TP25 vs. t430s-classic-keyboard-mod first impressions

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Olangu
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden

TP25 vs. t430s-classic-keyboard-mod first impressions

#1 Post by Olangu » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:58 am

Ok, so my TP25 just arrived and I'll give you some side by side first impressions compared to the t430s-classic-keyboard-mod.

The TP25 is slim, have a good feeling over all, and seem to have great build quality. Flexing, noises and wiggles are way more present in the 5 year old and abused t430s. I like the USB-c port, with hopes for just bringing a single cable/transformer while travelling - sharing it between the computer and the phone. The keyboard is decent, the new flatter keys is not as nice as the old ones and the lost travel depth is very noticeable. But I feel I'll get used to it. The deeper placed trackpoint feels unusual but not like a problem. But the trackpad buttons are really horrible, almost flat and depth is nothing! This will be a lot harder to adapt to.
The screen is dimmer than the t430s and colours are overshot (the colors in the t430s is a bit bleak imho), the resolution is at least higher than the 900p in the t430s but in a time when phones are 4k this is a joke... Viewing angles are also bad, colour shifting appears in all angels but it's way better than what is probable the worst viewing angels in the history of computers that the t430s embodies.

All in all I'm so disappointed at Lenovo. Instead of putting a lot of effort into designing a new backlit slightly thinner keyboard they could have designed a new chassis and just slap the old - still in production keyboard there. None of us fans would have cared if the system was 3mm thicker... And for gods sake, can you for once sell a decent screen?

Key comparison:
TP25
https://gfycat.com/ShrillWarpedAfricanwildcat
https://gfycat.com/GraveFineBrant
t420s keyboard in a t430s
https://gfycat.com/OpulentMerryJabiru
https://gfycat.com/BonyOblongBobwhite

Screen comparison:
http://i67.tinypic.com/2evalih.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/2vt1dds.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/eq1j08.jpg

Summilux
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Re: TP25 vs. t430s-classic-keyboard-mod first impressions

#2 Post by Summilux » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:07 pm

Olangu wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:58 am
All in all I'm so disappointed at Lenovo. Instead of putting a lot of effort into designing a new backlit slightly thinner keyboard they could have designed a new chassis and just slap the old - still in production keyboard there. None of us fans would have cared if the system was 3mm thicker... And for gods sake, can you for once sell a decent screen?
Amen. Please support a community effort, if/when it arises.
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X220 4287-CTO

w0qj
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Re: TP25 vs. t430s-classic-keyboard-mod first impressions

#3 Post by w0qj » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:38 am

Wow, many thanks for your very detailed sharing and comparison!
Your findings confirm our impressions from hands on review while browsing the internet.

It is frustrating; ThinkPad enthusiast response would have been much warmer if TP25 could have that much more if ThinkPad did any one of the following:

1) Give us a mandatory WQHD (2560x1440) IPS bright 16:9 LCD screen, and permanently bump up the price by US$120, OR

2) Give us a bright 16:10 IPS LCD screen. (No chassis redesign. Just look at the empty space below the TP25 LCD screen bezel!)
OR:

3) Give us a bright 4:3 IPS LCD screen (chassis redesign required obviously).

- - - - - - - - - -
Of course, other things also make up a great classic ThinkPad, but classic 7-row keyboard and good ratio LCD screen may satisfy the majority of ThinkPad enthusiasts. (GREAT ThinkPad construction is still present in modern day ThinkPads!)

Other ThinkPad features that I personally want also are:
a) Indicator lights especially SSD/HDD activity, this is actually very useful.
b) Latch for locking a closed ThinkPad in place during transport.
[Personally, I've had too many ThinkPads turn on by accident during transport in our computer bag, our X1 Carbon was overheated and almost out of power by the time we take it out for use!]
Daily Driver: X1 Carbon 4th Gen (X1C4): i7-6600U 2.6GHz; 16GB DDR3 1866 MHz; 1TB PCIe-NVMe SSD; 14" WQHD 2560x1440; LTE EM7455 Mobile Broadband; Win7 Pro 64bit
Current Thinkpads: X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
~~IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

Olangu
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:56 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: TP25 vs. t430s-classic-keyboard-mod first impressions

#4 Post by Olangu » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:25 am

w0qj wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:38 am
Wow, many thanks for your very detailed sharing and comparison!

[...]

Other ThinkPad features that I personally want also are:
a) Indicator lights especially SSD/HDD activity, this is actually very useful.
b) Latch for locking a closed ThinkPad in place during transport.
[Personally, I've had too many ThinkPads turn on by accident during transport in our computer bag, our X1 Carbon was overheated and almost out of power by the time we take it out for use!]
Thank you!

Indicator lights is one of the feature I'm really missing, waking up for hibernation without knowing if the computer is accessing the SSD is annoying. And the constant "did I turn off the bluetooth?"

The latches I never cared for. But I do wish that I could turn off wake up when lid is opened. Have to double check the BIOS for this.
I also miss the that there are no good spots for grabbing the screen when trying to open up the lid. Finding the unlock slide button and open the lid is so in my muscle memory from years of t420s and t430s use. Having no touch queues on where to open this one up.

I have installed Debian with xfce, and disabled trackpad and touchscreen. I would say that the machine is quite usable now.
I needed to use the kernel from squeeze backports to get bumblebee going on this chipset. And there's still some issues with stability in suspend/hibernation modes and docking and undocking.

theterminator93
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Re: TP25 vs. t430s-classic-keyboard-mod first impressions

#5 Post by theterminator93 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:45 am

Yeah, I'll agree with your assessments. I don't notice the poor LCD quite as much but then again, I'll be frank and confess LCD quality hasn't ever jumped out at me except in the absolute best and worst of times.

I too noticed the reduced key travel and esp. the trackpoint buttons. I've adapted quickly but yeah, I did notice it right away.
Daily: T25 | W520 i7-2860QM·Quadro 2000m·IPS FHD | T420 i7-2640M·NVS 4200m·IPS FHD | X220 i7-2640M | T601F T9900·NVS 140M·IPS UXGA
Wife's: T61p T9500·2010 FX570m·WUXGA | X220T i7-2640M
Others: T61p·61·60·43·42p|X41T·24·23·22|G41|A31p·22m|i1200|TransNote|380D|365XD|701C|755C

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