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nevermore
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎09-07-2010
Location: Romania

Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

5 (for all the reasons already mentioned)

 

I just don't understand. Why give up a perfect, tried-and-true design? The keyboard (T60 ALPS model) in my T400 is the thing I love most about my ThinkPad (my first one, BTW).

 

Is it because they run out of old keyboard suppliers? Is the new "design" cheaper to manufacture? They just want to copy Apple and follow the trend? I just want an honest explanation. Don't tell me they conducted some survey/study and got positive feedback on that .. erm.. thing.

 

What's next? This?

 

It seems that my first ThinkPad will also be the last one. For me, a T430 will be just that..  another new Lenovo laptop.

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Rocknrolla
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎09-28-2010
Location: Danmark

Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

[ Edited ]

I don't thing Lenovo will go that far...  But, yeah, I will see.

 

I got a feeling, that Lenovo will switch back to 7-row layout, I belive they are gonna loose some bunch of people this year.

 

I vote 4, by the way.

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JWTS
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎04-26-2012
Location: WA
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Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?



I got a feeling, that Lenovo will switch back to 7-row layout, I belive they are gonna loose some bunch of people this year.

 

 


I think you're seriously deluding yourself, both on the likelihood that they'll go back to the original keyboard and on the numbers of people they'll lose over the keyboard. They'll probably get more people than they'll lose because of the change.

 

I don't want to throw water on the survey idea, but this isn't exactly a random sample--it's basically a self-selecting survey for those who predisposed to not like the keyboard. I imagine the average user won't care either way as long as it's pleasant to type on.

 

I vote 1. I like the old keyboard, but I like typing on the Edge 420 keyboard better, and this looks like a nicer version of that keyboard, with the few shortcomings fixed. My general thoughts:

 

-I like typing on the new style keys better. I like the bigger surface area and feel.

 

-I like the new layout. I prefer the function keys being secondary and the new layout of the 6th row.

 

-the 7th row was useless for me. It just added clutter and made it harder to type blind on the top row.

 

-10 key pad? There must be 4 people in the world who found it useful. I used 10 key a lot, and as someone who uses 10key, the integrated pad is useless. If you use 10 key, a keyboard like the E530 makes sense, or use a separate pad.

 

-I've use TP's since the enter key was black. A blue enter key holds no appeal or special meaning to me.

 

-having a backlit keyboard would rock, and for me would more than make up for the lack of page forward/back buttons. I can live with hitting the "alt" key along with the arrow key.

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dr_st
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎11-24-2007
Location: Israel

Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

JWTS,

 

I don't know how many people they will lose, but I see nothing that indicates they would gain more people they would lose (or vice versa for that matter). Do you? Or do you just see you preferences as representing the general opinion?

 

The survey may not be a random sample, but to me posting it on the Lenovo forums seemed to be the best way to get to a response group that is somewhat relevant, i.e. people who have used Thinkpads, know about Thinkpads and care about Thinkpads. For that purpose I think it is actually better than a random sample.

 

Not sure why you believe this to be a "self-selecting survey for those who predisposed to not like the keyboard". The survey was phrased in the most neutral way possible and I encourage everyone to give their opinion.

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JWTS
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎04-26-2012
Location: WA

Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

dr_st,

 

I certainly think you phrased the question in as non-biased a manner as possible. That said, the sample group answering the question is hardly representative of potential users and buyers. Let's face it, people go to Bill Morrow's TP forum because they're passionate about the Thinkpad. People come to this forum (and in particular this section) because they're mad about something! Just take a look at most of the topics...  Neither of those groups comprise the majority of computer users or TP users; they're a tiny subset of total laptop users and potential buyers. The person frequenting a TP-specific forum and opening a thread about the new keyboard is not even remotely closely to a random sample.

 

Given my recent experience with Lenovo, I'm really not one to be standing here defending them (quite the opposite), yet I find it hard to believe they've made the change without actually making an attempt to gauge market reaction over and above a few folks posting on internets forums. So, I'm willing to believe they have some less skewed data on consumer opinions of the new keyboard (from both casual and "professional" users).

 

To your first question, I don't see my own preference being necessarily representative of the majority of users, but frankly I think it's more inline with *most* users. Most people never use the keys which have been removed. Ever. Most don't even know what they are.  The typical user almost never uses the function keys. The typical user will find more funciton in a backlit keyboard. I say this based on 20 years of using laptops in the field and observing how others use them--not just computer geeks, but random business professionals who "use" computers but really don't care about them very much. My opinion is that they new keyboard layout will negatively affect a fraction of average users.

 

Moreover,  I think both you and I are atypical of the average user in that we care disprortionately about the keyboard. The new keyboard layout is more aesthetically pleasing given the absence of clutter and looks less "dated", and I can see that being more important for the average buyer. I can even see it being helpful to enterprise managers. Who wants to spend their time answering a bunch of stupid questions like "what does this key do??".  So, for *most* users I see the keyboard as a minor plus to make the maching more "modern looking". That said, I don't think the average user actually cares that much about it either way.

 

Me? I care about the keyboard. I spend all day typing, and I don't use a desktop anymore, so the typing experience is about 98% of my reasons for buying a Lenovo product versus the alternatives. Trust me, given my recent experience I was happy to look elsewhere, but nothing compares. I like the keyboard on the X220 and on my old T61, but I like the Edge E420 keyboard better, and I imagine I'd like the X230 keyboard even better yet. Thing is,  I just don't think the average users really gets all worked up about the keyboard--even business users. Things that dominate the equation when it comes to purchasing decisions are price, perceived reliability, servicability, processor speed, form factor of the overall computer, etc. I think keyboard quality is pretty far down on the list. All of those MBP's out there seem to be proof positive of that...

 

So, In the grand scheme of things, I think the new design will appeal to more users than it will alienate. That's my guess at least.

Blue Screen Again
dr_st
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎11-24-2007
Location: Israel

Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

I understand you, JWTS and agree with most of your points.

 

Certainly, none of the two forums where I posted this survey constitutes a random sample of potential laptop buyers. With that said, I don't think the survey must be done with a completely random sample. Because Thinkpads (at least the core T/X series) are not aiming at the general laptop buyers group. They are aiming at business users, professional users and generally users who know the value of a good laptop, enough to pay for it twice the price of your generic BestBuy machine.

 

Thinkpads.com is an enthusiast forum. This is precisely why I posted the survey here too, in a more general audience forum (never mind that many of the respondents here and there happened to be the same people). :smileywink: Granted, you are right that even this forum does not represent all of Thinkpad users, and that it's mostly people who have/had a problem that post/read here. However, I don't think there is any significant correlation between users who happened to have some problem with Thinkpads/Lenovo and their opinions about the keyboard. So I assume the sample, while not representative, is neutral enough.

 

The average user, even the average Thinkpad user, will most likely not get worked up about the keyboard. Few people are passionate enough about computers to get worked up, even if they like it less than whatever they had before. And one area where I do somewhat disagree with you is how many users will like the new keyboard (or specifically the new layout) less. I think there will be enough such users, especially among those who have been using Thinkpads for a long time. Because it's not even about the new layout being worse (which I think it is, if only because of the squished function keys). It's just different from what they are used to. But most will just pout a little bit and move on. Only the passionate ones will complain as we do.

 

billbolton
Posts: 1,839
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Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?


dr_st wrote:

 So I assume the sample, while not representative, is neutral enough.

 


That appears to be yet another strongly held belief. 

 


 

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I don't work for Lenovo
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nkull
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎04-23-2012
Location: South Dakota

Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

The thing that really sucks is that since Lenovo has pulled thier keyboard, those of us that DO care about our keyboards now have nowhere else to turn.  There are some of us that DO use those keys on a regular basis, and I'm sure that this change is more of an inconvenience to us that do use keys than it is to have extra keys for those who don't use them.

 

Also, I've worked in IT for 15 years, not once have I had users asking me what a key does... If they don't need to know what it is they just ignore it.

--- ThinkPad T61 / Win 7 / Core 2 / 4gb RAM / Nvidia / Still used daily --- ThinkPad Edge 15/ i5 / Win 7 / TrueCrypt / 8gb RAM / Hated it, died at 1 yr 1 mo old --- ThinkPad T510 / Win 7 / TrueCrypt / i5 / 8gb RAM / Nvidia / Current primary machine --- ThinkPad X220 / i7 / IPS / 4gb / TrueCrypt / My Road Machine
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JWTS
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎04-26-2012
Location: WA
0

Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

[ Edited ]

nkull wrote:

The thing that really sucks is that since Lenovo has pulled thier keyboard, those of us that DO care about our keyboards now have nowhere else to turn.  There are some of us that DO use those keys on a regular basis, and I'm sure that this change is more of an inconvenience to us that do use keys than it is to have extra keys for those who don't use them.

 

Also, I've worked in IT for 15 years, not once have I had users asking me what a key does... If they don't need to know what it is they just ignore it.


Check out the Samsung Series 6. It should have everything you need. One of the models even has a full 101-key keyboard.  To you point about the inconvenience to those who do use the top row keys versus those who dont? Well, I agree with you. Unfornately the number of folks who do use those keys is obviously quite small (or there would be a bigger market for them). Ultimately, they're going to market the product to the majority of customers.

 

I do agree that it probably would have been good to keep one model with the old keyboard, just for this purpose. Still, there would have been complaints (it would have been the "wrong" model, etc), and in the end it probably would have sold so poorly it wouldn't have been worth carrying the SKU.

 

To your last point, I'll just say that you work with smarter people than I do...

nibs
Posts: 879
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Re: Island 6-row keyboards coming to Thinkpads - your opinions?

Forgot to mention that I'm also not a fan of the keyboard backlighting. I like my ThinkLight!


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