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Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

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nitrocaster
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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#61 Post by nitrocaster » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:37 am

TPFanatic wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:24 pm
RAM is prone enough to failure that it needs to be replaceable / upgradable.
Care to prove? Your own experience does not count.
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T25 | X230: i7-3520M | 16GB RAM | 512GB M.2 Micron M600 | LG LP125WF2-SPB4 FHD IPS | 9c Li-Ion | Win8.1 Pro 64

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#62 Post by dr_st » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:03 am

nitrocaster wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:37 am
TPFanatic wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:24 pm
RAM is prone enough to failure that it needs to be replaceable / upgradable.
Care to prove? Your own experience does not count.
How can one prove something like this? Even if you could obtain large-scale statistics (which in itself is hard), there is still the matter of defining "prone enough". It will almost certainly stay a matter of opinion, no matter how much people argue about this.

My own experience (which also doesn't count) also shows that RAM fails more than CPUs, and more than chipsets too (except chipsets with specific design flaws). But boards fail way more often RAM, CPU or chipset, mostly due to other reasons (capacitors, fuses, broken or damaged traces, accumulated gunk, etc).
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: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#63 Post by dragonknight » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:49 am

I'm not sure if this is a suitable thread to post this. @mods: Please move this to another thread/space if you see fit

Ever since computex when I first saw the Intel Compute Card https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en ... -card.html, I was intrigued by it.

Personally I wanted to put one of those small computers (like the Raspberry Pi) inside the T60p body, and fill all the left-over space with battery. In the case of the Rpi, I can just put in some normal battery pack (the ones that we use for phones) and have it run for days, recharging/replacing battery will also be easy. The difficulty was the connection to screen, keyboard + trackpad and the fact that Rpi has ARM processor while I want an X86 computer.

However, things changed with the Compute Card. Intel showcased their compute card with some cool concepts (which you can see here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIZ21KFs08M), one of which was to run a laptop with a replaceable Compute Card. Recently they released this product and the dock for it. My idea is now to just buy the card and the dock, strip open the dock, move the ports (USB, HDMI, Ethernet, etc.) to the side of the T60p body, and use the PC card bay to store the compute card. That whole set up will be quite small, and I can just fill the body with batteries + some circuits to connect the card to the SXGA+ screen I have, later on when Intel has a new model of the compute card, I can just buy it and replace the old one. Neat, isn't it?

I'm still not sure if it is feasible though, but I'll be able to purchase one of these and play with my idea in February (I'm emigrating in January and I don't want to go through custom with a lot of electronic stuff in my luggage).

Can someone let me know if they find any flaw with this plan? I'll appreciate some help given I'm not a real "hardware guy" :D
T60p 2007-8JU

X61 7675-4KU

axur-delmeria
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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#64 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:31 pm

^
Interesting idea. While the included processors in the Compute cards aren't particularly fast (Kaby Lake Core m3 and Apollo lake Celeron/Pentium), its other features (4k video decode, USB 3.0, HDMI and Mini Displayport output) are nice upgrades especially compared to Core 2 era Thinkpads. And the MiniDP port can be used to direcltly interface with current LCD panels, which are eDP (embedded Displayport).

Problem with the dock is the stated 19v operating voltage, which means you'll have to make a custom power converter/ battery charging circuit.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#65 Post by Summilux » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:12 pm

amardeep wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:04 pm
A 'real' Thinkpad Classic that all can agree on ...

• the 'proper' keyboard.
• a really good screen.
• a chassis that doesn't have acres of space around the screen.

I think that's the minimum, and although there'd be grumbling about other features (status lights, aspect ratio etc etc), this is the core requirement. I suppose the other big bone of contention would be screen size. Well ... 14". Suck it up, it'll be the most popular / a compromise most can live with !

There you go, I've done it :-)
Agreed. And if you think about it, screen size will no longer be too much of a matter of discord - since Dell has demonstrated with its XPS that a bigger screen could fit in a smaller frame.

It's technically possible. Now we'd need to rally around a set of specs, get a viable manufacturing contractor, and shell the money.
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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#66 Post by Utwig » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:39 am

We could for a start crowdfund classic USB keyboard with trackpoint. This way we learn about how to do the project, crowdfunded and classic/retro keyboards are popular. We would also be able to agree more easily on keyboard compared to screen size and aspect. Next step would be to use the keyboard in a laptop with most suitable off the shelf screen at the time. And if the laptop doesn't get made we can at least use the keyboards on our future devices.

Classic layout with everything working (the Fn combos, the integrated Numeric pad)
N-key rollover
USB-C
Trackpoint
wireless support? - to be determined how much costs it adds and how much target market would like this.

Check out this keyboard project on kickstarter:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/th ... m=keyboard

I think if we could get 500-1000 people it's doable.
T540p, T420s, T400, R61, X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#67 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:13 pm

Utwig wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:39 am
We could for a start crowdfund classic USB keyboard with trackpoint.
An alternative is to crowdfund a USB keyboard controller so we turn Thinkpad keyboards into standalone ones.

I just checked, the T61 and X61 keyboard connectors are the same. I've also successfully tested an X61 keyboard in an X220. That means it's possible to design one board that can handle keyboards from T60/X60 to T430/X230 generations. :O

The T40 series keyboard has a different connector though, and I don't know about other models.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#68 Post by Utwig » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:16 pm

Few years from now old keyboards will become rare unless there is some factory still making them. If we could countinue having T60 keyboard being made it would be good.

I have 3 USB keyboards with trackpoint (stocked up) and while they're good the problem is they don't have N-key roll over so not that good for gaming and gamers are spending 100$ on mechanical keyboards.

The USB with trackpoints cost 70€ when it came out but now costs twice as much.
T540p, T420s, T400, R61, X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#69 Post by TonyJZX » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:12 am

There's only two things that really define "Thinkpad" to me and that's the classic T400/T420 style kbd and the the Thinklight.

That's it.

The thing with screens is that the T60-T420 classic era is defined by fairly mediocre screens so as long as its a 14" FHD IPS panel then I'm ok.

I think that Lenovo should just give the option of the classic kbd on the customising purchase sheet and leave it at that.

Give 12-14-15" buyers the choice.

I dont even think its a big expensive gamble for Lenovo.

$2-3 mil for a custom laptop? Why?

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#70 Post by tdot » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:52 pm

lead_org wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:37 pm
My thinking was to actually get Lenovo design a 12 inches 3:2 machine with butterfly keyboard. We can use the same design for ULV quad core and dual core model.

David was open to the suggestion, i am sure i can pitch the idea to the ThinkPad management if people are serious about it.

A modern day 701c.
Don't do it. I will have to buy it immediately!!!

If I could have anything, it would be that.

Even if it's only 16:10 ... but why ULV? Just keep it almost as thick as the original 701C, and I'm sure you could cram a i7-8850H with massive desktop style heat sink along with 32 GB ram in there :lol:

I really don't understand why everyone is so obsessed with thin laptops ... I could care less if it's 1 mm or 1 inch thick, and I don't understand why it would matter to anyone? The weight is the only thing that really matters for a 'portable' machine that you have to carry back and forth to work, not the thickness ...

I'm pretty sure modern engineering could make a far more reliable butterfly mechanism. Just don't put the power button UNDER the keyboard this time ... :lol:

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#71 Post by feklee » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:39 am

Utwig wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:39 am
We could for a start crowdfund classic USB keyboard with trackpoint.
And please without Windows keys.

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#72 Post by vavet » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:15 am

I have been thinking about turning one of my t60/x61 shells into dex docs to connect to my huawei mate 10 with a type C cable. Nevertheless, the idea with the compute cards looks good as well. I have done some research, and my overall impression is that it is doable. Here few points on the challenges related.

1. setup: There are two main paths to go: a) integration of a smaller modern board (pico ITX, NUC, Roseberry etc). b) building a dock for either an android or compute card.
The integration of a modern board is more complex mainly due to the size constraints. Even the smallest ones need some rework to be thin enough to fit into shells. Another option would be a motherboard from a recent ultrabook. As you know these are becoming smaller with each generation, and I am sure there is one that would sit even in x61 shell. We just need to find it.
As for the dock option, it is much easier to implement. A dex dock can be quite small the ports will be easier to place and replacement will also be easy and cheap. Another plus would be the power management, as we will need to just ensure the 12 v for the screen and 5v to charge the phone. This is doable as well. A simple powerful powerbank with a voltage rising board should do the job.

2. screen: you can find edp kits for almost any lcd model on ebay. This will allow to connect via any port (vga, hdmi dp etc.). Considering that the doc won't take too much space, the placement of the edp boards in the shell shouldn't be an issue. I have already used these to build few external displays from dead laptops, and the do work pretty well (https://imgur.com/waxNnTg , https://imgur.com/C6lhDKE). The power consumption is usually marked higher than it really needs, so a powerbank should be enough for few hours.

3. keyboard/touchpad/trackpoint: I have a separate thread on this topic (viewtopic.php?f=29&t=127238). Here is the potential solution for the keyboard/trackpoint kit https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to ... ontroller/ (thanks thedalles77). All necessary resources are available, we can just make a group order. As for the touchpad (t6x): these are usb devices with either 5v or 3.3V connection. So can go easily into a usb port along with keyboard.

4. battery: As I mentioned above, in case of dock a powerbank(s) can be used with either 18650 cells to go into an original battery housing with own controller board and usb interface and micro usb charging port right on the battery housing. or if more space is available than additional flat batteries can be placed in the body. The battery will charge the phone and supply 12v to the screen controller.
The same applies to the case of a motherboard installation. the voltage can be raised to 19v (which seem to be standard nowadays). The only open question is the power management in win/linux.

5. ports: Separate adapter boards can be designed that would fit into particular shells. they can have cable connector to reach out to those on dock or mobo, so we won't need to resolder everything if dock or mobo is changed.

I think I covered all major challenges. the minor ones like BT, LAN etc are also doable depending on the specific setup.
Another interesting solution for T6x/dex setup might be the possibility to place the phone inside the laptop shell either hiding it in the ultrabay or cutting out a nice spot on the palmrest to use it as a touchpad.
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#73 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:44 am

Crafting a custom board for a Raspberry Pi could work, since there's the RPi 3 Compute Module, which is around the size of a SODIMM. However, the RPi has lots of limitations which make in unsuitable for general computing tasks.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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Re: Time to crowdfund the real ThinkPad: let's see how badly we want it

#74 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:00 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:44 am
Crafting a custom board for a Raspberry Pi could work, since there's the RPi 3 Compute Module, which is around the size of a SODIMM. However, the RPi has lots of limitations which make in unsuitable for general computing tasks.
The LattePanda should suit fine. Its a Core m3 powered 2.6Ghz QuadCore AFAIK and it is better than most Ultrabooks including the 12" MB. It also has a built on Arduino with IO so that could be used for interfacing battery management, keyboard, or the something else.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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