Future ThinkPads may all have chiclet keys


— 9:57 AM on April 23, 2012

The days of the famous ThinkPad keyboard may be numbered. As PC World reports, pictures of a couple of upcoming ThinkPads—the X320 and W530—show "AccuType" chiclet keyboards in place of the traditional (and, some might say, iconic) keys.

What's the difference, you ask? Well, see below:

Top: Old ThinkPad keyboard. Bottom: New, AccuType keyboard. Source: Lenovo.

The AccuType keyboards have been around in ThinkPad Edge laptops as well as Lenovo's other, cheaper, non-ThinkPad laptops for a few years. PC World says the company touts the design as follows:

An AccuType keyboard features a modern look and feel. Its flatter keys with a slight inward slope create a comfortable crevice for your fingertips; this design allows a more fluid, spacious and comfortable typing experience when compared to standard keyset designs.

This isn't the first time Lenovo has messed with the traditional ThinkPad keyboard formula. Not long after the company took over IBM's PC business, ThinkPads suddenly grew Windows keys and double-height delete keys. I suppose this is just another step in the same direction.

But I can't say I'm terribly thrilled with it—or what Lenovo has been doing with the ThinkPad product line these past few years. Some of today's ThinkPads seem overly clunky, and they lack a certain tightness and elegance from the pre-Lenovo days. I used to be a proud ThinkPad T41 owner, but these days, I'm toting a MacBook. It seems sturdier and has a better finish than anything I've seen Lenovo put out recently.

   
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