My New Career as a Lenovo Laptop Repair Guy

Some years back I accidentally broke the keyboard of a Lenovo Thinkpad 25th Anniversary Edition.

The attraction of this laptop is, of course, that it’s got an actual almost proper keyboard — I think it’s the last one ever without a chiclet keyboard? And it was done as a retro thing. But I was using it as my main programming laptop, while I was using a Carbon X1 for travelling etc. It has a much worse keyboard; here, let me show you:

See? It’s a “modern” chiclet keyboard, which is much thinner, but not as pleasant to type on. In any case, since I already had a laptop, I rather forgot about having the 25th Anniversary laptop fixed.

Until now, and I wondered whether it was still possible to fix it. I mean by myself — it’s a laptop from 2017, and I bought it in a different country, so…
Anyway, Lenovo is still selling spare parts for this! I’m amazed! I bought one…

… pried the old one out (you can slightly spot the place I broke the it if you look closely)…

… and put the new keyboard in! And it works! I’m amazed! At how easy it was. Because Lenovo puts nice service manual out there for anyone to peruse.

Even if some of it is slightly gnomic — like, what do the screws have to do with that plastic thing? (Nothing, as it turns out — you just have to do both (in any order).)

It turned out to be really easy — I didn’t need any special tools or anything, and I did it while slightly incredibly drunk, and while watching Fallout s1e3 (it’s not that good).

And look at all the parts you can still buy!

Etc etc. Almost makes me want to rebuild it from scratch, just because I like Lego.

I’m not sure I’m actually going to use this laptop for anything, but, er, you know.

(Disclaimer: Even though I like the repairability of the Lenovo laptops, I can’t really recommend them. I’ve had several that just stopped working at random, and more where the Trackpoint just goes wonky. But I hate using a trackpad, so my choices are limited to Thinkpads, so…)

But! There was one thing in this laptop that didn’t work, and that was the “built-in” battery — this thing has two batteries, one you can switch out easily and one that’s under the cover. And the latter one had died while the laptop was in storage, apparently, so…

… I bought a new one! And it arrived today, so let’s get swapparooing, because this it pretty fun. For me, I mean.

So this is what it looks like at the bottom.

And see? There’s that swappable battery I was talking about at the top there.

Err… and after unscrewing some screws I’m now supposed to… Oh, push and pull and wiggle?

And then finger the corner there aggressively until it comes off?

And then… just… pull it from all sides at once, sort of? OK, I tried, but my fingers aren’t strong enough for this sort of thing…

… so I resorted to using tools. Like an animal!

Et voila! Easy peasy. Somebody should tell Lenovo that tools exist and make things easier than trying to pull these things apart with your fingers.

But it’s really fun working on the innards here — everything is so precise and so easy to work with.

And then the new battery just slots in without any bother. Nice.

Huh. Why is the cover spray painted with coppery paint, apparently?

Anyway, it slots right back on again without any problems. Thank you, Lenovo.

It even boots! Whoho! And the battery charges! It’s alive! But I should wash that screen.

And here’s my professional Repair Guy setup: A footstool with a 40W lamp. It’s what every doctor recommends for maximum ergonomics.

So there you are — Lenovo laptops are really very repairable, and that’s nice.

2 thoughts on “My New Career as a Lenovo Laptop Repair Guy”

  1. I am curious about the Framework laptops, but other than those, I don’t see a great alternative to Thinkpads – they are nicer than everything else…

    1. Yeah, I’ve tried laptops from other companies, and none of them are any better than Lenovo’s. So I’ll keep buying from Lenovo, but it’s depressing that this is as good as it gets. :-/

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