I was contacted yesterday by Peter DeBiase, a new reader of this blog and a member of the Notebook Review forums.

Peter linked me to this thread where European purchasers of the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga are complaining about a defect in the digitizer that they've come to call "the Black Hole."

The problem was first reported by simon_at_mso, who documented the issue with the image below. (It's never occurred to me to use a straight edge on top of a tablet, but I may adopt this technique for future testing). 

The pinching visible toward the upper right corner has been verified by several other users. 

Most readers have speculated that this is a hardware issue caused by interference with other pc components, But as Pete wrote:

"The funny thing is, if you check out the online ThinkPad Yoga Service Manual and head to FRU Videos > FRU Service: LCD Panel, you can see that there don't appear to be any components behind the affected area in the upper right quadrant of the screen. This indicates to me that the problem must be internal to the LCD panel - either an unshielded component within it causing an errant EM field, or perhaps a defective digitizer layer."

The concern about hardware defects may be misplaced, as this morning, the following official response from Lenovo was published:

All,

We have been investigating this and so far it looks like this is an issue related to the firmware level on some of the digitizers in systems built prior to mid November. Manufacturing has already been updated and new production units are not be affected.

I think we will have more information shortly.

I am hopeful that we will be able to provide a downloadable firmware update as we have with some other systems like helix, twist, and carbon touch to provide fixes and improvements to the digitizer. 

I appreciate your patience.

Best regards, 
Mark

So hopefully this software fix will correct this otherwise major flaw. The machine I had been counting on reviewing next week has now been delayed until December 8, which means I won't have it before mid-December. You can rest assured that the Black Hole will be the first thing I investigate.

Posted
AuthorRick Rodriguez
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The Surface Pro's digitizer pen works great out of the box with Windows 8-style apps, but in desktop mode, you'll probably find that it misses the mark when you're trying to hit tiny menu options.

Fortunately, this brilliant Reddit contributor, Alxqs, posted a simple hack that converts the Surface Pro's standard 16 pt. calibration to 100 pt. 

We've tried it ourselves and it works like a charm. Photoshop's dense menus and tiny icons are no longer a problem. 

Can you find the cursor?

Posted
AuthorRick Rodriguez

I'll admit I got a Surface Pro only because I can't afford a 20-plus inch Cintiq and the 12-inch version is getting long in the tooth. 

But reports surfaced this week that Wacom may be planning on releasing its own tablet sometime later this year.  

No word on operating system or pricing, but if the company were to deliver something that will run your Windows apps at a comparable price, wouldn't it be a no-brainer? 

 

Posted
AuthorRick Rodriguez