The ThinkPad 8 Happy Accident

ThinkPad 8 comfortably at home in the Tablet 2 Bluetooth Keyboard

Every once in a while something happens that we didn’t plan for and it turns out to be a positive. I like to refer to this as a “happy accident”. Bob Ross, host of the popular public television series "The Joy of Painting," was also a fan of this phenomenon. He was the master of turning a seemingly misguided slip of the brush into positives like a picturesque knot-hole on a gnarly old oak tree.  The end result was usually more interesting than what he had intended. For a listing of the top 25 happy accidents click here.

“There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”  Bob Ross

Our newly announced ThinkPad 8 tablet is a great product with accessories like the Quickshot smart cover and a forthcoming protective case. We did not, however, design an accessory keyboard specifically for the product. Keyboards have a pretty hefty development price tag and the predicted sales volumes were not so high. A Tablet 8 dedicated keyboard accessory just didn’t make the cut.

Portrait or landscape, the choice is yours

Interestingly enough, my design team discovered something along the lines of a happy accident for the new ThinkPad 8 tablet. It fits perfectly in the trough of the ThinkPad Tablet 2 Bluetooth Keyboard. You can support and pair the tablet in either a landscape or portrait orientation. Removing the smart cover is not required, just flip it around to the back. The accessory keyboard includes a collapsible support structure and an optical TrackPoint for convenient cursor movement. We also offer a nice sleeve we originally designed for the Tablet 2 and the keyboard accessory that will also accommodate the Tablet 8. It’s not as snug fitting for the Tablet 8, but it works quite well.

The sleeve neatly bundles the tablet and keyboard for convenient transport

Claiming this compatibility was planned for as part of our master design and user experience strategy would probably be the politically correct thing to do, but the reality is not quite so intellectual. There are few things better than a happy accident. I'm interested if others have any happy accidents they would like to share.

David Hill