James Governor's Monkchips

Major design fault in the Lenovo Thinkpad x60s

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I love Thinkpads. I really do. Just yesterday I was arguing vociferously to Mike Tschudi of SAP’s Design Services Team how the machines are a true classic of industrial design. But what genius had the bright idea of putting a hot processor under the space where you place your palm to use Thinkpad’s iconic red tracker button? My hand is burning. I wish I had a mouse here. Did the designer actually use the machine or were they on a Macbook or something? Seriously its very annoying. Note to self: travel with a mouse and possibly… lose Thinkpad religion. The thing with the hot plate under the palm is.. its not an annoyance you can get used to. So what do I do now- ding David Churbuck? I would like to see Lenovo succeed – but they need to get the basics right. Still I guess at least the machine hasn’t actually blown up like a Dell. But maybe Lenovo needs to send out some kind of palm protector device with their laptops. There was me thinking dual cores were meant to be less hot.

Update: I put my ear next to the offending region and it appears to be the hard drive. That is running very hot- which puts me in fear of my data.

disclaimers: At one point it looked like Lenovo would become a customer of ours but it didn’t happen, but that’s not why I am writing this.


  1. James, man, you’ve got to stop resisting. Just get a Macbook already. You know you want one. You’ll be so much happier. Resistance is futile, James. Embrace the future.

  2. […] James Governor’s Monkchips » Major design fault in the Lenovo Thinkpad x60s (tags: lenovo thinkpad x60 proactive) Filed under: del.icio.us Links — […]

  3. James,
    First, here’s to hoping Redmonk and Lenovo will work together soon.
    Second, the hot palmrest issue has been raised a few times in the past, and is exhaustively detailed by the users at Thinkpads.com

    While this may confirm the problem you are having, I don’t believe it offers much in the way of relief. So … let me talk to Product Engineering and see what they can do to diagnose your problem and fix it.

    My palmrest is warm, but not hot, but I don’t think this sounds like a matter of personal sensitivity.

    Can you drop me an email with contact info that I can forward to our support people? david AT churbuck DOT com. Thanks

  4. I’ll tell you what else is brutal about the x60 — that freakin blaring system error noise that goes off when you accidentally hit two keys at once when typing (it also goes off when you shut the laptop, or plug in or unplug the power). The only way to disable it is by muting the system.

    So whenever I’ve forgotten to mute the system (say I’m listening to music while working), i have to hear that f’ing thing repeatedly (I’m a furious typer). And the *worst* is when i have headphones off — it’s truly the most piercing noise you can experience.

  5. A processor over the touchpad or tracker button? Man, even a rookie designer wouldn’t think of putting that on an area where the user usually puts his hand or finger on. There goes the Thinkpad on my shopping list. I’ve been hunting for a good Vista-capable laptop. I’ve decided to try the new OS since many have attested that they haven’t encountered any serious problem with the program. I also think that I won’t be encountering any compatibility problem since I already found a Web site (http://www.radarsync.com/vista) which has all the Vista drivers that I’ll be needing. As for the security concerns, suffice it to say that even XP users continue to have one or two up to this day.

  6. Travis Van – you’re totally wrong about that sound. It can easily be disabled without muting the entire system. Simply go to the Global Power Settings from the Power Manager and change the action from when you plug or unplug and shutoff, etc. and change it from “beep” to “no action” – Cheers!

  7. We purchased a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge two weeks ago, and we have had to return it to the dealer four times because of a problem with the sound.
    Today we are going to get our money back under the 1979 Sale of goods Act, which states that goods must be free of minor defects.

    1. that is terrible adrian. sorry to hear it.

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