Replacing a Laptop's Rubber Pads

Soft and easy to install replacement feet

This a sad story for Sony that led to me customizing my laptop for the better.  Have you ever accidentally torn a rubber foot off of the bottom of a laptop by sliding it on a table or into a bag?  In September I noticed my laptop was wobbling when I typed.  To run add to the annoyance I was trying to use it on an airplane and it kept sliding off the tray.  I had lost one of the rubber feet from the bottom of my VAIO extended battery and it was causing the laptop to bounce whenever I rested my right hand on the laptop or typed on the lower-right of the keyboard.

I called Sony for a replacement part thinking they could send me a sheet of them for a few dollars.  It turned out I could get one (that's just a single rubber foot about 1.5" long and 1/4" wide) for $6.82 with shipping.  I almost declined, but I'm so particular that I'm afraid I accepted the order.  I placed the order on November 12, 2010 and I've never seen that rubber foot.

I called 5 or 6 times to get status updates and each time I was told the order had been sent to a warehouse that didn't carry that item, but the good news was the warehouse that did stock the rubber feet was close by and I would receive it in a few days.  I watched as the $6.82 charge appeared and disappeared from my online bank statement.  A supervisor called me to apologize once, but that was in the first week of December.

Anyway, my morbid curiosity faded and I was once again annoyed by the wobbling.  My search for a replacement came up empty until I got the idea to try the padded felt feet used for furniture legs.  I purchased 20 felt strips for $3.52.  Each strip is about 3" long and 3/4" wide with self adhesive on the back.  That sure makes a $6.82 rubber foot seem really silly.

I peeled off the remaining rubber foot and used it as a pattern.  I cut out two long rectangles from the foot, trimmed the corners a little, and stuck them on.  They fit perfectly and and the laptop was balanced once more.

Now, the drawback to this is the felt feet aren't meant to grip a surface, they slide.  This was great for me.  I almost never use my laptop on an angled surface and I often slide it around my desk.  The felt feet and rise of the extended battery allow me to lift up the front of the laptop and slide it around without having to pick up the whole thing.  It's a nice convenience, but might be a pain if I ever do try to use an angled surface.

If you want the feet to grip the surface then I recommended buying the rubber version of the felt feet.  Both types are made for furniture, so you can shop around for the rubber pads instead.  You can even coordinate the colors.  I was stuck with tan or dark brown, but if I ever come across black pads I will probably pick up a pack of them.  You can find these in WalMart, Lowes, Home Depot, or any other store that offers a home improvement section.

### If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment! Thanks for reading.


laptops said...

Excellent post....

brian said...

It's amazing how we never consider something so small to be such a huge annoyance. I had one rubber pad disappear on me and my typing days were over. What laptop doesn't have rubber feet that's adhesive? They're made to be moved around and they'll eventually slide off from the heat. I ended up using a little laptop stand whenever I'm on the desk so the pivoting action doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. One of my laptop's feet are missing and i think i'll use a rubber furniture thing. I use my laptop A LOT so i like it to be in good working order...