 7-column array that many existing users were familiar with?
About this, Mr. Doi said, "There are many users who have been using ThinkPad for many years, and of course we understand that keyboards are an important differentiating point, but of course the ThinkPad's main target user The psychology is changing and the need for keyboard is also changing from the past.As a result of our investigation recently, young IT administrator in the company has selected PC, and such a young IT administrator has 6 rows More than 90% of notebook PCs in the world today are getting familiar with the keyboard of the array.In addition, the number of users using the key of the seventh row (SysRq, Pause / Break etc.) is decreasing We decided that by realizing these by combining with Fn, the necessity of 7-row arrangement is decreasing from the time we decided. "
Even though ThinkPad users are accustomed to seven rows, the majority of the world (that is, users other than ThinkPad) is accustomed to arranging 6 columns, and conversely, it seems that 7 columns are "old" images It is said that it is getting more often. Certainly, the product that adopts the 7-column keyboard in the notebook PC currently on the market is a situation unexpected except ThinkPad.
In addition, ThinkPad is a product that is introduced all at once to enterprises as business PC. When an administrator in charge of IT in the company selects a PC, when transferring from another company's PC to a ThinkPad, ThinkPad adopts a 7-column array keyboard, so that from the 6th row It seems that there were times when you were shunned away, thinking that employees would be confused by them.
In addition, when I checked how much of my ThinkPad users are using the key I lost this time, I found that it was about 10%. In other words, even ThinkPad users who are accustomed to the current 7-column array can investigate the impact that the impact can be changed to the minimum by 90%, and as a result of this data also, the transition to the 6-column array It was decided.
● Even at the time the touchpad was introduced on ThinkPad T30, a similar discussion
Actually, the same problem also occurred in TrackPoint (a stick type pointing device, an example red punch) which is also the identity of ThinkPad. The ThinkPad now has both TrackPoint and touchpad, but the product before ThinkPad T 30 released in 2002 only had TrackPoint. However, with the ThinkPad T30 (see another article) with the touch pad in addition to TrackPoint, the impact similar to this time ran among ThinkPad users. In other words, "Is it the beginning of the TrackPoint annihilation?"
Actually, however, the fact that the touch pad was attached to the ThinkPad was quite similar to the change from 7 rows to 6 rows this time. When I released ThinkPad T30, I have heard stories from the current Yamato Research Institute (then Daiwa Institute of Japan at that time) to the person in charge of pointing device. A person in charge at that time said, "When you go to marketing for a company, the notebook PC of another company has a touch pad, but the ThinkPad has only TrackPoint, so it is hard for people to get used to it, I often listened to the voice saying that I put a touch pad. " No matter how easy it is to use, once it becomes a minority group, it is judged to be difficult to use.
The time I thought it was good to hear the staff at the time (when the Touch Pad was loaded at T30) was "It is not that TrackPoint does not go away saying that the touchpad is loaded. I would like to continue ", he said that he continued to clearly state the continuation of TrackPoint and future improvements. Indeed, 10 years have passed since then, still the TrackPoint is attached to the ThinkPad, existing ThinkPad users and users familiar with the touchpad are both satisfied.
And, the feelings of ThinkPad development team that did this have not changed anything. "We think that 7 column arrangement and key touch are different things.With respect to key touch, we are commercializing in ThinkPad X1 which already adopted 6 row arrangement, but like the 7 row keyboard so far, We made it possible to reduce the typing error by making the touching part bigger and having the curve under the key "(Doi) and to realize an easy-to-use keyboard which is also the identity of ThinkPad Efforts are being made.
The key top has been changed to the isolation (separation) type at the same time as the array became 6 rows. The isolation keyboard says that the key top seems to be smaller than the conventional type at the first glance, so it may have an image that it seems to enter, but it is not so. According to Mr. Tomoyuki Takahashi, Director of Design / User Experience Research and Development at Yamato Laboratory, Lenovo Japan Yokohama Plant Explained on Keyboard at Lenovo's Briefing "By making it the key top of isolation, the area that the finger touches is classic , And it is bigger than other companies' isolation keyboard by adopting the smile shape (the author's note: a design that rounds the lower two corners of the four corners) which is a feature of the ThinkPad keyboard I have secured the interval ", it is possible to input less mistachi.
Actually, I just do not know without touching it, but I certainly felt it was easier to enter the isolation key top, much more than preconceptions. The key top of the isolation type seems to have no stroke like it looks, so it seems there is no reliable feedback, but in fact it is secured properly more than it seems and a stroke is secured properly and
Changing the key arrangement is as shown in the above figure, and as already mentioned, the obsolete key (which means that it can be used in combination with Fn to be exact, meaning that there are no physical keys) It is not all that is high and it will not take so long to get used to, except that the positions of PageUp and PageDown have changed significantly.
However, the writer personally felt dissatisfied with the fact that there was not a large gap between F4 and F5, F8 and F9. It can be said that it is only for Japanese, but users who enter Japanese with ATOK, in particular, many users often use F8, F9 etc. by converting full-size alphabets into half-width characters and vice versa. In fact, if there is a large gap between F8 and F9, typing can be done without error by key input, but if there is not it between F8 and F9, once you check the position with your eyes Because it enters a step, it will be late. It seems that there are not a few users who use other functions as a guide for locating, so I'd like you to improve this with future products.
Personal have passed, but as Classic ThinkPad this will be the first generation as a 6-column array, so perhaps there will be various adjustments in the future. In that sense, its true value will not be known until several generations. Anyway, "To lower the barriers of other companies to change to ThinkPad" is a double-edged sword that is equal "to reduce the fate for users of ThinkPad to switch to PCs of other companies". In that sense, as a development team of ThinkPad, what choices are made by users when they pass through several generations, is not it because they are confident that they have made this choice?
The ThinkPad this time is improving not only the keyboard, but also the content part really. If you do not look closely, there are many things you do not know what the improvement is, so let's introduce it.
First, the ThinkPad announced this time has a dedicated IC controller called "Think Engine". The Think Engine is a chip that specializes in control related to power supply and power saving, which can not be controlled finely from Windows, it is mounted on the mother board.
Windows can control devices logically connected to the internal bus (such as PCI Express and PCI) of the system such as the CPU whose operation is specified by ACPI, but control around the power supply should be done directly I can not do.
Therefore, Think Engine designs a custom IC by itself, controls around the power supply, performs more efficient power supply to the motherboard, and realizes reduction of power consumption. Lenovo explains that electricity consumed during hibernation is about one tenth of that of other companies.
Although related to the control around the power supply circuit, from this generation rapid charge function called Rapid Charge is included. According to Lenovo's explanation, it will be possible to charge up to 80% of the whole battery in 30 minutes. For this reason, Lenovo has built-in controller chips dedicated to batteries from this generation, which controls fast charging.
In ThinkPad T / X / W, three types of AC adapters exist depending on the total system power consumption of 65 W, 90 W, and 120 W. However, even in models using 65 W AC adapter, Rapid Charge A 90 W AC adapter is required to use it. Normally, notebook PC's AC adapter needs electric power plus electric power to charge the battery, but it is necessary to increase the amount of electricity to charge the battery when performing quick charge, and one class of AC adapter is necessary (According to the official of Lenovo, the model with the 90 W AC adapter was originally affordable, so it was not necessary to set it to 120 W).
In addition, the Think Engine has a function to detect storage, has a function to prevent hacking HDD password etc. by turning on the power, replacing the storage with another storage before the OS starts up (It is because you can hack the HDD password in practice).
The chip installed in the center of the T430s system board is Think Engine's IC. This allows T430s batteries to perform control etc. around the power supply. The external shape of the battery is the same as for T420s, but IC for T430s and Rapid Charge battery is included and fast charging is possible. A new ThinkPad docking station compatible with USB 3.0. In the conventional product, it is a big difference that one USB 3.0 port is prepared at the position where the eSATA port was located. Although it is possible to connect conventional T420s etc. to this, PCH needs to be Panther Point in order to use the USB 3.0 port, so Ivy Bridge loaded ThinkPad such as T430s is necessary.
● New features introduced with version upgrade of Access Connections and power saving manager
In addition, the Enhanced Experience initiative to raise the responsiveness of Windows, which Lenovo is focusing on recently has also evolved to EE (Enhanced Experience) 3.0 as the third generation. The biggest feature of EE 3.0 is that it adopts a mechanism that enables fast startup even if users install their own applications. Up to the conventional EE 2.0, it is very fast in the state of purchase, but as the user installs the application, the number of things loading at the time of startup has increased and it was delayed. In EE 3.0, the optimization function around that is prepared, and after the user installs the application, the optimization is performed again and the Windows startup speeds up.
However, the boot image of the preinstalled OS has not yet been brought to be UEFI, and Windows 7 is started using MBR (Master Boot Recorder) as before. Lenovo has already finished UEFI compliance with various tools (fingerprint authentication, rescue and recovery of backup software, etc.), but it seems that Ueniza has not been brought back in this time though. I do not know if it is a compatibility problem or a behavior verification problem, but considering the character of business oriented, it may be correct that I avoided a sudden transition. In any case in Windows 8, since each company inevitably becomes UEFI, it will be shifted after the release of Windows 8.
Hibernation speeding up is also a major feature of this new product. That is called function called Fast Hibernation. Specifically, when entering hibernation, when writing out the contents of memory to the storage, by compressing and exporting data of unused part of memory, the amount of data to be stored in the storage Can be reduced. When returning from hibernation, reverse (reading from storage) is performed, so it will be possible to recover at a faster rate than conventional products.
Basically, in order to speed recovery from hibernation, it is only necessary to raise the writing / reading speed of the storage or reduce the capacity of the main memory. However, if the memory capacity is reduced, the processing performance will be affected this time This function that can compatibilize both can be said to be a pretty good way to do so. Note that this function is supported by Lenovo's power saving management tool (power saving manager) version 6.1 or later, and it is enabled in the standard state.
In addition, Lenovo's "Access Connections" network connection management software has also been upgraded, version 5.9, and several new functions have been added. Its representative is the addition of functions called Soft AP and tethering.
Windows 7 includes functions called Soft AP and tethering as standard, and can be used by setting it on a command line basis. Needless to say, however, the command line is not user-friendly UI, it is currently unknown even actually. Third-party configuration tools such as Connectify can be used, but it is also a nice thing to be able to do as a standard feature. With Access Connections 5.9 and later, these user interfaces are installed as standard, so you can use it to tether your PC as a Wi - Fi router
Both the power saving manager 6.1 or later and Access Connections 5.9 or later are published on the Lenovo website, and users of existing ThinkPad T / X / W can also install and use the new version. However, depending on the function, new functions introduced this time may depend on new hardware, and Lenovo explains that not everything works necessarily. As far as I tried, Soft AP function worked on ThinkPad T420s.
Finally, I would like to summarize my comments on this keyboard change frankly as a summary of this article. To be honest, it seems to be a lie if I say "I did not feel disappointed" when I heard that the 7-row keyboard was abolished and it would be 6 rows. Since 1993 I used PS / 55note as the first PC / AT compatible notebook PC (which was formerly NEC's 98 NOTE user), except for some short periods, the keyboard of 7-column array of ThinkPad I have continued to use. Actually I've tried to switch over several times, but in the end it's honestly that the keyboard of my ThinkPad could not quit. Actually, my friends in the industry are also a lot of fans of ThinkPad keyboard, but it is true that there was a lot of responses such as "disappointed" and "disappointed" by all those impressions of those people.
However, such ideas are changing very much after actually touching the new 6-row keyboard. Certainly, I am worried that there is not a wide interval between function keys F4 to F5, F8 to F9, but otherwise I can use it without any discomfort. The only thing I need to get used to is getting used is that the position of PageUp / PageDown has changed, but that is also a familiar problem (although I have not gotten a new model yet, I have not touched it for a long time) You will get used to it.
Rather than that, the most important thing for me is that this change never costs down. Recently, price drop of notebook PC is remarkable. For this reason, notebook PC vendors are doing various cost reductions, and it is undeniable that there are products that I think honestly 'this is not costly for keyboards', and they actually exist. But the ThinkPad keyboard is not. As Mr. Doi of Lenovo Japan says, it is rather a side that has changed according to the needs of the world. In the first place, reducing the cost of a keyboard means lowering the grade of a thing (that is, a keyboard prepared by a keyboard vendor as a standard item), but the keyboard of a ThinkPad that needs to be equipped with TrackPoint In the first place, it is a custom-made item, and even though it seems like it will not lead to a dramatic cost reduction just by making it from 7 to 6 rows (Of course, I think that it will lead to some cost reduction as the number of keys decreases But……). (see how you contradict yourself! I think there is a difference in the warranty time (trad. keyboards are not as strong and so need replacements more?) and a lot of big data pointed them towards change...Some people like me are after keys! Somehow we feel the current ones as too stiff?
In other words, it would be correct to see that the change to this 6-column arrangement is an actively made change because the ThinkPad is a ThinkPad. It is true that it was certainly changed to six rows, but as I have explained, nothing has changed in ThinkPad development commitment to key touch etc. I am thinking that the ThinkPad made these choices to survive in the next 20 years without changing the fundamental part of such commitment. I think that such evaluation has changed actively so as not to change the really important part, is not this the correct way to capture this change?
There's been plenty of talk over this, but the fact remains that the keys did become larger and the old layout was obsolete. Although, frankly, any designer, if asked which keyboard is better - bottom curved chiclet or old-style squeezed together - they'd choose traditional!!! Even the blue enter key is part of it - the IBM past is simply too strong. I don't favour IBM, especially Watson after reading the profit>holocaust; of course, businessmen must learn to place profit first, and hence, the old style keyboard was better...how easy it is to argue in favour of the old... still undecided, can anybody help out here? More final verdicts?
Those 'leaf' shaped keyboards are pretty reminiscent of the old-style keyboards seen on VAIO etc. But are they chiclet? It's easy to say the KB is 'like desktop' Panasonic! Right now, I find T/L470 Kbs are like 'stiff' and needs a bit more than a touch to depress, and gives 'feedback' that leads to feelings of stiffness. Perhaps manufacturer differences matter.
The main problem with new layout is the location of PGUp PgDn near the arrow keys. Often I would go through text and delete or input and switching hand back to press PgDn or PgUp and then to top to press delete or some keyboard is awkward. With the old keyboard you can always find PgUp PgDn keys by feel at the top-right corner. Another problem with T540p is that keyboard is less resistant to water than old keyboard. This is my 3d T540p keyboard and both times I only spilled half a glass water on it which caused several keys to fail. Old T-series keyboards could also fail with spill but would take a lot more liquid to stop working.
Also the old classic keyboard is more comfortable to type on with larger key travel. I have stocked up on classic (T420 style) USB keyboards with trackpoints for use with desktop PCs. Since there was no Slovenian layout available I bought the Japanese layout for beautiful Hiragana. What is the function of keys left and right of space on Japanese keyboards?
Another thing I'd like to add is the "thinness" of laptops. Most desktop users (60-80%) when using desktop PC keyboard use keyboard feet to raise the front of their keyboard. They prefer the keyboard to be raised over recessed and the regular desktop PC keyboard is usually already as thick as a thick (T540p, old R series) laptops. So the only advantage of thinner notebooks is they take less space in a bag and I don't think 2-5mm make that much difference. Apple used "thin" to sell to people their maximize profit per unit with attaching and up-selling strategy: lack of integrated peripherals (no SD Reader while a lot of their target audience are photographers), expensive dongles, no ability to repair and upgrade forces people to buy accessories and buy more expensive model with bigger HDD, memory and warranty upgrade from the start.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_ ... _Keyboards
has information. But not enough. To convert or not to convert that is the Q. And I've always used Enter key for non-convert (choose the one selected already) or space key for converting ( choose from list) So what on earth are those keys for? Obsolete as they are.
Okay, so Muhenkan changes your string of text from hiragana to full katagana and then to half-width katagana.
henkan reconverts your string after it's already been decided (in case it was a typo)... So it's for typos and katagana users!
Next time I use one I'll try it out.
You know, I never really bothered to use those keys (I'm only partially Japanese)!
I use MS IME (Windows) or fcitx (Linux)
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