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Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 115 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

How do you like the latest keyboard change?
Very good - It makes these Thinkpads more appealing to me 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Good - I like it 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
Neutral - Don't care either way 11%  11%  [ 9 ]
Bad - I dislike it 14%  14%  [ 12 ]
Very bad - This may be a deal-breaker for me 42%  42%  [ 35 ]
I'll make up my mind once I've actually had one to try 26%  26%  [ 22 ]
Total votes : 84
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:32 pm 
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ZaZ wrote:
Here's a some hands on experience with the new keyboard, as opposed to the conjecture being posted of late.

This is a great review, however I'd like to focus on one thing that I don't agree with, and which I think can explain the problem.

Quote:
Bottom line on the keyboard changes, the usability is still top notch and all of the essential keys such as alpha, numeric and common cursor movement keys are in the same location. The biggest challenge with changes will be in regards to remapping your brain to find and reach the keys that moved such as Home, End and Delete.

It is exactly this (IMO, flawed) thinking that gets us these keyboards where they constantly shuffle keys around and it is exactly the thing that the people who wonder why we're complaining fail to understand.

Many people think that the keyboard is just for typing text. And therefore as long as the alphanumeric keys are at the same place, then the keyboard is by definition good. In his review, Andrew shows that there is no handicap in typing on the new keyboard. This is very important (it would be a pity to know that the key travel or key spacing is somehow messed up which makes typing more difficult), but it's not enough.

Because a keyboard is not only for typing text. I can't blame people for thinking it is, because for many of them it is. Some people really use a keyboard only for typing and use the mouse for everything else. They never use a single keyboard shortcut (or maybe only the very basic ones such as Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V), and maybe only use Pgup/Pgdn every once in a while to scroll text faster.

If this is one's operating mode, then one is not utilizing the keyboard fully and is not as productive as one could be. Unfortunately it's a "cycle with no escape": To be more productive you want to master keyboard navigation/shortcuts. To master them, you have to memorize the key locations in muscle memory. And this in turn makes you depend more on their locations, so when the layout is changed - you're suddenly severely handicapped.

Quite a few people have been complaining about the Fn/Ctrl key swap on Thinkpad keyboards. While I don't share those particular sentiments, I can understand them. And these are just two keys. Here - a whole bunch of keys are moved or eliminated. No wonder more people complain.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:24 pm 
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dr_st wrote:
If this is one's operating mode, then one is not utilizing the keyboard fully and is not as productive as one could be.

Productivity for many has very, very little to do with mechanical activities.

dr_st wrote:
To be more productive you want to master keyboard navigation/shortcuts.

See above. :eek:


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 2:37 am 
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Yes, and in fact, for many, productivity has very, very little to do with computers at all!

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 2:55 am 
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just coming up to speed on this issue..
(ok, the rock i have been under blew up and i had to come out!)

this new 6 row keyboard looks a LOT like the keyboard on the folio thing for the thinkpad slate tablet..
comparing this to the X300 i must admit that i prefer the older style X300 keyboard..
if i get a thinkpad with this 6 row keyboard my fingers will get even MORE lost when goinf rrom my old IBM desktop keyboards to the new thinkpad keyboard as the keys are now in different places..

using the finger test (it's well known i can't type right (pun? you make the call)) the 6 row has nice feedback and clickiness.. the X300 is better and has more key travel.. now comparing these to the keyboard on a 755CDV in my little collection this latter keyboard is better than the others.. solid, clicky and the best feedback..

it is also well known in these precincts that i am pretty conservative.. which means abrupt changes like this are bad in my mind..

but i am reminded of this quote: Judge Slowly

i voted bad in the above survey..
if lenovo intends to change the very character of a classic thinkpad keyboard and thus change the breed they should have given it much more thought and maybe just trash the whole idea..
or at least lenovo should have produced a bunch of demo thinkpads and passed them around to collect opinions..

i know, i know, some will say the 6 row keyboard can be made slimmer by .2mm and thus save space..! REALLY .2mm..? that is what is dictating this monumental change from the superlative to the hand held calculator class keyboard.. my old h/p programmer calculator has a similar feel and IT is 25+ years old.. maybe 35..
tiny little keys that work but do not inspire a caress but rather a stab aka hunt & PECK..

would this change make me look for another non-thinkpad notebook..? nope..

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 4:41 am 
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There's a picture of the new X1 Carbon, if you google it. Interestingly they're still changing the 6-row keyboard. Those are all subtly different, if you look at different models. Some of the older ones don't have the Ins key on the top row, whereas for example the X230 has. Some of them have the enlarged Esc and Del keys, wheres others (again the older or possibly lower end ones) don't. Now the X1 Carbon has re-introduced gaps between F4/F5 and F8/F9. Also the bottom row looks less tall, but the middle cursor keys look bigger, if anything, and slightly angled. As changes go, I think these are probably good ones. That last change will probably differentiate the cursor keys from the PgUp and PgDn keys and we all like the gaps between the function keys, right? Lenovo must be listening to someone. For me it's a pity the X230 and T series don't have that layout at least.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 6:33 am 
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I think Lenovo is aiming to unify the keyboard FRU between all E/L/T/W/X Thinkpads. But the X1 Carbon is very different in terms of chassis design, so it cannot share the same keyboard.

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 9:53 am 
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Quote:
I think Lenovo is aiming to unify the keyboard FRU between all E/L/T/W/X Thinkpads

No, the E-Series has a completely different keyboard. But beside of this you are right. The L-Series has now the same keyboard as T/X/W.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 12:37 pm 
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BillMorrow wrote:
if lenovo intends to change the very character of a classic thinkpad keyboard and thus change the breed they should have given it much more thought and maybe just trash the whole idea..
or at least lenovo should have produced a bunch of demo thinkpads and passed them around to collect opinions..


What makes you think that they *didn't* solicit customer opinions? I don't know for sure, but I doubt that the Human Factors people were just sitting around sipping coffee during all of the design process...

If my experience with user testing is any indication, there can often be a large gap between what devoted users/geeks like and what average people like.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:11 pm 
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ThinkRob wrote:
there can often be a large gap between what devoted users/geeks like and what average people like.

I'm reminded of the devoted user fuss when IBM discontinued the type "M" keyboards.

The world did not end after all :idea:

Cheers,

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:57 am 
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May I remind you, that this is the year 2012!
The Mayas already predicted this keyboard disaster.
:wink:

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:53 am 
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Having used chicklet keyboards of several brands, i am dammed glad i got my hands on an X220T while i could. A great keyboard is one of the defining characteristics of a ThinkPad, and unless Lenovo managed to pull a rabbit out of it's [censored], i can't imagine the new chicklet board will be as good as the old style. Also mildly disappointed that they are doing away with the trademark blue enter key.

With that noted, there is something to be said for a backlit keyboard.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:34 am 
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lophiomys wrote:
May I remind you, that this is the year 2012!
The Mayas already predicted this keyboard disaster.
:wink:
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:


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 Post subject: re: Backlit Keyboard
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:36 am 
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Backlit "chicklets" are OK for me, as long as the light is not leaking from the keycap-body-gaps.
As it does for example on my MBP unibody mid09, where some keys do leak more light than the others.
Recenlty I have seen pictures of seen pictures of a backlit keyboard in one of the newish ChickenThinkpads
where some keycap gaps do leak some extra light indeed.... (If I should rediscover the picture I'll post a link).

Update1: Link to backlit x230t on Notebookreview

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:06 pm 
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IT_Sean wrote:
the trademark blue enter key.


The one they introduced?

Personally I'm glad they brought back the red accents to the TrackPoint buttons. That was a design cue that Lenovo was responsible for eliminating, and I'm glad they re-thought that decision.

(If only they had the *3x/*4x color schemes... Sigh. I loved the combined accents of the outlined audio jacks, the grey function/browser keys, and the enter key. Oh well. Technically this is more traditional coloring, I suppose...)

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:27 am 
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I doubt the "more devoted Thinkpad users" would complain that much about 6 vs 7 row keyboards if Lenovo had kept some kind of physical separation (i.e. between the function keys, escape, insert key etc.)

Beyond that: I'm sure they had their research and precise cost analysis (in regards to chiclet-is-cheaper and economies of scale applying when all Thinkpad lines have the same keyboard) done properly.
It's too bad that big customers (gov. institutions, companies etc.) are most important in their decision process, but I don't think there's any other way... if you want to stay in business.

There's one market niche though that this might create: if the connector is the same among all current (X/L/T) Thinkpad lines, maybe someone could create a plug-in replacement - I'd be happy to pay a high price (150?+ USD/EUR) for that and I probably wouldn't be alone. The only issue remaining for such an endeavour would be potential patent violations such a replacement keyboard could cause.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 11:23 am 
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benjs wrote:
There's one market niche though that this might create: if the connector is the same among all current (X/L/T) Thinkpad lines, maybe someone could create a plug-in replacement - I'd be happy to pay a high price (150?+ USD/EUR) for that and I probably wouldn't be alone. The only issue remaining for such an endeavour would be potential patent violations such a replacement keyboard could cause.


Even assuming you could solve the mechanical issues (different dimensions, connectors, etc.) patents are going to be an issue; the strain gauge design used in the TrackPoint Lenovo's alone. (If you've ever used a Unicomp EnduraPro and wondered why the "TrackPoint" feels different, this is why. They don't have a license to use the original TrackPoint design.)

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:53 pm 
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benjs wrote:
if the connector is the same among all current (X/L/T) Thinkpad lines

There's a lot more more to keyboard layout support at platform level than just the connectror :idea:

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:04 pm 
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The new thinkpads seem to have thinklight AND backlight. Then i can used my beloved thinklight.
The chiclet keyboard.. I hope it is good. Nut i like the old layout from the T/W500 and 510s where there is a HUGE enter button http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/ ... 1ff5cd.jpg

Other than this.. I think it will be good. One thing i will really miss is the rollcage (i dont handle my laptop very well..)

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:09 pm 
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QWERTY Andreas wrote:
The new thinkpads seem to have thinklight AND backlight.


Actually no, as far as I understood it this is only a special case for the X230 since it uses the same parts for the outer shell/casing of the notebook as the X220.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:43 pm 
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Quote:
The chiclet keyboard.. I hope it is good. Nut i like the old layout from the T/W500 and 510s where there is a HUGE enter button http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/ ... 1ff5cd.jpg

Thats a german layout. The new chiclet-style keyboard will come with the big enter-key too: http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/ ... c210df.jpg

Quote:
Actually no, as far as I understood it this is only a special case for the X230 since it uses the same parts for the outer shell/casing of the notebook as the X220.

No, I understand it that the ThinkLight will stay on all T/W/X: http://www.laptopreviews.com/lenovo-unv ... gn-2012-05
Quote:
Lenovo is also going to offer a backlit keyboard option across the lineup of ThinkPads. They’re also keeping the ThinkLight in place, so you can choose your favorite keyboard illumination option.

They wrote nothing about a X230-only ThinkLight. ANd here is a picture of the T430 with the ThinkLight ;) :
http://m.21cn.com/notebook/bbpc/2012/05 ... 5963.shtml

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:21 am 
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Okay, here are my gripes as I see them. Please keep in mind that haven't tried out any of the new keyboards, but looking through pictures and the X230 review here are my thoughts:

1. Why have they shrunk to six rows? Looking at the X230's layout, there is so much more wasted space that even with the chiclet design, they could have at least kept the standard seven-row layout! That's my major complaint about the keyboard.

2. The positioning of the new function keys is a major deal-breaker for me. I love having the media keys where they are at now(arrow keys) and the forward/backward buttons are actually used quite often to navigate web pages. Switching the media keys to the F-keys, deleting the forward/backward keys and replacing them with page up and page down is not only a distracting change in layout but quite an inefficient one at that(taking my personal use of a notebook into account)

3. I don't like chiclet-styled keys. I haven't tried them on the new ThinkPads as stated above, yet the board on my Asus G73 is much less comfortable to type on than my X200 and T500. The new ThinkPads would likely have an improved typing experience compared to that, but not compared to my older models.

The bottom line is that I won't even be considering the newer models. If I hadn't just bought a car, I would be setting my money down to pick up a W520 and an X220 and using them until they were so slow I absolutely need to 'upgrade'.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:40 am 
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For those with their panties in a wad over this one, consider picking up an external USB keyboard, while they last. Very nice for home/stationary usage.

Not a 100% replacement, but a way to bridge the gap/prolong the agony of having to switch.


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:44 am 
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AMATX wrote:
For those with their panties in a wad over this one, consider picking up an external USB keyboard, while they last. Very nice for home/stationary usage.

Not a 100% replacement, but a way to bridge the gap/prolong the agony of having to switch.

I would actually like them to make one with the new layout. I have the current one and I like having the same layout at home/office and on the go. Currently this won't work with any of the new ThinkPads.

Well, what I would really like is to have an option for the old keyboard on the new laptops but that's very unlikely.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 9:47 am 
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Quote:
The chiclet keyboard.. I hope it is good. Nut i like the old layout from the T/W500 and 510s where there is a HUGE enter button http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/ ... 1ff5cd.jpg

Ibthink wrote:
Thats a german layout. The new chiclet-style keyboard will come with the big enter-key too: http://www.notebookcheck.net/typo3temp/ ... c210df.jpg


Thats very nice. I know its german layout, but its is very close to the one here in denmark.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 10:24 am 
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AMATX wrote:
For those with their panties in a wad over this one, consider picking up an external USB keyboard, while they last. Very nice for home/stationary usage.


It's not at all useful when I'm sitting in my recliner watching TV and browsing the web.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:39 am 
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JaneL wrote:
]
It's not at all useful when I'm sitting in my recliner watching TV and browsing the web.


Exactly. When I'm at my desk I have my good 'ol Model M to provide my typing experience. When I'm away from my desk(such as right now as I'm halfway across the country on vacation) that's not going to provide much of a relief. I'll just buy the 20-series models when I need an upgrade and be happy with those.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:49 am 
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Yepper, this was the main reason besides maximum supported ram that I went ahead and got the T420 in late February / early March. I have a W520 from work and it's awfully irritating working on two different types of keyboards, so I figured I'd have them in sync at least for the 30 months or so I'll have the W520.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:59 am 
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I'm a fan of the old style, but I've tried the chiclet/island keyboards on the X1 and on my macbook pro, and it's not a deal-breaker for me. The placement of the keys is good, and all they keys I need are still there. The only removals we're scroll lock and pause...and no one uses those anyways. I type a lot, so although I prefer the old style, this new style is okay with me. I'm not mis-typing, and it's not that much slower. It's still comfortable, but i miss that 'bounceback' feel. I don't think any of my office users will complain about the new style...although maybe the programmer :)

At first I thought one of the reasons for going chiclet was that it made for thinner laptops, but the T430 specs are 1.18 inches, so the same as the T420. And the 1" T420s has the old style...so I guess not.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:24 am 
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I bet, they chose the new chicklet layout just because they can get it cheaper on the OEM market, as with all the other brands the keyboards look the same or very similar.

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Lophiomys
Thinkpads with 15inch 4:3 UXGA 133DPI IPS/Flexview: 2x T43p SATA Mod., 3x T42p (dying by Flexing), 2x T60p (1xATI, 1xIntel/new BoeHydis);
R51 SXGA+; X31; X41T; X41 Sata Mod; all Made in China; 570E, 701C; MBP15c3UB non-glossy mid09 / formerly 600X, 760E


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:09 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia - Best Address on Earth!
lophiomys wrote:
I bet, they chose the new chicklet layout just because they can get it cheaper on the OEM market...

I bet you have no idea at all about the cost of any ThinkPad component :roll:


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