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Lenovo Announces the IdeaPad

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the branching-away-from-ibms-old-market dept.

200

An anonymous reader writes "Marking the start of news releases from this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Lenovo has dropped a major announcement on consumers - the arrival of a new line of notebooks. The IdeaPads will be the consumer-friendly companion to the ThinkPads. The announcement covers three notebooks, the 17" Y710, the 15" Y510, and the 11", 2.4lb U110. The IdeaPads will bring a number of firsts to Lenovo's notebooks, including a SSD upgrade option, dual hard drives (Y710 only), and a 17" notebook."

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200 comments

Seems like it could be a winner. (1)

MikeTheCannibal (1162647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898270)

What is everyone's opinion on the Lenovo laptops anyway? I remember hating them when I was younger but have warmed up to them quite a bit in recent years. Any thoughts or comments on them? I can only imagine dual HD's being a winning situation here.

Criticism of Lenovo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898668)

I found several [google.com] opinions [google.com] of Lenovo. Some have pretty solid grounds, my personal favorite:

Even last month, Lenovo, which is traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, faced calls for a investigation over possible foreign spy threats from a State Department order for 16,000 desktop computers.

Re:Criticism of Lenovo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898716)

you didn't post your links right... they didn't redirect like usual. What a shame.

At Least they aren't changing Thinkpads. (4, Insightful)

Hawkeye05 (1056362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898312)

I don't know how i feel about this, I love Thinkpads and I'm glad there not changing them to make them more consumer friendly, yet i worry this will draw their attention away from the Thinkpads.

Re:At Least they aren't changing Thinkpads. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898962)

What I don't understand is how they consider the Thinkpad to be consumer unfriendly. Aren't Thinkpads universally hailed as the best quality non-apple laptop around?

Is "consumer friendly" just a code word for "cheap"?

Re:At Least they aren't changing Thinkpads. (1)

Tokimasa (1011677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899380)

I'm thinking that the ThinkPad (I love mine) will become the business machine while the IdeaPad will become the home laptop and boast the hardware that people look for at home (eg for gaming, multimedia, etc).

Re:At Least they aren't changing Thinkpads. (2, Insightful)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899722)

Drop the non-apple qualifier. ThinkPads are *the* best laptops. EOF.

Re:At Least they aren't changing Thinkpads. (1)

lytles (24756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899902)

Maybe they'll actually sell me this one :(

Ordered a t61 for my brother's gf for xmas (I've got an x60, and a t60 from work) and I've been chasing my tail trying to get them to actually ship it ever since. The charge was pending, but they didn't want to ship it to her unless I added her address to my card, but then they couldn't reprocess the request immediately. Then they sent another form letter saying it failed, without any details. Then they canceled the order. Then they said they'd call me to reinstate the order. And that's were I am now - what a pain. I understand and support their goal of making sure the purchase is legit, but they need a better means of closing the loop with the customer.

So yeah - great laptops, but not really consumer friendly.

Re:At Least they aren't changing Thinkpads. (4, Informative)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899024)

I sort of agree, with the addition that I really hope people don't outright *confuse* these with ThinkPads. Even to see a Slashdot post about them, mentioning them as some sort of adjunct to the ThinkPad line is kind of disturbing. This really doesn't even deserve a mention here, any more than a new line by Acer or ASUS would. I say that as a former ThinkPad owner.

ThinkPads were developed by IBM, produced for professionals and built like tanks. Lenovo has made a few changes, not all of them good, but basically that design philosophy is intact and a lot of the same people from IBM still work on ThinkPads. The "IdeaPad" line is a rebadge of Lenovo's *own* line (the 3000 series, etc.), which was developed wholly separately, by a different company and in a different country. If the previous lineup was anything to judge by, they're the same basic cheap junk laptops you might find from any second-tier Taiwanese or Chinese company. Adequate for most use, but not even in the same league as a ThinkPad. (I may be a former TP owner, but I'm also a *current* Acer owner, so I'm familiar with both ends of the spectrum here.)

It's not just a case of one being professional and the other consumer, which implies that the differences are mainly in the included software or security features. No, these laptops are built to completely different standards. They're as different as when IBM and Lenovo were making laptops separately. Would a new line from Lenovo have been compared to the ThinkPad in those days? Well, nothing much has changed, except that Lenovo's obviously trying to cash in on the ThinkPad name, and has managed to hoodwink sites like Slashdot into thinking the two lines are somehow related.

Re:At Least they aren't changing Thinkpads. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899218)

Dude, go to CompUSA and TOUCH one of these. It's a kewl looking laptop. Actually, I saw another model, but it LOOKS like the 15.4" model. It has the same orange, semi-circle volume control. It weighs nicely, feels nice, and looks REALLY nice. I'd have bought it instead of the Gateway (cough, cough, ACER P-6301), but it was around $900, or some $300 outside of my limit.

I hope people give the Lenovo brand a chance. They are a nice design change from many of the tired, old designs rolled out over the past 2 years by others.

Ordinary Motors! Common Oil!!! (-1, Offtopic)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898318)

An apocryphal story claims that when the Japanese started aping the American way of doing things and they use a thesaurus to name their companies. Thus they founded companies with names like Ordinary Motors and Common Oil!

So, now the Chinese are aping the Japanese method and renamed the thinkpad the ideapad?

Re:Ordinary Motors! Common Oil!!! (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898502)

I think the idea is "companion to". Plus, there are too many incidents of ThinkPad owners being arrested by the Thought Police.

Re:Ordinary Motors! Common Oil!!! (2, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899048)

So, now the Chinese are aping the Japanese method and renamed the thinkpad the ideapad?
No, they're simply ridding the Lenovo line of any trace of the old IBM culture and trademarks. Thirty years ago, IBM employees used to go to the nearest office supply cabinet, and pull out these little pocket notepads with a leatherette cover. On the leatherette cover, only the word "THINK" was printed, in gold foil lettering. It became so ingrained in the IBM employee culture that the name ThinkPad was an obvious choice for the laptop when it was released. Lenovo isn't IBM.

Re:Ordinary Motors! Common Oil!!! (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899920)

Actually, the ThinkPad was originally to be a pen computer, hence the ``Pad'' name (Think does come from the pocket notepads --- the ones I've seen were actually leather though) --- see the full story in _ThinkPad, A Different Shade of Blue: Building a Successful IBM Brand_ by Debra Dell and J. Gerry Purdy.

William

Yawn (4, Funny)

hellfire (86129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898342)

Cool fruity colors? Nope
Major hype at business conference before it's release? Nope
TV ad featuring two amusing characters bantering back and forth played at all hours of the day? Nope
CEO with reality distortion field? Nope

I'm bored... moving on.

Re:Yawn (3, Interesting)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898954)

You say that sarcastically, but there is a big grain of truth. As someone who used to sell laptops, the market has almost no differentiation. Every three months, HP, Dell, Toshiba and the rest release new models in step. You try explaining to someone the difference between three notebooks that all have the same 15" screen, processor, hard drive and RAM. If this thing doesn't sell itself, then no one else will go to the trouble.

Re:Yawn (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899976)

Every three months, HP, Dell, Toshiba and the rest release new models in step. You try explaining to someone the difference between three notebooks that all have the same 15" screen, processor, hard drive and RAM.

Okay, I'll have a go. HP, Dell, Toshiba: I can't tell you if one is more reliable than the others, but I can tell you if your Dell or HP has an issue and needs service, you will be S.O.L. Those are two of the worst companies to deal with, in terms of customer service. If you buy a laptop from either, assume there is no warranty and any repairs will be cash out of pocket. You're better off just spending the money than trying to get something fixed by HP or Dell.

So if those are your only choices, go with the Toshiba.

Re:Yawn (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21900092)

It's not just the lack of personality, it's the utter lack of distinction that makes these laptops a complete non-announcement.

Lets call it an "Unnouncement"

Yes, we're going to be doing the same thing as everyone else.
Yes, it will cost about the same amount.
No, we don't really do anything different.

It's a laptop. Huzzah.

face recognition (3, Interesting)

cynicsreport (1125235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898368)

The IdeaPads have a new feature: Face Recognition. The idea is that the user can sit in front of the computer and log into Windows Vista without entering the password.
This raises the question: could one just hold up a photograph of the user to log in?

Re:face recognition (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898666)

At least it's not a retinal scan! [google.com]

Re:face recognition (5, Funny)

yabun (1095653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899042)

Or a rectal scan.

Re:face recognition (4, Insightful)

Jeremy.DeGroot (878927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898678)

Some recent ThinkPads have face recognition as well. I recently purchased this one [tigerdirect.com] , and it has this feature. For those of you that are interested, it recognizes me with or without glasses, right after waking up and right before stepping out for New Years' Eve. We tried fooling it with a 4x6 photo held close to the web cam, and it didn't work. YMMV.

Re:face recognition (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898802)

Try it with a camcorder w/ built-in LCD panel and I suspect you'll get different results. Use a bigger screen that can show your face at actual life size, and it is almost certain. Most decent face recognition systems can detect a picture because the perspective never changes, but unless it has more than one camera, it will likely be easily fooled by a video clip....

Re:face recognition (1)

Hawkeye05 (1056362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899384)

Sorry to tell ya, but that isnt a Thinkpad, not even in the same ballpark as one.

If you're sitting in front of Vista... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898714)

it's trained to look for nervous ticks and other suspicious behavior and act accordingly.

But if it's Vista... (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898984)

It would be better if it detected winces of pain and vomiting motions...

Re:But if it's Vista... (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899354)

Your computer doesn't need to go that far to find out you tried to watch 2g1c*

*the less you know, the better

Re:face recognition (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898726)

I don't like the idea of the computer monitor that can not only see you, but RECOGNIZE you! Say goodbye to any real anonymity when you computer monitor can see you...and what you're doing. I could see that as a sticky area for privacy advocates..

Also I don't want to lose the joke of "watching someone though their monitor"...

Re:face recognition (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898814)

MacBooks have had built-in cameras aimed at your face for a while. Not to mention people have been hooking up webcams to their desktops for at least a decade. The "recognition" part is just software.

Re:face recognition (1)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898916)

That or wear the face of the owner... Mayan style!!

Re:face recognition (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899076)

That or wear the face of the owner...
Hannibal, is that you?

Re:face recognition.. Dual Hard Drive, GEEKS! (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899456)

"Lenovo's Secondary Hard Drive solution gives you two, totally separate hard drives, one of which can be hot-swapped and used in other systems (via slot or cable)."

How many geeks WOULDN'T like to have TWO internal HDDs? When I laid eyes upon the Gateway P-6301, with a 17" LCD, at $699 (or $649?), all other laptops with S-Vid out, and several other ports I hardly use anyway, were no longer contenders. However, I wish the drive caddies SLID out instead of requiring me to flip over the l/t. However, at least the bay cover snaps and screws on, meaning the screws aren't really needed in my case. But, I suppose Dell has a patent on the slide-out caddies in the modular bays...

Re:face recognition (2, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899632)

If this were made in the US instead of China, we could have some real DHS paranoid ramblings...

Imagine a secret partition on the hard drive that holds (profiled) characteristics of terrorists faces. So the laptop keeps track of whoever is using it, checks it against its secret database, and next time it's connected to the internet, files a report with DHS.

Consumer friendly?? (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898372)

From the summary:

The IdeaPads will be the consumer-friendly companion to the ThinkPads.

WTF wasn't consumer friendly about the ThinkPad? Granted, I've been a big ThinkPad fan for some time myself, but really, what are they talking about? How do you make a notebook more consumer-friendly? For that matter, how could a notebook not be consumer friendly and sell?

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898798)

WTF wasn't consumer friendly about the ThinkPad? Granted, I've been a big ThinkPad fan for some time myself, but really, what are they talking about?
For some writers describing computers and software, the word "consumer" has become a synonym for "home user." The ThinkPad is a "business" notebook, therefore it's not a "consumer" notebook. I think it's a lousy word to describe home-oriented computer products.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (4, Insightful)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898862)

"Consumer friendly" is business-speak for "cheap crap"

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899736)

Not [wikipedia.org] always. [wikipedia.org]

(Note that the first link skips you past the clamshell ones. :-) The white ones, though, were kick-ass and a great value.)

To Lenovo I say: welcome to 2001!

Also (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899938)

Biz speak for "You have a Thinkpad, buy one of these too." IOW, just because you already have a laptop does not let you off the hook to buy one of these too.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21900128)

I think what you're missing here is the simple fact that a high price is, by definition, "consumer-unfriendly".

Coupled with "you get what you pay for", it comes out as what you said.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898870)

They're probably going to be cheaper and lower quality with more flashy and useless bells and whistles.

They'll also probably abandon the classic "black brick" Thinkpad styling.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898940)

I think in this case "consumer friendly" means mass-marketability. With the thinkpad line, having bright colors or high quality speakers was always a non-option. Don't get me wrong, I'm personally quite fond of the thinkpad's "business black" but (from experience) most consumers want a laptop that 'looks cute' more so than one thats functionally superior (not an attempt to bash apple). Its been much to my dismay that at least two friends of mine opted for 14" Dells over similarly priced and spec'd T-series (I have access to employee pricing) because they liked being able to put colored shells on it.
 
I only hope that the ideapad and thinkpad support lines stay different. I've had nothing but professional and rapid support from thinkpad service (in Atlanta GA), to some degree because I think they're used to mostly dealing with business people and students. I've never had a support call in which the problem was obviously (even to me) hardware related last longer than 5 minutes- always resulting in a depot repair box being overnighted to me. I've never had a depot repair last longer than a day- even with a mobo replacement, they overnighted me the machine back. If their customer base becomes more "consumerized" I'm afraid whomever's responsible for the current state of their customer service won't be able to keep justifying not reducing the quality of their support in favor of maintaining a higher profit margin.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898942)

The main objections I've run into with Thinkpads from non-professional users are:
1. Small screens, from people who don't understand why a notebook needs to be portable.
2. Poor multimedia options, from people who expect a notebook to play Doom 3 in 1080p with surroundsound on a notebook.
3. High price, which is a complaint I might see as legitimate (though, I think that the support Lenovo provides more than justifies the added cost).

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21900014)

3. High price, which is a complaint I might see as legitimate (though, I think that the support Lenovo provides more than justifies the added cost).
Got a T60, back when that was a decent machine, for 1200 bucks plus some extra for more RAM. In my experience, the "mass market" ThinkPads (T-series) etc. are priced competitively with MacBooks, or maybe it's the other way around. Get into the ultra portables and you're shelling out big bucks real quick. If you work the dell discount machine, you could definitely get a lower price on similar specs. Go lower on the brand name quality scale and you can save yourself a few hundred, but nothing spectacularly cheaper.

Mostly, however, the cheaper notebooks are going to be much heavier, with bigger screens, better sound, reduced battery life. You certainly are getting, ummm, more for your money. If it's your only machine, though, this is the way to go. Perfect for students. I don't blame Lenovo for trying to tap that market, however competition is stiff.

TrackPoint FTW.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899014)

ThinkPad == $$$$. IdeaPad == $$$.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

gauauu (649169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899138)

Maybe they add a windows key ;-)

(I haven't used later thinkpads, so maybe they do have them, but all the ones I used had the windows keys mysteriously missing)

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899792)

Maybe they add a windows key

That could actually be valid. My ThinkPad R32 came with XP Pro, and did not have a windows key. I am typing this reply on a new touchpoint keyboard from IBM (one of the last made with the IBM logo on it), and it mysteriously has no windows key. Equally interesting is that IBM actually gives credit on the backside of said keyboard to Microsoft for the Windows logo, even though said logo appears nowhere on the keyboard itself.

Not that I miss not having one anyways...

And I see that even the newest "ThinkPad Keyboard" [lenovo.com] from IBM seems to be missing the windows key.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21900048)

Ummm the T60 line has a Windows key and a "Windows Vista Ready" logo.

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899344)

601
603

Re:Consumer friendly?? (4, Funny)

emurphy42 (631808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899362)

WTF wasn't consumer friendly about the ThinkPad?
Its aura of "I could bludgeon you and your girly-man laptop to death with this thing, if I suddenly felt the need to do so".

Re:Consumer friendly?? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899628)

Its aura of "I could bludgeon you and your girly-man laptop to death with this thing, if I suddenly felt the need to do so".

If I had mod points (and wasn't already participating in this discussion) I would have given that comment +1 funny. I actually laughed out loud at the thought of someone being bludgeoned to death with a ThinkPad.

Somehow, I doubt that anyone could pull that off with my R32, however. Which, btw, I always figured was their consumer-friendly model, since the R series was the budget line when I bought it.

Bizarre... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898374)

consumer-friendly companion to the ThinkPads
What's so consumer-unfriendly about thinkpads?

Well, judging from the specs of the IdeaPads, evidently high resolution and a trackpoint must be consumer-unfriendly, and low res and touchpad only are consumer friendly....

I think I'll stick with the ThinkPad line, thanks anyway...

I see that historically the non-thinkpad Lenovo's are cheaper, and I guess that's what they mean, but I don't see anything to distinguish them from every other cheaper laptop in existence.

Re:Bizarre... (1)

michaelepley (239861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898478)

They can take my ThinkPad and TrackPoint when they pry them from my cold dead fingers!

Re:Bizarre... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898734)

What's so consumer-unfriendly about thinkpads?
Price. But I find thinkpads worth the extra clams.

mod parent up... (1)

savuporo (658486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898900)

i was thinking the exact same thing. my first thought was, oops, does that make my both thinkpads now turn unfriendly on me ? we have been getting along so nicely so far, running various opsyses without any problems, travelling around and holding up nicely, and now, suddenly unfriendly ? wtf.

Thats the common problem with overinflated product announcements, practically any hyperbole they apply will make previous products from the same company look silly.

But does it run Linux? (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898434)

Not a troll... since the EEE showed the way, when I see a nice ultraportable I have to ask whether it will run a slim, fast, and low-cost Linux, or whether I'll be forced to install Windows. Having killed my last Windows box a couple of years back, having a choice of operating systems (RedHat, Ubuntu, Kubuntu,... :-) is now my number 1 criteria when buying a portable.

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

outZider (165286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898948)

I think Linux needs better power management before I can consider it for an ultra portable. Ubuntu Gutsy ran great on my Vaio TZ, except for the fact that my battery life went from 6 hours to 3, even after shutting off the cd drive, lowering lcd brightness, and turning on SpeedStep.

So close, but so far away. Even hackintosh did better with power.

Re:But does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899296)

That's the point, isn't it? Without vendor support, Linux can't properly manage the laptop, and so is going to run crippled. It's a driver issue, not a specific lack of power management in Linux.

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899280)

I know IBM used to certify some of their thinkpad models to be compatible with Suse or RHEL, I'm not sure if Lenovo has / will continue this.

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899334)

Last I heard, it was impossible to buy a ThinkPad without Vista pre-installed. I'm indeed concerned about being able to run Linux (it tends to be flexible enough, and distros nowadays are getting much better at hardware support). However, I utterly refuse to pay for a computer without being given a choice as to what software I am paying for.

Considering this, now that I think about it, I am getting more and more worried about this running Linux at all, like you. Wasn't Microsoft hardware device-signing the Next Big Step?

Implications on mac world (1)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898484)

Why would they pre-announce an ultraportable tiny laptop with flash drive and no optical less than 2 weeks from mac world? I bet a little monkey king whispered in their ear that Apple is releasing something like this and they don't want to be a me-too. In any case we'll be seeing lots of these small screen + keyboard + flash laptops coming out soon. If not I'm going to regret not getting an eee already.

Re:Implications on mac world (1)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898612)

Why would they pre-announce an ultraportable tiny laptop with flash drive and no optical less than 2 weeks from mac world?
Probably because CES is less than 2 weeks before mac world, and this is what companies tend to do at CES?

"Man, why would they eat a lot at Thanksgiving less than a month before Christmas? I bet a little monkey whispered in their ear that Christmas was going to have a big ham, and they don't want to be a me-too, so they announced a big turkey a month earlier." :)

Re:Implications on mac world (1)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898854)

Good point. But check out this Apple Patent [uspto.gov] .

It looks to me like Apple is coming out with the ultimate: a super-portable laptop that you slide into the side of a monitor and it becomes your main computer with your optical drive, full keyboard, mouse, and hard drive storing your large data (like most of your tunes and videos and stuff). And you access this data wirelessly when you remove it (to read web pages on the couch or whatever). You can probably even slide it into anybody's 'mac display' and get your files over the internet.

Re:Implications on mac world (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899348)

So...a docking station. Like you could get from Dell or IBM for years.

God, Steve is SUCH an innovator!

Re:Implications on mac world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899804)

Docking stations haven't in the past let you access your stuff wirelessly or over the internet from a 1 kg tablet. Sometimes it's that last 1% that turns a crappy annoying idea like Dell/IDM docking stations into the coolest thing ever.

Kind of like when Apple came out with the iPod when there were already lots of mp3 players. Or the iPhone in a sea of existing phones. Apple just did it so much better than anybody else.

Please no (4, Interesting)

slaker (53818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898518)

I'd rather they give the toy computers a different name. I know they're trying to draw an association with the Cadillac of laptops, but I'm essentially certain that Ideapads are going to be missing all the things that make Thinkpads genuinely good, like titanium frames and godly support. You can look at a Thinkpad and see a serious and well constructed computer; that's not true with other business notebooks and frankly I'd rather not have to explain why an Ideapad is different from a Thinkpad, any more than I want to explain why the POS Inspiron isn't the same thing as a Latitude.

My customers love their Thinkpads, but I'm going to hate having to tell them that the Lenovos with 17" screens and bright colors on the chassis just aren't the same as the decent ones. Because I know I'll have customers (having years of experience that says "Thinkpad = good laptop") that won't understand the difference until it's too late.

Re:Please no (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898566)

Actually I meant "Vostro" and not "Inspiron" in that last post. They're the same shitty laptops, but Dell markets one for business users and the other for people who don't know any better.

No Trackpoint. (4, Insightful)

MythMoth (73648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898552)

For me, and other trackpoint addicts,

No trackpoint = no sale.

Re:No Trackpoint. (1)

Hawkeye05 (1056362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898622)

And it should be criminal when ther companies put it in there laptops :cough: DELL :cough:

Re:No Trackpoint. (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898946)

For me, and other trackpoint addicts
What, all five of you? Just kidding... :-)

It's a no to the Ideapad from me as well, though - but for a different reason: the 15 inch one has the 1280x800 resolution my 4 year old laptop has - and that is one thing I really want to upgrade with my next purchase. And no, I don't want a 17 inch laptop, thanks very much.

Re:No Trackpoint. (2, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899206)

I used to not enjoy the trackpoint at all, and I scoffed at trackpoint users. However I quickly realized the benefit of having, and have since grown to love it on my new Lenovo X61 Tabletpc. To all the haters that I was once a part of, we don't care about your hate, we have our nub to rub.

Slasvertisement? (0, Offtopic)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898574)

First slashvertisement for the new year I see. Cool

Nope (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898736)

Beaten to it by some projector [slashdot.org] (and maybe that memory foam stuff as well - I didn't read that one, so I'm not sure whether it's about a product).

Next Up: FreedomPad (4, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898578)

Freedom! In a box! What a wonderful company!

Specs (2, Informative)

dankasfuk (885483) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898624)

The specs seem to be a little behind the times (at least for the 15" model). Considering it's being touted as a multimedia notebook, I would at least expect a higher resolution (ie 1440x900) and probably a discrete video option.

Where's the Cheap Webpads? (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898654)

We don't need all these dinkier notebooks or "tablet PCs". Because they're expensive and suck a lot of power (therefore are heavy and don't last long between charges). These portable PCs are too big, and mobile phones are too small.

What we need are lightweight little touchtablets running VNC. That weigh a handful of ounce, unfold from 8" to 17", last a week on a charge, and cost under $100. All they have to do is display a remote tappable desktop, with mutable little speakers, maybe bluetooth headphones/keyboards for occasional use. Live on WiFi.

There's a thousand models of the "mobile desktop relacement". What we need is little devices that are just little controllers for all the media and info consumption we do when we're away from workstations, and want to do more than talk or look up some factoid on a phone. If they were cheap enough, people would buy a bunch to leave all over the place where we might just pick them up.

Re:Where's the Cheap Webpads? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899002)

I'm hoping we'll see something come out of the move to commercialize the tech in the XO laptop. That thing is already very close to what I want: high DPI screen, wifi, USB, low power consumption, extremely low power display-only mode for reading, all flash memory. Ditch the keyboard, maybe add touch screen if it can be done cheap. Otherwise, the swivel screen allows you to flip between a tablet-looking mode to a keyboard mode easily. (Probably makes the device more bulky, so dropping it for touch screen would be nice)

Re:Where's the Cheap Webpads? (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899240)

Form factor becomes an issue with what you're talking about. I can do all the stuff with the $500 smartphone (HTC 6800 in my case) I have clipped to my belt, but for anything beyond very simple information retrieval, it's too small to be useful. I have multiple input options including touch on screen and hard keyboard, but they're all a pain in the ass.

Were my phone any larger, it would wind up in the same category as my notebook, which is to say, too much of a hassle to carry with me all the time, everywhere I go.

Re:Where's the Cheap Webpads? (1)

Rgb465 (325668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899200)

http://www.tatungwebpad.com/ [tatungwebpad.com]

I messed around with a few of those back in '05, and it looks like the specs have not changed much since then. The processor, an ~800mhz transmeta chip, is *far* too slow to be useful (it downclocks itself significantly at the first sign of stress -- stress like, say, Windows loading...), the case is cheap and flimsy, and the battery life sucks (an hour, IIRC).

I was not privy to the price, but I'm sure they were fairly inexpensive, otherwise the project lead would not have considered them.

Re:Where's the Cheap Webpads? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899996)

It weighs 1.5Kg, has about 1h battery life, and its website dates from 2002 - so I doubt it's available at any price.

That's not exactly what I'm talking about.

Re:Where's the Cheap Webpads? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899774)

Who here immediately thought of the home computer movement decimating the market for terminal servers and cried?

I agree there's a market for such a device, but it isn't as ubiquitous as you think. When I think of the classes of users that use mobile devices (whether laptops, phones, PDAs, iPod Touch, whatever), I see a few basic groups (which are overlapping):

  1. People who like to carry their work home at the end of the day (and maybe work at home)

    This group would do fine with a low-end laptop, but most would not do well with what you are describing because they would not be able to achieve nearly the same speed of access at home using VNC over a VPN over a DSL or cable connection.... VNC is slow enough to be uncomfortable with a dedicated 802.11b connection, and even that is a lot faster than most home internet connections.

  2. People who need a way to take notes in meetings/classes

    Because they could reasonably have a high-speed network connection to the server, this group would do fine with either a laptop or a controller connecting to a computer in his/her dorm room or office, assuming the campus/workplace has sufficient wireless in all classrooms. Teachers, however, would hate this. :-D

  3. People who need to be highly mobile within their work area (e.g. nurses/doctors in hospitals)

    This group would ideally have a controller as you describe.

  4. People who like to work around the house but don't want to be tethered to a desk

    This group would be able to use either a laptop or a controller as you describe, but might quickly tire of the limited input functionality when trying to use such a device for general-purpose computing.

  5. People who like to be able to work anywhere (from coffee shops, while flying in an airplane, from a hotel room, etc.)

    This group of people can't practically use a controller, as access to a network can't be guaranteed with sufficient performance or reliability.

Because these groups have different needs and because most people aren't limited to just doing #2 and #3 in their mobile use, the only people likely to consider a controller as you describe are the affluent who have money to buy these devices in addition to their laptops. For most people, though, they will need to choose one or the other---a laptop or a controller---and they will bite the bullet and pay more for the laptop because it does what they need and the controller doesn't. For most people, mobile computing needs local storage and CPU power right now, and will continue to need it outside of specialized uses until such time as cellular network bandwidth increases by at least an order of magnitude or the number of Wi-Fi hotspots increases by three or four orders of magnitude, whichever comes first.

I'm not saying it won't sell---I'd buy a 12" or so touchscreen tablet in a heartbeat for touch-sensitive faders and transport controls in my home studio---but don't expect it to be some huge revolution in computing any more than the network computer that Steve turned into the iMac would have been back in the late 90s, and don't even think about doing any of that with a protocol like VNC. Use a local graphics subsystem that supports remote drawing commands in a lightweight fashion like X11 or DisplayPostScript, or better yet, separate the UI and the back-end processing entirely and run the UI entirely on the portable device, and for simple stuff like word processors, run the app entirely on the device and use the network only for storage (and provide local storage for when, not if, the network goes down).

The thing is, fundamentally, you're constrained by the speed of signal propagation (generally in copper), and latency of a keystroke or a UI action needs to be in single-digit milliseconds to not be annoying, which puts the upper bounds for even the most efficient communication protocol (with no processing overhead at either end and a straight cable from point A to point B with no routers in-between) at about 1200 miles of copper (about the distance from Cincinnati, Ohio to Roswell, New Mexico), or 1800 miles by laser in a vacuum (roughly the distance from Chicago, Illinois to Sacramento, California). Realistically, though, I'm at almost 10 milliseconds latency between my workplace and my business-grade 3Mb/768kb DSL connection five miles from here, and one town away in the other direction, Google ping times are at almost 30 milliseconds, which would be very distracting.

Re:Where's the Cheap Webpads? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899956)

The Palm Pilot in fact revolutionized the PC business, and fueled the smartphone revolution, by doing exactly what I described, but without networking (especially not wireless) - just a decade ago.

I'm not talking about a standalone device. Not one that would primarily network farther than somewhere in the same building. I'm talking about dinky little interactive displays that are network peripherals for a W/LAN. I agree that symbolic graphics transmission (X, display postscript) would be better, but bitmaps can accommodate video. With 100Mbps WiFi, that's no problem, so the onboard processing (for power/weight) is better dedicated to solely GUI. Plus the inherent tiered architecture would be a lot easier for regular people to understand.

I think this is the niche that is actually waiting to happen the way the tablet makers tried to say theirs was 5-7 years ago. But much bigger, especially now that there's so many LANs deployed now.

Re:Where's the Cheap Webpads? (0, Offtopic)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21900094)

What we need are lightweight little touchtablets running VNC. That weigh a handful of ounce, unfold from 8" to 17", last a week on a charge, and cost under $100. All they have to do is display a remote tappable desktop, with mutable little speakers, maybe bluetooth headphones/keyboards for occasional use.

Screw that, I want a pony.

Surround sound?! (2, Insightful)

DirkGently (32794) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898694)

WTF are 4 speakers and a subwoofer doing in a laptop?

Does the ThinkPad line come with fewer gimmicks?

Re:Surround sound?! (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21900136)

WTF are 4 speakers and a subwoofer doing in a laptop?

Playing games that bring a little more excitement to the genre than Tuxracer.

Sounds familiar (5, Funny)

NewmanKU (948325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898772)

Is it just me or does the IdeaPad remind you of the Jump To Conclusions Mat?

Another knock off (1)

haleq (1098845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898782)

First the 3000 series and now this? When i first saw this new range of laptops from IBM/Lenovo, was excited about seeing a possible compromise between the thinkpads price and quality. I just stopped looking when i saw it had no trackpoint, and i can also assume that the build quality will be nothing on the thinkpad. For me, its just another cheap copy of the original and great.

Re:Another knock off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899864)

I just stopped looking when i saw it had no trackpoint, and i can also assume that the build quality will be nothing on the thinkpad. For me, its just another cheap copy of the original and great.

Please tell me how can you judge the quality solely on the lack of a TrackPoint? I've used a Lenovo 3000 N100 as my main machine for a year now, and it's built noticeably sturdier than my ThinkPad R50e. In fact, I sometimes worry about breaking my R50e, but I can toss my 3000 around and not break a sweat. Don't badmouth a product in public unless you've tried it.

Re:Another knock off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899912)

Unfortunately, Thinkpads are no longer Thinkpads as well. My old R31 has been going strong for 5 years without a single issue. I purchased two brand new T series laptops within the last few months and both had a serious hardware issue within the first couple days. Needless to say both laptops were returned for a full refund.

I been browsing used Thinkpads on eBay recently. That's the only way to get a reliable one as far as I can tell.

At last! (3, Funny)

ThanatosMinor (1046978) | more than 6 years ago | (#21898842)

A portable tool that I can use to ideate while I'm on the road. I hope it has wi-fi enabled buzzword bingo built in.

Better name (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898904)

I think a good nickname for this would be the iPad.

RON PAUL 2008! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21898966)

RON PAUL 2008!
RON PAUL 2008!
RON PAUL 2008!
RON PAUL 2008!
RON PAUL 2008!
RON PAUL 2008!

---------------
Lameness filter encountered.
Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.

Rejected names (3, Funny)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899006)

Faced with the task of coming up with a consistent naming scheme, the following ideas were rejected but could appear as future products:

  • PonderPad
  • EnvisagePad
  • CogitatePad
  • WeighInPad
  • ConsiderPad
  • ContemplatePad
  • DeliberatePad
  • MeditatePad
  • RuminatePad
  • MusePad
  • GrokPad
  • BroodPad
  • MullItOverPad

Additional rejected names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21899802)

You forgot the Orgazmapad, or in the case of Slashdot readers, the Masterpad.

Here comes the iPad! (1)

saveonweb (939227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899072)

This seems same components under the hood with a new name....iPad. There seems to be no innovation. Angled monitor seems to be a good design improvement but no trackpoint, that's not good. As a consumer, I would expect a better resolution and a longer battery life and lighter and less expensive. This looks like ThinkPad is the winner again. It is next to impossible to improve perfection.

Re:Here comes the iPad! (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899342)

I like my ThinkPad a lot, but "perfect"? Not quite. I had to send it in to get the system board replaced after two years of heavy use. They did a great job of turning it around, btw. Also, the texture of the lid could be improved. It gets marred over time. The most used keys (e.g. the spacebar) get shiny over time too, so when you use the built-in light (a nice feature) over the screen, there's some glare. Probably there is nothing better, but nothing is perfect.

Oh wow! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899772)

Someone is releasing a new product?! A new laptop!? WOW THIS IS NEWS

Anyone else notice the only "0-day" news slashdot gets are product releases? Any other tech news makes it here, maybe 2 days after Bill O'Reilly discusses it on the fox channel. Truly sad.

my dream thinkpad (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21899946)

What I want from life is smaller ThinkPad-grade models: A 5" ThinkPad-grade UMPC and a 8-9" ThinkPad would be exactly what I want as a road warrior.

This is nothing new (2, Interesting)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21900006)

I've had two ThinkPads: a T22 and an X31. Both were decent workhorses but suffered from faulty operating systems (modified OEM versions of Win 98 SE and Win 2000, respectively, remedied by me switching to Debian for fun, Win XP for boring stuff...) and they didn't even ship with restore CDs (they used a dedicated restore partition with a system image on it). The right hinge on the T22 broke after a couple of years of normal use (no drops, no manhandling). The display dies on the T22 after a few weeks, the HD a number of weeks later... On the other hand, the X31 was a damn good and nippy little machine. I bought the se machines because at the time, I had to use Windows software. Now I use a Macbook Pro... No reason to run Windows or by a Windows machine any more. The MBP is the bomb.

Laptop advertising? (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21900102)

Is this laptop advertising? and another thing I must mention what's Zonk or Slashdot get out of it?
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