Retro ThinkPad Survey 2: Displays, Keyboard, and More

Last week we launched the first in a series of surveys related to the “Retro ThinkPad” concept. Over 4000 people have weighed in with their opinions on everything from key shape to 7 vs. 6 row keyboards. Nearly all who participated also took the added time to write additional comments about why they want a retro-inspired ThinkPad. The impressive turnout is a real indicator of the passionate and interest in this idea. The first survey will continue to be available for those people who have not taken it. We want to get as much feedback as possible. Click here to launch survey 1 if you haven’t responded yet.

Here are some of the key insights from the first survey that I can share. The most often selected favorite ThinkPad question was of particular interest to me. The T60, X220, X300 and the X1 were all highly chosen. Preference for a 7 row keyboard was a strong winner. This is clear in both the survey responses and the comments. I’ve included a bar chart on this topic for everyone’s reference.

The preference data for keyboard illumination method was not as decisive. We’ve decided to ask the question again in the round 2 survey, without the “both” choice. I think this can help us more to clearly understand the true preference.

We added a revised question about keyboard illumination

Today we are launching survey 2. It’s focused on display size, aspect ratio, resolution, system status indicators as well as volume/mute controls. Aspect ratio is a tricky topic which is connected to display manufacturers, not just Lenovo development. Actually producing a ThinkPad with a 4:3 aspect ratio display is unlikely due to panel availability.  We’ve also added a keyboard question about possibly including internet forward and backward keys, since they were often mentioned in the comments. I can still remember when we first added them back in 2002. We ultimately created a simple method of disabling them for those people who didn’t like them.

You can take survey 2 by clicking here. Next week, we plan on sharing some more results and launching survey 3. Thanks again for sharing your preferences on this fascinating project!

David Hill

Note: If you have difficulties accessing the survey above, please click here.