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The Great Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Keyboard Debate



Lenovo’s new ThinkPad X230 keyboard is creating quite a stir. For the first time, the 12″ ultraportable X200 series is ditching its classic ThinkPad keyboard in favor of a more modern island-style keyboard. So what’s the big deal?

Traditional ThinkPad keyboards, such as the one found on the ThinkPad X220, are the gold standard in the notebook industry. Many users swear by these keyboards and simply refuse to type on anything else.  The tactile feedback is great, the scalloped keys feel nice and the keystroke is just right. The keyboard’s layout is also applauded by traditionalists who want easy access to every key they’ve ever struck since the dawn of the computer age.


Here’s the keyboard on the ThinkPad X220. Note the cluster of keys in the top-right, including a large dedicated delete, home, end, page up and page down key. To the left of the delete key are a set of four rarely used keys (at least for most users. The top left of the keyboard features an impossible to miss escape key.

The traditional ThinkPad keyboard may look dated, but people still love it.

Here is a photo of the new style keyboard  on the ThinkPad X230 that Lenovo sent over for review. As you can see, it’s a pretty drastic change. Other ThinkPads, such as the ThinkPad Carbon X1 ship with the same keyboard and layout. Note the keys no longer touch each other and the single row of function keys.

The change is angering many ThinkPad fans, including some that posted on Lenovo’s blog when it introduced the X1 Carbon. One commenter wrote that there was “…no discernibly “ThinkPad” feature other than the red trackpoint nub- because I’m not seeing a blue enter key.” If ThinkPad users are angry about the color of the enter key, you can only imagine the choice words they had about the keyboard layout and how the keyboard feels.

Keyboards are perhaps the most personal part of any PC. People can get a little too attached to their keyboards though. As someone that’s used dozens of notebooks over the years, I know that change is okay. A new keyboard takes some getting used to, but users can and do adapt within days.

The new ThinkPad X230 keyboard isn’t just any old island-style keyboard. It feels great and it has more travel than you’d expect. The keys spring back up, providing a liveliness that’s missing from many notebook keyboards. It may not be the ThinkPad keyboard you’ve used for the past 10 years, but it is decidedly still a ThinkPad keyboard, which is to say it’s better than just about anything else out there.  The ThinkPad X230 is a joy to type.

I highly recommend ThinkPad buyers try out the new keyboard before passing judgement on it, especially if they’re buying for others at their companies. The new keyboard doesn’t have easy access to keys that programmers and other specialists want, but the new layout is friendlier to the masses.

What do you think about the ThinkPad X230’s new keyboard?




  1. simon

    05/25/2012 at 6:57 pm

    I like the feel but not the layout.

  2. Lee Chisholm

    05/26/2012 at 3:31 pm

    Does it offer an even better experience than the original keyboard though? In most cases a change cannot be justified to the customer unless it’s offering an improvement over the existing design.

    I see the original Lenovo keyboard being a differentiator to the competitors, but now they just came out with the same keyboard as HP or Apple. However the change is justified if I assume that the new keyboard offers an experience at least as good or better.

    I don’t know why they ditched the blue enter key…? That was a trademark item which could have easily been added back to the keyboard. It seems simply that they cheaped out.

  3. Barry

    05/28/2012 at 5:12 pm

    If something is not broken why anger users and change it? Seriously I hate the layout, looks like a piece of shit. I have used chiclet keyboards before and the feel can be described as piece of shit compared to the traditional keypad layout. I have an X201 – I was hopeful to upgrade to X230 until I saw this.

  4. jason404

    05/29/2012 at 1:02 am

    The change to scrabble types keys may have been inevitable, and if it still feels great, I can live with that.

    What I am really upset about is the change of layout. Why can’t they still have the top row of keys?? The keyboard could still look modern. I use those keys all the time, as well as the Back and Forwards keys over the arrow keys, which have now been changed to PageUp and PageDown. They are essential for using with one’s little finger while using the TrackPoint.

    I’m outraged!

  5. Cristian

    05/31/2012 at 8:04 pm

    Perhaps for the two-index typers and trackpad prodders, this layout will be a-OK. But a programmer needs his PgUp to be up and its PgDn to be down. And Home/End have to be stacked. And what can I do with a 2mm Esc when I’m vim-ing around?

    Well, I’l have to try it, I guess.

    I hope they will leave the Tn00s and the external trackpoint keyboards alone.

    • Scav

      07/04/2012 at 6:45 am

      I’m a programmer using vim, and I can’t say I agree with you. For one, the new position of the PgUp/PgDown keys nicely matches the j/k keys.

      Where the physical Esc key is doesn’t bother me at all since I remapped CapsLock to Esc. It was actually pretty easy to do, I can hit CapsLock way faster than my hands can move to the far left corner and I don’t yell that much online anyway.

    • Eduardo

      07/20/2012 at 10:30 am

      hum…CTRL-F and CTRL-B? I rarely use PgUp and PgDn anymore.

  6. Laszlo Boviz

    06/02/2012 at 9:34 am

    Its just a cost cutter. There is nothing improvement on.
    I hope the X230 sell results will show them, how bad this design decision was.
    By the way the Thinkpad brand is eroding continuously

  7. Florian Hassel

    06/07/2012 at 2:01 am

    I tried the Chiclet-keyboard, it is a far cry from the time-tested former keyboard, and is obviously not made for quality, but cost-cutting.

    Even one of the largest Lenovo-dealers in Berlin, Germany, whom I visited before, fears the new keyboard will loose him a lot of so far loyal customers.

    It is definitely true for me. The old keyboard was the most important point that IBM-Lenovo Thinkpads had going for them.

    I am still looking for a replacement for my older Thinkpad, but will definitely not touch the new generation with this awful keyboard.

    Florian Hassel

  8. Targus

    06/11/2012 at 9:36 am

    IMHO, you can accept this kind of keyboard solely because you’re a Macbook fan. Everything imitates what Apple does is good for you.

  9. Laszlo Boviz

    06/11/2012 at 12:48 pm

    Today I was inspecting a Macbook air keyboard. I don’t want to waste two words for it, just one: garbage.

  10. reddy

    06/14/2012 at 6:07 pm

    Really hell of new thinkpad keyborad. I’ve been using thinkpad since 10 years, just upgrading model with the new thinkpad model. my fingers Got used to the keystroke and It’s layout without looking into the keyboard. it is so stupid and no way to stick out to these new Thinkpads.

    I see a good market here. I’ll try to mange and get connect to original supplier and make design the thinkpad “keypad” to all the new featured products and sell out for Thinkpad customization.

    Thinkpad Lover.

  11. Anonymous

    06/15/2012 at 1:46 am

    I could have lived with the change in materials and feel, perhaps, but the layout change completely destroys the value of the ThinkPad keyboard: having a standard key layout with all the necessary keys in all the right places. The new layout puts the PgUp and PgDown keys in unusable locations, puts home and end horizontal instead of vertical, puts Print Screen where the right Menu key should go, eliminates Scroll Lock entirely, and eliminates the highly useful back and forward navigation buttons previously placed above the arrow keys.

  12. Jack

    06/15/2012 at 11:28 am

    I hope the keyboard is the same size etc. Then I can just take my keyboard out of my old computer and keep using it in the new one.

  13. Tom Dealy

    06/15/2012 at 8:11 pm

    I don’t understand this decision from the business standpoint. Was there a large group of potential customers who had not bought Thinkpad because it didn’t have the island-style keyboard? Not likely. Will there a large group of current Thinkpad customers who will no longer buy Thinkpad because of this change? Quite possibly. Will the savings (if any) from lowered manufacturing cost of the island-style keyboard offset this potential loss? Probably not. So there’s only risk and no reward. Why would any business make this type of decision???

  14. Tom Dealy

    06/15/2012 at 8:15 pm

    Look at all that waste of space between ThinkVantage and the power buttons! It’s not like all that space saved from reduced number of keys went to increase the size of the palm rest area. It’s just wasted space! What gives??

    • ciki62

      05/13/2013 at 2:57 pm

      HA HA , on the next keyboard there will be bo mute, volume, thinkvantage buttons !!!
      no waste space, just ” GREAT” (where the this END button) new keyboard and BIG trackpad with no HW buttons. look for T431 keyboard, that is the bright future of Lenovo. :(

  15. cedric

    06/16/2012 at 11:28 am

    Probably that it will prevent me from buying further Lenovo ThinkPads. I planned to change, I was considering the X230 before seing that spoiled keyboard.

    I finally will buy the x220. And if they don’t go back, it will be my last lenovo.

    Seriously it sucks. The feeling is just as ‘good’ as a macbook keyb. Can’t get why are they killing the best feature in their products like that. Probably they want to punish their customers being too much loyal.

    Chiclet, chiclets, it’s not even chiclet it’s chiclet style. So this shift was made just for the style, stoling to the loyal customers their preferred feature of their preferred tool.

    They probably will pay for that. But they won’t care. I thought despite the controversial acquisition Lenovo was finally keeping the brand into the right direction … eventually, they are just killing ThinkPads.

  16. blid

    06/19/2012 at 12:23 pm

    As a 10 years thinkpad owner, I still miss IBM thinkpad. IBM holded their work in high esteem. Because there are specific groups of customers told Loyal, vip, or mania who have great faith on company’s product, it is also important for the company to maintain such high self-esteem on their mainstream products. The X230 proves that Lenovo were not holding their work in high esteem.

    “know yourself” Lenovo!!

  17. zqhz

    06/22/2012 at 8:56 am

    I actually bought the new X230, with i7 (mode 2325-2DG). I do not think that I was very picky on keyboard. However, after using the new keyboard, I really regret that I have bought the computer. Firstly, the layout was bad, now the home/end keys and PgUp/PgDn keys are far apart. Those keys are usually used together when navigating a document/webpage, and it is very inconvenient to be force to move the hand all the time. Secondly, the keys are too smooth. The original keyboard has matte finish, more similar to those good external keyboards. The new keyboard is too smooth, kind of glossy, to make me sure that I am typing a keyboard. The keys are also too soft, far apart from traditional keyboards.

    I have dissembled the keyboard, and found that now the whole keyboard, including the volume buttons and the power buttons are part of the keyboard. Therefore, it should be rather easy to release a replacement keyboard with different layout to replace the island-style keyboard. Maybe Lenovo can release a classical alternative keyboard for those who do not like the new one?

    BTW, the palm rest is too warm, not as bad as X60/61, but not far. So you do not want to type a long time anyway.

  18. Thomas

    06/24/2012 at 3:19 am

    This is just sad. I was so looking forward to upgrading my X41T to a x230T .. but I’m extremely picky about exactly these little things. Hell, I passed on an a good upgrade offer two years ago because it had no track point. Plus I never got used to different types of keyboards on friend’s/colleague’s notebooks. :\

    I can’t imagine it being that difficult to release replacement keyboards though .. for the love of god, please think about doing that Lenovo! Then I’ll guarantee you at least one additional sale!

  19. Laszlo Boviz

    06/25/2012 at 2:03 am

    I’m swithching from an X41T also, but the X230T keyboard is unacceptable. I don’t want to waste my time re-learning any new layout. All the re-learners will pay the bill of Lenovo’s cost reduction. Unacceptable. Ordered an X220T, hope they will ship.

  20. billy

    06/29/2012 at 5:47 am

    Just suck!! Top thing of them is power button.
    1$ vintage t shirt button made by china.

  21. CV

    07/11/2012 at 4:57 pm

    “”but the new layout is friendlier to the masses.””

    Why? You just made that up?

    Oh; and since when are TP’s for “the masses”?

  22. SiberX

    07/14/2012 at 3:51 pm

    Thomas, Laszlo:

    I had been using an X41T for ages that I dearly loved (I had even done a *very challenging* mod to allow me to install 1.8″ SATA SSDs in the thing and have a 64GB onyx SSD in it replacing the awful 30GB HD I had before).

    With the SSD the notebook was still usable for at least another year or two and I wanted to wait to upgrade. As soon as I saw the news about the new keyboard on the X230T though I decided I would have to purchase the X220T while they were still available (especially with the better outdoor viewable pen-only display) instead.

    I have done this, and am overall pretty happy with the purchase. I’ve doubled up the memory myself (to dual channel 8GB for $23, which improves graphics performance to boot)and I added a 64GB SSD as a boot drive (so I can still store big stuff on the HD) and it performs astonishingly well for a 12″ notebook with no dedicated GPU (especially graphically). My only concerns are minor, and really drove home to me how much the engineering prowess of the thinkpad team has gone downhill since their acquisition by lenovo.

    Most of the good design still in the notebooks is simply inertia; to give one example the standard 6-cell battery on the unit protrudes from the bottom, in addition to sticking out from the back of the notebook more than necessary. If you look at your X41T you’ll notice the battery “wraps around” the monitor hinge at the center; this doesn’t happen with the X220T – instead the notebook’s casing extends all the way flush with the back of the hinge resulting in 0.5-1cm of useless airspace inside the notebook (in addition to all the airspace I can feel inside the battery pack itself). As a result, the notebook is bulkier than it needs to be for no obvious reason other than laziness in the design.

    There’s just a lot of little details like this that could’ve been done better if the team still had pride in the design of their products – it’s not enough that I’m unhappy with my purchase (I’m glad I’ll be able to keep using a still-very-nice-overall thinkpad for the lifetime of this unit) but it definitely shows me that by the time I’m due for another replacement I’ll definitely be looking elsewhere.

    For me, the X220T is thinkpad’s last hurrah.

  23. Hakro807

    08/02/2012 at 2:05 am

    If you’re not happy with the layout, why not change it using a program such as Sharpkeys? I’m not saying that the current layout is better than the old one, I’m only saying that we’re all free to customize the keyboard to fit our needs without the need to bitch about old vs. new.

    And Thinkpad’s is still unique in that they offer a third button below the space-bar, a feature I use constantly.

    • Laszlo Boviz

      08/02/2012 at 7:47 am

      @Hakro807: You can not change the placemen and the number of keys with any software tool. :)

  24. jackbw9

    08/05/2012 at 7:12 pm

    It’s the best backlit keyboard currently in the market — only surpassed by an older Thinkpad keyboard. So what if some old Thinkpad users complain about it? They don’t represent everyone. I use the older keyboard and I don’t mind the change. I’m not so attached to the old keyboard that I can’t type on anything else. Its not the greatest thing since sliced bread. I prefer to work on an external mechanical keyboard anyway.

  25. Gary Roberts

    08/15/2012 at 8:08 am

    I have a Lenovo x200s, x201s (personal laptop) and X1(business laptop) and been the x1 for just about a year.

    The chiclet keyboard isn’t bad, but its not great.. the layout took some getting used to, the typing typing speed isnt bad, the back lit keyboard is great.

    We ordered 10 X1’s for our office and I must comment that some of the keyboards on the X1 are difficult to press some, and often require hitting the key twice. (this doesn’t happen often, but maybe 1-2 times a day of average work use) You need to really press down for it to register. The keyboards behaved like this from day 1.

    the x200s, x201s keyboards are superior in every way minus aesthetics and and the back lit keyboard.

    i wont be upgrading from my x200s or x201s any time soon.. not to mention the new x230 doesn’t have 1440×900 resolution. But that’s an entirely separate topic.

    my two cents.

  26. Dan Savern

    08/29/2012 at 5:51 pm

    I was so fearful about the new keyboard, but my x220 was failing and being a long time thinkpad customer, I didn’t know what other brand to get, so I took a chance and ordered x230. Here is the thing I realized. The island style keys are actually pretty good. It has the same depth and click as the old keys but the top of the keys are flat thus larger. So it’s actually more comfortable to type on. I can assure you that it’s not like those cheap island keys you see in Macs or other clones. Call me crazy, but once i get used to the new keys, I don’t want to go back to the old one. BUT, I don’t like the layout. I much prefer the old 7 rows layout as it has all the keys i need in the right place. But I will give it a time, and maybe I will get used to the new layout as well.

    In any case, I am pleasantly surprised by the new keys, and I am glad I upgraded to x230.

  27. Han.

    09/06/2012 at 7:20 am

    Note that this even is some back-tracking by Lenovo. I’m typing this on a loan Thinkpad E420 Edge and the layout is completely horrible. In the picture in the article at least the delete key is hard to miss as it’s on the top right. On this piece of stuff it’s the third key from the righ. (‘End’) is on the right. Also the page-up page-down keys are near the arrow keys.

    But the worst thing is that this was during the phase where they thought people don’t need the old F1-F12 function keys anymore, and relegated those to a FN+key to get a function key press, AND the lettering ‘F1-F12’ is in impossible to read VERY dark red. There is a BIOS function to bring at least the function keys back so I can use them without pressing Fn, but I still can’t read them, especially not at night in artificial light.

    But I’m not complaining, going to vote with my feet.

  28. Arun

    09/25/2012 at 7:11 am

    Hi All,

    I own a Lenovo Thinkpad T Series (T410i), some of the keys are broken. I need the keyboard, if anyone want to sell it, i can buy that.

  29. not my real name (@dailyfoodlog)

    09/29/2012 at 10:09 am

    having worked with the new keyboard for a copule of weeks now, I hate it.

    I realize they had to shift to get backlighting, but the new keyboard is otherwise awful. feels “flat” (like a dell or apple), easy to miss keys, and the layout – don’t get me started.

    thining of returning my x230 for an x220 just to get the old keyboard!

  30. Nar

    10/06/2012 at 4:11 am

    I’ve been working with a X230 for four weeks now.
    Just to be sure, I’ve done a few typing tests on this machine plus my old X200 right next to it.

    I simply can’t understand who at Lenovo thought that this keyboard change wasn’t an utterly stupid idea…

    Hope they release keyboard upgrades at some point. I’ll buy one immediately.

    • Pandaschnitzel

      11/11/2012 at 12:17 pm

      It shows that Lenovo is not knowing his most loyal user base: people texting all day for living – software engineers, web developers, office workers and so forth. They all NEED the old 7 row layout for their work. They all give a damn about the look. Lenovo was even so brain dead stupid to make it impossible to use the old keyboards with the new devices. This is because the BIOS is not compatible although the keyboard and the connections do fit. What is so hard to put an additional option into the BIOS to support the old keyboard style? People will pay $100 or more to get the old layout back. Hello Lenovo make it an order option to get the old layout. It’s a ThinkPad, Stupid!

  31. mic98

    10/20/2012 at 3:49 am

    The comments on threads like this thread have been great. There seems to be a recognition amung users about the following:
    1. touchtyping should be able to be done blindfolded. I agree.
    2. F keys NEED to be seperated into groups of four with a tactile gap or feel between each group of four.
    3. The block of INS/DEL, HOME/END PGUP/PGDOWN MUST be in a block like the old thinkpad keyboards.
    These three are SO IMPORTANT! I cant stress that enough.
    4. Keyboards need very long key travel and high tactile feedback with curved and shaped keys. Very important but some give towards an island keyboard might be tolerated if 1, 2 and 3 are kept on track.
    Users understand all of these things – Lenovo does not!

    There is a Lenovo blog that this post relates quite strongly to at:
    I for one will not be ‘giving in’ to the new keyboard for very good reasons.

    I dont’ think Lenovo have any idea how disappointed people are when they feel the x230 keyboard and realise that all of the above issues are just not there. I have tried the new keyboard and dislike it for those reasons. This is not a mere opinion – this is usability and it relates to the real usefulness of a keyboard under real working conditions for thos those business people who buy x series thinkpads

    Its all ok for the ULV thin netbook style machines like the x1 carbon. Its not ok for the fully powered thinkpad x series. There are reasons why business people prefer these and one of those reasons is the keyboard typing experience and layout (the other is all about great battery life and upgradability).

    Ok I understand the logical idea of putting pg up/down near arros because they are directional, but so many times i see companies make mistakes and hide those mistakes behind some kind of psudo-logic. The folks at lenovo need to understand that layout has an impact on usability and it is just as much about familiar locations as it is about where someone thinks something should be located. Folks – there is a cluster of 6 buttons – leave them where they are.

    Here is some more logic that I think works better. Pg up and pg down ought to be vertically aligned because they are up and down, not left and right. Hmm.. I wonder where that logic went when it was decided to place the paging keys to the left and right of the up arrow. Now we lose the back/forward browser controls which were actually useful. Home and end left to right does make some sense but overall its not enough to justify the changes. Seriously, a block of 6 like a desktop keyboard is where it should be at, so leave it like that.

    Its not about whether some person ‘likes’ the new keyboard or not, or whether some person thinks it looks good or bad or cheap or not – it is all about the real usability and its about the layout. Lenovo frankly got it wrong this time. there is no escape from this. Don’t hide behind psudo-logic and statements like ‘anger is like profound love.’ OMG!

    Ok with the lack of the blue enter key… yep ok… people who get angry about that are probably expressing that profound love as you say. But the layout issues – no – they are real issues and it is a real failure to have stuffed that up.

    How many threads have I seen online with people talking about this, wanting bios updates to be able to use the old x220 keyboard, avoiding the new model because of keyboard issues… I will say that unless and until I know that Lenovo is going to do something about a bios update, I and others like me WILL NOT BUY the x230.

    I have been a user experience and usability expert for 15 years now. I know what I am talking about here. I used a thinkpad x31 a long time ago and it was the best laptop I had – I used it for many years. Since then ive used others from other brands but the thinkpad was the best. Now I go to get a new laptop and look at the x230 – and no… even though ive not used a thinkpad for a few years and so now I am almost a newcomer to the newer machines, I was still disappointed in it.

    Change is hard – famous last words for many companies who have changed something for the worse, learned their lesson, and have had to back peddle after that. Changes are important but changing something that was working well is not the best idea. Keyboard and layout is very important for the thinkpads. Other things like having ivy bridge, better graphics, better screens, better newer ports, usb 3 and so on – all great changes. Keyboard changes just for cost and futureproofing thin machines – not good.

    The x series thinkpads were always just a cut above things like the now elitebook 12 incher. But now because of the keyboard, I will consider the elitebook 2570p as far superior to the x230 in pretty much every way now. Its got a dvd drive built in, things can be removed and upgraded, its not much heavier, the specs are usually a bit better… and yep it has a pretty standard island style keyboard but hey – so does the x230 now so…. Well… It’s the elitebook that will win. In the days of the x220, it was the x220 that won. Now – not so. That is very sad and disappointing.

    This is why you don’t change something unless you have to. E.g. The HP elitebook takes over as best 12 incher because of what Lenovo has done. Amazing … all HP has to do now is ensure that the next elitebook 12 incher has an IPS screen and they will be no. 1 in that category across the board because it was really only the screen on the elitebook that klet it down.

    Actually I think the elitebook f row has gaps for each bank of four f keys. Wow… now they have an even better keyboard than the thinkpads. This is so bad for the thinkpads. I wonder what the old IBM folks think now as they look at what has been done.

    Oh but wait… the x230 keyboard has a greater capacity to drain off liquids and it has a real backlight… two advantages over the older keyboards. Perhaps true, but all other ultra portables are doing those things now anyway, and the advantages are far outweighed by the bad layout. Especially considering that the old layout could have been preserved with the island style keyboard if it had to come to that…. But a redesign to island keys and also the changed layout is a double whammy. Why go to six rows from seven when the keyboards are actually the same size anyway?

    Seriously, I think listening to the business users of these great thinkpads over the years would be a good idea… pay attention to what the real users are saying. Don’t just do a bunch of user tests in an effort to justify the design you have come up with and then lay claim to having the best keyboard ever because of that. People are saying its not a bad keyboard as island style keyboards go, I will agree with that, but it is NOTHING on the old thinkpad keyboard, mainly because of layout issues.

    We all know that moving to the island style is a kind of cost cutting idea and an idea that is designed to desensitise users so that in future the x series can become thinner and thinner. We all know that you can potentially make a thinner machine when you have flatter keys with less travel. We know that you have tried to keep most of the feel of the keyboard – so you have attempted to conserve some of the greatness of the thinkpad keyboards, but you have struck the balance wrong in therms of layout.

    We all know that apple uses island keys so the rest of the consumer world follows. We all know that those keyboards make for the very thin machines and are, at the moment, trendy. I say that at the moment those keyboards are trendy because who knows what will be in 10 years time. But business users of x series thinkpads are not the same as the consumers of the netbooks and ultrabooks. We want the four elements I mentioned at the top of this post, along with great battery life and good power. Being slightly thicker than a macbook air is not a big deal.

    Seriously, I think I might have considered the new design if it were not for the layout. But the failure on 1, 2, 3 (at the top of this post) is a deal breaker. This is not to mention the loss of some admittadly less useful but still somewhat useful keys above the f12 section. Yes guys, they are useful keys for some of us.

    Well.. now that Lenovo has gone away from the standard proper keyboard and layout, its open slather now… I can go and consider any other brand, any other notebook… elitebook comes to mind, some others have mentioned DELL… hmm.. let’s see what is out there. I think if I have to deal with the new layout on a thinkpad, I can probably go get a macbook air because well, they are thinner, lighter and look nicer and the keyboard is – well not quite as good as the x230 but still not that far behind it. macbook and x230 are both Way behind the old thinkpad keyboards though.

    Simple solution for Lenovo – a no brainer – develop a patched bios and provide a service through the agents to replace the keyboard with the old x220 keyboard making sure all the buttons work properly. Luckily you have designed a machine in the x230 that can accommodate the old keyboard being the same size… few that was so lucky because now you can fix the problem that you created. Do the bios, support the use of the older keyboard and I will go out and buy the highest speced up x230 and then spend even more money on the old x220 keyboard just to get that combination. Seriously people will do this. This thread testifies to that.

    But… just continue on ignoring these sorts of requests and you will continue to alienate the business users further and further and further… until… you are no longer no 1, 2 or no 3 in the business ultraportable world. You will be beatn by other machines like the HP and the DELL which are actually thicker and heavier, even as you try to move towards thinner by this strategic move to an island keyboard, in this market category you will be beaten by the competition.

    Once the differentiater for Lenovo was the keyboard so that if other ultra portable 12 inchers on the market had comparable or even slightly better specs, the thinkpad would still have the edge due to the differentiator in the keyboard and its layout. Now, that particular differentiator is gone. So now, anything that comes close or exceeds the x230 in features or specs will beat the x230. thinkpad is now no longer protected by the differentiator, at least in the business ultra portable market.

    Sure, go for the new trendy keyboards on the ultrabooks, but do it on the x series or the larger machines and you will lose what IBM has worked on for more than 10 years now. I think enough has been said, now it all comes down to how much listening is done.

  32. steve38

    10/24/2012 at 10:53 pm

    The new layout is more friendly to the masses? HOW? WHY? WHO SAYS? how can anyone say that. how would you know. who has done the research to work out what the masses want in a keyboard layout. or is it just comparing to the macbook as a benchmark. what a load of crap.

  33. k

    10/25/2012 at 10:07 pm

    utterly agree. ive just been searching for a new lappy. a chunky keyboard where the keys have momentum is *”key”* for me. and ive just rejected a headache inducing number of laptops that dont have them.

    this chiclet stuff, just seems to be taking minimal to places which dont want it. i wonder if its even just because less plastic is required, so its cheaper for them ? lose for them. i’ll only buy a laptop with decent chunky keys. lost sale for the others.

  34. Heydarian Heydarian

    10/29/2012 at 7:39 pm

    If I wanted an apple I’d buy one. I want a thinkpad, or I wanted one – not anymore I guess

  35. Eric Tan

    11/11/2012 at 7:05 am

    decided against x230 today because of the keyboard…. can’t believe the keyboard actually has got such high value

  36. John

    12/16/2012 at 10:04 am

    I was also looking for the X230 but due to the keyboard I’ll try to find a second handed X220.

  37. ranapat

    01/16/2013 at 2:00 am

    I’m working with thinkpads since I remember myself. The new keyboard layout is just not for me. I tried it and in fact I still use it – as the new X series have on the new layout. Thinkpad used to have maybe the only keyboard that is done “for you to work”. Noone can convince me that placing home and end there is “useful”. Or placing page up and down close to the arrows. This is just not useful for working. So what I did – I got old external keyboard and work with it. But the new layout is just sh**. Sorry…

  38. zgpigp

    01/17/2013 at 3:35 pm

    I have a x220. I tried today x230. After half an hour of doing my best to type on the new keyboard I got tired and concluded – The new keyboard is a garbage!

  39. Emanuele Santoro

    02/01/2013 at 8:05 pm

    So Lenovo has finally *killed* ThinkPad…

  40. ciki62

    05/13/2013 at 2:49 pm

    Ohhhh WTF!!!!
    Where are my favorite X220 keys, PgUP, PgDown, Home, End. This keys are on new x230 keyboard very uncomfortable. flat layout is more or less o.k. but rearrangement of my favorite keys are so so BAD!!! No i don’t like my new X230.

    p.s. why is (was) x… great notebooks
    1. IPS display
    2. Great keyboard
    3. Size and design
    4. Expansions like docking, mSATA, upgradable RAM, HDD, replaceable battery
    :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

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