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?
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 …
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.
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.
"The width gives you more room for the toolbars, persistent menus, widgets, assistants, and productivity thingies that multiply with each release."
The funny thing is that I probably used more of Word's built in functionality before the ribbon was introduced than I do now...
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.
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)
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).
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...
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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,
"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.
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?
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.
My main laptop is an X201 - primarily as it was one of the last 16:10 laptops Lenovo made, but does at least have a Core i5, and takes DDR3 RAM and an SSD (and so still runs modern stuff absolutely fine).
I'm honestly fine with 16:10 or 3:2, but 16:9 is awful. It doesn't help that laptops with 16:9 screens either have fat top/bottom bezels to try and cope with the fact that the screen is simply the wrong size for the chassis of the laptop. Oddly enough, I'd rather have more screen than a fat piece of plastic.
At both work and home, my screen setup is a 16:10 main monitor (1920x1200) with a pair of 20" 1600x1200 4:3 monitors. Plenty of screen space for lots of apps open at the same time, sufficient vertical space and resolution, and not so ridiculously wide that I get a sore neck from looking too far to the left/right all the time.
My first Linux install was on an old Thinkpad, but it took some effort to get the audio to work. Something to do with a non-standard IBM hardware, so the thingamajiggy had to be started before the ASIO doowhatsit. Rewarding, but a bugger largely because my friend and I were learning this SUDO malarkey on the fly.
I've got a trusty x200t at home for graphics drawing and I'd actually consider replacing it if they did an x2xxt version of this. I've also got a t440 work machine and by comparison I hate it with a passion. Especially the track pad which has a special place reserved in hell for who came up with the idea of having the whole damn trackpad move when you click it (because the cursor moves slightly in a rage inducing manner).
Yep, one of my work laptops is a T440 and the trackpad is just dreadful. It's impossible to use without a mouse essentially. To be honest, a lot of Lenovo trackpads have been pretty dire. There were previously the dimpled ones that felt cheap, nasty and had a similar cringing effect on me to dragging a nail across a blackboard.
My other work laptop is a Dell E5470 and I honestly applaud Dell for sticking with the traditional buttons at the bottom as it's a pleasure to use in comparison.
The term "mobe", and by association lappy etc, was officially banned by ElReg some time ago after what could be termed a "referrendum" - but then a couple of years later in a blatant disregard of the "will of the people" they were reinstated so I expect they now get used as often as possible as a way of thumbing their noses at the "electorate"
Looks less fancy, and probably prevents them from making the thin/flat bezels that seem to be in voge, but being able to see your own hands while typing is huge. Also serves as a reasonably effective reading light in a pinch, or an additional doohickey to control via scripts. Backlit keyboards are.. okay, I guess, but they're a one-trick pony. Combining the two might seem redundant, but backlighting the keyboard would help overcome some of the glare that is unavoidable with thinklight (especially after all the keycaps are worn down to shiny dents). This is all making me miss my T60, quite a bit actually.
>and a screen with a good colour gamut...
and a matte screen with the viewing angles of the original screens - for working in environments where light is problemmatic, a matte screen wins out everytime. Perhaps it might even be usable outdoors...
So what photo colours aren't quite as sharp and vivid, it's a workhorse typically used for business documents that will typically be printed on a monochrome laser printer...
I hope I'm mistaken in thinking that's a Fn button on the bottom left where Ctrl ought to be... I wouldn't buy a laptop with the Ctrl key anywhere else, it's incredibly frustrating.
Those awful HPs with a full line of pointless extra keys down the left hand side are probably the worst offenders in history... thankfully they've nearly all cooked themselves to death by now!
Typing this on my (refurb) X220, best laptop ever made. Good IPS screen, lovely keyboard, near indestructable. Best thing is that you can repair / replace / upgrade pretty much everything, as if iFixit had designed the ideal laptop. You can swap the function of the Fn & left Ctrl keys in the BIOS (though sadly not the keycaps). Confuses the hell out of anyone else trying to use the machine but works for me. Just hope that Lenovo retain the repairability on this new version - until proven I'm hanging onto my X220.
This is the place I bought my X220 a year ago - not clear whether their current stock has the (much better) IPS screen or a TN LCD, but still good value. No connection with the company other than as a happy customer. May also be worth checking that they have a UK keyboard - as with most things on traditional Thinkpads the keyboard can be swapped out, but worth getting right first time.
Hope this fits OK within ElReg posting guidelines??
Even better, the x230 with the x220 keyboard and the EC mod for the old keyboard. The battery lasts much longer and it has USB3. It also came with a very slim battery (I usually use he 4 cell one but the 6 cell one on the x230 lasts as much as the 9 cell one on the x220.)
My company used to use a small fleet of HP 625 laptops, so during my first week for training (numerous years ago). It had that 'feature' of hotkeys down the left hand side and had to try and use it for a week. More recently nabbed one of the survivors for testing something and I wanted to burn it.
Incredibly frustrating indeed. A work laptop I was issued some years ago suffered from this design flaw and I ended up popping the "Fn" key off entirely. I use "Ctrl" quite a lot and the "Fn" key maybe once or twice a day - the absense of a key helped me to retrain my left pinky quite quickly, and on the few occasions I needed the "Fn" I'd just poke down the little switch thing with the end of a pen.
... until I can get my hands on one, as to whether it is truly a worthy bearer of the ThinkPad name.
My first ThinkPad (a 240 with a PII Celeron [Mendocino] CPU and 192MB RAM) still works although I struggle to find a use for it these days. (I don't recall it being anywhere near as slow back in 2000 and yet I was doing basically the same things on it back then as I need to do today.)
I still use my X40 (Pentium M 1200, 1.5GB) from time to time, though. It's quick enough for doing network diagnostics and other not-too-demanding tasks - or playing UT Classic when I'm bored! It's survived being pulled off of desks by wayward children several times over the last 13 years.
Both have run Linux from day 1.
It probably wasn't as slow back in 2000 as it is today because with today's *nixes, there's a ton more stuff running. Back in 2000 you could run a ps ax and the _entire output_ would fit on one screen. Good luck with that today (unless you switch horses to OpenBSD, say).
The thing I miss most with modern laptops is the lack of dedicated mouse buttons. I've had my current lappy for nearly a year now and I'm still struggling with the stupid touch pad. It mainly just ignores some 'clicks' but occasionally for fits and giggles it will generate a spurious one. To say nothing of the hit and miss right clicking :-/
What complicates my quest for the right lappy is that my ageing eyes also need the largest possible screen. The Acer I bought has a 17.3" screen. Last I looked the only lappys that size that had discrete buttons were gaming machines selling for thousands of pounds. I only want something to surf the web and read emails :-/
Re: The Acer I bought has a 17.3" screen. Last I looked the only lappys that size that had discrete buttons were gaming machines selling for thousands of pounds.
Look in the business machines section - recently I purchased a couple of 17.3" HP's with 7th generation i5's etc. for under £1,400 (the base system was sub £1,000 but bag, care cover etc. increased the price...)
I went for the i5 as benchmarks indicated it had a similar performance level to the i7 variant the client had originally specified, just without the price premium - so I was able to add in an SSD and additional memory and still have change...
A matt screen is still essential on a carefully positioned desktop setup. There's always a couple of bastard reflections somewhere in any room, especially if it's got one of those essential thinigies called windows*, preferably the opening kind.
A laptop may be used anywhere, the location's almost by definition going to be sub optimal - so why the systemd do the flaming things almost always come with shiny screens???
RANT - RAGE - SPLUTTER ....
* That's the only kind of windows allowed anywhere near my machines - I presume this'll run Linux / BSD without having to jump through hoops?
In my Impressive Pile of ThinkPads* there is one Butterfly with a b0rked mainboard. I've been toying with the idea of turning it into a Butterfleee, although a ButterPi looks to be the direction I'll be taking now.
Including a TransNote, but the Pile could still gain some Impressiveness.
I recently went through the agony of deciding whether to replace my aged ThinkPad T400 with a new laptop or simply replace the worn keyboard with the erratic spacebare and pop in an SSD (even though it has only SATAII interface). I decided keeping the relatively nice keyboard (no chiclets), 1440x900 display, and more than sufficient performance for what I do these days (writing novels with LibreOffice Writer, not code these days though I've spent 50+ years doing the latter) for $150 in easily-done repairs/upgrades beat the crap out of spending $800+ for something that, although newer and having a FHD screen). The Core2 Duo P8600 is plenty fast enough, Linux Mint 18.2 gains performance over Win 7 on a second SSD in the Slim Bay, lets me play casual HOPA games on the Win7 disc, and works just great for the casual web browsing I do. 802n may not be the fastest WiFi around but since my broadband connection is much slower anyway, who cares how fast the last link in the network chain is? A 3rd-party battery gives me 6+hours of battery life too. So it's not fashionably slim and light, WGAF?
I also have an old Dell C840 with a P4M and a very fine 1600x1200 large screen. Yes, it's slow, but it runs Libre Office writer very smoothly (once loaded) and is limited as much by a broken memory slot that only lets me use 512MB as by its speed.
If I could have the C840's screen on my ThinkPad, I'd be in hog heaven.
"I recently went through the agony of deciding whether to replace my aged ThinkPad T400 with a new laptop or simply replace the worn keyboard with the erratic spacebare and pop in an SSD (even though it has only SATAII interface)."
At first I thought the same way for my Asus laptop of similar vintage as your Thinkpad, so I bought a WD Black rust spinner for it instead of a SSD when its Seagate bit the dust. I soon regretted that, though, once I learned a bit more about SSDs and realized how relatively unimportant the maximum sequential read/write really was. I now have a Samsung 850 Evo SSD in there, and it's a really massive improvement even with SATA 2, as you already know, having done so yourself. I had the WD Black HDD back in there for a test, and it was so ponderous and slow that it felt like there was something wrong with it (but there wasn't). The difference going back from a SSD to a HDD is to me much more noticeable than going from the HDD to the SSD was, which seems kind of weird to me.
While the SATA2 interface tops out at only 250-300MB/s in sequential reads, it's still more than quick enough to allow the SSD to really shine in comparison with a HDD for the much more typical usage pattern that involves lots of short reads and random seeks. On a synthetic benchmark, the random 4k read stats are much more important, and are likely to give an improvement of at least one order of magnitude over the hard drive. The Samsung SSDs have some of the best numbers as far as 4k random reads; that and the built-in full drive encryption of the 850 were the reasons I picked that model.
"Or you could get a second hand one without operating system on ebay, stick an ssd with linux in it and have a fast system for peanuts as I did."
I have done this for getting on for a decade now starting with a T42. Now an X220.
I am tempted by this new retro Thinkpad. Strictly speaking I have no need for the extra computing power, but a new bright screen with higher resolution is of interest. Battery life above 10 hours would be magic as well.
Mind you, if some enterprising Szechuan company did drop-in replacement screen/inverter/cable packages I'd be first in the queue!
PS: lets hear it for the venerable X60. Just the right form factor.
If it ain't broke... break it and tell everyone it's fixed.
I miss the days where you could get a Windows install CD included with your purchase.
A "Recovery xyz" automatic installs all that OEM crapware... maybe they can go retro on that too.
If I want spyware on my machine, I can install it myself.
- I agree on that "stupid touchpad" comment. My IPad touchscreen works great, so why do they ship crappy touchpads with laptops? It's obviously possible to make one that works...
If you like the chiclet keyboards, you've got about a thousand different laptop models to choose from. However, plenty of people (myself included) prefer the classic style of keyboard, so this isn't a keyboard fail, it's simply a product aimed at someone that isn't you.
I have an old E545 (I'm typing on just now) and I find it a decent laptop *except* that they whitelist the components and don't allow upgrade for things that just need improvement.
My machine needs the improved WiFi (ac compatible). I bought an Intel card and installed it but the BIOS detected the card and refused to boot. Told me to remove the card and reboot.
Not acceptable. If I want to make changes to my machine the supplier should not prevent that.
Tried to find a revised BIOS but no joy.
> Tried to find a revised BIOS but no joy.
I had a similar problem with the other major marque of laptop that does wifi card whitelisting... HP. I wanted to improve the wifi, but as soon as I put in the new card, it refused to boot.
The answer for me was to find the PCI ID string for the old card in the firmware image and use a hex editor to replace that with the ID of the new card. Worked perfectly. As long as the relevant bit in the firmware image is not encrypted or compressed, the string should be there.
Be careful if you choose to do this; there is always risk when messing with firmware images.
Of all the *NOTEBOOK* computers ("laptop" is an old term that vendors haven't used for 25 years) ever released, the IBM Thinkpads that this model emulates is probably the ugliest. All sharp corners and that rubbery stuff only looks good for the first 3 minutes after you take it out of the box.
Also (in South Africa anyway) Lenovo's after-sales service is probably the worst I have ever encountered so even less incentive to buy one of these horrid things.
Objectively speaking, I like to think I'm fairly progressive.
Still a strong preference for electronics that can be upgraded and that can be tossed into a rucksack &c. Capitalism being the lowest form of socialism we have to grasp our advantages when they are offered.
Each to his own.
My T520 (that I saved from the 'skip') 2 years ago does great service for my daughter as a homework machine - I know it is way too good for this but at least it is getting used and is too heavy for travels.
My wife recently tested it by dropping it from the top of the stairs...it bounced, punched a hole in the stud wall and got to the bottom intact. The keyboard 'tray' had popped out but clicked back in easily enough - other than that no damage. I would not fancy doing that with the plastic fantastic T460 I am writing this on.
Squarish matt screen.
No chiclet keyboard (how I hate chiclets)
I could be sorely tempted. But I'm sure some marketing wonk will step in and fuck it up.
Our last set of Lenovo laptops were egonomically shite. Awful chiclet keyboards, 16:9 screen, and possibly the worst trackpad I've ever had the displeasure of using. Even worse than the trackball on a 486 Win3.1 laptops I had.
Are the keys either side of the cursor up (with logos that look bit like the electric window switches in the car) PgUp and Down? I bought a thinkpad usb keyboard to use with crappy work laptop purely because it had dedicated page up and down (and didn't fill my entire desk). None of this Fn+other key bollocks for oft used keys. Shame if they got rid of them.
If they've really kept the old 7-row Thinkpad layout then those keys are Page Backwards / Page Forwards (works as Back / Fwd in most browsers) and there are dedicated PgUp / PgDn keys at the top right, next to dedicated Home / End. The Fn modifiers for the Home / End increase / decrease LCD backlight brightness.
They are the old "page back" (left) and "page forwards" buttons - on the old style keyboards page up and down are buttons on the top right near insert and home.
Here's an original X220 keyboard for comparison:
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