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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:46 am 
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One more example. I have been using Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 for four years and still haven't gotten used to the drastically new layout. It's probably a better layout than that used in Office 2003 and earlier versions, but it's frustrating for those of us who had been using the old interface for over a decade.

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Last edited by pianowizard on Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:47 am 
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Jack Watts wrote:
An older internal 3-speed is woefully inferior, in almost every way (complexity, limited gear ratios, cost), but some folks, even now, will pay a premium for less performance because of its retro cache
I won't, by the way. This was what I actually had, not my ideal choice. That would be around a 6-speed and external is fine by me. I can think of two advantages of the internal design though, one the chain won't come off accidentally during shifting and two, I don't remember it being as fiddly to switch gears when it's perhaps not perfectly adjusted. My current bike tends to skip over gears at times and the 3-way front gear switch is best avoided for all the use it has (I don't need that many gears) and it's tendency to drop off the chain. By the way, it's a Dawes Kalahari. It says the gears are a Shimano M system.
Quote:
A clip-on, rechargeable light can put out literally 20 times the amount of the brightest generator light and last >20 hours.
That's funny, my dynamo-based lights lasted forever and didn't need batteries (yeah, yeah, dynamos and bulbs were more prone to breaking, but you get the idea). Also they were fixed to the bike and nobody wanted to steal them. And these days I could also use the additional excercise.

I guess I must look for better lights though. I did go to the shop recently and while some LED lights seemed brighter, they seemed as directional as ever. In my youth I would sometimes cycle in the pitch black, on moonless nights, along the outskirts of the city (my girlfriend lived that way). That's when you really needed a good spread of light to see, not just to be seen.

If you could point me to a good model of front / rear lights, that would be helpful. Based in Ireland (Europe). CatEye seems a popular brand here. Last I was in a brightly lit shop, it was difficult to judge.
Quote:
Also, as an even more unrelated aside those skinny, complex valves do have their advantages!
Oh? What are they? With mine you unscrew the cap, then you unscrew and loosen another bit that sticks out of the valve on a thin stalk. Then you press that down and let a bit of air out to make sure it'll move, then you screw on the pump. I swear it takes half a minute before you're ready to pump some air in. Or it feels like it.

The valves that I remember from the 70s were the opposite extreme. You unscrewed the cap and then you had to press the pump against the valve. The pump outlet would face sideways and it typically involved getting your hands dirty, because you had to brace the pump with your hand and press against tire from the other side. I fully agree that those old valves had disadvantages. It was dirtier to work with them and there was a knack to it. But they were faster and less fiddly to use, once you got the hang of it. By the 80s I had a bike with a screw on pump that wasn't as fiddly as this new one. Probably my ideal compromise.

I'm 50 and enthusiasm for new technology just wanes. In the 90s I was excited about laptops, but I also think there were more tangible advances back then. Screens started out small and really crappy. Dual-scan anyone? Keyboards were at the front before everyone moved them to the back, which gave us palm rests. Processor clock speed increased 5 fold in 3 years between two of my laptops. These days the action is perhaps elsewhere, but I don't get tablets, so I don't know where exactly.


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:57 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
One more example. I have been using Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 for four years and still haven't gotten used to the drastically new layout. It's probably a better layout than that used in Office 2003 and earlier versions, but it's frustrating for those of us who had been using the old interface for over a decade.
Oooo, that's a good one. I use Office '97. Bought it at the time. Never saw a reason to upgrade. You can get a free DOCX conversion plugin at Microsoft.


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:27 am 
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FragrantHead wrote:
If you could point me to a good model of front / rear lights, that would be helpful. Based in Ireland . CatEye seems a popular brand here. Last I was in a brightly lit shop, it was difficult to judge.


No doubt the one advantage to generators is that they're "set it and forget it", you'll never need to charge them--but the safety advantaged of the newest generation of lights is so great that it's a trade-off worth making. They're more convenient for charging, since most can be charged w/the USB ports on your Thinkpad! LED technology has finally been implemented to its potential w/bike lights. A $60.0 light puts out equivalent output to the $400.00 light of 5 years ago, and is way more reliable (no more $40.00 bulb changes). I'm using a Niterider Minwewt 600, but you have to modify the mount a bit to make it really solid. For those who don't want to tinker, this is a better suggestion: http://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-350-Lume ... roduct_top . Cateye has an offering in this category, the Nanoshot, but it's a bit limited in battery life compared to other LED options. Equally impressive, and maybe even more important to staying alive are the new USB-rechargeable tail lights, which are several orders of magnitude brighter than any older light which didn't need its own external battery pack. I'm using a Serfas One, but there are a ton of good options out there. I'm not sure what distribution is like in the UK, but there are a lot of option out there.

FragrantHead wrote:
Oh? What are they? With mine you unscrew the cap, then you unscrew and loosen another bit that sticks out of the valve on a thin stalk. Then you press that down and let a bit of air out to make sure it'll move, then you screw on the pump. I swear it takes half a minute before you're ready to pump some air in. Or it feels like it.


They work better with portable high-pressure pumps (newer pump head designs have mitigated this advantage somewhat) and the thinner valve puts a smaller hole in the rim. This is the main advantage, as light-weight, narrow rims often have the valve-hole as the weak point. I'd agree though, for a regular commuter-type bike with wider rims, a schrader valve is more practical.


FragrantHead wrote:
I'm 50 and enthusiasm for new technology just wanes. In the 90s I was excited about laptops, but I also think there were more tangible advances back then. Screens started out small and really crappy. Dual-scan anyone? Keyboards were at the front before everyone moved them to the back, which gave us palm rests. Processor clock speed increased 5 fold in 3 years between two of my laptops. These days the action is perhaps elsewhere, but I don't get tablets, so I don't know where exactly.


I'm 46, and I'm not really a "computer enthusiast". The only reason I've come to a computer forum was initially to investigate options on my dead T61. Realizing that a new MB would be both expensive and hard to find--and that modern processors actually are quite a bit faster, I figured it was time to move on. So, I don't really have an emotional investment in the Thinkpad design. I just want something that's reasonably durable and easy to type on for extended periods of time (the latter being my main concern). Almost every other keyboard I've tried is simply horrid.

To answer another post just above yours, I don't think that "newer is necessarily better", but I don't think it's necessarily worse, either--and I'm willing to spend some time trying out something new if it offers a potential advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:43 pm 
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This discussion made me curious: are non-island-style keys that uncommon? To research, I looked around big-brand Web sites. I found that the conventional "trapezoid profile" keycaps are indeed uncommon. But I also discovered two exceptions. Both are interesting to me, because each has one notable feature, and I did not know these models exist. Neither of them have "ThinkPad classic" 7-row physical layout with 6-key editing block.

Samsung Series 6
Interesting feature: Do I see three pointer buttons in the photos?
The "specifications" tab is too brief. It is little more than a checklist of the obvious. "Microsoft? Check. Intel? Check. Keyboard, touchpad, uses electricity? Check." No technical details on that page, no mention of pointing stick at all. Also of note: function keys in three groups of four, spaces between groups, but not separated from main rows.

Fujitsu LifeBook T731
Interesting feature: Eject button for ExpressCard slot. (I thought ExpressCard eject button is extinct from all utraportables.)
This is a 12.1-inch Tablet convertible. With 16:10 (1280:800) wide-viewing screen, two audio jacks, 5.5/2.5 DC jack unchanged for years, ExpressCard 54 with eject button. These are all features which ThinkPad is losing. Those things are important to me, not merely "worth more on paper but in reality I will do without". The keyboard physical layout, though, is not as good as "ThinkPad classic". Fujitsu says "no corners cut" (PDF link).



ThinkPads had the best keyboards of all laptops I ever encountered. Those extra keys, even if they hypothetically added ten US dollars (or more) to total price, were worth having. I think it is sad if they will be cut from any model, let-alone from great big workstation models.

I mean it: sad. I consider stupid keyboard layouts to be a problem. A waste; an inefficiency; and worst of all, a pain. When I must use a staggered keyboard, I find the classic ThinkPad layout to be most tolerable. I would hate to see the bog-standard layout replace the classic layout.


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:19 am 
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The Samsung Series 6 indeed seems an interesting business laptop, complete with a 3-button trackpoint. :thumbs-UP:

Can't believe I'm only hearing about them now.

Here's a comprehensive review:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Sam ... 623.0.html

Fujitsu's business tablets have also been traditionally nice:
http://tablet-pc-review.toptenreviews.c ... eview.html

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Well, I took a hard look at the close-ups in an X1 YouTube review. My only point of reference thus far has been running a virtual PC on a (unibody) MacBook and that made me extremely biased against that style of keyboard. One of my concerns was the loss of dedicated keys. After looking at the X1 layout I am somewhat relieved that, unlike on a Mac, the most important keys are still there, and I even find myself agreeing with the choices made. In particular the PrtSc key is still there and the only keys that appear to be truly gone are the following:

SysRq
ScrLk / NumLk
Pause / Break
The web back / forward keys (replaced by the relocated PgUp / PgDn keys in the cursor key block)
The Windows context menu key (replaced by the moved PrintSc key)

That analysis is purely from looking at a YouTube video, so if you know better, please let us know. For me none of the lost keys are deal-breakers, although I do use the following occasionally in the context of command-line / batch programs:

(1) Pause will pause/suspend a (batch) program running in a console session. How to do that without the Pause key?

(2) Ctrl-Break has historically been a stronger signal to terminate console-based programs than Ctrl-C. Not sure whether that's still the case, but that's why I sometimes use that key.

(3) The NumLk key. There is a very old feature, dating back to DOS, where you can type in the ASCII code of a character on the numeric keypad. It needs NumLk and Alt. Believe it or not, that recently got me out of a jam, though I can't remember what the problem was. So that feature is gone then, is it?

These things are fairly obscure and not deal-breakers for me personally. While I think some may miss the Windows context menu key (is that really gone?), I think it's the small, gapless function-key row that would throw me the most, followed by the various moved keys. All the same, from those of us who've actually used one of the new keyboards to those of us who haven't, could anyone clarify whether the above keys are really gone or what the (Fn-key based) alternatives are?


Last edited by FragrantHead on Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:04 pm 
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FragrantHead wrote:
the only keys that appear to be truly gone are the following:

SysRq
ScrLk / NumLk
Pause / Break
The web back / forward keys (replaced by the relocated PgUp / PgDn keys in the cursor key block)
The Windows context menu key (replaced by the moved PrintSc key)


Apparently the Edge E220s has these key combinations:
Fn+B= break
Fn+P= pause
Fn+S= sysrq
Fn+C= ScrLK
Fn+I= insert
Not sure whether they also work on the X1, or other 6-row ThinkPads.
http://forum.notebookreview.com/thinkpa ... ost7505268

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:02 am 
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Thank you. Interestingly the X1 has an Ins key, the E220 hasn't. Must keep an eye on what revisions Lenovo are making to the keyboard.

So NumLk is gone from these keyboards altogether, huh?


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:18 am 
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Well, presumably, if the keyboard doesn't have a numpad (doubled in the JKL; columns), there's no point in having NumLk. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:59 am 
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twistero wrote:
Well, presumably, if the keyboard doesn't have a numpad (doubled in the JKL; columns), there's no point in having NumLk. :roll:
Which in itself seems very bizarre. I don't use these hidden numpads on laptop keyboards, but surely some people do.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:27 pm 
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I have an old program which uses the numeric keypad for certain keyboard shortcuts. Then there's the ASCII code entering. Granted these are obscure functions and I personally always thought the slanted, embedded layout was so awkward as to be of limited use to anyone as an actual numeric keypad. But you never know. I have occasional use for it. So may others.

It woud appear it's gone, seeing as no numbers are printed on the respective keys. If Lenovo were really on the ball, I wonder did they replicate the numeric keypad on the normal row of numeric keys, perhaps by pressing Fn? That would be pointless on the face of it, however the numeric keypad generates different scancodes and some old programs and obscure built-in functions recognise that, so it would be useful from that point of view.


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Look on the bright side: despite the new layout coming to all of the "classic" ThinkPad lines, backlit keyboards will also be coming to all of them (except the T430u.)

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:43 pm 
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FragrantHead wrote:
I have an old program which uses the numeric keypad for certain keyboard shortcuts. Then there's the ASCII code entering. Granted these are obscure functions and I personally always thought the slanted, embedded layout was so awkward as to be of limited use to anyone as an actual numeric keypad. But you never know. I have occasional use for it. So may others.


I believe the built-in "Mouse Keys" accessibility feature, where you can control the mouse pointer with the keyboard, also relies on the numeric keypad.

Presumably, though, one can always use (and Lenovo would love to sell more of) these:
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... 5595DA583E


ThinkRob wrote:
Look on the bright side: despite the new layout coming to all of the "classic" ThinkPad lines, backlit keyboards will also be coming to all of them (except the T430u.)

Except that I've already seen members here express strong sentiments against backlit keyboards, even going as far as deriding it using a stigmatized stereotype.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:39 am 
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twistero wrote:
Except that I've already seen members here express strong sentiments against backlit keyboards, even going as far as deriding it using a stigmatized stereotype.


Backlighting is good for allowing one to see the keys in the dark. The ThinkLight does that equally well, and also serves as a miniature desk lamp.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:52 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
Backlighting is good for allowing one to see the keys in the dark. The ThinkLight does that equally well, and also serves as a miniature desk lamp.


In my limited experience using a backlit keyboard, the backlit keyboard works much better for actually seeing the keys I need to see (namely the top row), and is less obtrusive to leave on while typing in the dark. The light on my T61 really didn't work well for additional illumination. I used the Thinklight sparingly; I'd get a lot more use out of a backlit keyboard. I'm guessing that most users prefer it as well, given the various reviews I've read, but who knows.

I guess best of both worlds would be a backlit keyboard and a small led to illuminate a workspace, but as a lefty I probably wouldn't like the placement of it.


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:50 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
Backlighting is good for allowing one to see the keys in the dark. The ThinkLight does that equally well, and also serves as a miniature desk lamp.


It's a trade-off. To add to the above, the ThinkLight can be more distracting to nearby passengers on a dark flight (though not as much as the overhead reading light), and some models (ahem -- X300!) have had rather poorly-placed ThinkLights.

Personally, I think it's a wash. I hardly ever use the ThinkLight when not flying, and I don't take many late-night flights any more. Then again, I hardly use the ThinkLight to light the keys since I know how to type, so a backlit keyboard won't really help there either.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:09 am 
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ThinkRob wrote:
I hardly use the ThinkLight to light the keys since I know how to type, so a backlit keyboard won't really help there either.


I touch-type too, easiliy averaging 80 words per minute. But for infrequently used keys, I do need to look at the keyboard to find them. Is it the same for you, or are you able to find all keys without looking?

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:08 am 
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I can find every key on ThinkPad keyboards without light. (The only exception is the staggered numpad overlay.) I cannot say that for other laptops: they need backlights because their physical layout is inferior to the ThinkPad layout. And I too, from the first time I used it, wish ThinkLight was stronger. Two or three lights would be better than one, and then adjustable brightness would be sweet! Many laptops' keyboard backlighting has variable brightness.


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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 5:39 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
I touch-type too, easiliy averaging 80 words per minute. But for infrequently used keys, I do need to look at the keyboard to find them. Is it the same for you, or are you able to find all keys without looking?


Depends on which infrequently used keys. The only ones that I ever use that aren't in muscle memory are the F9-F12 block and Print Screen. The rest I can (and do) find without needing to glance at the keyboard.

I suppose you could also count some of the Fn-F* combos, but since those aren't mapped to do anything on my laptop it's kinda a moot point.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 2:39 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
I touch-type too, easiliy averaging 80 words per minute. But for infrequently used keys, I do need to look at the keyboard to find them. Is it the same for you, or are you able to find all keys without looking?


Ditto with respect to typing :) Whats sad is the early users of computing technologies and laptops who fueled this industry are now being neglected for dumber seemingly shiner but stupider designs to appease to the new generation of super newbies.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:32 am 
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FragrantHead wrote:
In particular the PrtSc key is still there and the only keys that appear to be truly gone are the following:

SysRq
ScrLk / NumLk
Pause / Break
The web back / forward keys (replaced by the relocated PgUp / PgDn keys in the cursor key block)
The Windows context menu key (replaced by the moved PrintSc key)


Unfortunately these keys tend to be used heavily by people who rely on keyboards over mice for input. Terminal and console systems need Pause, Break, Scroll Lock and sometimes even System Request (SysRq). Most *nix terminals use Shift+Page Up/Page Down to scroll through output and many legacy CLI/character based graphics applications which offer menus or navigable displays expect (if not require) the number pad for navigation.
The web back and forward buttons are a great navigation aid for situations where mouse (and even trackpad and TrackPoint) use is inconvenient or painful.
Having a keyboard layout that is consistent is important for rapid input, especially when dealing with complex key combinations that tend to be used for navigation and application control or system commands that are used primarily when typing a command is not possible (Ctrl+Tab, Alt+Tab, Ctrl+Alt+letter, Shift+PageUp, Shift+PageDown, Ctrl+Break, Ctrl+Z/X/C). The traditional Thinkpad keyboard layouts maintained a logical continuity with the desktop keyboard layouts based on the Model M layout (3x2 editing group with Print Screen, Scroll Lock and Pause grouped near the function key row), despite the obvious physical rearrangement of the location of those two groups the groups were maintained. When those groups are broken up (or worse, when some of those keys are also demoted to Fn+ combinations) a keyboard reliant user is slowed down significantly (because they are forced to hunt down the keys in an unfamiliar or inconsistent layout) and some important functions become more difficult to access.

twistero wrote:
Except that I've already seen members here express strong sentiments against backlit keyboards, even going as far as deriding it using a stigmatized stereotype.

pianowizard wrote:
Backlighting is good for allowing one to see the keys in the dark. The ThinkLight does that equally well, and also serves as a miniature desk lamp.

The ThinkLight is much preferable for keyboard illumination compared to backlighting if the user has vision or medical issues which make direct illumination and bright light painful since the light produced by the ThinkLight is not directed at the users eyes and the light is softened compared to backlights.

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 Post subject: Re: T430 Chicklet Keys
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:31 pm 
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nite-0wl wrote:
The ThinkLight is much preferable for keyboard illumination compared to backlighting if the user has vision or medical issues which make direct illumination and bright light painful since the light produced by the ThinkLight is not directed at the users eyes and the light is softened compared to backlights.


Computer monitors also produce light directly aimed at the user's eyes. If the user can manage with a computer monitor, s/he will be able to manage with a backlit keyboard especially if the backlight has several brightness levels.

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