Uh oh... ThinkPads going chiclet...

http://news.lenovo.com/images/20034/med ... 3_9953.JPG
http://techreport.com/discussions.x/22838

Not sure I like this trend. Although apparently the keyfeel is actually good, but the reviews I've read of the ThinkPad X1 (which uses this keyboard) have been from laptop reviewers, not keyboard reviewers, so who knows - but one specifically mentioned the Model M.

The layout is just wonky, though. I do like the new PgUp/PgDn location, but everything else, meh...
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 03:40

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I don't see how chiclets make much of a difference except in appearance. When do you ever press that far off center?
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 09:30

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Yeah, I am not sure whether I care myself. The current scissor-switch keyboards are terrible enough that I don't want to type on the thing for a longer period of time. People on Thinkpad Forums are going apeshit crazy about it, but they are complaining on a very, very low level... :D
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The moment I got my first Model M, I realized a) what they were aiming for with the Thinkpad keyboards and b) how far they missed the mark...
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mhinsch wrote:The moment I got my first Model M, I realized a) what they were aiming for with the Thinkpad keyboards and b) how far they missed the mark...

True indeed; in fact, the keyboards have actually gotten worse with time, after Lenovo took over. But then again, I owned an X60s (which, if I remember correctly, was already Lenovo-made but still IBM designed) whose keyboard was better than that of my current X201. It had a more solid key press to it, and its keys felt heavier and more solid. It was, however, leagues away from typing on my KBC Poker.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 12:36

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Yeah, I discovered a few days ago that the next X-series (X230) will have a chiclet keyboard. The keyboard on my X220 is hands-down the nicest laptop keyboard I've ever used, so I'm a bit disappointed that Lenovo are going down this road.

In general, chiclets don't bother me too much, I've always been of the viewpoint the the Apple Aluminium is one of the nicest non-mech keyboards out there. I typed on one of those accu-whatever keyboards on a friend's X121e. It didn't feel as solid as the older style keyboard, but I think that could have been to do with laptop chassis issues (The cheaper Thinkpads like the Edge and the X121e are nowhere near as sturdy as the 'real' Thinkpads.) What bothers me more, as has been pointed out already, is that the layout on those chiclet boards is pretty shit. If they retained the same layout as the current T/W/X series boards, but made a chiclet version of it, I don't think it would be that bad. See comparison pics from the OP's link -

Image
Image
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 13:11

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Ohhhh, this isn't good.

I've used both types of Lenovo keyboard (I've used an X200 and my gf uses a new Lenovo with the new board); I prefer the older board much more.

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the older IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards are the best non mechanical keyboard that money can buy; certainly the best laptop keyboard around.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 13:21

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As a devoted ThinkPad fan I am terrified. Look how they removed the numpad markings (provided the lack of NumLock maybe the numpad as a whole), how they inverted the funcion of F-keys or changed the layout of Home/End/PgUP/PgDn... Also my personal opinion is that it looks much much worse.
Last edited by gorkypl on 25 Apr 2012, 14:44, edited 1 time in total.
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You're thrilled but you think it looks much worse?
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 14:41

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Thought terrified, wrote thrilled. Edited my post to avoid further confusions - thanks for pointing it out ;)
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It looks more like commercial and less business like; very macbook, I'm sure it will appeal to a wider audience looking for a high end windows laptop.

That and I'm sure it's cheaper for them to manufacture. Win win for Lenovo.
Last edited by Jim66 on 25 Apr 2012, 16:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 15:11

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Thinkpad Jr.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 15:59

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Could have been worse. At least it's Helvetica still.
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That reminds me ...
Somewhere in the basement I've got one of these
butterfly.jpg
butterfly.jpg (65.29 KiB) Viewed 1865 times

IBM ThinkPad 701 with TrackWrite keyboard (1995)

Since then it's just been downhill for Big Blue and keyboards, hasn't it ??
To bad the computer is bloody useless these days and the keyboard doesn't fit anything else :!:
Last edited by Peter on 25 Apr 2012, 18:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 17:01

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I think I might treat myself to a new X220 when the new one is released.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 17:13

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Peter wrote:That reminds me ...
Somewhere in the basement I've got one of these

That piece of history has flewn right by me, damn that's sweet. Even just for the gimmick.
Did it type at least a bit like the regular ones, or did it flap too much?
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 17:35

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As I recall it that was the best note-book keyboard at the time ..
But then, I was incredibly annoyed with the miniature-keyboards laptops had in those days .
They only made one model with that keyboard, it was quite expensive to produce and at the same time
screens (and laptops) got bigger and cheaper ..
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 18:10

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Laptops aren't doing too well as something between desktops and the new player, tablets.

Step 1: Don't increase your pixel rate or battery life, just make them thinner.
Step 2: Increasingly make the keyboard worse.
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!
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+1!

Or in the case of AAPL right now, +49.15.

Sent From Brother Ripster's iPad
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Agreed, especially the point you make about pixel-rate (resolution) .
1920x1080 isn't really that impressive, but just call it 'Full HD' and most people think it's great !
Unless they have ever played Quake on a decent CRT-monitor :)
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 18:27

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I am looking at my highest Rez electronics device right now.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ipa ... 156-2.html

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ripster

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The fun thing is that resolution is measured in pixels per inch, so many people have a higher resolution device than an iPad 3 - many smartphones are already above that.

Pixel area, though... for almost all people, that'll be #1. I'm one of the crazies that owns a T221, though. 3840x2400 of beauty.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 21:43

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bhtooefr wrote:The fun thing is that resolution is measured in pixels per inch, so many people have a higher resolution device than an iPad 3 - many smartphones are already above that.

Pixel area, though... for almost all people, that'll be #1. I'm one of the crazies that owns a T221, though. 3840x2400 of beauty.

How does that work our for you?
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 21:50

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Honestly, I find sitting at a desk to be uncomfortable, so I only use it when I need lots of desktop area. But, it works out fine. A bit slow due to being driven by a laptop GPU at sub-optimal refresh rate, but completely workable.

My daily driver is my ThinkPad with a 2048x1536 LCD swapped in.
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Unread post25 Apr 2012, 23:18

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'modern screens'... it really made me cringe when I noticed brand new 15.6" notebooks being sold with 1366x768, a resolution that is too small for any (windows) screen, but barely manageable on a 10" to 13" one.
To think there was a time when even Dell had decent keyboards on their laptops (business only ofcourse) and offered upgrades to proper resolutions and downgrades to glare screens.
Good times will come again. They must ;)
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I have a rather powerful 13" laptop with only 1366x768. CPU/GPU/Mem is ok. I don't want something much bigger, but I do want double the resolution (or at least something much better). Below 1000 EUR. Impossible to get. The current range is so lame. I think they'll go away anyway in the long end, once you get some tablets which are not only suitable for consumption (AAPL's weak point!). Then you just attach an external keyboard, possible integrated in a dock.
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Unread post26 Apr 2012, 02:00

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I dunno man, would prefer (theoretically at least) a decent keyboard in the back of the tablet itself, 8 finger typing ftw. OR ofcourse integration and becoming more widely accepted either of those attempts at a chording keyboard; still has quite some potential I'd say. Wireless, chording, in your pocket, with on your glasses projected wtf you are doing. Shouldn't be that long now.
My lappy sounds like that too; it's an asus. And the resolution.. really got to me from day one. :|
Though double the resolution might be overkill, at least for me as a 98% windows user; DPI scaling is something you just don't touch in windows. Not me anymore at least.
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Screen DPI is to be taken carefully. Eye resolution is limited so you have to take into account viewing distance, too - the further the display is, the less detail you see. For a 50" TV which you watch from some 2+ meters probably even Full HD is enough so you can't differentiate individual pixels.
Similar conundrum with big computer displays - you can't put them too near as they won't fit your viewing angle. You can't put them too far away, either, because you lose viewing resolution (detail).

In the 16:9 / 16:10 consumer world we're currently living in, perhaps something around 24" is optimal for desktop computer display. I think. :-)
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Unread post26 Apr 2012, 08:52

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Actually, that's not entirely true - I find that I can sit very close to my IBM T221, and then look at different areas of the monitor - that is, moving my eyes around to switch which tasks are visible, rather than Alt-Tab.

I usually have it a bit further away than that, though, but it's a valid approach for using a very high density display like that with OSes that can only reasonably work with the assumption of 96 ppi.
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Unread post26 Apr 2012, 11:28

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You move your eyes anyway, even on small screens. There's depth-of-field and there's that the eye has high resolution only in the center (roughly). And then there's that the eye has a blind spot which your brain interpolates somehow. :-)
If you start moving your head significantly then you're adapting to a higher DPI display just as you would have with a moving chair and a huge display. I still hold on my previous post.
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