Monday, June 22, 2009

Thinkpad, It's the little things

Since Lenovo's purchase of the ThinkPad brand of business oriented laptops from IBM, they have made subtle changes to the product without really diluting the features that made the IBM's so great.

In my opinion, there have been two, minute changes that annoyed me in the Lenovo era.

1. The Power, Volume and Access IBM keys- The design of these keys changed on from the T40 series to the T60 series. The keys looked cheap. I have no data to prove that the design was driven by cost savings concerns, but they sure appeared to be that way.
2. The Blue and Red highlights on the TrackPoint were removed. It seems hard to argue that this was not a cost savings effort. Although I never look at the keyboard or TrackPoint when I type, I have to say I missed the color contrast with the stark black (which I loved).

David Hill, ThinkPad Designer, has given us a breif peak at the a new ThinkPad. The video below shows small improvements to the proven keyboard. Simply increasing the size of the ESC and Delete keys seems like a no-brainer, now that they took that step...

Items 1 & 2 have also been addressed:
New Volume & Power Buttons

Touchpad Color
The keys in the video have the color accents and I beleive the newer X300's also have this feature.

David, keep up the good work!

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