NEWS – Many years ago, when Lenovo was still part of IBM, they made a number of laptops that were powerful enough for programming yet small enough to travel. Perhaps the defining characteristic of these laptops was that instead of designing a nice, large trackpad, like Apple did, they added what was affectionately was known as the eraser. It’s a small red nub that pokes up from the middle of the keys and controls your cursor. In those days, we mostly operated our trackpads with our thumbs, so the eraser was novel in that we operated it with our fingers, all without having to move them from the home keys. I personally do not miss the eraser, but if you do, there’s good news! Lenovo has brought it back! They are now selling the ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II. It supports Bluetooth and wireless via a USB dongle, has a long battery life, and weighs just over a pound. You can order one today directly from Lenovo for just under $100.
13 thoughts on “Lenovo is bringing back the eraser!”
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I had it in my Toshiba Portegé ultralight notebooks circa 1998-2005, and far prefer it to the trackpad, it’s much more accurate for starters. I considered getting one of these for my crash cart (keyboards meant to be plugged into a server for debugging purposes, where a mouse is just an annoyance), but the $100 is a bit rich when you can get a proper mechanical keyboard for that price, or a simple keyboard + trackpad (meant for media centers) for $15.
No idea why people love these so much.
Most of my involvement with them has been in response to “why does my mouse keeping jumping when I type”, coupled with “how do you turn that off”, with a sprinkling of “that little rubber thing fell off again…”
I still have a (probably “ancient-eraser-hard”) zip lock bag of these in my old PC Tech case from Toshibas. For some reason I can’t bring myself to dispose of either the erasers or the case…
Ah, the pimento! I’ve heard it called many things, but always thought it looked like someone stuck a pimento between the keys.
Most (all?) Lenovo Thinkpads still have the trackpoint (as do some Dells and possibly HPs), so this isn’t some fanciful throwback device. Trackpoints are nice. You can move the cursor without taking your hands off the keyboard.
As for the comment about inadvertently moving the mouse — in my experience that’s 100 times more likely to happen with a touchpad. There’s a reason there are many programs that disable the touchpad when typing.
All the T series Thinkpads have the Trackpoint, but as I recall none of the other Lenovo laptops do. Note that the T series is Lenovo’s (ne’e IBM’s) business-oriented line.
Checking their site, the rest of the Thinkpad line (including the X and P series) have it visible in product images, and some of the Yogas also have it visible. (The X-series Yogas.)
I wonder if this work with an iPad, since they now have mouse support.
Looks like it isn’t officially supported by Lenovo – but if it’s operating as a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse I wouldn’t see why it wouldn’t work.
I loved my old laptop with the “nub”. I found it very easy to use and fairly natural.
I hate the trackpad and disabling it is one of the first things I do with a new laptop.
I just may spring for one of these keyboards.
It is named the TrackPoint. It is in Lenovo’s T-series business-oriented laptops. I have used TrackPoint keyboards for my PC’s and TrackPoint-equipped T-series laptops since the TrackPoint was first introduced. The only other pointing device I will consider using (and have used) is a trackball. I hate trackpads and disable them.
It’s on all of the ‘Thinkpad’ line, except for a couple of low-end Yogas. That’s the P-series and the X-series as well.
Oh yes, One of the reasons I stick with Lenovo for my Laptops now days. Tho work made me switch to an Apple. I like my MBP13. (except the defective keyboard, but i’m docked 99% of the time and to lazy to swap it out in middle of lockdowns), Never been much a fan of the trackpad, I like the pixel perfect precision I can get with the trackpoint, and not have mouse move when I lift my finger off (like a trackpad). But yea, these arn’t going anywhere.
I can’t say that it ever worked this well for me, but I’m glad that it works for you and there’s a choice!