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Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:06 pm
by npish
I have a W520 with which I'm overall quite satisfied-- aside from the FHD display that I was hoping would be sufficient for color work, which it sadly is not. I'm seeing that the new W541 and W550s models come with a 3k IPS display option, which is making me highly envious-- and given that I'm very satisfied with the overall performance of the W520, I'm wondering if it's (physically/electronically) possible to buy one of these displays and swap it in? I realize this might void the warranty, etc. but I would simply like to know if it's even a possibility. Thanks for any feedback here.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:49 pm
by jdrou
I believe that would be an extremely difficult mod to do since the W520 uses an LVDS display interface while the models after the 230/430/530 series use eDP interface. Not just a simple panel swap.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:29 am
by axur-delmeria
Very difficult.

Approach 1: use LVDS to eDP converter
Challenges: need free space inside the laptop for the converter; fabricate a new LCD cable from scratch.

Approach 2: find and use extra DisplayPorts in W520 board (this is how Leokim installed an FHD panel on the X220)
Challenges: need schematics for W520; fabricate new LCD cable from scratch; modify BIOS

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:24 pm
by npish
Wow, ok thanks much for the reponses; I had a feeling it was not likely to be an easy mod... too bad.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:59 am
by Norway Pad
I suspect that if it had been possible to swap out the Tx20 panels by means of some mod, we would most likely have seen a little industry grow up from it.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:14 pm
by jdrou
Norway Pad wrote:I suspect that if it had been possible to swap out the Tx20 panels by means of some mod, we would most likely have seen a little industry grow up from it.
Yes, given how many people dislike the new keyboard on the x30 series and then the trackpoint/touchpad 'buttons' on the x40 many longtime Thinkpad owners probably refused to upgrade past the x20. Much like there is a lot of focus on upgrading other aspects of the last models with 4:3 screens.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:32 pm
by ajkula66
npish wrote:Wow, ok thanks much for the reponses; I had a feeling it was not likely to be an easy mod... too bad.
There's an LG Philips IPS panel which fits the T/W510/20/30 models.

http://www.panelook.com/LP156WF4-SLB1_L ... 16978.html

This upgrade has been performed by at least one member of our forum.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:39 am
by u666sa
Everything is possible, but the interfaces are different as you know by now, it will have to be a hack of some sort. Much better solution for you is to either buy a new laptop or buy a port replicator and a monitor. Let's face it, you are not using your laptop for high demand color apps on the go, you are in an office of some sort, and you can just plug in a monitor. Besides, not all IPS displays are made equal, and what is available for laptops is is lot less in quality than an expensive monitor.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:12 am
by ajkula66
u666sa wrote:Everything is possible, but the interfaces are different as you know by now, it will have to be a hack of some sort.
Nope. The interfaces in this particular scenario are the same.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:14 am
by axur-delmeria
ajkula66 wrote:Nope. The interfaces in this particular scenario are the same.
Wow, that's good news. So that means this panel works on T and W series from 510 to 530, right?

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:18 am
by ajkula66
axur-delmeria wrote:
ajkula66 wrote:Nope. The interfaces in this particular scenario are the same.
Wow, that's good news. So that means this panel works on T and W series from 510 to 530, right?
Correct.

My understanding - please bear in mind that I haven't performed this swap myself - is that some finagling with the LCD cable IS required due to the different position of the connectors on the LCD(s) in question.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:52 am
by axur-delmeria
ajkula66 wrote:My understanding - please bear in mind that I haven't performed this swap myself - is that some finagling with the LCD cable IS required due to the different position of the connectors on the LCD(s) in question.
That seems to be the case.

The connector on the LG LP156WF4-SLB1 is at the bottom, around 1/3 from the right edge: picture

On the other hand, the AUO B156HW01 V4 (FHD panel for the T and W 510-530 series) has the connector a little left of center, around 1.5 inches from the bottom edge: picture

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:57 am
by ajkula66
axur-delmeria wrote: That seems to be the case.
I *might* eventually get to doing this myself, but not anytime soon since I'm way too busy and don't need another ThinkPad project right now, if at all...

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:12 am
by u666sa
Things to watch out for. During lcd swap in hp notebook I bought same model number but different revision in the end color was 4 bit.

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:53 am
by _65536_kb_sec_
I'm wondering on the very same topic myself - is it possible to swap an IPS screen on a W510, since the default one (1600x900) is pretty bad overall.
The cause is that i need to be doing some graphic work, where the image accuracy would be a concern.

I wonder if anyone has seen a topic or an article of such swap ?

Re: Possible to swap W520 FHD display for IPS?

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:49 am
by ajkula66
_65536_kb_sec_ wrote:I'm wondering on the very same topic myself - is it possible to swap an IPS screen on a W510, since the default one (1600x900) is pretty bad overall.
The cause is that i need to be doing some graphic work, where the image accuracy would be a concern.

I wonder if anyone has seen a topic or an article of such swap ?
The same screen that I've referenced above will work in the W510. You can also upgrade your panel to the FHD (1920x1080) one that was the option on that model.