Two weeks ago when I came home after using the tablet in a car for a few hours I noticed that the screen won’t turn and that there was a lot of bend by the hinge. I have had this tablet for about three years and the warranty had recently expired. I knew getting it fixed from Lenovo would be expensive and probably more than I was willing to pay. Luckily, Lenovo publishes the hardware guide for most of their products so I downloaded X60’s hardware manual for reference and opened up the LCD to figure out what was wrong.

A very blurry picture of the broken hinge.

As you can see in the picture on the right, the left half of the hinge was broken. I didn’t blame Lenovo for it because I have used this tablet almost everyday, opening, closing and turning multiple times in a single day. The hardware manual was very helpful because it gave me the exact part number (which, as I found out, is also on almost every replaceable part in this laptop, a big plus!) and after about 20 minutes I knew that I could get a replacement part for less $50 (including shipping).

I needed an excuse to upgrade my system and this was my perfect chance so I decided to do some research on finding a replacement laptop. After spending a few days and not finding a system that matched my “upgrade” specs (LED backlight, backlit keyboard, ideally Core i7/Calpella, 14-15” screen, DDR3, light weight, long battery life) and be better than this tablet I decided that it was better to wait. So, I ordered the hinge and it finally arrived last week.

Last night I decided to give it a try and at least open up the system. Below is a picture with all the necessary parts removed (yup, scary!).

All the necessary parts removed.

…and here is a picture of the good and the bad hinges.

The new hinge (left) and the old, broken hinge (right)

After changing the hinge and putting most of the system back together I found out that the system would turn on, the hard disk would spin for a few seconds, but then everything would just go back as if the system was dead. Going in I knew that there was a chance that I might make the system unusable and seeing this behavior I was a little sad, but I decided not to give up yet.

After a long break I took a second stab and took it apart one more time to make sure that I had everything reconnected completely and correctly. When it was back to the bare bones I tried booting and, surprisingly, it booted! 🙂 So, I started putting it back together, but this time I booted the system after almost every connection to be sure that I didn’t mess it up again. After about forty-five minutes of careful reconstruction everything was back together and working. All in all the whole project took about eight hours (had to go get a new set of electronics screwdrivers) and improved my confidence in my skills 🙂 Best of all, I have a rejuvenated X60 tablet with a hinge that should last at least another two years to heavy use.

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