To observe the configuration of the retainer clip hinge type, the laptop key needs to be removed. During the purchasing process, it is often necessary for the retainer clip type to be identified. In the case that the key cap is not removed already (suppose the laptop key is simply worn out or damaged and needs to be replaced), below are tips and tricks to safely remove the laptop key cap for hinge identification.
The easiest and most common method for removal is to place the index finder in the corner of the key cap and gently pull up. If the key does not separate from the retainer clip, try the same on an diagonal corner. When the key separates, there is a distinct "snap" sound as the plastic hooks on the underside separate. Once you are able to lift up on one corner, do the same to an adjacent corner. At this point the laptop key can be lifted up and removed from the keyboard base.
The key cap will always have a little play in it so if this method does not work, a small screwdriver can be used to gently lift up the key enough so you can observe the way the retainer clip attaches to the back of the key. This information can be used to determine the best way to remove the key cap.
For larger keys, there my be an extra metal bar that hooks into the base of the laptop keyboard. The metal bar will always slide into two metal brackets on the keyboard base so make sure that they slide out properly when removing the laptop keyboard key from the base. Below is a video of some samples we put together for removing various keys.