Sunday, October 25, 2015

Buttons are back! Or how I added buttons to my Thinkpad Yoga S1

I've been rocking a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga S1 for a while now and generally love it.  One thing that has always bothered me was the trackpad.  It was large and smooth, but it lacked dedicated buttons, and was very clunky when pressed.  Lenovo got beat up in reviews pretty bad for their choice to remove the trackpad buttons from the Thinkpad line and in later models decided to bring them back.  On the Yoga they came back on the Thinkpad Yoga 12 in late 2014ish.  A user on the Lenovo forum noticed that they looked about the same size and ended up gambling and ordering the part from Lenovo.

To break it down you just need Lenovo PN: 00HN577, a screwdriver, and the drivers from Synaptics.  I bought mine on e-bay for about 50 bucks and the install couldn't be simpler.

  1. First you should disable the battery in the BIOS.  
  2. Remove all the screws on the bottom of the laptop and then you will be able to carefully pry the bottom plate off.
  3. The battery has to removed next, and this is why you disabled it in the BIOS.  Gently remove the connector then remove the one screw.  There is a small retaining clip near the bottom edge that you will have to poke with a small object.  After that the battery will pull right out exposing the trackpad underneath.  
  4. Gently remove the ribbon cable from the trackpad.  The side of the connector opposite of the cable flips up releasing the cable.  
  5. The trackpad removes with just two screws after that.  Just grab it from the bottom and it will wiggle out.
  6. Installation is just the reverse of the previous steps.
  7. After you get it all put back together you should have a functional trackpad.  Mine worked for pointing, clicking, and gestures.  The buttons did not work right away though.  The solution that worked for me on W10 was to use the drivers on Synaptics page:

I think the upgrade is well worth the time and money.  Having the buttons back makes a huge difference.  I like the feel of the new pad more than the old one, and clicking the pad is much improved.



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  2. Hi, Sean!

    Thanks for sharing this.
    I'm trying to choose which one to get as a replacement, there is a lot cheap options on ebay,
    But also some bad responses about worse touchpad responsiveness.
    Do you have any problems with yours?
    And may be you can share a link to an item you have bought?


  3. I bought mine from this store:
    They don't seem to have anything available for sale right now though so I'm not sure what is up with that.

    I haven't had any issues with mine. I think it's an overall great upgrade. The buttons are great and the trackpad works just fine. The texture is a little different but not bad.