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Lenovo Thinkpad Twist S230u Review - The Classic PC Tablet Gets Modern Day Parts: Page 3 of 7

Touchpad, Touchpoint, & Keyboard

When used as a laptop, the Thinkpad Twist supports the standard notebook input paradigms as other Thinkpads, like an integrated clickpad, keyboard, and Lenovo's Touchpoint nub.

Lenovo traditionally isn't known for their touchpads, and I'd call this one just "okay" at best. It's not the smallest, nor the largest trackpad I've ever seen. Finger tracking was generally good, and it does support some of Windows 8's multi-touch gestures. My only real complaint is the clickpad, which doesn't quite give enough click resistance in my opinion. Often times I found myself inadvertently clicking when sliding my finger near the bottom. Also, on the unit I received, the left side of the pad was more responsive and had a decent amount of click, but the right side felt weak and mushy. 

A lot of Thinkpad users are more accustomed to their Trackpoint nub in the middle of the keyboard for pointing, anyway. I've used many laptops over the years from other brands who've tried to implement their own nub pointer, and they generally suck. Thinkpads are the only exception; and I usually find myself preferring it over the trackpad for most things - but it isn't perfect on the Twist. The nub worked great as always, but the associated buttons just under the space bar were lackluster compared to other Thinkpads I've used, even compared to the X41 from years ago. The smooth and slightly odd shape naturally guided my thumbs too high on the button to press, and like the clickpad, pressing them in the right spot felt squishy and unsatisfying.

Keyboard

If computing were broken into ages, the keyboard would have ushered in the bronze age. As long as the keyboard has been around, you'd think just about everyone would have figured out how to make a good one. Sadly, many notebook keyboards are just terrible. A great example is the keyboard on our reference Ultrabook, the Toshiba Portege Z930.

Simply put, the best reason to use a Thinkpad is for Lenovo's excellent keyboards, which are simply a joy to type on. Each key offers the perfect amount of tactile feedback and key travel; over time your fingers and these keys meld into one. Thinkpads offer the best mobile typing experience you'll find (once you get used to the reversed control and function keys) and the Twist is barely an exception to that rule.

Typing was great, but the cramped quarters for the keyboard caused Lenovo to move a few keys into odd positions. Notably, the print screen key is on the bottom row between undersized Alt and Ctrl keys, which I nearly would always hit first before the other two. I also wasn't a huge fan of the page up / page down keys over the two arrows, which were often inadvertently pressed when using the small left/right arrow keys.

About the Author

Matt Whitlock's picture

Matt Whitlock is online director and technical editor for ChannelProSMB.com.

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