RetroThinkPad survey #2 of 4 ** the REAL one **

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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#31 Post by Nigellus » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Summilux wrote:
I'm about to go sleeping (and should already have been long ago) so I'll have to pass.

I'm not sure if he'll write a news just for that survey, so maybe we can suggest him to have a quick phone or mail interview with David Hill. Notably regarding this project, why it came up just now, why Lenovo's doing it but not its closest competitors (re: discussions about the margins we've had earlier in this thread), etc.
That'll add substance to the article.
Got it covered. The worst he can say is no, and we'll be no worse off for asking.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#32 Post by Utwig » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:19 pm

The author of that article is most active on twitter

https://twitter.com/DrPizza

He seldomly replies when I comment his facebook entries. He is also active on Arstechnica forums.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#33 Post by ajkula66 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:31 pm

^^^^^^

Geez you're up early for a Saturday over there in Slovenia... :D
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#34 Post by Nigellus » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:54 am

Utwig wrote:The author of that article is most active on twitter

https://twitter.com/DrPizza

He seldomly replies when I comment his facebook entries. He is also active on Arstechnica forums.
Yeah, I noticed that. Unfortunately, and perhaps my age is showing, but I don't really know how to use twitter. I should probably learn.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#35 Post by Summilux » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:22 am

Nigellus wrote: Got it covered. The worse he can say is no, and we'll be no worse off for asking.
Cheers. And it was better to send him an e-mail rather than using public social media anyway.

It's not about commenting an existing article, but about proposing a potential article with no obvious (at first) justification: for that, more privacy, more space to write and slightly more attention span from the recipient is better.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#36 Post by skriefal » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:04 pm

My vote was for 3:2 ratio and 15.6 inch screen. But I'd of course be okay with 4:3 or (if I must) with 16:10, and also with a smaller screen (but no smaller than 13.3, and not glossy). As long as everything else that I want is there.

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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#37 Post by kony » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:16 am

I voted for matte 16:9 full HD 14". Hopefully 16:9 matte will win.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#38 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:27 am

kony wrote:I voted for matte 16:9 full HD 14". Hopefully 16:9 matte will win.
Seriously?

I thought that Lenovo was offering 14" FHD IPS screens on T450s already? You *really* want a "retro" ThinkPad in 16:9?

Wow.

:roll:
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#39 Post by Dekks » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:14 pm

Nigellus wrote: We should all be taking these surveys.
Unless it influences design of future TPs then i don't see the point just for a 1 off.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#40 Post by brchan » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:16 pm

kony wrote:I voted for matte 16:9 full HD 14". Hopefully 16:9 matte will win.
:jhem:

I hope you are joking :D .
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#41 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:37 pm

Dekks wrote:
Unless it influences design of future TPs then i don't see the point just for a 1 off.
I must say that while I've personally taken a different approach to the matter at hand, this one is completely understandable to silly old me...

Last night when I was waiting for an important phone call - unable to concentrate on anything *really* meaningful - I grabbed a piece of paper and started making a fairly complex table of what would make or break this "retro" deal for me personally.

While I have no way of knowing what the results of the second survey are - let alone what's in Mr. Hill's mind and/or what Lenovo will allow him to design - for several reasons that are not necessarily Lenovo's fault, the picture is starting to look bleak. As in very bleak.

What is really needed - IMO - is an entire paradigm shift, and part of that would go along the lines of what Dekks has stated above.

As for silly old me, being middle-aged and hopefully close enough to retirement has never looked better, on so many levels that it's not even funny.

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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#42 Post by Nigellus » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:16 pm

ajkula66 wrote: Last night when I was waiting for an important phone call - unable to concentrate on anything *really* meaningful - I grabbed a piece of paper and started making a fairly complex table of what would make or break this "retro" deal for me personally.
There are a lot of things that would annoy me, but (aside from serious operating defects and other things that aren't realistically on the table) the only real dealbreaker is the keyboard (a matte screen is also a strong preference, but lack of one only impacts my work when I'm outside).

I'm serious about what I said before.

For me, easy human interface with my computer and ease of typing is of the utmost importance. If I can't get that in a laptop, there's no point to having a laptop at all. The keyboard is just dead weight.

I will just buy an ultranav, and start plugging it into a tablet.

If Lenovo can't get their act together and actually produce a real computer, they can go pound sand. If I want a piece of crap computer with a flat keyboard that's not fit for purpose, I can get that anywhere. I don't have to shell out extra money to Lenovo who thinks they deserve it because they used to make good computers.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#43 Post by bhtooefr » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:20 pm

Mind you, if you're plugging USB keyboards into tablets, there's far better options than the UltraNav - there's the world of mechanical keyboards. (Although, nothing's really tried to copy the ThinkPad layout, even though it's certainly possible - 60% keyboards are what the mechanical world has to offer in that form factor, and a 60% keyboard is a 5-row layout with a lot of things hidden in an Fn layer.)
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#44 Post by Nigellus » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:32 pm

bhtooefr wrote:Mind you, if you're plugging USB keyboards into tablets, there's far better options than the UltraNav - there's the world of mechanical keyboards. (Although, nothing's really tried to copy the ThinkPad layout, even though it's certainly possible - 60% keyboards are what the mechanical world has to offer in that form factor, and a 60% keyboard is a 5-row layout with a lot of things hidden in an Fn layer.)
Well, I enjoy the ThinkPad keyboard. I get the best typing results on it.

And I'm about to curse IBM for ever building it and getting my hopes up that something could be so close to perfection in this world.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#45 Post by hhhd1 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:08 pm

bgx wrote:consider 20% of people answered they are happy with 6row keyboard. That's huge! who in the world wnat that?
I think that 20% is because of the survey format.

Many people including myself belived that 7-row equals old button feel, while 6-row equals new island style feel.

Personally if i had to choose, I might pick new button feel with 6-row over 7-row with old buttons.

That question was first in the survey, before the separate question of how you like the feel of the buttons.

The 2 questions should have been on the same page in the survey.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#46 Post by Sleepy664 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:18 am

I think it is sligtly messed up.

Some questions go in a way of "what would you like this new TP to be like" and some go "what do you think this new TP should be like".

For instance, I prefer workstations with LCD above 15". But I don't think the first retro TP should be one :|


BTW, am I right to assume that this survey is more about convincing the Lenovo management rather than informing David Hill about "what do ThinkPadders want"? David Hill should already know that...
Last edited by Sleepy664 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#47 Post by Nigellus » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:20 am

Sleepy664 wrote:
For instance, I prefer workstations with LCD above 15". But I don't think the first retro TP should be one :|

I've never looked for a portable desktop in a laptop (I don't see the point in that, personally), so I've always advocated for a smaller form factor like the 600E. It has to be able to fit in my briefcase (I don't have a dedicated laptop bag, nor to I want one), and it has to be on the lighter side, though I'm pretty strong, so another pound and a half isn't really that big a deal.

But anyway, I understand that a lot of people like ThinkPads that do double as desktop replacements. And that's ok. But it's why I think this classic ThinkPad should come in two form factors.

A smaller one (either a C300 or C400 with a 13.3" or 14.1" screen respectively), and a larger one (a C500 with a 15.4" screen).

This proposed C series (C for Classic) would ideally be the result of this retro ThinkPad project.

They talk about the expense of building a keyboard no one makes. But they used to make it, up until two or three years ago. And unless the manufacturer melted down the key presses, it's not like they'd have to buy any new equipment. Just dust off the old equipment.

I see a lot of talk about the core group of long-time ThinkPad fans not being of concern to the company because we are numerically insignificant. The company has bigger concerns, we're told, because most of their sales are to corporations buying in bulk and always looking for a cheaper deal.

We're told that the average laptop consumer want's a leisure-oriented media laptop.

We're told we're in a minority.

But here's the thing, if you build a good machine, true to the Classic ThinkPad, we will always be there. We will always buy the product. We will test it to it's limits. We will learn how to make it even better. We will talk up the product to anyone who will listen (and you can't buy that kind of advertising).

If you make a ThinkPad into every other Mac wanna be metro-sexual form over function laptop because the people who buy that appear to be in the majority, you will lose and lose big.

You're not going to attract potential customers looking for a Mac knockoff, because there are other companies already doing it and doing it better.

Corporations may or may not buy your bulk orders because your product is no longer a business laptop. It is so similar to the others on the market, they might as well buy one of those if they're cheaper.

And even worse, you're going to lose your core customer base. We won't buy the product, and more importantly, we won't recommend it to people.
Sleepy664 wrote: BTW, am I right to assume that this survey is more about convincing the Lenevo management rather than informing David Hill about "what do ThinkPadders want"? David Hill should already know that...
I think that's a good hypothesis.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#48 Post by Bibin » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:09 pm

A bulky workstation machine isn't even going to sell to the majority of this minority of people who want a classic design. A product like that can maybe come after a more marketable design resembling the X300 does well.

For everyone demanding a 15"+ screen, multiple drive bays, a numpad, an eight-core processor, 64GB ram, landing wheels, air conditioning, power doors, and other fluff, in what situation do you need the "portability" of an eight-pound machine, but won't have a desktop? I am not trying to be rude, this is a genuine question. A desktop will stomp all over a more expensive laptop in performance and expandability. If you need to be doing CAD work "on the go", I suppose this option might make sense to you, but I think this group is really a small group of needs.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#49 Post by Sleepy664 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:41 pm

I know I'm in a minority of prefering large laptops; that is why I would prefer the new TP to be of a smaller kind because I want it to succeed. That is why I think some of the questions are sligtly wrongly worded. (Maybe I didn't make that clear enough...I think the retro ThinkPad should be small!)

To me the size isn't a limiting factor. If it fits in the suitcase that fits in a car, I'm OK with that. I just prefer bells and whistles and power over small dimensions. Again, I know I'm in a minority :)

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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#50 Post by Summilux » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:11 pm

Nigellus wrote: A smaller one (either a C300 or C400 with a 13.3" or 14.1" screen respectively), and a larger one (a C500 with a 15.4" screen).
My guess is that they'll go with the 13,3" format first because this is a sweet spot (i.e. acceptable to both smaller and bigger screen proponents) and D. Hill has alluded to the X300.

Though we shall see how last Friday's surveys turned out...
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#51 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:22 pm

Summilux wrote: My guess is that they'll go with the 13,3" format first because this is a sweet spot (i.e. acceptable to both smaller and bigger screen proponents) and D. Hill has alluded to the X300.
And even more so because they could probably use the panel well-loved by the fruity company that graces the small MB Pro...
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#52 Post by Summilux » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:01 pm

ajkula66 wrote: And even more so because they could probably use the panel well-loved by the fruity company that graces the small MB Pro...
Yes, whether they go 3:2 or 16:10, they'll have juicy 13,3" panels at hand.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#53 Post by hhhd1 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:32 pm

Summilux wrote:
Nigellus wrote: A smaller one (either a C300 or C400 with a 13.3" or 14.1" screen respectively), and a larger one (a C500 with a 15.4" screen).
My guess is that they'll go with the 13,3" format first because this is a sweet spot (i.e. acceptable to both smaller and bigger screen proponents) and D. Hill has alluded to the X300.

Though we shall see how last Friday's surveys turned out...

I originally hoped they do 15" screen, but if they have to go smaller to be accepted by more users, then 14" is the minimum acceptable for me, 13" is the threshold of starting to be small.

the new aspect ratio of 3:2 may make things looking different than what i have in mind :??: .
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#54 Post by Dante of the Inferno » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:01 pm

Results of Survey #2 are posted. Numbers have increased to over 6000 (a 50% increase since Survey #1). Lenovo notes that not only Survey #1 is still being taken, but that it will keep all Surveys open until the series is complete. Keep spreading the word, Thinkpad faithful!

Apparently nearly half of voters want a 14-inch screen. Everyone else dovetails into larger or smaller displays. The good news is that Lenovo says it has become pretty confident in placing 14-inch displays in 13.3-inch bodies, so those who carry their Thinkpads in a briefcase can rejoice.

In other news, basically everyone wants a blue Enter key and dedicated volume buttons, while also craving core LED indicators. As for keyboard lighting, it's a practical deadlock between ThinkLights and backlit keys. Lenovo says that backlighting the traditional keys is "harder" (not "more difficult" - straight up "harder"). I think if push comes to shove, everyone will vote ThinkLights if it means keeping the traditional keyboard.

Survey #3 is up, so get to it!

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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#55 Post by Summilux » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:40 pm

Dante of the Inferno wrote:Results of Survey #2 are posted. Numbers have increased to over 6000 (a 50% increase since Survey #1). Lenovo notes that not only Survey #1 is still being taken, but that it will keep all Surveys open until the series is complete. Keep spreading the word, Thinkpad faithful!

Apparently nearly half of voters want a 14-inch screen. Everyone else dovetails into larger or smaller displays. The good news is that Lenovo says it has become pretty confident in placing 14-inch displays in 13.3-inch bodies, so those who carry their Thinkpads in a briefcase can rejoice.

In other news, basically everyone wants a blue Enter key and dedicated volume buttons, while also craving core LED indicators. As for keyboard lighting, it's a practical deadlock between ThinkLights and backlit keys. Lenovo says that backlighting the traditional keys is "harder" (not "more difficult" - straight up "harder"). I think if push comes to shove, everyone will vote ThinkLights if it means keeping the traditional keyboard.

Survey #3 is up, so get to it!
Nice recap, thank you :)
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of ?? ** the REAL one **

#56 Post by mydreamlaptop » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:54 pm

Dekks wrote:
Nigellus wrote: We should all be taking these surveys.
Unless it influences design of future TPs then i don't see the point just for a 1 off.
Don't think of it as a one-off. Even in the unlikely event that Lenovo doesn't make any RetroThinkpad at all, the survey results could be influential enough to bring back proven winners that still have high demand -- for example, the overwhelming preference for the 7-row classic keyboard might be enough to consider bringing it back across all the T/W/X series.
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Re: RetroThinkPad survey #2 of 4 ** the REAL one **

#57 Post by bhtooefr » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:18 am

Or something could happen along the lines of the Dell lineup from at least the C400 (which competed against the X22) all the way to the E4310. Their equivalents to the X-series (anything Latitude where the first digit was 4) got 6-row keyboards to maintain trackpad room presumably, whereas their T/W-series equivalents (anything Latitude where the first digit was 6 or 8, and the Precisions) used 7-row keyboards, right up until those machines switched (in the Sandy Bridge era, a generation before Lenovo did it) to 6-row.
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