12-02-2014 05:06 PM
So, yeah. Lenovo listened to the users and restored the old trackpad buttons, but it did so in a way backwards, by shrinking the touchpad. It's interesting as an option, of course, but some of the users are happy, while others are not.
How about a doing it right instead and figuring out how to make a five button trackpad work? Here's a suggestion, as far as I can tell, some of the Thinkpad keyboards for tablets, in order to save space, instead of having a moving trackpoint, employ an optical trackpoint. Build a combined optical/moving trackpoint instead, with the optical trackpoint working as a 2d scroll wheel, and instead of having the trackpad on all the time, if the trackpoint detects that the trackpoint is in use via optical sensor, it temporarily disables the trackpad, although this should be controllable via either drivers or BIOS.
The other part that's bad is that the trackpad design is relatively lazy; there are no optimizations to make it ergonomically excellent for both trackpoint and trackpad users. Maybe a rounded top edge would be good, because it would be invisible to trackpad users while still giving tactile feedback to trackpoint users.
It's nice to see Lenovo move backwards on an unpopular decision; but the idea of buttonless trackpoints wasn't bad, just the implementation. And putting the option out there for users is also appreciated, it's nice knowing Lenovo still cares about its loyalists.
I'm usually the one to complain about Chinese vs Japanese design and engineering philosophies (speed, iterative designs, and trial balloons vs getting it right the first time), but here is a place where Yamato should have been given orders, given time, and been left alone with the project. The concept, after all, was excellent, and many reviewers rate Thinkpads with large trackpads as #2 behind Apple for trackpad quality, The contradiction between trackpads and trackpoints only existed because not enough time and thought was spent on waking the **bleep** concept work; same with the adaptive F-row disaster. Lenovo of all companies should have been able to get it right.
12-03-2014 01:56 AM
" instead of having a moving trackpoint, employ an optical trackpoint. Build a combined optical/moving trackpoint instead, with the optical trackpoint working as a 2d scroll wheel, and instead of having the trackpad on all the time, if the trackpoint detects that the trackpoint is in use via optical sensor, it temporarily disables the trackpad, although this should be controllable via either drivers or BIOS."
12-03-2014 08:56 PM
This is TERRIBLE! I'm now officially stuck with a worthless (resale value) AND a worthless (in function) of a so called workstation.
Lenovo needs to address the issue by offering an upgrade path to ORIGINAL registered owners of W540's! or at the very least to those that bought the unit sight unseen in the early days.
This could be in the form of a direct, heavily discounted sale to these original owners, or an offer to sell at wholesale price a new correctly configured workstation. It should be noted that if they offer this wholesale direct sale, the bottom margin of Lenovo is intact, and the customer remaining faithful..... Else the decision is simple, if I have to get a new REAL workstation, the fact that I have to pay full price again, opens up the door to the Dell Precision, and other real workstations on the market, never going back to Lenovo.
It should be noted that Toshiba had a similar failure in design, and gave to original buyers red "Toshiba Free Cards" for replacement purchases at the Toshiba Web store.
Time will tell, the clock is ticking for my decision on an upgrade for early next year,
12-03-2014 10:30 PM
I'm not sure, but it might be possible to CRU the keyboard and trackpad on the W540 to the W541 standard; it doesn't look like it involves a redesign of the chassis. You'd have to ask your Lenovo support technician about it.