Quality of thinkpad t500 keyboard ?
December 6, 2009 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Want to buy a lenovo thinkpad t500. Is the keyboard as good as on older model thinkpads? I am concerned that early problems for the t500 keyboard may not have been resolved.

Supposedly the early t500's had a problem with keyboard springiness, but then supposedly that problem was fixed. Surfing around, I see some relatively recent complaints.

Just wondering if anyone has direct expérience with the keyboard on a t500 purchased in the last few months.

This will be a replacement/upgrade for my current t60, which I like a lot; don't want to be disappointed with the kb on a new machine.

posted by Kevin S to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm writing on one right now. It's my work laptop; IT dept tells me it's the laptop they have the least issues with. Can you explain keyboard springiness?
posted by gillianr at 5:07 PM on December 6, 2009

I'm not sure what you mean by keyboard springiness but in my experience in corporate IT the T400 and the T500 are extremely well loved. Never had any complaints, even when I was working in desktop support.
posted by nokry56 at 5:34 PM on December 6, 2009

gillianr - apparently when you press down on a key on the left side of the keyboard, (like "a", "s", "tab", etc), the keyboard as a whole, or a significant part of it, flexes like a trampoline.

Lots of hits by googling: thinkpad keyboard flex.

Here is a discussion from a year ago: forum.notebookreview.com

Apparently Lenovo made some changes early on to fix this problem, but not clear if completely resolved. Maybe the remaining complaints are just random problems.

Good to hear that your machine is ok. Thanks.
posted by Kevin S at 5:37 PM on December 6, 2009

I'm typing this on a Thinkpad T400 (not the T500, I know) and have no issues with keyboard springiness. That said, I am a little disappointed that the plastic casing on the right side of the machine seems a little loose/flexible. I've heard that when they were made by IBM and not Lenovo that this was not an issue... that they were sturdier.

That said, no keyboard springiness here.
posted by midatlanticwanderer at 6:11 PM on December 6, 2009

If you're in any sort of a rush for your new T Series you might want to consider buying it from a reseller rather than from Lenovo direct. They've had some horrendous supply problems, at least in the consumer market.
I'm quite happy with the SL 400, keyboard and all, that I eventually received though.
posted by islander at 6:46 PM on December 6, 2009

I am typing this on one of the first T500s shipped (preordered and sent out as soon as the model launched). The keys are just as springy and tactile and delightful as were those of its immediate predecessor, a T42, and in fact feel about the same as the keys on my my circa-2000 T21.

They haven't really changed the Thinkpad keyboard much in years. The T500 has been equipped with a slightly larger, grippier red nipple (err, "isometric joystick") to enable the sort of confident, hyper-aggressive mouse-pointing demanded by the modern businessman, but that's about it.
posted by killdevil at 6:57 PM on December 6, 2009

I got my T500 just last week, and keyboard buckle has been my only real complaint: the area around the middle-left side of the top two letter rows ( E-R,D-F mostly) has noticeable give if you are heavy-handed. The key action is otherwise pretty nice, with good feedback before the key reaches the end of its travel. In fact, I get the impression my touch has adapted to this feedback during the short time I have been using it, to the point where I don't mash down on the keys so hard, or otherwise don't notice the buckling any more.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:23 PM on December 6, 2009

I bought my T500 in July, and have encountered no problems after four months of heavy business use and travel. I bought it only because of the recommendations here, and it is the perfect business laptop.
posted by raisingsand at 5:41 AM on December 7, 2009

I am a little disappointed that the plastic casing on the right side of the machine seems a little loose/flexible.

I experience this on my T500 (ordered from the Lenovo website this past July), as well as keyboard flex on the left side of the keyboard. It wouldn't bother me so much except I still have and use my old T42, which feels rock solid in comparison. Maybe I just got a lemon?
posted by puffin at 12:40 PM on December 7, 2009

Just got one two weeks ago and I love it. I had a Sony Vaio previous with the chiclet keys and it is such a relief to get back to the ThinkPad keyboard. There is some flex to the left side of the keyboard but under normal circumstances it is very negligible.
posted by michealmcc at 7:47 PM on December 7, 2009

So overall it looks like there is some flex, but it's not too bad, and not present or noticed on all examples of this machines. I'll probably go ahead with the t500 or maybe t400. Thanks everyone.
posted by Kevin S at 6:23 AM on December 8, 2009

« Older How do you get from here to there....?   |   Getting Past Embarassment Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.