Are you unhappy with the keyboard on Lenovo Thinkpad T400? I was until I did this

I took delivery of a Lenovo Thinkpad T400 last week.  I am very pleased with the system.  The size is just perfect for me, it has switchable graphics (ATI Radeon or Intel Integrated), Windows 7 64-bit, Touchpoint, very snappy, and it has a great looking screen.  But one thing I did not like is the keyboard.  It's buckled in some areas, moves around too much when you type, and a few of the keys are not flat.  For example the B button below the TrackPoint was obviously slanted to the right.  Thinkpads have always been known for their great keyboards, but this one was far from great. 

I did some reasearch on this topic.  There are a lot of people talking about keyboard issues on Thinkpads.  I'll save you some reasearch and sum things up.  It appears that:

  • A number of models (like my T400) ship with a keyboard that is not that great.  It's lighter, has a plastic coating on the bottom, and is very flexible.  This is part number 42T4034.
  • If you call Lenovo support about this issue you will likely be sent a replacement keyboard that is a different part number, 42T3209.  This is an older keyboard that was originally for the T60 T61 R60 and R61.  It is a slightly heavier and firmer keyboard that does not flex nearly as much as the original keyboard.  It does not have the plastic coating on the bottom.  This seems to be a higher quality (less cheaply made) keyboard. 
Replacing the keyboard is a simple matter and the result is a much better (in my opinion) input experience.  Well worth the phone call and the few minutes to swap the keyboard. 

One thing you may notice (as I did) is that the original keyboard has really great feeling buttons just below the keyboard.  The ones you typically use with your thumb if you are a TrackPoint device.  Very smooth and quiet and need very little effort to use.  Very ergonomic in my opinion.  These buttons on the new "older" keyboard aren't as smooth and have a little more of a mechanical feel to them.  This probably won't bother most people.  It's still better than the trackpad buttons on many other notebooks. 

Posted via email from ken5m1th

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