Thinkpad keyboard : shiny after prolonged use?

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by sapibobo, Oct 1, 2010.

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  1. sapibobo

    sapibobo Notebook Evangelist

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    Hai all,

    My first Thinkpad Z61m and i have a great time with it, its big and bulky but also sturdy and have good keyboard. I also had SL400 and R400 and they are great machine though a bit heavy. My current daily driver is T410. All of them i get it from my office.

    Based on my experience and usage habit, thinkpad keyboard have tendency to become shiny and slippery overtime. The perfect example is my R400. At first time it is a matte and a bit textured. But after that, slowly but sure it become shiny and slippery. The typing experience is still great but it just look, well... changed.

    And now, based on my observation, the T410 start to generate shiny parts (although just a bit) especially on these key : left shift, left ctrl, left ultranav, tab, Esc and delete. The character keys which have similar condition is : A, E, S, R, T, G, C, F, G. Mind you i am left handed and use Microsoft Excel alot. So i frequently use tab and shift key to jump between cells. Left ultranav is the shiniest since i use trackpoint alot. Thinkpads are made for accountants ! :D

    Is there any way to restore the black matt textured finished on the keyboard? How do you clean the keyboard, i mean, the way it will not accelerate the "shiny" process?

    Thanks
     
  2. lead_org

    lead_org Purveyor of Truth

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    no, the shine means that the keys textured surface is worn out..
     
  3. sapibobo

    sapibobo Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks for the answer.

    So there is nothing i can do than replace it with the new one?
     
  4. oct

    oct Notebook Evangelist

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    Your keyboard takes shape of your finger tips :)

    I doubt that there is a good & cheap solution for this after the fact. You can't just spray paint on your keys, right?

    However if we look closer we can notice some kind of additional coating on top of each letter/number.. to protect them. Now the question would be, why they can't cover whole key with that coating?
     
  5. MidnightSun

    MidnightSun Emodicon

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    No, the shine is from your fingers' oils, which over time form a layer over your keyboard's keys. If you regularly use a 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water mixture to wipe down your keyboards, you can avoid this shine. Another option that I have not tried but read about just today was featured on Lifehacker, here.
     
  6. sapibobo

    sapibobo Notebook Evangelist

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    Cost saving maybe? Thinkpads are generally cheaper now, i red it in lenovoblogs. Compare to the era of T40 and T60, Thinkpad pricing is more agressive now.

    And they also eliminate roll cage lid on T410.
     
  7. ckx

    ckx Notebook Evangelist

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    I have a ThinkPad X30 that I bought in 2003. After a few years of use, it gets shiny keys as well.

    If you really want to remove the key shine, and you don't care about wearing out the characters / symbols printed on your keys, and you have access to a machine shop... get the keys sandblasted.
     
  8. lead_org

    lead_org Purveyor of Truth

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    or just get a silicon keyboard protector...
     
  9. erik

    erik modifier

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    eventually the friction from your fingers will wear the ABS+PC plastic out no matter how clean the keys are kept.   all my keyboards 3+ years old are shiny and no amount of cleaning or periodic maintenance would have saved them.   viewing the keys with a 10x loupe proves wear and not oily residue.

    let's not forget that if friction didn't wear stuff down then the letters on thinkpad keyboards wouldn't have a clear varnish over them to prolong life.   and, the X300 wouldn't have pioneered a durable polymer coating over its keys to prolong life before "the shine."

    but, keyboards are a wear item.   ones used heavily inevitably need replaced. :D
     
  10. warakawa

    warakawa Notebook Evangelist

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    by the time you worn out the keyboard the lettering, wouldn't you have memorised the key position by then? Especially those people who have multiple thinkpads.

    If lenovo ever release otaku version of thinkpad keyboard, I'll be the first to order them.
     
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