The ThinkPad Docking Connector

January 31, 2008

The connector on the bottom of contemporary ThinkPad laptops is inferior to the connector on prior models. So is the basic dock.

I find it very difficult to place my T60 on the dock. With my previous T21 and T30, it took little more than gravity to make the connection and hear a definite click. With the T60 and this new dock, pressure and jiggling are required and the docking click is weak and less easy to hear. It's a huge disappointment.

ThinkPad Advanced MiniDockAs for the port replicator (aka Advanced Mini Dock p/n 250410U), it's another "side saddle" device. Again, because of the need to accommodate the larger battery on the rear of modern ThinkPads, the dock has its controls and most of the connectors off to the left side. Far worse, the dock does not fit well in the IBM ThinkPad monitor stand that I bought several years ago. This is a fabulous stand that was perfectly designed for the older port replicators.

IBM ThinkPad Monitor Stand 2001The use of the dock on the stand creates another problem. There are three buttons and a light on the new dock instead of two buttons and no light on the old port replicator. On the stand, those buttons are under the stand's shelf and hard to see.

Ergonomics don't seem to be in Lenovo's vocabulary when it comes to these new ThinkPads. I also blame IBM, which designed most of these things before the sale to Lenovo. It's a sad turn of events.

Tags: Computers, Laptops, ThinkPad

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