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gcon22
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎05-08-2012
Location: California
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Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

 
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johnwait
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-28-2009
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

I highly doubt it. At least for the T series.

 

Compare the picture of the new T430:

 

With that of a T420:

 

On the T420, there's a recess in the keyboard bezel, between the "Escape" amd "Print Screen" keys, where a part of the keyboard (which includes the volume and power buttons) goes underneath the bezel. Also, the connector is probably different, or at least has surely been moved around with the new, different chassis.

--
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO): Windows 7 64 SP2 / T9400 2.53 GHz / 8GB RAM / 14.1" WXGA+ (1440x900) / ATI Radeon HD 3470 + Intel 4500MHD (switchable) / 320GB 7200rpm / DVD±RW / Intel WiFi 5300
Past models: T40 (2373-PM1), 760C; other brands
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johnwait
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-28-2009
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

Hi again,

 

You might also like to have a look the the following thread, elsewhere in the Lenovo Community forums:

 

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/General-Discussion/Chiclet-6-row-keyboards-coming-to-Thinkpads-your-opi...

 

Jonathan

--
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO): Windows 7 64 SP2 / T9400 2.53 GHz / 8GB RAM / 14.1" WXGA+ (1440x900) / ATI Radeon HD 3470 + Intel 4500MHD (switchable) / 320GB 7200rpm / DVD±RW / Intel WiFi 5300
Past models: T40 (2373-PM1), 760C; other brands
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tg2708
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎02-07-2012
Location: acworth, georgia
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Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

hope they fix that creaking palmrest so annoying and its the only major complaint i have but others are just nitpicking.

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JDay
Posts: 999
Registered: ‎01-06-2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

If the keyboards are the same size/screw holes line up and the connector is the same I don't see why not. From the pictures above it looks like it can be done.

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nkull
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎04-23-2012
Location: South Dakota
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Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

Posts in other forums have indicated that the connector is different, which would make changing it not possible. 

--- ThinkPad T61 / Win 7 / Core 2 / 4gb RAM / Nvidia / Still used daily --- ThinkPad Edge 15/ i5 / Win 7 / TrueCrypt / 8gb RAM / Hated it, died at 1 yr 1 mo old --- ThinkPad T510 / Win 7 / TrueCrypt / i5 / 8gb RAM / Nvidia / Current primary machine --- ThinkPad X220 / i7 / IPS / 4gb / TrueCrypt / My Road Machine
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someotherguy
Posts: 2,565
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC

Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

The old keyboard will not fit into the new ThinkPad.  

 

If you look closely at your X220/T420/T520/W520, you will see notches at the upper left of the speaker mute button, and the upper right of the power button.  These notches do not exist in the top cover of the new ThinkPads, therefore the old keyboard will not physically fit into the top cover of the new ThinkPad.

 

It is possible to take both a top cover and keyboard from an old ThinkPad and fit it onto a new ThinkPad.  And the keyboard connector will attach to the motherboard.  However the keys that were relocated will not function.  This is because the scancode map of the new keyboard is programmed into the BIOS.  So the relocated keys like PgUp/PgDn/Home/End/Del will either not work, or they will do something unexpected.

 

Note that I am not trying to argue which keyboard is better than the other, and I had nothing to do with deciding the future of ThinkPad keyboards, so I cannot take credit or blame for any decisions that were made by Lenovo.  I am just stating facts about whether it is possible to swap keyboards or not.

 

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johnwait
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-28-2009
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

[ Edited ]

@JDay: Like I said, the keyboard bezel is different. See for yourself (that's a T420):

 

 

The bezels on the T430, T530, etc. don't have any recess and are uniform at the top where the keyboard is inserted. Even if everything else was the same, you'd have to cut the new bezel on the T430 to accomodate the old keyboard.

 

And I've had confirmation the screw layout is different. The chassis for the T430 is a whole new beast. The guy couldn't confirm me for the connector, but it's presumably different to support those keyboards that will feature back lighting.

 

Something noteworthy: The T430 used for the official press shots has a crooked keyboard upper-left corner and Escape key. I wonder how they managed to do that (the upper row is meant to be higher than the others, but not like that). It's bad enough to have lost a row and be stuck with chiclet keyboards across the whole line, we better not end up having keyboards that get easily warped.

--
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO): Windows 7 64 SP2 / T9400 2.53 GHz / 8GB RAM / 14.1" WXGA+ (1440x900) / ATI Radeon HD 3470 + Intel 4500MHD (switchable) / 320GB 7200rpm / DVD±RW / Intel WiFi 5300
Past models: T40 (2373-PM1), 760C; other brands
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JDay
Posts: 999
Registered: ‎01-06-2011
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

Well it's official, Lenovo has killed the ThinkPad.

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gcon22
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎05-08-2012
Location: California
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Betreff: Are the next generation Thinkpads compatible with older thinkpad keyboards?

I was afraid of that :smileysad: