Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

difference between SYNAPTICS vs ALPS T450 inside T440p trackpad using Ubuntu 18.04

T430 and later, plus T530 and later series specific matters only
Post Reply
Message
Author
umbe1987
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:50 am
Location: Milan, Italy

difference between SYNAPTICS vs ALPS T450 inside T440p trackpad using Ubuntu 18.04

#1 Post by umbe1987 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:48 am

Dear all,

I am happy to say that after the suggestions of this forum (viewtopic.php?f=68&t=126054&e=1&view=unread#unread), I kind of fell in love with my t440p! thank you so much for the precious reccomendations!
Anyway, I am planning to replace the actual trackpad (the so called clunckpad :D ) with the T450 trackpad with buttons.

I am reading everywhere (e.g. https://octoperf.com/blog/2018/11/07/th ... ers-guide/) to be very careful not to buy the ALPS trackpad which might have issues.

However, this seems limited to Windows as far as I can tell...
Is it true? Should I be careful to buy a SYNAPTICS one for me if I only use Ubuntu in my laptop?

If I have to stick with SYNAPTICS, I read that I should also be careful not to buy a knockoff.
However, I find it hard to recognize one...
For instance, take this one here: https://www.ebay.it/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad ... SwGUpcHRqc

The title reads SYNAPTICS, but I don't see any embossed number, nor the "B149220xx" as explained https://imgur.com/a/z5TgiBI. Is that the correct one or not???

Again, thanks for your support!!!

Umberto

umbe1987
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:50 am
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: difference between SYNAPTICS vs ALPS T450 inside T440p trackpad using Ubuntu 18.04

#2 Post by umbe1987 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:59 am

Apparently, no issue on drivers for Ubuntu users!
https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comme ... e_success/
https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comme ... atibility/

Any other reason why not to choose a APLS vs a SYNAPTICS?
I am asking because ALPS seem easier to find and a lot cheaper (20 euros ALPS vs 40 euros SYNAPTICS).

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 21537
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: difference between SYNAPTICS vs ALPS T450 inside T440p trackpad using Ubuntu 18.04

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:51 am

If you only use the trackpoint and its 3 buttons (like I do), but not the trackpad, then the Alps is perfect.
My T440p with W7 has its (Alps) trackpad disabled in BIOS and in the mouse settings.
If you use Linux, then Alps also seems to be the better one.
It seems that the majority wants to recommend Synaptics, but I can't really see why. YMMV.
NOT a great day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff).
Ireland is on FULL lockdown till December 2020!
Covid-19: Mask it or Casket!
Check out The Boardroom for Mods and Other Services.

umbe1987
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:50 am
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: difference between SYNAPTICS vs ALPS T450 inside T440p trackpad using Ubuntu 18.04

#4 Post by umbe1987 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:08 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:51 am
If you only use the trackpoint and its 3 buttons (like I do), but not the trackpad, then the Alps is perfect.
My T440p with W7 has its (Alps) trackpad disabled in BIOS and in the mouse settings.
If you use Linux, then Alps also seems to be the better one.
It seems that the majority wants to recommend Synaptics, but I can't really see why. YMMV.
Thanks for the feedback!
Indeed, I am only using it in Linux.
However, I am just starting to appreciate the trackpoint but still need to get used to it.
Also, my wife occasionally uses my laptop and I don't want to hear "hey, mouse is not working!!!" :roll:
So, I am planning not to disable the trackpad possibly.
If being on linux allows me using the ALPS trackpad and the trackpoint then I'll be happy to just go for it (or whatever I could find for a cheap price on ebay).
I just need to be sure, but it seems it should be fine.

umbe1987
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:50 am
Location: Milan, Italy

Re: difference between SYNAPTICS vs ALPS T450 inside T440p trackpad using Ubuntu 18.04

#5 Post by umbe1987 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:25 am

Just replaced the clunkypad with an ALPS t450 trackpad and it just works flawlessly on Ubuntu 18.04!
Thanks a lot for the feedback RealBlackStuff! :D
Just few things that were kind of difficult for me:
  • the list of screws to remove to take away the keyboard bezel in the official t440p manual missed one screw labeled with "R" just between the RAM and trackpad. Luckily I noticed it, otherwise i could have damaged the keyboard bezel
  • the trackpad cable has to go under the case at some point to connect to the motherboard. This was tricky for me, as my hands and fingers are very large, and that thing is super tiny
  • It's the second time I do the same mistake: when re-inserting the keyboard back, one must keep in mind to first push the top of the keyboard below the keyboard bezel, and only then to tie the screws. I could not figure out why the keyboard was not sliding at the original place the first times because it just could not because I hadn't push the top as I said first.
All in all the process is easy. Considering that I myself never did this kind of magic, I think everybody can (ah, and don't forget to have good screw drivers, I just had the worse ones and it was trickier than it should have been!).
Hope this can clarify that with linux (Ubuntu at least), a cheap ALPS trackpad would just be fine!

crawlercrane
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:30 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: difference between SYNAPTICS vs ALPS T450 inside T440p trackpad using Ubuntu 18.04

#6 Post by crawlercrane » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:49 am

I'm 93% sure I got a knock-off Synaptics trackpad (it's also missing the embossed serial number, but looks more like a legit Synaptics than the one you linked), but it worked just fine once I got the Windows drivers sorted out. Long term reliability might turn out to be worse than an authentic one, but the buttons work as expected and the trackpad is significantly more pleasant to use than the oem clunkpad. It's possible there are really low quality knock-offs out there, but personally, I don't think you'll have trouble getting any version to work in linux. I believe the Alps vs Synaptics thing only really matters if you're using Windows.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T430-T490 / T530-T590 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 31 guests