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

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

#5 Post by andre#4 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:28 pm

I also wondered if it was possible to use an older thinkpad 7 row USB accessory keyboard, (with trackpoint and palmrest built in) on one of the modern era thinkpads with real power, such as p50-p53. I don't know if any drivers work for that.

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

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:24 am

How about the old IBM Space Saver II keyboard? https://www.ebay.ie/itm/164071721163
Pair of PS/2-USB adapters: https://www.ebay.com/itm/302472433332 and off you go!
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Re: I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

#7 Post by dr_st » Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:19 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:24 am
Pair of PS/2-USB adapters: https://www.ebay.com/itm/302472433332 and off you go!
Won't work; told you why in the other thread. An actual PS/2 to USB converter would be needed.
Something like this should work:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Male-to-ps ... 4130839258
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

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

#8 Post by unixed » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:04 am

Yes the simple adapter won't work with the spacesaver II keyboard, the alternative might -- some do, some don't and even the brand alone is not an indicator.
Belkin F5U119 does work and so do some which look similar to that linked by dr_st, best to do some research or you can just take a chance at that price.

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

#9 Post by andre#4 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:04 pm

I've never typed on the spacesaver ii. It appears more like a desktop keyboard with longer stroke and probably less of a snappy comeback, perhaps more lateral play in each key. Does anyone know? Is this a 2000's era desktop keyboard with the vague feeling semi-long travel as described above, or does it type like the 1980s ibm CLICKY type? (made of metal, in USA, also useable as baseball bat, but without any mouse controls).


For me, the actual thinkpad one (such as the 8845) appears to have a regular NMB or CHICONY thinkpad keyset right in it, straight out of a t60 or something. which to me wouldn't make my fingers relearn 15 years of muscle memory on the t60, t61 x200 x301 etc. It also has a built in palmrest and is very small and thin, and would sit right on the new laptop's keybed and feel natural. For a dock and desktop machine, I'd maybe like the spacesaver ii, if I ever got to preferring a desktop keyboard again, but even then I might be able to type faster and with fewer errors on a thinkpad accessory keyboard. (I have not touched a desktop in over 15 years)

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

#10 Post by unixed » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:48 pm

You can take the keyboard from the T60, put it on top of the newer laptop keyboard while switched on and try typing on it. Repeat the exercise with just the base, having removed the lid. It won't work.
The laptop keyboard is not disabled so the keys will get depressed.
The T60 keyboard/base has no solid support.
The hand position is untenable.

You either have to use a keyboard like the space saver II in front of the laptop which you can angle with a stand to effectively bring the screen closer
or else use an entire T60, leveraging the superior interface (keyboard, trackpoint, IPS 4:3 screen) and just use the processing power of the newer laptop.
Using a unix-like OS facilitates that.

fatkatsupra1
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Re: I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

#11 Post by fatkatsupra1 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:29 pm

Looked at MSI laptops today - they seem to offer nice keyboards.

cadillacmike68
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Re: I want modern performance with a great keyboard, what are my options?

#12 Post by cadillacmike68 » Thu May 14, 2020 4:47 pm

Good built in keyboards on the latest offerings - mutually exclusive features.

I never liked laptop keyboards, and use external ones whenever possible. The newer systems are even worse that the old standbys.

I use an old tan IBM KB-6323 made in 1995 with the docked T61s, boss lady has a later flimsier, but still usable, black "ThinkPad" external keyboard and I have a slightly older black IBM branded one for when I have to spend a long time at a site. But when traveling long distance or for a short time at a site, I'm stuck with whatever the ThinkPad has and anything after the x20 series is a downer. I'm not sure that I'll get used to either the chic-let keyboard or the shorter 16x9 screens on these T/W 530s I just got.
600
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T41 T42 T43
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