The Thinkpad of Theseus

Someone donated a replacement keyboard for our x250 Thinkpad, gonna fix it up and put the pinebook pro aside. It has been helpful stand-in for these past 3 weeks.

· · Web · 5 · 1 · 20

I was under the impression that surgery on a x250 Thinkpad would be easier than on a glued Macbook, I thought wrong.

To replace the Thinkpad keyboard, you pretty much have to take the entire thing apart.

But the operation was successful even if a bit harrowing. Also, I ended up with two extra screws which I couldn't, for the life of me, find where they were supposed to go.

-- Sent from Thinkpad x250

@neauoire oh yeah, my X220 has new SSD and keyboard and feels like a totally different machine haha ... imagine , repairable computers!

@neauoire yes yes, I hesitated between an X230 and this one tho, the X230 also has a good form factor.

@neauoire My W520 turned 10 years old this month. It's still my main laptop.

Was an extremely respectable machine new in 2011, still is very capable of doing what I need it to do in 2021.

Keyboard has been replaced twice :D.

@cr1901 What do you use it for? I saw one of those on craigslist for $150

@dualhammers It's my main laptop and development machine. It's not gonna be as fast for development as, say, as Skylake Linux box.

But I still use it to e.g. compile C, C++, and Rust code on all 4/8 cores w/ 16GB of RAM on Windows.

And I can watch HDTV vids and have like 50 tabs open if I want to (emphasis "want to"). It's still very usable as my daily driver. $150 sounds like a bargain if it's in usable condition!

@neauoire x230 was the last classic Thinkpad IMO. Lenovo has really ruined them.

@akiva @neauoire yeah. Love my T440s and my T470 but miss that classic Thinkpad KB...

@joshauget @neauoire If you like the T440S, look into the T440P. You can replace the CPU!

@neauoire i'm more or less a thinkpad person - i keep regretting ownership of other kinds of laptop - but the last time i tried to do a serious repair on one from that era (a fan replacement), i wound up with more _kinds_ of screw than some laptops contain _individual_ screws. it was brutal.

@vanillacherry Well, I'm almost done but it was a messy business, there's a nest of sticky ribbon cables sticking out right now, I've gonna connect it all back now..

@neauoire Je n'ai jamais réussi à démonter/remonter un ordinateur portable sans qu'il me reste au moins une visse à la fin.

@manu Ouf, au moin c'est pas juste moi. Ca fait 2 fois que ca m'arrive, je pense a avoir une belle petite collection de screws.

@neauoire @manu Oui. Oui. C'est un grand classique des montages/démontages, c'est qu'il y a toujours des vis en trop :)

@neauoire i like so much how clean your os desktop looks. what os you're running?

@neauoire literally every time I take apart a Thinkpad x2xx I end up with at least 1 loose screw.

@eqe that's comforting to hear, well comforting might not be the right word but.. at least it's not just me.

@neauoire it's a ThinkPad... It really just needs one XD

@neauoire I am still resolute to find a worthy thinkpad as thrifty as possibly for my Linux adventures. Glad to hear yours is back up and running!

@neauoire there's usually 6 very small screws that hold the KB in place on top. Was it any of those, or internal ones? Also sorry to hear the replacement was complicated. Did tou have to change the whole thing? I thought it was only a few keys that were messed up?

@joshauget It wasn't one of the keyboard screws, couldn't figure our where they came from.

I changed the whole keyboard, I don't think I could change only a few keys.

@neauoire Don't think you needed to change the whole KB my friend. Keys can be switched individually: I've done this numerous times on Thinkpads :) Good thing is you can keep the other KB for donor keys/parts now, as ordering individual keys, although possible, can take a while to ship

@joshauget Oh, the problem wasn't a broken mechanical key. It was a broken circuit for the bottom right part of the keyboard, from alt-right to page-up, and all the way to pipe

@neauoire Oh, sorry. Then you totally needed to do what you did. Glad you have Ayatori working again!

@joshauget It's the best computer I've ever had. I'm so thankful for that gift 🙏

@neauoire I am thankful for you and @rek, and what you do and stand for

@neauoire oh damn! I'm glad you got it fixed. You should see how easy it is on X230 and earlier... I did it on the X220 in like... 5 minutes, and I was taking my time. 2 screws, one cable. I guess that's why I hear ppl saying the X230 is the last "classic" ThinkPad that people liked so much...

@neauoire did you just add an extra layer of dust to your old keyb for a shot to look more dramatic? : ) Congrats with a successful operation!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.