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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 2:22 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Oh no! Future ThinkPads may all have chiclet keys

When do I give up on ThinkPads? I've had 53 in the last 5 years, such has been my devotion. Maybe it's time to let go?

Or, just maybe, these keyboards will be so awesome that no dishonour will be brought upon the legacy. Maybe the screens will be so awesome that it won't even matter that the keyboards aren't real keyboards anymore. Or maybe they'll make it worse and get rid of the little ThinkLight altogether, too.

Go on then, discuss.

p.s. I couldn't find a "ThinkPad speculative discussions" area, so I apologise if this is misplaced.

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In my loving care: X201, T410, W500, T61p, T60p, T60, T43p, T43p, T43, T43
Seeking: X301, W520 w/ i7 2760XM & modem, W510 w/ i7 920XM, X220
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:16 pm 
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My brother has a Thinkpad Edge E420 and it's fine to type on. I notice a bit of a difference in the way the keys feel in terms of how far my fingers move, but it's easily overcome and I felt fine using it quickly.

What I really don't like is the move to 6 row from 7 row keyboard. Widening and shortening the escape and delete keys seems like a really odd design choice. I actually liked it when they increased the size of the escape key in particular. But transition to 6 row is the part I don't like personally.

I'm also not a fan of the page up and page down locations. Particularly on the E420 as they feel slightly recessed and kind of curved in a way that makes them more difficult for me to use. They also seem to have a bit of a slick coating unlike some of the other keys.

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Previous Thinkpads: A21m, R40, X61, T410


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Oh, come on. How many different places do we need to rage about the (still not officially confirmed) shift to 6-row chiclets?

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=103340
viewtopic.php?f=43&t=103443
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=101600

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T61 Frankenpad in 15 inch T60 body, UXGA LED-lit AFFS LCD, T9300, 6GB RAM, NVidia NVS140m, Intel 6205, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, 1TB HGST HDD + eBay caddy in Ultrabay
701c butterfly, 75MHz 486DX4, 40MB ram, 1GB CF card


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:40 pm 
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twistero wrote:
Oh, come on. How many different places do we need to rage about the (still not officially confirmed) shift to 6-row chiclets?


As many as we can possibly obtain... :lol:

Not that it's going to change the (very-grim-looking-at-the-moment) fate of the traditional ThinkPad keyboard...

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Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T43pSF, T60, T61, R60F, R500F

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:45 pm 
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ajkula66 wrote:
As many as we can possibly obtain... :lol:

Not that it's going to change the (very-grim-looking-at-the-moment) fate of the traditional ThinkPad keyboard...


Ouch. Can we open a new subforum called "ThinkPad *#30 series" and let everybody rant in there please? Because then I can just write a GreaseMonkey script to hide that forum and be done with this nonsense.

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T61 Frankenpad in 15 inch T60 body, UXGA LED-lit AFFS LCD, T9300, 6GB RAM, NVidia NVS140m, Intel 6205, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, 1TB HGST HDD + eBay caddy in Ultrabay
701c butterfly, 75MHz 486DX4, 40MB ram, 1GB CF card


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Well, that forum is not going to be opened until the models are officially released...

Given the sentiment expressed by some of the senior staff members here, it might end up being named "pseudo-ThinkPads (*30 series)"... :D

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...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T43pSF, T60, T61, R60F, R500F

For sale: T601 QXGA


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:36 am
Posts: 66
Location: Dayton, OH, USA
Death by a 1000 cuts: The Lenovo product strategy.

First it was Flexview, then it was the 4:3 screens, now it's the keyboard.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:38 pm 
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ajkula66 wrote:
Given the sentiment expressed by some of the senior staff members here, it might end up being named "pseudo-ThinkPads (*30 series)"... :D


Count on it!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:42 pm 
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JaneL wrote:

Count on it!


I wouldn't expect anything less from you...and you have my full support, if that means anything... :thumbs-UP:

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...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your friendly retired FlexView farmer)

Collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: T43pSF, T60, T61, R60F, R500F

For sale: T601 QXGA


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:18 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
JaneL wrote:
Count on it!

You made my evening. :thumbs-UP: Looking forward to the new "pseudo-ThinkPads" forums. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Location: Dayton, OH, USA
JaneL wrote:

Count on it!


So the W530 would be put with the Ideapads? Good.

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Lenovo/IBM T60p 2007-BA1
Sold: IBM T43p 2668-G3U, T42P 2373-HVU, A31P 2653-H4U

So many boardswaps, so little time.


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:29 pm
Posts: 198
Location: Athens, Greece
X Thinkpads or W thinkpads only with chicklets keyboard Arrgghh, what's next? Glossy screens only options.


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:36 am 
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 6:29 pm
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Full size Thinkpads have been know for their excellent keyboards and as long as they have 15" screens, I can see no reason for Lenovo to change them.

But they will.

Nothing stays the same.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 12:44 pm 
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ComputerMinder wrote:
X Thinkpads or W thinkpads only with chicklets keyboard Arrgghh, what's next? Glossy screens only options.

They could keep going... after they switch to glossy screens, they could ditch the swappable drive bay and discontinue docking options. (Though the recently hinted introduction of a USB 3.0 dock seems to be a slightly hopeful sign.)

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Previous: T61p (died 1m past warranty :-(), Dell 8600, iBook ("Dual USB"), Gateway Millennium, Macintosh G4 , PowerPC Mac clone, Mac Duo 210, iBook (clamshell), Quadra 630, Mac IIsi, C-128, C-64, Vic-20


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:20 am 
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I never tried the calculator-like keyboard on a thinkpad but I think I can live with that (as long as the feeling of individual keys stays the same). Could help with cleaning.

But for the love of God, why would they change the layout on laptops where there's enough space for a 7-row keyboard?!? I love the current ThinkPad keyboards, the layout and trackpoint are the main advantages of this notebook line. The functional keys separated in groups are a great thing, I can always find them without looking. Same goes for the InsDelHomeEndPgUpDn block. Why change what works so well for millions?!

(only thing I wouldn't miss are the Back/Forward keys around the arrow keys - way to often I pressed it accidentally, only to lose all my text on a page; didn't need it on my T43 either)

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ThinkPad T43 (1871-F1G) [P-M 750 1.8GHz, 1GB RAM, 14.1" XGA LCD, Intel 900; WinXPpro]
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:37 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Beijing China
Czechnology wrote:
I never tried the calculator-like keyboard on a thinkpad but I think I can live with that (as long as the feeling of individual keys stays the same). Could help with cleaning.

But for the love of God, why would they change the layout on laptops where there's enough space for a 7-row keyboard?!? I love the current ThinkPad keyboards, the layout and trackpoint are the main advantages of this notebook line. The functional keys separated in groups are a great thing, I can always find them without looking. Same goes for the InsDelHomeEndPgUpDn block. Why change what works so well for millions?!

(only thing I wouldn't miss are the Back/Forward keys around the arrow keys - way to often I pressed it accidentally, only to lose all my text on a page; didn't need it on my T43 either)


Whether they actually say it or not, it's a cost thing. The lenovo non-thinkpad series basically hijacks what it can from the thinkpad line. You can see it with the keyboards actually. In their mindset, idea whatevers are a consumer grade, thinkpads are business grade. Look at the keyboards though, they are virtually identical already. The consumer trend is to do the stupid chicklets, and if they have to deal with separate lines, they lose margin.

I'm sure they would love nothing more than to merge the lines entirely and kill off thinkpad, but what you are realistically going to see is more of a standardization of things with the ideapads getting the scraps and the thinkpads getting the newest junk they dreamed up.

With the entire laptop market being entirely commoditized for the most part, the only thing they have to do is keep quality higher than the competition in terms of repairs, but they are still using mostly off-the-shelf crap where quality doesn't matter all that much. Make sure they are using the better stuff from off the shelf, keep it black, stick a nipple on it, pretend to care what users want while selling hard on the value of less maintenance to the IT acquisitions people and poof, done. That's all they need to do.

As far as users... claiming that new design X costs more to make than old feature Y is obviously a strategy to continue to justify premium and shut up dissenters. The hilarious thing is that they claim that a 4:3 or 16:10 high-res screen would cost an extra $100 and is therefore impossible. The huge demand for it, with them being the only ones willing to do it... they would capture that entire segment overnight. But no, that's not gonna happen because a strip of black plastic is cheaper than screen.

Why are they going to a 6-row? The end goal is to reduce the size enough to probably get rid of that black strip, but it's gotta be gradual to get away with.

It's all, to be honest, really stupid.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:06 pm 
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laowai wrote:
The huge demand....

.... is completely lacking in anything even remotely approaching any hard evidence to support it. :roll:

You seem to be generally long on opinion, and very short on any evidence :idea:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:05 pm 
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laowai wrote:
they are still using mostly off-the-shelf crap where quality doesn't matter all that much. Make sure they are using the better stuff from off the shelf, keep it black, stick a nipple on it, pretend to care what users want while selling hard on the value of less maintenance to the IT acquisitions people and poof, done. That's all they need to do.


Much of IBM's "value-add" was in the packaging and presentation of commodity parts too. They actually went one step further than Lenovo has, and fully "badge-engineered" some of their ThinkPads (i.e. took a laptop sold under another product line, changed the color scheme, and called it a ThinkPad.)

Quote:
The hilarious thing is that they claim that a 4:3 or 16:10 high-res screen would cost an extra $100 and is therefore impossible. The huge demand for it, with them being the only ones willing to do it... they would capture that entire segment overnight.


You base this on... what exactly?

Quote:
But no, that's not gonna happen because a strip of black plastic is cheaper than screen.


No, it's not going to happen because Lenovo doesn't usually design ThinkPads around custom LCD panels, and there aren't multiple sources of new high-res 14"/15" 4:3 panels for them to use.

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