Does the 1.8Kg include the extended battery pack?
Lenovo has unveiled the latest range of ThinkPads, which includes the T420s - a lightweight notebook with a battery life of up to 30 hours. The PC maker revealed six models on Tuesday: the T420s, T420, T520, L420, L520 and W520. All come with better power management and voice calling features, with the latter boosted by dual …
One wonders just where this extended battery goes too. Is it the "replace the DVD drive" type? Or perhaps just an oversized 12/15-cell battery wart? The 30hrs most likely means 50% screen brightness, WiFi/BlueTooth turned off, no DVD player (in the machine at all, likely), idling at the desktop. Give me numbers looping a DiVX or AVID at 100% brightness with WiFi turned on (even just idle WiFi is fine) and I might believe it more.
Though a "business class" laptop that looks more like a very expensive excuse for a suit to tote a dvd player around doesn't really convince me of its enterprise-ness. But the battery life is indeed a good start.
So I'll take that battery life with a 4:3 screen (maybe a 3qi one?) and, hm, a keyboard bezel without touchpad*, and a slight realignment of the keyboard. No windows keys, move the fn key one to the right, drop the two extra keys around the arrow keys because I want to be able to find those on feel alone, and hm break out another key on the inside of the shifts and call it compose. Yes, I use that key quite a lot. Much better than turning some keys into add-an-accent keys and having to type <key><space> to get the unadorned version all the time. fn-compose can be menu for all I care, just like fn-alt might double as "windows" key. Or "super", fn-ctrl "hyper", and fn-shift "meta", as you like. Nice to see the enlarged esc key though. Took'em long enough to catch on there.
* the trackpoint is wonderful for not having to move my hands around; a touchpad just gets in my way, it always does. I'm not fond of multi-fingered acrobatics there when I could just as easily assign a couple keyboard macros or something. It's nice and playful but not strictly useful. Programmable macros under otherwise unassigned fn-key combinations would be useful, and some keyboards already offer that.
I never use them. Not even on (insert your favourite unix-like system here, and) Xorg. Altough I have finally figured out how to shuffle the caps lock function under shift-caps lock, so I don't have to turn it off entirely but don't accidentally hit it either. And I have the unadorned key to turn into something else, like ctrl, or meta.
Note that I didn't advocate removing windows keys entirely: I said to shuffle them under fn-alt, which isn't unreasonable compared to how often I use them. If you find you use alt+key combinations even less, well, swap them. Though I still think that with ctrl for apps and alt (aka option) for the system, there really wasn't a pressing need for even more bucky keys. It was pure micros~1 vanity or perhaps apple logo envy, clearly visible in how long it took for the keys to gain some use in the first place. Nevermind the grief caused to gamers.
To me having a few bucky keys be well-accessible (and not teeny-tiny) is more important than having as many as can be crammed on the keyboard and tough luck if you can't find them without looking. Or a looking glass.
I never use the extras around the arrow keys, as the systems I use generally don't support them and have other keys that do more or less the same. Maybe if they're tactilely differentiated or maybe fn+shift+numpad and a bit of training could save even more hand movements. Some training because I don't use the numpad for numerical input even on a full-sized keyboard. Agree on the backspace, just as I also mis-hit backslash then enter too often. But anyway.
I think laptop keyboards tend to be more crammed full of keys under half-baked tradeoff sauce rather than being carefully engineered. Which is why I liked ibm keyboards without windows keys better than the lenovo "oh we need to do an also-ran and add more keys" take.
But I like seeing the enlarged esc key. Haven't yet tried though.
Now, I like the back and forward keys around the arrows. I desperately miss them when I'm on a normal keyboard (I use a who-knows-how-old X40 bought second-hand in preference to my desktop). My gripes are the backspace and delete keys - both are a bit fiddly to hit reliably.
I definitely agree with the trackpoint - mice and trackpads just mess up the flow. I don't know why trackpoints haven't become industry standard, because they are so much more ergonomically efficient.
Compare 6 month old Dell Inspiron with 2.5 year old T500. T500 a joy to use and used all day nearly every day and travels a lot. Dell stays at home and gets used a bit by family in the evening - not very nice to use (terrible keyboard, terrible trackpad buttons, shiny screen). T500 still works as new. Dell has broken keyboard (so now even worse - no spacebar), rattling DVD drive etc.
I think 'enterpriseness' has a lot to do with being robust and having a keyboard that feels good and lasts.
When will they learn that people who do work on laptops (write documents etc - although maybe for some people that's not work...), don't want a stupid letter box for a screen which is only useful for watching films?
When you factor in the start bar, the tool bars etc (which got even bigger in the latest Office) you are left with about 4 lines of visible text. Bah!
(I'd still have one though)
Does one HAVE to use windows? At times, I have a sneaking suspicion that the battery life we read is coupled with ms & the battery makers optimizing the design to windows and to the detriment of Linux.
OTOH, wayyyy back in mid or late 2003, I ran into a guy in Mountain View coffee shop who claimed he got 6 hours out of his (then IBM) Thinkpad (IIRC, it was around 12" or 13" diagonal screen, so....). Compared to my 2001 Sony Vaio with an AMD CPU, if felt a mix of lucky and cheated to get (initially) only 1 hour out of my battery. Even today, with my 2007 Gateway 17" of display and my year 2009 HP Pavillion DV 7, 1h 50 minutes was about max. Eventually, in under a year, each machine saw only 5 minutes of battery life. And that is with the then current ACPI/etc power management tools available.
I feel that batteries are the New Toner. But, at $75 to $150 a battery and any store-offered $300 full protection programs, $450 is close enough to just buy a new laptop in 2 years. Wasteful if only for the battery, but at least RAM, CPU speed, and other things improve.
I have a 2 month old company supplied and fully configured with every option ticked - Core i7 T510, 8GB of RAM, with all the power management stuff turned off (not helpful in my line of work) the battery lasts around 5 hours - which is pretty good considering the performance that is available.
You know, the T23 also had a 14" screen and a keyboard that filled out to the entire width of the case. It cut a bit too close actually as the bezel tended to^W^Winvariably did break there; reinforcement or maybe a 1cm wide bezel there would help.
But these things have gone widescreen, keeping the same diagonal, but kept the old width keyboard. So you get an overly crammed keyboard with room to spare. I know that most laptop designers do stupid things like that, including apple. But I still can't help but think opportunity lost whenever I see that.
OTOH given the choice I'd go for a hi-res 13" or 14" 4:3 screen because 768 pixels in the vertical just isn't enough for my needs. I also have a wm with titlebars tacked vertically onto the side, simply because I have more room to spare in the horizontal than in the vertical. To me, screens real estate is best used by content, not eyecandy. And that's before switching to widescreens.
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