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ThinkPad shiny touchpad fix without replacing it

T40/T41/T42/T43 Series
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kfzhu1229
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ThinkPad shiny touchpad fix without replacing it

#1 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:28 pm

Has anyone attempted getting around the shiny (worn) touchpads of these models with screen protectors?
The story is that it was in the middle of the pandemic and I had not much better to do, so I have tried to tackle shiny touchpads of the older latitudes (my older ThinkPads either don't have a touchpad or I have plenty replacements on hand).
So I have tried two methods to remove the shine of the touchpad: high quality tape + clear matte spray paint and matte screen protectors.
I have tried the first one first, with some spray paint bought from the local hardware store. I have applied tape carefully so no bubbles form and then spray it with the matte coat. To my surprise it looked like new and the shiny circle in the middle of the touchpad is gone. However, it turns out the paint is too soft in hardness scale that constant rubbing of my fingers (not even touching it with nails) quickly rubbed the paint smooth that the tape is showing the shiny circle after like a month!
Seeing that doesn't work well, I have tried the matte screen protector method. So I ordered the cheapest phablet matte screen protector on eBay (Galaxy Note 3), cut it down to size and then adhere to the touchpad. This one seem to work much better! Since the matte surface is chemically treated it won't rub off! However though the matte surface is more fine than what it should be, and you lose a tiny bit of sensitivity due to the thickness of these screen protectors, but I am more than happy to take that tradeoff to have a smooth feeling touchpad that doesn't feel tacky to the hands when oily and doesn't look ugly to the eyes.
The good thing about these older ThinkPads is that the touchpad is tucked under the palmrest so you can't see the edges of the screen protector, so you can't see the screen protector nor can you accidentally lift it up and damage it.
But for the T4x it's gonna be a little tricky to cut since the touchpad isn't perfectly rectangular like on the T6x and the Dells that I am working on.
You might wanna buy ones for phablet phones because its extra width and area in general means you can squeeze as much as 3 applications out of each screen protector!
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

RealBlackStuff
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Re: ThinkPad shiny touchpad fix without replacing it

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:40 am

Another option: black (or coloured) proper touchpad stickers: https://www.skinstyler.com/pc/plain-colours-c-18.html
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kfzhu1229
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Re: ThinkPad shiny touchpad fix without replacing it

#3 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:54 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:40 am
Another option: black (or coloured) proper touchpad stickers: https://www.skinstyler.com/pc/plain-colours-c-18.html
Ah well I think these will do better on a thinkpad! Unfortunately though they are quite expensive and you probably wanna order a big one for fixing multiple small touchpads for it to be worth the money.
A screen protector on the other hand costs 1/5 as much at most.
I think it is really that I am lucky that this Dell I am working with has a silver coloured touchpad so a matte screen protector's translucent effect is invisible!
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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