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I have an IBM X61 laptop and I don't quite like the amount of pressure I have to provide to press a key (too much pressure). I wonder if it is possible to use some third party keyboard key parts to soften up the keyboard keys or some other way to workaround the issue.

I've searched a little and it appears that IBM provides only one type of keyboard for my laptop model.

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I can't imagine that there's any practical way to change the force of the keys. I suppose there may be 3rd-party replacements for some popular keyboards, but that's a long shot. You can, of course, plug in a USB keyboard and use that. This is especially handy if you also use a separate monitor -- you can place the keyboard in front of the monitor with the laptop off to one side. I did this with the Thinkpad I used to have. (But, unfortunately, good USB keyboards are hard to find too.) – Daniel R Hicks Mar 18 '12 at 14:28
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I wouldn't suggest opening up a keyboard - scissor type keyboards are a pain to work with, and simple enough that there's very little you can do.

Granted that i'm a thinkpad fanboy, i don't think there's very many laptop keyboards that are better. I've also taken these apart, and its simply a little rubber tube which a button pushes down - and these are bonded to a circuit board. I suppose if you could change these tubes (hard) or somehow weaken them (airgun?), you could soften it

Good news is, any standard rubber dome keyboard should be lighter than your thinkpad - just get the cheapest you can. Its not what i'd normally recommend, but in this scenario, its the cheapest option

If you want to do it more scientifically, the thinkpad has a force of between 61 and 67 grams according to geekhack.You can look at other actuation forces there.

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FWIW the Thinkpad keys do seem to soften up a bit over time. I recently had to replace my keyboard and the new one has a bit more force when pressing they keys. Personally I like it that way, but since you don't you may find that using the keyboard for a while will work it in (so to speak). Failing that, an external keyboard is a better choice than trying to modify the keyboard. – Wayne Johnston Mar 18 '12 at 23:06

I'd suggest you press em harder but don't use excessive force, maybe with time the keys will soften thereby getting to a state you would be happy typing with.

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