Lenovo ThinkPad – The Perfect Notebook Keyboard? We ‘Think’ so!
July 18, 2010
Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards are known to be the best there is but have you ever wondered what goes into making a keyboard that users will appreciate and love to use? Or more importantly, how to avoid making one they’ll hate?
The designers of the new ThinkPad Edge 13 and the ThinkPad X100e tried to answer just that question and most IT Technology pundits, ourselves included, think they found the answer.
“Honestly, there were a lot of difficult choices to be made,” wrote Lenovo engineer Arimasa Naitoh. “Is it really a keyboard worthy of the name ThinkPad? We asked ourselves this question over and over again during development.”
Of all the design and engineering that goes into making a portable computer, one might think that the keyboard is just an afterthought. That’s certainly not the case, however, for the people at Lenovo, who’ve just released an article about creating the new keyboard for the ThinkPad Edge 13 and the ThinkPad X100e, which marks a new direction for keyboard design.
New trends show an increased use by manufactures of so-called “chiclet-style,” or “island-style,” keyboards, and Lenovo is helping lead the way, however, the company prefers the term “isolation keyboards.”
Lenovo’s isolation keyboards are unlike any others’. Rather than have the keys stick out of the actual laptop frame, the Lenovo keys have their own separate frame that is gracefully attached to the larger frame. This, says engineers, makes for a stronger and more dynamic keyboard that’s simpler to replace should something go wrong.
The changes are small, but any regular ThinkPad user will immediately see a difference. For instance, the arrow and function keys may look like a mouthful of crooked teeth, but there’s method to Lenovo’s madness – the company has conducted countless user surveys, focus groups and put to use years of engineering experience to build the layout best suited for comfortable use.
The center-mounted TrackPoint has changed a bit as well. No longer content to stick out like a sore thumb, it has been cut down to sit flush with the rest of the computer. The tip has been changed, too, now with a slightly concave rubber tip with dimples rather than the smooth convex tip.
Just one look at the article on Yamato Thinking and it’s clear that the company has put everything it has into designing an effective new keyboard layout. Want to see more? Take a look at the design diagrams and explore the new layout at Yamato Thinking. The Lenovo ThinkPad really does have the best laptop keyboard and the new ThinkPad Edge ‘isolation’ keyboard is no exception.