User Review Functionality compromised for aesthetics ?


Hey guys,

I recently purchased a new Lenovo laptop, the Ideapad S540. Due to the lockdown, and because I was short on time, I did not do proper research and ended buying a terrible piece of equipment. All in all the laptop is great. The only issue is the keyboard. I noticed that not just Lenovo, but a lot of manufacturers are including num pads in laptop keyboards nowadays. This greatly reduces the typing space you get in the laptop according to the screen. Also, it is not just the keyboard that has been moved to the left, but the placement of keys that is so horrible, that I am always misspelling and making errors. As a writer, this laptop is horror. I write close to 4000 words a day, and ever since I got this laptop my wrist has been hurting like hell. I tried contacting Lenovo and they said it cannot be replaced. I tried the dealer where I purchased it from, and there too, they said that it cannot be replaced. What I actually do want to know now, is if the keyboard in the laptop itself can be replaced. I tried leaving a nasty review of the piece on Amazon, but the moderators didn't let it go through.

Following is the review I tried to leave:


Disclaimer: I did not purchase this laptop from Amazon. I purchased it at a physical store. A Lenovo distributor.


Review: Absolutely, by no means, DO NOT make the mistake of getting this laptop if you're a writer or if you're someone who types a lot. This is by far, the worst laptop keyboard I've experienced in my life. The placement of the keys is completely messed up. What they have essentially done is included a number pad, and thereby greatly compromised on typing space on the laptop. Also, even if i put aside the position of the keyboard on the whole, and sit in the centre of the keyboard, it still sucks coz the placement of keys is pathetic.


Basically, they have compromised FUNCTIONALITY for AESTHETICS which is a pretty stupid thing to do if you ask me. Well, now you might be wondering why I got this laptop in the first place:

1. It was during the coronavirus pandemic.

2. My existing 10 year old laptop kept crashing.

3. I had a shitload of work to do and my work was suffering the past few days because my old laptop kept crashing.

4. It was not wise to visit multiple places during the pandemic.

5. The dealer didn't have any other options to show me in my budget, as he'd run out of stock.

6. I got a good offer on this laptop since it was a demo piece.

7. I had to to get a new laptop at any cost, as the city could go under a second lockdown any time, and there would be no chance for me to do so later. (and that's exactly what happened a few weeks later)

8. I had never experienced typing on a laptop with an numpad included, so assumed it would be the same.


Anyways, let me begin with the pros:

Pros:

1. Anti-glare screen and exceptionally good FHD display: The screen is anti-glare, unlike my previous laptop, so now i can work next to my window if I want during the day. The colours are extremely vivid and high resolution.

2. Build: very sturdy and strong build. A very thin but heavy laptop.

3. Accessibility: Amazing features like lock button, so that you don't have to press windows + L button when leaving your desk. Finger print scanner, and camera shutter. Trackpad navigation is awesome. you can move to different windows using the trackpad and this comes in real handy when you are working on your bed or somewhere else not on a table.

4. Battery: battery life is kickass!! I used the laptop for an entire day without knowing that the power socket wasn't connected. I had taken it off the previous night to connect something else. In the morning I just plugged in the wire to the laptop and didn't check if it was charging or not. Later that evening the power button light started flashing and when i looked down I noticed that it wasn't connected to the power. I had worked an entire day without power, doing all my usual tasks, opening videos, photos, my job related work, and everything else. Very impressive!

5. Screen brightness: Perfect for early morning/late nighters where you can just work by the window with minimal light.

6. Keyboard: backlit (with two modes) so that you can easily work in the night without having to turn on your room light. or even in dim light with just a bedside lamp turned on.

7. Speed: Lightning fast boot up and wake up: Is there really a difference here? Sometimes I open the laptop in the morning and I really don't remember if I shut it down or just closed the lid the previous night. It boots up as if its coming out of sleep. may be just a second more, but all the same. Working speed is insanely good, I kept 20 tabs open in two firefox browsers, along with many other apps open. And the computer didn't even show a hint of lag when I navigated between the two and between tabs for work.



Cons:

1. Speakers: Speakers are correctly placed towards the user rather than near the screen. Quality is good and voices are sharp but clarity sucks. You have to greatly increase the volume to hear what the person is saying. then when music comes on, it blasts your ears all of a sudden as that volume setting which was needed to hear words clearly, is too loud for music. Anyway, not such a pain point for me as I either use my headphones or speaker system most of the time.

2. Keyboard: That's the reason for this review in the first place. Well how do I even start? My wrist hurts all the goddamn time. I commit a zillion typos. I miss type and miss-spell a zillion times a day, all thanks to Lenovo's beautiful keyboard designing team who decided that AESTHETICS are much more important than FUNCTIONALITY.
I made a zillion typos typing this review itself!! The keyboard is designed in such a way that your index fingers on both hands have to travel a zillion miles just to properly hit a key. After using it for few weeks my wrist bone on both hands started hurting like hell. I am someone who types close to 6000 words a day. Let me say this again, if you are a blogger, content writer, journalist, or anyone who types a lot, DO NOT get this laptop.

You see, what Lenovo has essentially done is greatly reduced the size of the alphabet keys so that it can fit in the number pad in the same space of a normal keyboard. If you're an accountant or work with numbers a lot this laptop might be perfect for, you. who knows? but for us writers? hell no!
The way the keyboard is aligned makes you want to sit towards the extreme left of the laptop rather than in the centre, because then your hands would be out of the keyboard (and onto the num pad). so essentially your right hand is going to be doing more traveling than you have yourself ever done in your life, just to get some keystrokes in. Now to correct the issue, I've always found myself sitting to the left of the laptop, which makes it extremely awkward, and I need to turn my head to the right when I'm doing any work other than writing.


If you sit at the centre of the laptop, you'll be right where you need to be to READ as most web content is centre aligned. but then you'd be out of place for the keyboard. If you sit towards the left, you'd be right at the centre of the keyboard so you can TYPE pretty decently, but you'll be misaligned for the monitor.

So what do I choose Lenovo ?
After spending close to 60k, you are making us make such stupid immature decisions on a 21st century innovation!


The dealer refuses to replace it. Lenovo refuses to replace it. I tried using an external keyboard, but my work table won't accommodate it. I am doomed with this PATHETICALLY DESIGNED piece of shit till I can make the same amount of money back again!

So can someone tell me the options I have now.
 

Akash1187

New Member
Disciple
Yes, I can share pics, but which pictures do you need specifically? I mean at what angle should I take. Do let me know.
Thanks.
 

Julian

om nom nom
Veteran
If you're doing 4k words per day you shouldn't be using a laptop keyboard anyway. Why not get a proper external keyboard if you're working at a desk that is? Look at modifying or getting a new desk maybe.
 

Akash1187

New Member
Disciple
This is the horrible layout. Functionality compromised for aesthetics.


IMG_20200721_092149_279.jpg
 

Akash1187

New Member
Disciple
If you're doing 4k words per day you shouldn't be using a laptop keyboard anyway. Why not get a proper external keyboard if you're working at a desk that is? Look at modifying or getting a new desk maybe.

I tried using another spare external keyboard that was lying around. but there just wasn't enough space on my desk to use it ergonomically. Also, kind of destroys the point of getting a laptop.
Even writing at this frequency I was perfectly fine with my previous laptop, so its not laptop keyboards that are the issue. It's this laptop that has the issue.
 

6pack

Well-Known Member
ex-Mod
How much is the distance in inches from left control key to numpad enter key? On my Logitech wireless keyboard it's 13.5 inches. Same design with everything close together. I hit the wrong keys even one year after buying this. Can't get used to the tiny layout.
 

Rezep

Well-Known Member
Disciple
How much is the distance in inches from left control key to numpad enter key? On my Logitech wireless keyboard it's 13.5 inches. Same design with everything close together. I hit the wrong keys even one year after buying this. Can't get used to the tiny layout.
I think you and i are using the same keyboard and design. I have gotten used to my keyboard design and at first did kind of like it a bit (wireless is the future!) but other than ease of accessibility, even I hit the wrong keys while typing this sentence out on it right now. i had got it as a gift so i'm not entirely regretting it but for someone who writes hours on end it is not at all the best and it absolutely flops your speed at moments imo if a person has been using the default key layout for years now. Even i should buy a new keyboard.
And OP, i really wish i had any ideas that can help you but i don't think service centres will do such stuff as swapping a keyboard on a laptop. The local computer shops in your state (SP road, Nehru place) might be able to swap it out for the one you like but it is unusual to hear someone wanting to replace the keyboard on a laptop and even if you do find a guy who is willing to do so we really can't say how well that might work out. Honestly just using a separate keyboard might be cheaper and in case you are really into typing, TKL Mech Keyboards are really good for people with limited workspace
 
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rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
I have the same layout on my Lenovo G510 and I don't find any problems typing on it. Sure, I am not a writer and type 4000 words a day, but I do a fair bit of typing and never faced any issues. Yes, the alphabet part of the keyboard is not in the centre but that is true for even desktop keyboards. Also, even if one has to move the laptop just a little to the right that doesn't really move the screen so out of one's range that we have to tilt our necks to read what's on the screen.
Since you can't replace the laptop, perhaps you can try the following method and see if it works. Position the laptop in front of you such that the alphabet section is in the centre. Now, whichever app you use to write on, open it's window to the size of the alphabet part of the keyboard and not to the size of the whole screen. This way both the keys and text will be in centre for you. Try out this method and let me know if it helps or not.
 

Akash1187

New Member
Disciple
How much is the distance in inches from left control key to numpad enter key? On my Logitech wireless keyboard it's 13.5 inches. Same design with everything close together. I hit the wrong keys even one year after buying this. Can't get used to the tiny layout.

Not getting used to and hitting the wrong keys are things even I can cope with.
but my wrist hurting really bad at the end of every work day is just crazy!

Yes that does look pretty cramped.

At this stage your only practical options are to sell the laptop or use an external keyboard somehow...
Thanks.

I have the same layout on my Lenovo G510 and I don't find any problems typing on it. Sure, I am not a writer and type 4000 words a day, but I do a fair bit of typing and never faced any issues. Yes, the alphabet part of the keyboard is not in the centre but that is true for even desktop keyboards. Also, even if one has to move the laptop just a little to the right that doesn't really move the screen so out of one's range that we have to tilt our necks to read what's on the screen.
Since you can't replace the laptop, perhaps you can try the following method and see if it works. Position the laptop in front of you such that the alphabet section is in the centre. Now, whichever app you use to write on, open it's window to the size of the alphabet part of the keyboard and not to the size of the whole screen. This way both the keys and text will be in centre for you. Try out this method and let me know if it helps or not.

I tried doing that. On this model, the problem is not just the keyboard being left aligned. The positioning of the keys itself is totally messed up. Even if I put myself right at the centre of the keyboard, I have to do so much travel just to get the keystrokes in.
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Just got off the phone with Lenovo. They said, unless it's a hardware issue nothing can be done. Neither the laptop nor keyboard can be replaced.
Now my question is, can I get it done on the street ? Would private service centers be able to do it for me ? I'm ready to waive them off responsibilities.
Post automatically merged:

Laptops come with Num pad?

Yes, many new models across all brands have num pads included in the keyboard design.
 
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nimod

Well-Known Member
Adept
I guess, the best for you would be to get accustomed with an external keyboard.
Like adjusting the laptop on a stand and using the space under stand for keyboard.
Any unofficial modification may get you in further trouble.

ps. suggested this compromise due to tough times we are undergoing.
 

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Yeah, best option is to use and external keyboard. Get a nice mechanical one and that should making the writing experience even more enjoyable.
 

technofast

Well-Known Member
Adept
Now my question is, can I get it done on the street ? Would private service centers be able to do it for me ? I'm ready to waive them off responsibilities.
Post automatically merged:

Even if it is replaceable it will still be the same as a different keyboard layout will not support the ribbon beneath it.
 

Akash1187

New Member
Disciple
Even if it is replaceable it will still be the same as a different keyboard layout will not support the ribbon beneath it.

Awwww snap!! okay, thanks for that. Have been looking for this answer for quite a while now.
Post automatically merged:

Yeah, best option is to use and external keyboard. Get a nice mechanical one and that should making the writing experience even more enjoyable.
Alright.
 

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