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I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

Performance, hardware, software, general buying and gaming discussion..
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careta
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:28 pm
Location: Vila Verde, Portugal Europe

I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

#1 Post by careta » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:35 pm

Long time thinkpadder here, since the R400.
Currently I have a X1C 5th gen, which replaced my previous X230. I felt ashamed when I got the X1C, as the keyboard was clearly inferior, although not as much as I thought, so I kind of got used to it and moved on.
However now I need more cores and RAM (4 cores minimum + 32gb), and I recently bought a T490. As soon as I touched the keyboard I knew I had made a huge mistake, and had to return it. Although the T490 was thicker and heavier than my X1C, the keyboard was even mushier and shallower.

What are my options for great keyboards on the newer models? Or other non Lenovo brands?
I even thought about getting a Surface or some other high end tablet and using a portable mechanical keyboard... but then I'd lose the Trackpoint.

I'm not going to sell my soul and type on a shallow keyboard. NEVER!

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Re: I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:10 pm

T25, or T480 frankenpad with T25 components, or 51NB X210 are the most modern with classical 7 row support.
lenovo T420 i7 2670qm 16GB QHD + eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T430s i5 3230m 16GB QHD w/ optimus(RIP), lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T500 P9700 8GB WUXGA(LED) w/ switchable graphics
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads with registry.

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Re: I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

#3 Post by dr_st » Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:14 pm

The question is - whether OP is bothered by the layout (in which case any 7-row is a good idea), or by keyboard feel. TP25 keyboard is far from mushy, but the key travel is shallower than on **20 and earlier 7-row keyboards. Since X210 is really modern hardware in a X201 shell, the keyboard feel would be more on par with the older one (not that I necessarily say it's better; I personally have no problem with TP25 keyboard). However, I think it should be a tad more emphasized that X210 is a 51NB laptop in a Thinkpad shell; it's not a Thinkpad. For better and for worse.
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: I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

#4 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:59 am

My experience with the island styles is limited to a T430 with a nonbacklit LiteOn and this S1 Yoga with whatever backlit model it has.

The T430's LiteOn was a very pleasing keyboard with the same travel as the classic 7 rows and a very firm actuation. It was so firm it limited my fastest typing speed to be slower than with NMB or Chicony 7 rows. But rarely is it practical to type that fast so I'm favorable to the better feel of the LiteOn, if 6 row alternatives are softer but faster.

The S1 Yoga's has very low actuation force and the key travel feels less but I'm not certain. This is not a pleasant feeling keyboard, it feels like it's bottoming out hard, but it does have the benefit of large concave keys.
lenovo T420 i7 2670qm 16GB QHD + eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T430s i5 3230m 16GB QHD w/ optimus(RIP), lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T500 P9700 8GB WUXGA(LED) w/ switchable graphics
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads with registry.

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