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bmacdonald
Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎12-10-2014
Location: United Kingdom
Views: 12,142
Message 1 of 142

Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

Could someone from Lenovo let the forum know if it will be possible to replace the W540 Trackpad / Bezel / Keyboard assembly with the new one from the W541 which has integrated physical Trackpoint buttons.  This would make a very big difference to me and I suspect a lot of other W540 owners who use the Trackpoint.

 

I am the current owner of 5 Thinkpads and have been a loyal customer since the 600 series.

 

The increased pressure necessary to generate a less reliable click on the Trackpad has greatly exacerbated a problem with the top joint of my right thumb - I have had to retrain myself to use my left thumb to do all clcking.  The problem was nowhere near as bad on the old Trackpoint buttons - where I could use them with my right thumb for several hours with no symptoms, I can now manage only minutes.

 

Bauden
Token Ring
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎02-24-2014
Location: AF
Views: 12,021
Message 2 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

Add me to the list of W540 that wish to have a real workstation with original IBM style trackpad WITH BUTTONS!

 

Similarly, we need to somehow add an LED to indicate HD I/O's. Maybe integrate this into the new PROPER trackpad.

 

Example: Right now I'm copying off my NAS, 2.5 gig of PDF files catalogued by Calibre.

 

The transfer has been running over 2 hours and only 35% done, and I have NO IDEA if data is transferring when the screen blanks out.  Thankfully, Western Digital's external Passport drive has an LED that flashes with the I/O, and this is the ONLY indicator that tells me the NAS data flowing and being backed up to the USB drive. Crypting does slow the data.

 

Now, I realize that what I'm doing is not the best - using my WiFi connect for the transfer and USB 3.0 -, which is slow on this 'marketing promoted' Workstation. Hopefully I stuck it in the right port, as none are color blue identified, left front. ....  I'm blue <g>.

 

 

ibmthink
Bit Torrent
Posts: 638
Registered: ‎10-21-2011
Location: DE
Views: 11,985
Message 3 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons


Bauden schrieb:

Hopefully I stuck it in the right port, as none are color blue identified, left front. ....  I'm blue <g>.

 

 


Seriously, thats something to complain about for you? The USB 3.0 ports are all marked with "SS", which stands for Super-Speed. And that should be enough.

 

USB. 2.0 will disappear slowly from all machines, so the color difference isn´t neccessary anymore. My T440s doesn´t have a single USB 2.0 port.

Bauden
Token Ring
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎02-24-2014
Location: AF
Views: 11,958
Message 4 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

USB. 2.0 will disappear slowly from all machines

 

Indeed, that is very true, and othe real workstations have all USB 3 (as they should be backward compatible to 2.x) AND they are blue, when in fact it is not needed, since all 4 ports are USB 3.

 

The fact that on the W540 they are not blue, on a machine that ALSO has 2 USB 2, is a extrenal indicator of other failings or lack of understanding what a workstation should have.  The fact they are not blue, but the same color is inconsequential, yet when on a job, and I tell my assistant to plug the USB 3 external drive to back up my Lightroom Catalog, the fact I have to hold her hand and point the ports out is just another minor workaround.

 

We need to be in the pursuit of excellence, not mediocrity.  All I read is excuses and workarounds.

 

My comment was in jest, but there was a deeper meaning.

hubethom
Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-12-2014
Location: Germany
Views: 11,923
Message 5 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

That big single button also annoys me!!! Lenovo, bring an update for the W540, you owe it to your users!

 

I'm kind of a hardcore-trackpoint-user. During the last 8 years I owned a T43, T61 and a W520. I've never used a mouse during that time. Even for public talks I've given at conferences I've always used the trackpoint.

 

When I got my W540, I was really disappointed by the missing dedicated buttons. You can't use the trackpoint, it feels very limited compared to the previous models with dedicated trackpoints. When I use my old W520, it feels like heaven. So now with my W540 I'm back using a mouse, which doesn't work while traveling etc. It's such a shame for this awesome machine.

 

So I think you (Lenovo) have to bring an update for the W540-users, especially as the dimensions are the same as the dimensions of the W541. You owe it to your long-year-users.

 

I contacted @Lenovo and @Lenovo_DE (Germany) on Twitter with the question whether that W541-Trackpad would be compatible with the W540. That is now weeks ago, and I haven't got any response. Getting no response is always bad for a customer, so there are also non-technical things you guys could improve.

 

Bring out a statement for the W540-owners.

 

Thomas

 

 

Bauden
Token Ring
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎02-24-2014
Location: AF
Views: 11,898
Message 6 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

My personal opinion on this is as follows (and in my business I solve similar issues with customers, with no loss and good customer relations):

 

Offer to any and all Lenovo W540 REGISTERED OWNER of a certain date range the option to buy a new CORRECTED W550 or W541 (not Workstation deficient like the W540) with the indicator lights and a workable traditional (IBM Classic) trackpad at Lenovo invoice cost to dealers.

 

I realize the closeness of the left USB 2.0 and 3.x is to difficult to resolve if the chassis is the same on the W541 - so the W540 / W541 will still be a 3, NOT 4, USB port laptop as advertised.

 

In this scenario, Lenovo is not loosing money as they are earning the same amount as sold to a dealer.  Lenovo will not incur the cost to upgrade the W540 to W541 in the field, and concurrent potential future repair issues.

 

The best way to handle this, is to create 'free cash cards' mailed to the W540 owners for the value of the upgrade redeemable at the Lenovo store.  This would free the W540 owner to select alternate options on the real Workstation.

 

If Lenovo does not do this to salvage this fiasco, it will open the door to other vendor  and review accordingly between the W550 and the new vendors' stable of real Workstations.

 

It should be noted, that once a customer has switched, there would need to be another major issue, before the vexed client would go back and reopening the door to an old vendor.

 

Within the computer world, it should be noted that Toshiba had a similar fiasco, and offered red "Toshiba Free Card" of various values, depending on the computers with the issues redeemable on their Web Store (I received two cards, face value $450 to spent to replace the problematic Toshiba unit in 2000).  I continued to buy Toshiba, until the Lenovo unit.

 

I will mention a name here, so Lenovo can look into how Dell Precision managed to have a user removable CD/DVD drive, while the W540 requires disassembly and is not field removable.

zalbard
Punch Card
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎12-25-2013
Location: Germany
Views: 11,836
Message 7 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

The touchpad is the single biggest issue with the machine. And it is especially painful to use if you are Trackpoint user - click registration often fails, and tactile feedback is poor.

I am on the verge of considering a different brand for my next laptop purchase. My confidence in the brand could receive a major boost if touchpad replacements were offered - I would even pay for shipping.

 

I hope Lenovo will listen to us. They already have a replacement designed - all they need is to offer it to us.

Guru
Posts: 9,598
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Views: 11,757
Message 8 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

You could wait until a hardware maintenance manual or disassembly image leaks, and compare it with your current W540 keyboard/bezel. It's possible you might be able to swap the two if Lenovo felt so inclined to design it.

Then again, while the T420 keyboard/bezel fit in the T430, the BIOS had a different key mapping and was locked out by Lenovo, thus making it impossible to patch it to work.

As long as the design direction is willing to compromise function for form, things aren't going to look up any time soon, so as always, vote with your wallet.

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
bmacdonald
Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎12-10-2014
Location: United Kingdom
Views: 11,745
Message 9 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

Yes, the HMM isn't out yet but am worried about electronic compatibility anyway, hence my question.

 

I almost bought a Dell M4800 as my first non-Thinkpad laptop but chose the W540 when I realised Dell hadn't implemented Optimus and it could only run on the discrete graphics.

 

I see the return of the buttons as a very positive step and a sign that Lenovo is listening, so I am more optimistic about future Thinkpads.

megalosaurus
Punch Card
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎01-25-2010
Location: US
Views: 11,348
Message 10 of 142

Re: Replace W540 Keyboard with W541 Trackpoint Buttons

As I see it, the trackpad on the W540 is not simply poor design. It is a product defect and should be replaced in a recall. If the W541 trackpad can be retrofitted onto a W540, this would help solve the problem for everyone.

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