back to article It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

The long-awaited "retro" Thinkpad will be based on the guts of a contemporary T470 laptop, Lenovo's business workhorse, according to a German certification site. Lenovo inherited IBM's notebook brand 12 years ago, and with it a design classic. However, in 2012 Lenovo saw fit to "modernise" the iconic keyboard, along with …

Indestructible

Lets hope they are as well built, long lasting, and as indestructible as the proper ones were.

And for real authenticity can we have them made in Greenock, not China, please?

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Re: Indestructible

Mine even survived being left on the train. Quick car journey from Borough Green to Maidstone to collect.

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Re: Indestructible

"Mine even survived being left on the train."

"Even thieves don't want them" is not a good selling point.

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Re: Indestructible

not even worth stealing then???? :)

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Re: "Even thieves don't want them" is not a good selling point."

If someone left the Koh-I-Nor on a train to Maidstone it would probably arrive unscathed because nobody down the pub would have a good use for it.

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Screw 16:10

I want my damn 4:3 back.

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Re: Screw 16:10

...Why?

yes, this is a serious question. What is the advantage of 4:3 outside the world of playing old PC games?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Screw 16:10

Because 80% of the screen is wasted when writing a document or reading on the web? Not not noticed the huge unused space and constant scrolling on this site?

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Re: Screw 16:10

"Because 80% of the screen is wasted when writing a document?"

Which would make 9:16, or preferably 210:297, a more useful format than 16:10.

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Re: Screw 16:10

Which would make 9:16, or preferably 210:297, a more useful format than 16:10.

9:16 is actually a bit annoying, because it's too tall for my predator-evolved binocular vision designed to track horizontal movement to really deal with. 3:4 on the other hand is a nice middle ground, and why I keep 2 monitors in portrait aspect.

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Re: Screw 16:10

But you see, the wider the screen is, the better for working on Word documents. The width gives you more room for the toolbars, persistent menus, widgets, assistants, and productivity thingies that multiply with each release.

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Re: Screw 16:10

Not many people want 4:3 so I can gather them for my work tower. Unfortunately it also means that it's increasingly difficult to find 4:3 lappies. For my last one I had to settle for 16:10.

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Re: Screw 16:10

It's horses for courses, but generally 16:10 or 3:2 is well suited to productivity applications and for reading documents and webpages. The reason? Title bars, menu bars and ribbons will soon eat into the height of the the screen, so what starts as a 16:9 letterbox becomes a slit. Reading an article then requires lots of scrolling. Urgh. Also, a taller screen means that the user's gaze is at a higher, more comfortable position for longer.

Of course, I've seen very wide spreadsheets spread across several monitors, and DTP workstations with monitors in Portrait, so there is no once aspect ratio fits all. However, it would be nice to have some choice in the market. At present, damned near every laptop has a 16:9 screen except for Apple (16:10) and Microsoft (3:2).

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Re: Screw 16:10

... because 25xx X 20xx pixels .. not whatever the definition of "FullHD" is this week!

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Re: Screw 16:10

I still miss my R52 and its 1400 x 1050... :'(

A laptop that was a convenient size, and still had great vertical resolution.

Sure, these days I have a 1920x1080, so even more vertical dots, but then I also have a load of excess horizontal dots with it, which make it much more cumbersome.

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Re: Screw 16:10

3 screens here:

I use 16:9 for work (database and report design) because it work well.

16:9 for Outlook as I can fit both the task list and folder list either side of the email.

4:3 for browsing - as someone else mentioned - there's no need to waste so much screen on empty bars on either side.

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Re: Screw 16:10

Not enough upvotes on the internet but have mine. My T43p, gone but not forgotten.....sigh.

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Re: Screw 16:10

After 10 years I have finally moved off my 1400x1050 Tecra M5. Before that I had a 1400x1050 Tecra 8200 too. It was the perfect screen resolution for a laptop. However today it would need to be 2800x2100 to get me to give up my 3:2 3000x2000 Surface Book. If it it's not "retina" it's not worth making a fuss over.

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Re: Screw 16:10

Chrome (and all other browsers) are playing with you. They could add menu bars to the side (I do for OS) if they really wanted better *usability*, but instead what they actually want is your attention.

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Re: Screw 16:10

Not used Word for a while? They replaced all the bits along the sides with this big Ribbon along the top..

Which I mean, makes great sense in the age of Widescreen...

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Re: T43P

Mine went to the great recycling centre only last week.

It outlived a T410....

IMHO, the longest lasting kit I've ever used was IBM Thinkpads followed by Macbook Pro's. (2010 17in MBP still going strong)

HP produced some decent lappies (Elitebook 8770W) but were really hard to get here. They couldn't be half arsed to put a UK KB and ship them here.

My old company was still issuing HP Lappies with 1366x768 screens this time last year.

If I was still working I'd be angling for a new Thinkpad.

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Re: Screw 16:10

My T43p isn't gone at all. It has an SSD, and travels with me everywhere.

OTOH, my T61p stays at home or in the office.

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Re: or preferably 210:297

Otherwise known as 1:sqrt(2)

One of my clients actually threw his [company-provided] IBM ThinkPad at the wall in frustration one day. Apart from the slight dent in the wall, no damage was incurred. (He had a habit of installing such utilities as registry-cleaners on it and I had the job of regularly uninstalling them.)

And this is why you will find me still recommending ThinkPads.

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Re: Screw 16:10

But you see, the wider the screen is, the better for working on Word documents."

Not in any recent version of Word. That pointless ribbon thing takes up the top 1/3rd of a landscape format screen hence document editing is like gynaecology through the letterbox.

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Re: Screw 16:10

"However, it would be nice to have some choice in the market."

Bring back the Radius Pivot monitor.

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Re: Screw 16:10

Look at the way people hold their phones when looking at them. They have a choice.

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Re: Screw 16:10

How, may I ask, did you get an SSD into your T43p? I have a T43, but it has an IDE interface for the HDD.

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Re: Screw 16:10

"Bring back the Radius Pivot monitor."

There's plenty of brand new monitors that can pivot on their stand (eg), and then you just rotate the display via your graphics drivers or OS. (Well, I assume OSX can do this, Windows and Linux can)

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Re: Screw 16:10

"Because 80% of the screen is wasted when writing a document or reading on the web?"

I have 3 wide screen monitors, right now the reg is split onto a single half of one of the screens... no wasted space at all

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Re: Screw 16:10

Never had two documents open side-by-side? I'll admit I wouldn't want to go any lower than 1920x1080 for that sort of thing, but in the spirit of fairness it should probably be mentioned.

(Daily is a x61 1024x768 Thinkpad with a 2048x1152 23" monitor from 2008 before "Full HD" ruined everything)

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Re: Screw 16:10

T420s/T410s are still pretty cheap on eBay, and are still going strong components wise.

Plus, with modern SSDs etc they will run at roughly the same speed as anything new for 90% of tasks.

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Re: Screw 16:10

@Lotaresco

I believe his point was the toolbar etc are installed down the edges of the doc to mitigate the pointless-ribbon-type-thing

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Anonymous Coward

Re: or preferably 210:297

I raise you.

My wife tried to break my work laptop, she was even angrier when it still worked.

AC because for some reason I'm still married.

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Re: Screw 16:10

All I really want from a laptop (apart from blistering performance) is a 4:3 screen, a trackpoint (don't want a track pad) a nice matt screen (no shiny, shiny shite, thanks) and removable drive and battery bays.

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Re: Screw 16:10

@ElReg!comments!Pierre

"Not many people want 4:3"

No true - everyone wants 4:3, its just that none are available to buy because the industry has standardised on 16:9 to fall in line with TV production. 16:9 has no use in computing or a work environment. It wouldn't be so bad if all the MS Ribbon crap could be relocated to the side - but it seems to only be positionable at the top making your content/working area almost unusable. 16:9 is a huge step backwards - the iPad and ChromeBook got it right at least.

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Re: Screw 16:10

I put a 300GB SSD in my T43P and it transformed it - unfortunately the screen hinge failed abou 3 months ago and that was that. The SSD went in as a daughter card in a panel on the underside. Worked a treat and left my HD or documents only.

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Re: Screw 16:10

Go to eBay pick up a mSATA to 2.5" 44pin IDE HDD converter for £3 shipped from China. Then pick the mSATA drive of your choice (capacities up to 1TB are readily available). Screw together and stick in whatever laptop or other device you want.

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Re: Screw 16:10

>Bring back the Radius Pivot monitor.

Does the MS Surface auto rotate?

The Dell XPS-18 (Windows 8.1) does, but comparing Windows (and Android) rotation with the iPad and you see that Apple actually cracked it.

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Re: Screw 16:10

"The width gives you more room for the toolbars, persistent menus, widgets, assistants, and productivity thingies that multiply with each release."

Aka clutter...

The funny thing is that I probably used more of Word's built in functionality before the ribbon was introduced than I do now...

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Re: Screw 16:10

Re: "Bring back the Radius Pivot monitor."

"There's plenty of brand new monitors that can pivot on their stand"

Stands that permit display rotation have been around for decades, monitors that actually do it intelligently aren't so readily obtainable. For example the Dell monitor linked to:

"Switch orientation quickly and easily: With enhanced menu rotation software, you can rotate your screen from landscape to portrait orientation or vice versa, then follow the on-screen prompt to orient your on-screen content. It’s that simple."

Sorry, Dell (and Microsoft), but when I rotate the monitor I expect the OS and monitor to auto rotate the display contents - if Apple can do it on an iPad and the need has been known about since at least the 1980's then there really is no excuse.

The Dell XPS-18 (a portable all-in-one / large tablet) can do it, but the screen movement and redraw isn't fast or something you want to watch...

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Re: Screw 16:10

The only benefit I ever saw to 16:9 (or 16:10) was that it's good for watching Video. It's rubbish for anything text-based because the lines are too long, in most cases you end up with a lot of wasted space and more scrolling. Ask yourself why books are rarely published in landscape format! What gets me are the repeated protestations that "nobody makes 4:3" when the iPad is 4:3, including the iPad pro which has a 13" 4:3 screen.

The Thinkpad X1 Tablet has a 3:2 screen which isn't far off 4:3. I'd prefer the retro design of the laptop described here, but it has to be an X series ultraportable. I'm assuming since this is a T it will be at least a 14", that's too big and heavy for me. If they could shrink the retro case and use the screen from the X1 tablet, I'd be first in line. As it is, I'll probably get the X1 tablet when my X61 finally dies.

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Re: Screw 16:10

You can do that with a big wide screen monitor on a desktop. The problem is with the smaller laptops, a 16:9 screen isn't wide enough to be able to accommodate two browser windows side by side without triggering horizontal scrolling, so you have wasted space on the edges and more scrolling because the screen lacks height. 4:3 is the ideal size for a small screen, 16:9 starts to makes sense if the monitor is 18" or bigger.

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I've got one of these at home I think. I was given it as a 'gift' from a old boss when I left (it was my work laptop and he left me keep it). I installed gentoo on it a few months ago, and it's still as nippy and useful as ever.

The one thing that works really well for me, is the fact there's a 'forward facing' bevel on the edge of the screen when it's raised, this means when it's closed, it actually protects from dust/dirt/paper from sliding in between the screen and keyboard causing mess. Odd reason to like it I know, but it just makes it feel more like someone actually thought about what they were designing with this,

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Thumb Up

I've seen one engineer on Youtube who got it purely for the extended battery. No, not for the extended charge/use, but as it acts as a small grip to hold it in one hand! :D

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Re: I've got one of these at my pad I think

FTFY

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Anonymous Coward

"It may be harder to reintroduce the 16:10 aspect ratio display as the industry now produces 16:9 more appropriate to watching movies [...]"

16:10 allows you to see the 16:9 movie while playback controls are placed below it. I hate it when a subtitle or something else at the bottom of the screen is obscured by a time delayed auto-pop-up control panel.

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Anonymous Coward

16:10 allows you to see the 16:9 movie while playback controls are placed below it. I hate it when a subtitle or something else at the bottom of the screen is obscured by a time delayed auto-pop-up control panel.

That's why most movies are filmed in ~ 21.5:9.

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Since 16:9 became ubiquitous on laptops, tablet adoption had risen. Perhaps now that many people use a tablet to watch movies away from home (which are usually more comfortable to view anyway, especially on trains or in hotel beds), laptops can revert to 16:10 or 4:3?

Also, Apple and Microsoft can source screens of the aspect ratio they want, so surely Lenovo can too?

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@AC

16:10 allows you to see the 16:9 movie while playback controls are placed below it. I hate it when a subtitle or something else at the bottom of the screen is obscured by a time delayed auto-pop-up control panel.

I don't give a toss what happens in the incredibly rare event I watch a movie on my business laptop. If I was buying a DVD player, electric babysitter for the kids I don't have or some other frivolity then DVD watching performance may enter the purchasing criteria list. But for a business laptop?

Gah! When I rule the world tech company product managers will be first against the wall! (After the lawyers and accountants obviously)

If it is 16:10 or 4:3 with >1080 vertical I'll take two and the second is simply a spare.

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