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I was testing a Thinkpad SL500 system at a local store and found the flexing of the keyboard to be quite a deal breaker for me; it was flexing quite prominently with very little pressure applied. I find it hard to believe that a business grade laptop should have this problem as a consumer grade laptop that I own (Dell Inspiron 1526) has very little keyboard flex and one needs to apply a lot of pressure to notice it.

Is this a common issue with the SL500 or SL510 models of Thinkpad laptops? What about the Thinkpad R500, does this also suffer from similar issues?

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There was a problem with one specific keyboard FRU series in some of the T400s and 500s that did this; Lenovo will swap it if you call and complain. I do not believe any of these ever made it into the SL500 though, and am also unaware of any complaints about the keyboard. (And I used to do first level tech support for Lenovo!)

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That's the first time I've ever heard a complaint about a Thinkpad keyboard. None of the many models I've worked with exhibit that issue.

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The SL-series are cost-reduced and not built quite as well as more traditional ThinkPads. The R-series are usually better built, but the best quality ThinkPads are the slim T-series and X-series (the ultraslim lightweight 's' models flex slightly more, as they have carbon-fibre instead of the titanium roll-cages).

ThinkPads in general are not as well built as the older IBM-era ones, in my opinion, but they are still built very well, and much less expensive than they used to be. I'm on my sixth ThinkPad, an X200s, which has a very slight amount of keyboard flex when I press down on the right side of the keyboard (on the P key).

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