ThinkPad X240: replacing touchpad and keyboard

5 Jan

Since I started using ThinkPad R500 in 2008, I immediately felt in love with Lenovo’s trackpoint which I think is the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel (I had had Dell Latitude for four years prior to that and I hated their trackpoint as it was utter sh*t). So when I was about to replace R500 with a new X240 after six years, I was a bit skeptical about the idea to merge the buttons and touchpad into a single touchpad/button thingy. But I really wanted to ditch the heavy brick and have a small lightweight laptop (wish I had gotten X61 instead of R500) so I went with X240.

X240’s sore – trackpad

After I got my X240 and turned off touchpad functionality and all the gestures, I thought that it ain’t so bad and I can still use the trackpoint as before. But whenever I took the old R500 off the shelf for some lab work, I realized, how much I miss the old trackpoint with proper left/middle/right buttons instead of that one loud piece of sheet on X240. Sadly, after about a year of usage, I suddenly missed even more the sturdiness and build quality of the old R500.

Yep, it’s broken. And no, I did not drop it.

To my surprise Lenovo refused to replace the bezel (I guess most of you saw that coming). Luckily, as I was shopping for a new bezel on eBay, among the search results I noticed a few new touchpads WITH REAL BUTTONS! After a bit of googling and reading I found out that Lenovo in the meantime came to senses and for X250/T450/X1 3rd gen. series they ditched the frugal shitty touchpad and brought back one with the hardware buttons. Since X240 and X250 share much of the same hardware, it is possible to replace X240 one-piece-of-sheet touchpad with an awesome-with-real-buttons one from X250.


Once I was on a shopping spree, besides a new bezel and a touchpad I also bought a new backlit keyboard (again, I did not realize Lenovo removed the illumination light found on every ThinkPad before and started offering backlit keyboards when I bought my X240 – as an extra). My old keyboard was one with Slovak layout but I use US layout most of the time so I was constantly looking for the correct buttons to press. Therefore I wanted the new backlit keyboard to have standard US layout. However, as I found out, the US layout is featuring small horizontal ENTER key, not a big vertical one as found on my old keyboard. As a compromise I bought UK layout, which is probably the closest one to US layout featuring big ENTER key.

List of hardware

FRU numberDescriptionPrice
04X5180X240 keyboard bezel with touchpad and fingerprint reader7.50€
Does not have sepparate FRU (00HT390 for bezel w/ touchpad)X250 touchpad18.50€
04X0244X240/X250 CS13X keyboard, UK layout, LiteOn, backlit45.99€

Replacing the touchpad

Since I bought a new X250 touchpad and X240 bezel as well, I could start replacing the touchpad without dismantling the laptop, first. After removing the black tape and exposing the connector, I opened it and removed the ribbon cable. Then I pried off the top of the touchpad, revealing the base (the top is snapped on the steel wires by plastic clips). After that, I lifted the base from the bezel (it’s glued on by a double-sided tape).

Once I had removed the touchpad, I flipped it over and compared the base of both touchpads.

2015_12_25__20_58_39As you can see, the X250 touchpad (on the right) has differently molded the recessed part and won’t slide into the X240 bezel fully. It can be fitted, but it will not touch with the bezel along the edges, as the recessed base is constraining the touchpad to sink into the opening. The result is the touchpad will stand out a bit higher as it’s supposed to.

Update: as reported by user thnikk in the comments, it seems that Lenovo updated the touchpad base design to match with x250. The late x240 models (his touchpad manufacture date is 02-12-2014) will have the same touchpad base and fitting bezel as the new x250 touchpad, making the swap a piece of cake. So check your touchpad bottom after removing it and compare it to the images in the guide to see, whether you need to cut anything or not. Here are the images provided by thnikk of his x240 touchpad. The model number is B146020CS1 and revision RS4. I also found images of the new x240 palmrest on eBay, showing that the palmrest is shaped accordingly to fit the new touchpad.

The following part is not for the faint-hearted. You need to modify the bezel so the opening will fit the new X250 touchpad. I used a cutting knife for this task (the plastic is quite thin so the knife will do the job nicely). You also need to remove the metal latches from the touchpad’s base (with a Dremel or metal cutting scissors). If you’re not up to the task, I suggest you buy the whole X250 bezel with assembled touchpad (FRU 00HT390 for version with finger-print reader, 00HT391 without finger-print reader).

Once the excess plastic edge and metal latches are cut off, the touchpad will fit in nicely. You can reapply double-sided tape and attach the touchpad. The result can bee seen on the following pictures.

Replacing the keyboard

Procedure for replacing the keyboard is a bit of a hassle, because you need to remove the whole mainboard and there’s a lot of double-sided tape involved. Luckily, there are no special requirements or restrictions on upgrading the keyboard with backlight, you simply switch the keyboards, reconnect the ribbon cables and you are done (no need to reinstall drivers or change values in BIOS/Windows settings).

Here is a nice youtube video by TechSolvers guiding you through opening up X240 and replacing the keyboard.

One addition to the video – when disconnecting ribbon cable from finger-print reader (at 14:02), do not pull out the cable as instructed in the video. There is a black latch that needs to be released, first.


Installing drivers for touchpad

When you have everything back in place, you need to downgrade the Windows drivers to version (the latest version as of today is, as is the latest version the touchpad with hardware buttons is fully supported (I am not sure why Lenovo removed the support from the newer drivers, but maybe it’s a business decision to boost the sales of X250 models 🙂 ). Otherwise, the hardware buttons do not work in Windows. To proceed with the downgrade, uninstall Synaptics ThinkPad UltraNav Driver through control panel and install package UltraNav[n10gx25w].exe from Lenovo (or you can use local mirror). Once you have the new driver installed, disable automatic updates for Synaptics UltraNav Driver in Lenovo System Update (by clicking Do not show this update link).


Under the mouse properties in control panel you can then control and adjust all the features of the new touchpad along with the trackpoint (I have disabled the touchpad completely and use only hardware buttons along with the trackpoint).


For the reference, here is the version information for the UltraNav Driver after version


  The following versions have been released to date.

  Package       Rev.  Issue Date
  ----------    ----  ----------    01    2016/08/15    01    2015/02/17    02    2015/02/05    01    2015/01/26     01    2014/11/07     02    2014/10/28     01    2014/09/19

  Note: Revision number (Rev.) is for administrative purpose of this README document and is not related to software version. There is no need to upgrade this software when the revision number changes.

  To check the version of software, refer to the Determining which version is installed section.

Summary of Changes

  Where: <   >        Package version number
         [Important]  Important update
         (New)        New function or enhancement
         (Fix)        Correction to existing function

- (Fix) Fixed security vulnerability issue caused by version of libpng package used.

- (Fix) Fixed an issue where TouchPad/TrackPoint might be enabled when Lid was closed.

- [Important] Ended support for ThinkPad Helix 2nd Gen (Machine types: 20CG, 20CH). Note: For ThinkPad Helix 2nd Gen (Machine types: 20CG, 20CH), use the Synaptics ThinkPad UltraNav Driver version (N10GW15W) or higher.
- (Fix) Removed ThinkPad W541 from the support models (typo).

- (New) Added support for switching scroll direction in Metro Applications.
- (New) Renamed the Device Name.
- (New) All 3 finger and 4 finger gestures are disabled by default (Added Win7).
- (New) 2 finger rotate and edge swipes gestures are disabled by default (Added Win7).

- (New) Edge Tap Filtering enabled by default.
- (New) Gesture Filtering disabled by default.
- (New) 2 finger rotate disabled by default. (Win8.1 only)
- (New) All 3/4 finger gestures disabled by default. (Win8.1 only)
- (New) Edge swipe gesture disabled by default. (Win8.1 only)

- (New) Added support for ThinkPad Helix 2nd Gen (Machine types: 20CG, 20CH).

- (New) Added new multi-language support to help Win8 search for Mouse properties
- (New) Added top right button zone for Touchpad mode.
- (Fix) Fixed an issue on broken translations in GUI
- (Fix) Fixed "Click Anywhere" label in Mouse Properties Not Aligned in Japanese OS
- (Fix) Fixed "Button Size" label missing issue Mouse Properties in Japanese OS
- (Fix) Fixed an issue on click function not working until system restart right after the overwrite installation from driver version

From what I can tell, the new drivers do not bring any new functionality except enabling/disabling some setting defaults. I have been using the new touchpad with driver for over two months, now, and I had zero issues so far, so I am certainly not missing anything having older drivers (I don’t think there could be an issue big enough to force me to move back to the old button-less touchpad, anyway).


Here are a few images after the whole procedure along with a video showing the trackpad buttons and backlit keyboard really work 🙂

Before: Thinkpad X240 with standard TouchPad and Slovak keyboard
After: ThinkPad X240 with TouhcPad from X250 and UK backlit keyboard

66 Replies to “ThinkPad X240: replacing touchpad and keyboard

  1. Ahoj, great job with this blog. I am going to replace the TP soon. Hope I have the newer version so I do not need to cut or use dremel.
    Btw I am also Slovak and like to fiddle with my Thinkpads a lot!

    • So it went actually pretty well, I found that my x240 is the newer model with the new mounting. So I did not need to cut anything. However I came across a little issue, where the connector on the new Touchpad was a little bit further away and the cable barely reached it. But I have managed to connect it. The driver you provide here worked fine.

  2. the driver seems not to work anymore i even tried to reset my windows.
    As long as its listet as ps/2 mouse, the butttons work fine (gesture of course not), but when i install the driver, only the touchpad works…

  3. Hi,

    Great article.

    Can you let us know where you purchased the replacement parts from? And what was the quality like (if you bought it from somewhere like Aliexpress)?


    • Hi Louise, I purchased the parts off eBay and they were genuine Lenovo parts in mint condition (I believe they were new).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.