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Best T420/x220 keyboard for the swap

X230 and later series specific matters only
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alisan
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Best T420/x220 keyboard for the swap

#1 Post by alisan » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:14 am

I switched recently from x220 to x230 (I bought a completely new one, was forgotten in a company's stock!). I'm missing nothing from my x220 but the keyboard. I'm finally considering the keyboard mod, however I need to get a new US keyboard as the one from my x220 is a bit consumed.

I know that the t420/x220 keyboards were produced by several manufacturer, I got my hands once on my friend's T420 keyboard and I like it a lot, way better than my x220 keyboard. I'm not sure how I can a similar one, do you have a suggestion from where to get a new decent T420/x220 keyboard?

Thanks

jaspen-meyer
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Re: Best T420/x220 keyboard for the swap

#2 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:57 am

alisan wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:14 am
I switched recently from x220 to x230 (I bought a completely new one, was forgotten in a company's stock!). I'm missing nothing from my x220 but the keyboard. I'm finally considering the keyboard mod, however I need to get a new US keyboard as the one from my x220 is a bit consumed.

I know that the t420/x220 keyboards were produced by several manufacturer, I got my hands once on my friend's T420 keyboard and I like it a lot, way better than my x220 keyboard. I'm not sure how I can a similar one, do you have a suggestion from where to get a new decent T420/x220 keyboard?

Thanks
Remove the keyboard from your friend's computer, it is just a few screws. Once it is off, you will see a sticker with a FRU number. This is the model number of the keyboard. You want to buy a keyboard with the same FRU number.
T420 i7 3612QM seabios; T420 i7 3630QM; T400 Q9100 seabios; T61 P9600; T60 libreboot; x62; x60s libreboot, led; x24 xiphmont led

alisan
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Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:52 pm
Location: Italia, Roma

Re: Best T420/x220 keyboard for the swap

#3 Post by alisan » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:09 am

jaspen-meyer wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:57 am
Remove the keyboard from your friend's computer, it is just a few screws. Once it is off, you will see a sticker with a FRU number. This is the model number of the keyboard. You want to buy a keyboard with the same FRU number.
In the meantime I've done that, apparently it is 45N2141 from Chicony, I'll make sure to get that keyboard on ebay and not a compatible model.

alisan
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:52 pm
Location: Italia, Roma

Re: Best T420/x220 keyboard for the swap

#4 Post by alisan » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:57 am

I have received my keyboard yesterday from 2015pcparts ebayer. It is fantastic.

I have used my x230 palmrest. To fit the keyboard, I have made a small hole under the trackpad, so the central tab that comes out from the keyboard enters without having to cut it :D. Forget to take pictures :(

It fits perfectly and I'm enjoying it a lot.

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Re: Best T420/x220 keyboard for the swap

#5 Post by TPFanatic » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:35 am

These are the FRUs for the CS09 keyboards.
45N2071 / 45N2036 Alps
45N2141 / 45N2106 Chicony
45N2211 / 45N2176 NMB

The Alps is a bit funky feeling and is best identified by its clickiest trackpoint buttons, like a plug-in mouse, however they are prone to developing disparity between the buttons in that one side becomes suddenly mushy while the other stays clicky for awhile. Messing with the other one will make it mushy as well so they at least feel the same.

Chicony has a long travel feel with minimal impulse force to depress the key and mushy trackpont buttons.

NMB requires more impulse force to depress the keys and clicky trackpoint buttons, and is generally considered the most solid and consistent feeling Thinkpad keyboard, like a desktop mechanical keyboard.

I have managed to equip 2 of my laptops with B+ condition NMB keyboards are they are fantastic. My personal favorite however is Chicony.
lenovo T61 T7500, SXGA+, 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m, HD+, 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700, WUXGA, 8GB
lenovo X201 i5 520m, WXGA, 4GB
lenovo T520 i7 2760QM, FHD, 8GB



Enable advanced features on older Synaptics touchpads with the registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

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