Category Archives: ALL REVIEWS

IdeaCentre A520 Review

lenovo-ideacentre-a520

Recently I received a brand new IdeaCentre A520 from Lenovo. This is the first time i have used an IdeaCentre product, and this is second Idea product range that i have used and owned so far (the other one was an IdeaPad Yoga 13). After two weeks of ownership, i have to say that I am very impressed with the IdeaCentre A520, in terms of both design and quality of workmanship. If Lenovo ever decides to sell Idea range of products in Australia, I would definitely be a willing buyer of this product range.

Specification 

So prior to starting this review, i will give you a brief rundown on the specification of the IdeaCentre A520 All-in-One (AIO)  that i have in my possession.

-Intel Core i5-3230M (2.6 ghz and Turbo to 3.2 ghz)

-Intel HD 4000 Graphics

-6 gigs of DDR3 SODIMM RAM across two slots (4 gigs + 2 gigs) @ 1600 Mhz

-1 TB of 2.5 inch and 9.5 mm Seagate Momentus hdd (ST1000LM024) @ 5400 RPM

-FHD IPS LCD 10 points Multi-Touch 23 inch

-Integrated DVD-RW Drive

-Stereo Speakers with Dolby Home Theatre V4.

-Integrated 720p Webcam

-6 in 1 Multi-Card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, MS-Pro)

-Broadcom BGN WIFI Card

-Gigabit Ethernet

-2 x USB 2.0

-2 x USB 3.0

-Headphone jack

-Microphone jack

-HDMI in

-HDMI out

-Windows 8

In terms of preloaded software that came with the IdeaCentre A520, there wee quite a few. This is the list of the various softwares that are pre-installed in the IdeaCentre A520.

 

Internal Components 

If you have a keen eye for computer specification, you would notice that IdeaCentre A520 uses laptop specification parts. There are obviously some advantages and disadvantages relating to the use of laptop grade parts as compared to using the desktop grade parts.

The advantages are:

  • Low power consumption
  • Low heat output
  • Low noise output
  • Compact size

 

The disadvantages are:

  • Higher cost for parts
  • Lower performance
  • Harder to source parts (i.e. CPU)

 

Upgradeability

Personally, I am quite happy that Lenovo engineers have decided to use laptop parts for the IdeaCentre A520, since i have so much spare parts lying around from my ThinkPad Collections. In addition, i would like to thank Lenovo engineers for designing such an easy to upgrade system, rather than having everything sealed up to prevent user upgrading their systems. So kudos to Lenovo engineers for that!!

To access the internal components of IdeaCentre A520, you just have to remove the top case cover of the base, by removing the 7 screws as shown in the diagram below. By removing the top case cover of the base, you get to access the following essential components of the A520 system:

  • HDD (2.5 inch and 9.5 mm SATAIII)
  • RAM (up to 16 gigs of 1600 mhz SODIMM DDR3 across two slots)
  • mSATA
  • CPU (Sandy Bridge Mobile Processors)
  • Optical Drive
  • Fan/Heatsink
  • Planar board

 

The Lenovo IdeaCentre’s wireless card is located in the screen assembly, and it is not upgradeable.

So far I have managed to upgrade the IdeaCentre A520’s CPU, HDD, RAM and mSATA, which are very easy to do once you remove the top base aluminium cover.

 

Serviceability

The IdeaCentre A520 has a very large fan/heatsink, as the designers of the AIO are bundled by concerns for weight saving like they do when designing a laptop. Using a large fan/heatsink also means that the machine are less likely to get clogged with dusts and overheat as a result. However, if you use the system in a very dusty environment, there is a good chance that the fan will still get clogged with dusts, and as such regular cleaning is necessary. The IdeaCentre A520 offers a great feature in the heatsink/fan design, where you can remove the fan from the heatsink without having to remove the entire fan/heatsink unit. I really like this feature and would like to see it in ThinkPad machines in the near future.

 

Build Quality 

The build quality of the IdeaCentre A520 is where the machine really shine, and i can say with some confidence that it is ‘one of the best built and finished’ 23 inch AIO machines in the market. The base case and the support arm is made of aluminium, so is the internal frame of the screen. What i really love about the IdeaCentre A520 is the one piece glass screen finish, which is super lovely.

 

Functionality 

The IdeaCentre A520 has the following great features:

  • Adjustable screen that can lay flat on the table
  • Ten point touch screen
  • Both HDMI out and HDMI in, you can use the IdeaCentre A520 as a monitor for console gaming or as a TV.
  • In some models of IdeaCentre A520 you have an inbuilt TV tuner
  • Unlike most desktop machines, the A520 has many status LED lights on the bezel that tells you about wifi, hdd, bluetooth, power on, HDMI in, which are all very useful.

 

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

Using the ThinkPad Helix 45 watts adapter on ThinkPad X1 Carbon

ThinkPad Helix 45w Adapter

Lenovo have recently released the new ThinkPad Helix to the western markets, which comes with the new 45 watts power adapter, which has the same rectangular power connector that are used on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and X1 Carbon Touch. Some people are wondering whether they can use this 45 watts power adapter with their ThinkPad X1 Carbon/Carbon Touch, and thus not having to carry their 90 watts power adapter behemoth with their svelte X1 Carbon ultrabook, or fork out over $120 dollars for the 90 watts ultraslim travel adapter with the additional adapter head (another $20 dollars or so).

When Lenovo Australia finally released the 45 watts adapter on their website, i ordered one straight away (it costed around $40 AUD), and it was delivered to me within a week of ordering. The power adapter came in two cardboard boxes, which seems to be a waste of paper, since the outside box doesn’t really do anything. When i took the 45 watts power adapter out of the box, i noticed how small and light it feels in the hand. I took out my weighing scale out and measured the weight of the new 45 watts adapter versus the X1 Carbon’s old 90 watts power adapter. The 45 watts adapter with the AC cable weighs about 0.305 kg, which is about 0.185 kg lighter than the 90 watts adapter (0.490 kg).

ThinkPad 45 watts Helix adapter weight

ThinkPad Helix 45 watts adapter weight

Read more

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

Lenovo ThinkVision LT3053p Wide (30 inch AH-IPS LCD)

ThinkVision LT3053p Wide
Lenovo is about to release their first 30 inch ThinkVision LCD (LT3035p Wide) to the worldwide market. According to the information available on the web, it will have the following spec:

ThinkVision LT3053 Panel Specification

ThinkVision LT3053 Adjustment and Connectors

ThinkVision LT3053 HDMI Specification

ThinkVision LT3053 VGA specification

ThinkVision LT3053p specification detailed

So basically, the ThinkVision LT3053p Wide will use an AH-IPS LCD panel, which is similar to the LCD panel type fitted into the Dell U2713m. Also, like the Dell U2713hm LCD, the new ThinkVision LT3053p Wide will use a white LED backlight, rather than the more common Wide-CCFL which many 30 inches professional LCD uses in the past. The LED backlight allows the ThinkVision LT3053p to be more energy efficient, and allows it to last longer than the W-CCFL counterpart.

The LT3053p will have:

  • 99% Adobe RGB
  • 350 nits brightness
  • 2560×1600 resolution
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • 178 degrees viewing angle for horizontal and vertical
  • 6 ms G2G response time
  • 88 watts average power consumption, and maximum of 130 watts when the screen brightness is at 100%, and all the USB ports are drawing full power.
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB Always On ports (so you can use them even when the LCD is switched off).
  • 1 x VGA port
  • 1 x DVI-D Dual Link Port (HDCP compliant)
  • 1 x Displayport 1.2 (HDCP compliant)
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4 (HDCP compliant)
  • 1 x Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) port
  • VESA mounting hole
  • Kensington security lock compatible
  • It also supports Daisychain on the Displayport connection (so you can theoretically connect two LT3053p through one displayport 1.2). 
  • Shading hood

ThinkVision LT3053 connectors arrangement

There is also full range of tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjustment (expected in monitor of this category).

ThinkVision LT3053 Tilt Range

ThinkVision LT3053 Swivel

ThinkVision LT3053 height adjustment

ThinkVision LT3053 screen rotation

 

One of the most interesting feature to be included on the ThinkVision LT3053p is this MHL port, which is type of data/video/audio interface used on mobile devices like phones and tablets. It is basically similar to HDMI but it also supports charging of mobile devices like a USB port does. The use of MHL port on a 30 inch professional monitor is quite interesting, since the resolution of this port is limited to only FHD 1920 x 1080. But the inclusion of the MHL port in the ThinkVision monitor shows the direction in which Lenovo mobile business is heading towards, and they are serious about integrating their phone/tablet into the Lenovo product ecosystem. 

ThinkVision LT3053 MHL connector

ThinkVision LT3053 MHL specification

 

Finally, Lenovo have set the price of the LT3053p ThinkVision monitor in the $1600 USD region. 

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

Hail ThinkPad Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard!!

ThinkPad USB Keyboard with TrackPoint

When Lenovo released the ThinkPad USB keyboard with TrackPoint back in late 2009, lot of avid ThinkPadders requested Lenovo to release a wireless version of this keyboard, but non have been released. But Lenovo obviously have taken the requests of the ThinkPad users seriously, as they are about to release the new ThinkPad Bluetooth Keyboard with TrackPoint, which is modeled after the new ThinkPad Precision keyboard (more preciously same as the ThinkPad T430u keyboard). 

Lenovo ThinkPad Bluetooth wireless keyboard 2

 

Since the new ThinkPad Bluetooth Keyboard uses the ThinkPad T430u keyboard layout, it therefore has a very large spacebar unlike the regular Precision keyboards that are fitted to the normal T430s an T430.

ThinkPad T430u Keyboard comparison

 

Also, from the released picture of the ThinkPad Bluetooth Keyboard has an integrated keyboard backlight (noted from the blue icons on the spacebar).

P.S. Once again i have to thank IBMThink for telling me about this yet to be released Lenovo Product.

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Update: The new ThinkPad Bluetooth Keyboard will have an integrated battery that lasts up to 1 month, and can be charged using the micro usb cable (included with the keyboard). It will also have a NFC feature, which allows fast device pairing. Finally, there is no backlit feature mentioned in the release.

It will cost around $100 dollars. I have ordered one, so i am waiting for delivery at the end of April.

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

Bye Bye Barrel shaped power connector, hello Rectangular power connector?

I have recently noticed that Lenovo have increased their use of the new rectangular shaped power connector in the next series of ThinkPads that they are going to release this year (2013). If you haven’t seen the new power connector that i am talking about, have a look at the image below. For those whom do not know, the rectangular power connector first debuted in the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, for space saving reasons.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon connector

ThinkPad power barrel connector

ThinkPad X1 Carbon power adapter versus MagSafe connector

But it seems that Lenovo ThinkPad designers decided that the rectangular connector is suitable for ThinkPad of all sizes, and they have even put this type of connector in the new ThinkPad Edge E531, which have more than enough spaces to accommodate a barrel shaped connector (maybe it is used due to the OneLink Dock connector?). I truly hope that Lenovo won’t implement this type of connector for the sake of aesthetics in all future ThinkPad, whether they are big or small. There is a reason i don’t like the rectangular power connector that Lenovo uses, you have to get the connector in the right orientation in order to plug it into the jack, which is not a problem with the barrel shaped connector (other than 170 watts adapter of the ThinkPad W520/W530) of the older ThinkPads. If Lenovo is to use a rectangular shaped power connector, i wish they take some design hints from Apple Macbook laptops, which uses magnets to correctly orientate the connector to the jack.

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

Lenovo OneLink Dock review

ThinkPad OneLink Dock features (by Andreas Agotthelf)

Lenovo announced the availability of the OneLink docking solution on CES 2013 along with the new ThinkPad Edge E531, which is something different to the previous generations of dock that Lenovo have released to the consumer. The OneLink Dock takes the shape of a ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock, but offers the performance of the dedicated docking solution by connecting directly to the laptop’s PCIe circuitry (still need to be confirmed).

ThinkPad OneLink Dock concept

The ThinkPad OneLink Dock looks pretty much the same as the ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock that i have at home (at least from the front and top), as such it is very compact and takes up very little of the desk space. While, the exterior design of the OneLink Dock and the ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock is very similar, there are some crucial differences out in the functionality and ports. On the ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock, there are two DVI ports, three USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet Port, DC power supply port and a USB 3.0 B connector that connects to the laptop. While on the back of the OneLink Dock, there are only two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI and ThinkPad X1 Carbon type rectangular power jack.

Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock

ThinkPad OneLink Dock (Back)

The cable that connects the ThinkPad OneLink to the laptop is non-removable and is also very thick, which means it won’t easily frail overtime. The beauty of this OneLink dock is that it uses one single cable that connects the dock to the laptop, which supplies both the power and the data stream. The connector that connects the OneLink Dock to the ThinkPad Edge laptop has two separate connections, one for the power (new rectangular X1C connector) and another for the data.

ThinkPad OneLink Dock Connector

Personally, i think the ThinkPad OneLink Dock solution is a right step forward for Lenovo, however i think it would be even better if Lenovo would use Thunderbolt type docking connector for the future OneLink Dock devices.

ThinkPad OneLink Picture

ThinkPad OneLink Dock (Top) by Andreas Agotthelf

Once again i would like to thank Andreas Agotthelf for providing me with these close up pictures of the Lenovo OneLink Dock.

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

ThinkPad X230s or X231s explained (Brief Review)

ThinkPad X230s Photos

Some time ago i wrote article about Lenovo’s new ThinkPads that they will release in year 2013, more specifically i mentioned about the new ThinkPad X231s, X240 and X241s. Thanks to the effort of IBMThink whom have been providing the ThinkPad enthusiasts with oddles of useful information on a series of new ThinkPads that are about to be released. Recently, IBMThink released some information about the new ThinkPad X230s, which purportedly is a China only model.

For some reasons Lenovo have changed the name of the X231s to X230s (or maybe X231s is the name for the X230s sold to the global market?), but whatever the name is, the new X230s will polarise the opinions of the Lenovo Customers, some people will love it and praise Lenovo’s avantgarde styling, while others probably will say Lenovo has forgetten the ThinkPad roots and sold the ThinkPad soul for the price of an Apple pie. Personally, i think there are definite areas of that i like about the new X230s, and other parts of the new X230s that i really hate.

The part i love about the new X230s:

  • ULV CPU option
  • Larger TrackPad Surface Area
  • Screen bezel design
  • Removable HDD and option for 9 mm thick 2.5 inch hdd
  • Slightly lighter and thinner than a ThinkPad X230

 

The part i dislike about the new X230s:

  • No mention of removable RAM in the USER manual
  • Integrated battery
  • 1366×768 resolution
  • No dedicated Dock connectors
  • No ThinkLight
  • Only 2 USB ports
  • No ExpressCard Slot

ThinkPad X230s indicators light

ThinkPad X230s Key

 

The ThinkPad X230s keyboard follows those of the ThinkPad T431s, where Volume Control, Mic Mute, Speakers Mute and ThinkVantage Buttons are integrated into the Fn keys. Also, the ThinkPad X230s will have a buttonless trackpoint system like those of ThinkPad T431s and ThinkPad Helix (and the new ThinkPad Edge series). I hated this sort of key integration in my ThinkPad T430u, so i guess i won’t like it in the ThinkPad X230s either.

T431s buttonless trackpoint

The integrated battery system and new hinge style of the ThinkPad X230s have severely restricted the internal spaces available for the provision of USB ports, which meant that the new ThinkPad X230s have only two USB 3.0 ports, and the SIM card slot is also moved to the right side of the ThinkPad X230s chassis.

ThinkPad X230s right side port

Luckily, the ThinkPad X230s do have a dedicated Ethernet Gigabit port, while the VGA port is also provisioned on the ThinkPad X230s (in addition to the mini Displayport). I personally would have preferred that Lenovo removed the VGA port and put an extra USB port in its place.

ThinkPad X230s ports left side

 

The ThinkPad X230s will also have the new X1 Carbon’s type of power port, which seems to be the new standard power port design on the future ThinkPad, as the new thicker Edge ThinkPad also have it, which means that the new design will not be used only in ThinkPad with thickness restriction (i.e. X1 Carbon, X1 Helix, etc).

ThinkPad X1 Carbon power adapter versus MagSafe connector

 

It is somewhat dissappointing to see that the new ThinkPad X230s won’t have a dedicated dock connector to take advantage of the Series 3 dock, but rather it will have to rely on the USB 3.0 docking solutions. Also, i am not sure why Lenovo does not have a higher resolution LCD option on the new ThinkPads X230s, which other previous X2x0s series have.

ThinkPad X230s main features

ThinkPad x230s sim card removal and installation part 1

 

ThinkPad X230s main features

 

 

Also, the new ThinkPad X230s will have 2 removable harddrive options, one is the M2 (mSATA v2.0) and a 7/9 mm 2.5 inch hdd options, which is good news for people whom want to install their own hdd in their X230s. 

 

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

ThinkVision LT1423p Touch Brief Review

It has been a while since i have done a review (or semi0-review) of the Lenovo ThinkVision monitors, the last one i did was in May of 2012 (http://www.thinkscopes.com/lenovo-thinkvision-lt1421-part-1/). The LT1421 was a 14 inch HD portable USB LCD, which i particularly like due to the quality of construction and its design, but i was somewhat let down by the LT1421 lackluster 1366×720 resolution in a 14 inch LCD format. In addition, the TN panel used in the LT1421 was not very good in terms of viewing angle, gamut or contrast, since then i have been praying for a 1600×900 IPS version of this monitor to come to the market.

ThinkVision LT1423p Touch Mobile Monitor (by Andreas Agotthelf)

I think my prayer has been answered by Lenovo during the CES 2013, which showcased the new LT1423p Touch. So what is so great about this new portable monitor? Where do i begin? For starters the new portable LCD by Lenovo has AH-IPS (Advanced High performance – In Plane Switching), which is a variant of the IPS LCD technology released in 2011 by LG. The main advantages of IPS LCD over normal run of the mill TN LCD are (copied from wikipedia entry on IPS):

  • Consistent and accurate colour from all viewing angles.
  • No trailing ripples when the LCD is touched or pressure is applied (a problem of TN LCD), which is an important factor when used in Touch screen based device.
  • IPS panels can have higher data transmission, due to the use of copper wiring with low resistance values.
  • IPS display clearer images and have stable response time.

However, the IPS LCD also suffers from some disadvantages when compared to TN in the area of:

  • IPS has slower response time (which is why FPS gamers tend to use higher quality TN LCD to avoid the lag).
  • IPS panels uses more power than TN displays, as the IPS panel has a poorer light transmission, as such the panel requires stronger lighting. Also, backlit in IPS LCD whether CCFL or LED tend to degrade faster in an IPS LCD due to the higher output requirement over the working life.
  • Video footages could sometimes appear grainy.

In order to overcome the disadvantage of higher power demand, Lenovo choose to use the more expensive AH-IPS as opposed to the eIPS, which are regularly used in the ThinkPad X2xx and recent desktop ThinkVision LCD. The AH-IPS from LG offers the following advantages:

  • Improved Colour Accuracy
  • Increased Resolution and PPI
  • Greater light transmission for lower power consumption.

According to some articles the AH-IPS uses up to 15% less power than older IPS technologies at the same brightness level, which for a desktop monitor does not really matter, but in laptops or portable tablets/smartphones this is a very important part of power saving technology.

ThinkVision LT1423p specification (by Andreas Agotthelf)

Another probable reason why Lenovo choose the AH-IPS over the cheaper eIPS is due to the improved colour accuracy. So some people may ask why the improved colour accuracy is important, well it is important because Lenovo probably wants to market the device to customers working within the Creative industries (i.e. design and photograph). Apart from the use of 1600 x 900 13.3 inch AH-IPS LCD, Lenovo also made the LT1423p interactive through the use of Wacom pen and a resistive touch panel that allows up to 10 fingers touch, which make this new LCD even more enticing to those working in the Creative industries (and to gadget geeks like me).

ThinkVision LT1423p USB plug and wacom pen (by Andreas Agotthelf)

ThinkVision LT1423p Wacom pen (by Andreas Agotthelf)

According to some online reports, Lenovo will make two versions of the LT1423p available (according to the online reports), a USB 3.0 version and a USB 3.0 + wireless version (not sure about whether the Wireless version uses normal WiFi or WiDi). The price for the wired version is $349 USD and the Wireless capable version is $449 USD, which is almost ThinkPad Tablet 2 price ($679). Also i question the usefulness of the wireless version of the LT1423p, when the screen does not come with a battery pack, which would have made it a truly portable screen (and not have to plugged into a DC power source for use).

ThinkVision LT1423p kick stand (by Andreas Agotthelf)

ThinkVision LT1423p back (by Andreas Agotthelf)
So in summary the new LT1423p would have the following features (as announced on CES 2013).

  • 13.3 inch 1600 x 900 (HD+) AH-IPS LCD
  • Gorilla screen
  • 10 fingers touch
  • Wacom pen
  • USB 3.0
  • Possible Wifi/Widi version

Finally,the LT1423p have an uncanny resemblance towards the new ThinkPad Tablet 2, and makes me think that they should have made a wifi/usb display ‘input’ dongle that we can plug into the new ThinkPad Tablet 2, so that we could use the TPT2 as a wireless display like LT1423p but something with a battery to make it truly portable.

ThinkVision LT1423p

ThinkPad Tablet 2

Also, i would like to thank Andreas Agotthelf from Germany for providing me with the CES 2013 pictures of the ThinkVision LT1423p, as this review would not be possible without his detailed pictures and information.

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

ThinkPad T431s Ultrabook

ThinkPad T431s bottom

Thanks to IBMThink from Germany for telling me about the new ThinkPad T431s and the existence of a Chinese user manual that have detailed information this new ThinkPad Ultrabook.

The new T431s have the following specifications as listed in the User Manual.

  • Length = 331 mm (13.03 inch)
  • Width = 226 mm (8.9 inch)
  • Height/Thickness = 20.65 mm (0.81)
  • Maximum Heat Dissipation Rate of 45 Watts (154 BTU/hrs) or 65 Watts (222 BTU/hrs) depending on model (This suggests there could be a dedicated GPU options in the new T431s).

ThinkPad T431s Ports (left side)

  • 14 inch LCD with 1600 x 900 Resolution
  • Internal Li-Ion Battery (so no RapidCharge?)
  • 2.5 inch 7 mm or 9 mm HDD
  • M.2 (new mSATA standards) Slot
  • Single Slot DDR3 Low Voltage (1.35 V) SODIMM
  • Windows 7 or 8 option
  • WIFI and WWAN
  • Bluetooth modules integrated within the WIFI
  • Fingerprint Reader 
  • Smart Card Reader
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports (one always on) 
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • VGA
  • mini Displayport
  • ThinkPad X1 Carbon type rectangular power supply connector
  • Audio Combo port
  • SIM Card slot
  • Kensington lock slot
  • Dedicated Dock Connector

ThinkPad T431s port (right side)

The New ThinkPad T431s should have Ivy Bridge ULV and given its thickness of less than 21 mm, it would be classified as an Intel Ultrabook. So i am making a guess that the weight of the T431s would be similar to the T430u and T430s (or slightly less).

ThinkPad T431s Dock Compatibility

The ThinkPad T431s uses the same dock series as the post-T400s ThinkPads, so all your Series 3 docks are compatible (if you use a dock adapter, but not sure it is shipped standard with the new laptop).

ThinkPad T431s dock adapter

ThinkPad T431s main features

 

Obviously ThinkPad T431s will use totally different keyboard design, due to the removal of the physical trackpoint buttons, which is incompatible with the Precision keyboard used on the ThinkPad T430s. There are no dedicated sound and mic mute buttons like on the ThinkPad Precision keyboard, so everything is integrated into the Fn key row like on the ThinkPad T430u.

ThinkPad T431s LED indicators

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

ThinkPad Buttonless Trackpoint

ThinkPad Helix TrackPad

 

The New ThinkPad released in year 2013 will have buttonless trackpoint integrated into the trackpad, which enables the new ThinkPad to have a larger surface area for the TrackPad. Some people (including me) worries that this new design will ruin their favourite TrackPoint and dilute the ThinkPad brand. Personally i think the new TrackPoint will take some getting use to, as this design will be different and won’t be the same as the old TrackPoint. From my experiences with the buttonless TrackPad design on the X1 Carbon, the new TrackPoint button integration into the TrackPad will cause some confusion at first, especially the middle button (which i use as a scroll button). Since i have not tested the new TrackPoint buttons i will resolve my final comments till when i get the chance to test the new ThinkPad with this new TrackPoint/TrackPad.

Lenovo choose the new design for several reasons (my guesses):

  • Larger TrackPad Surface (which in the old ThinkPad was its achilles heel).
  • Better Aesethetics
  • Gives Lenovo better competitive edge for people whom wants a large TrackPad.

Previous generations of Dell Latitude also had TrackPoint type pointing device, but in the recent models the Trackpoint type pointing device got dropped in favour of having a larger TrackPad surface. Lenovo obviously could not drop the TrackPoint in its ThinkPad, therefore the new TrackPad/Trackpoint design allows Lenovo to have the best of both world.

T431s buttonless trackpoint

The new TrackPad should sense the approximate position of your finger on the TrackPad to determine which buttons of the TrackPoint you are trying to press, this is different to the old TrackPoint buttons which have dedicated physical dome switches under each physical trackpoint buttons. 

 

 

About Jin Li (lead_org)

I'm the Chief Editor of ThinkScopes.com, working from Melbourne Australia. I am currently a Microsoft MVP and a Lenovo Brand Evangelist/Advocate. My main interests are in technology, bioscience, marketing and obviously Lenovo products. If you have any questions, comments or just want a chat about any topics related to technology, feel free to tweet me (@lead_org), email me or leave a comment in the post.

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