New Laptop: The Small Things

Santa brought me a new laptop for Christmas, a Lenovo ThinkPad T400. I have traditionally been a Dell guy, having an investment in their power adapters, batteries, and docking stations. This time, though, I decided to go with a more conservative model, trading in some “style points” for better performance. I decided on the T400 because of great reviews and the excellent reputation of the ThinkPad line.

One interesting thing about dealing with Lenovo, the Chinese company who purchased the PC division of IBM in 2005, was the shipping log. The laptop actually originated from China (Shenzhen to be exact). The shipment went from China to Alaska, was held up in customs, then to Kentucky, to Illinois, and finally to my house. Luckily Lenovo shipped the laptop via expedited shipping so it didn’t take as long as it could have.

t400-keyboard3So far I love the laptop. It is very solid, and the feel of the keyboard is amazing. One “small thing” that I have noticed, however, is the placement of the left Ctrl button. On my old Dell laptop and on most desktop keyboards the Ctrl button is the leftmost buton on the keyboard, making it easy to locate when I need to use it for a shortcut (Ctrl+c for copy, Ctrl+t for new tab, etc.). On this laptop, however, the button on the bottom left is the Fn button. How entirely weird! I have to re-train my hand for my keyboard shortcuts, which is a small thing, but still annoying. Sometimes the smallest things are the most noticeable.

Update: Lenovo has finally listened to the community and began a discussion on their Design Matters Blog about this issue.