Today Lenovo announced via their Yamato Thinking blog that they will be implementing a BIOS switch in all future ThinkPad models that will swap the functions of the Fn and Ctrl keys at the bottom left of your keyboard. This is great news for some, and a sign of a good faith on Lenovo’s part, but does leave older models out of the key switching fun.
This is a great announcement from Lenovo. They recognize the adoption of new users and support of their loyal communities is important and are investing in this change to their products.
Unfortunately the phrase “in all future ThinkPad models” leaves a lot of machines out in the cold. Details are still forthcoming, but my interpretation is that the current T400/T500/X200/X301/etc generation of ThinkPads are the ones that will have their BIOS updated. This would leave -61 generation or older ThinkPads, ThinkPad X300, possibly SL400/500, and IdeaPads without nifty key switching.
Is this necessarily a bad thing? Sure widespread compatibility would be nice, but the older ThinkPads are mostly a moot point. The majority of the people who don’t like the Fn-Ctrl key layout are going to be the new users, who are more likely going to buy into the new models. This BIOS should apply to all existing ThinkPads, which have been on sale since mid last year and likely cover the majority of complainants. The most people left out in the cold are actually IdeaPad owners, but considering the engineering and development teams are entirely separate between IdeaPad and ThinkPad, I’m not holding my breath for an IdeaPad BIOS update.
Source: [Yamato Thinking]