I’m always amazed to find products with really useful features that seem to be totally unknown. I could give literally a hundred examples of this, but my most recent experience is with Lenovo’s UltraSlim Wireless Keyboard and Mouse.
The name implies two of the most useful things about the product: it is nice and thin, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space on my desk, and it is wireless, so no messy wires. But as I talked to customers and fellow Lenovo employees, that was pretty much the sum total of the knowledge about this product. Score one for naming – it is a long name, but communicative. But when I opened the box and began to use it, I found a lot more to say. First, setup literally couldn’t be easier unless it came with a service to open the box, install the batteries and plug the little stub in a USB slot for you. That is all it takes to get up and running – no selecting channels, pairing or any mystical ceremonies. Plug and go. Second, it also gives me a traveling solution. When I pack for the day or I’m going on a trip, the USB stub stays plugged in my ThinkPad, I pick up the mouse and toss it in my bag. The size is very similar to our Bluetooth mouse, so it is small enough to be portable without taking up too much space in my bag (if you read my blog about the ThinkPad In-Ear Headphones, you know this is something I struggle with). If you have a ThinkCentre or other desktop PC, you're mainly avoiding the inconvenient wires running all over the place, not to mention having to find a hole in the right spot of your desk if you store it underneath.
As someone who has ruined several keyboards with spills, my final discovery is easily my favorite, and it takes a page from our innovations with ThinkPad: It has four drain holes! Since learning of this feature, my teammate Brad and I have had a lot of fun testing it out:
So we can’t change the name to Lenovo UltraSlim Wireless Keyboard and Traveler Mouse with Really Easy Setup and Drain Holes, but hopefully we have dragged a few “secrets” into the light. [Disclaimer - even though it took 17 takes to shoot the video, and the same keyboard is being used to type this, Lenovo does not recommend pouring liquids on your keyboard]