Thinkpad P50: Alrighty everyone I thought I would start up a discussion by asking everyone
Alrighty everyone I thought I would start up a discussion by asking everyone in the thinkpad community what do you guys think was considered to be the last true thinkpad? Over the years Lenovo has made some questionable changes to the thinkpad design. I currently daily drive a P50 and it’s been a great laptop and in my opinion it was what I think a “return to form” laptop with a mixture of old and new thinkpad design elements combined into one laptop.
What do you guys think?
The last great Thinkpad, is whatever is the best current model. Thinkpads are working tools. They evolve and adapt to make sure we are as productive as possible with hardware that will endure the rigours of everyday use, whether in the office or in orbit. I love my old Thinkpads, but they are relics suitable for age related tasks, retro gaming or collectors.
///as productive as possible///
Not always the main motivation. For example the move away from 7-row keyboard was not about improving productivity. Nor was the move away from their spill-proof keyboards about more durability.
Without the later keyboards, The X1 Yoga would not have been possible, which, in my opinion is one of the most versatile ThinkPads in the last decade or so. (hate the name - loved the laptop). The X1 Carbon became the go to laptop for photographers and we could benefit from the same excellent keyboard with an X1 tablet. I can easily carry a workstation around today due to it being thin and light, where before it felt like I was lugging a portable desktop. I don't miss the 7 row and I appreciate being able to type in a meeting without getting looked at because of the clacky classic keys. Lenovo have, and continue to make mistakes, but they do tend to realise (XX40 for example). The older keyboards look amazing though and at the time, moving on from desktop keyboards, which many had been trained on, they were perfect - but we have moved on and its right ThinkPads did. As for the spillproof keyboard; in 25 years of using ThinkPads in my work (and play) I have never once spilled a drink on my laptop. Why?...I am careful with my laptop and I dont want to waste my drink! I don't mind not paying for a feature because others are careless 😃 But I take your point - it was a nice 'selling' point to other colleagues.
T/W500 models have the classic keyboard, all the buttons and LEDs, and 16:10 displays. With an SSD they are still fast enough for common tasks.
Impossible to say really but for me when you take away physical mouse buttons and/or TrackPoint you’ve crossed the line. But let’s face it. A dozen lines have already been crossed and a dozen more are yet to be.
In less than 10 years there likely won’t be a single new ThinkPad in the lineup that can be upgraded post-sale in any way, RAM SSD or otherwise and they will probably all have lightning fast ARM SoC’s and 30 hours of battery life with built in 6G LTE or something.
One thing is for sure and that’s is that change is inevitable and for better or worse, Apple is leading the charge in a lot of trends in laptop design and has been for a while (in case you weren’t tipped off by the fact that every laptop that isn’t a ThinkPad now is indistinguishab
Unfortunately a lot of younger users coming up value sleek looks over practical features and the value of being able to repair and upgrade and their desires are influencing ThinkPad design already. Whining about our beloved bricks being too thick and not replacing mouse buttons with a giant trackpad that takes up half the laptop.
But it’s not all their fault. It’s just where technology is headed. The ARM-based SoC’s are/will be handing AMD64 it’s ass in short order. The future is tiny motherboards and Systems on Chip (SoC’s) with permanent RAM and SSD.
Not much we can do except use desktops, which will probably hold out a little bit longer. But I think eventually building your own PC will be a thing of the past too. At least in the way we think about it.
I’m sure you’ll still be able to do non-functional appearance mods like blinking disco lights and glowing red demon skulls. But not anything that actually changes the way the computer works. I think we’ll all be beholder to the manufacturers for that eventually.
Interesting reply. the xx40 (removal of TrackPoint buttons) was a monumental mistake and I still have an apology email from Lenovo assuring me they would be re-introducing them with the xx50 series. At teh same time they removed all drivers for older ThinkPads, but due very vocal feedback from ThinkPad loyal owners, Lenovo established the EOL portal. But who can say if history won't repeat. I always thought the lack of ability to upgrade would be an issue, but actually it has not been so far for me. I tend to change my laptop every couple of years to maximise resale value, but from a hobbyist point of view, I enjoy tinkering with and upgrading my classic thinkpads. By the way, I am really enjoying the return to 16:10 ratio.
Sure they made some questionable changes over the almost 30 years but the DNA remains. As long as this is given all is fine.
I use older ones as well as newer. The newest is an L15 G3 AMD version
I love my old ThinkPads but the new ones are fantastic.
I use a T14 gen1 and it's perfect for what I'm doing. However I would be very happy to have a classic keyboard like on the T25, for both the layout and the retro feel.
I liked my T61. A 4:3 screen but very sharp. Tall, for proper website viewing, not the 16x9 squish that forces your head into a poor posture. Sure it's chunky, but they could have easily kept the form while cutting half the weight with modern build tech.
Even my T420 felt a lot cheaper, hollow yet bulky without a real reason for it. The optical drive eject mechanism was no longer a marvel of springs, just a plastic push tab. It just felt average.