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W520 display is getting dimmed / dull - what to do?

W500/W510/W520 and W700/W701 Series
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Phidelio
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: GBG, Scandinavia

W520 display is getting dimmed / dull - what to do?

#1 Post by Phidelio » Fri Aug 27, 2021 6:28 pm

Hey guys!

My W520 (WUXGA 1920x1080) display seems to get darker and darker. Do I need to get a new inverter (hardly know what that is), a new panel or what? Any ideas/tips welcome. Cheers :)
Has owned a silly amount of Thinkpads: 600|600e|A20|A31p|R31|R40|R50e|R60e|X40|X41|X41Tablet|X60|X61S|X300|X301|T20|T30|T40|T40p|T41|T41p|T60|T60p|T61p|
T410|T520|W500 wuxga|W520|W700

atagunov
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Re: W520 display is getting dimmed / dull - what to do?

#2 Post by atagunov » Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:17 pm

Hi, the inverter (a small board inside the display enclosure) would have been a cheap fix but I fear there is no reason to believe that what you're seeing is the inverter's fault.
My assumption would be that the backlight in the screen panel is getting dimmer and dimmer.
So to fix the issue would mean to replace the screen panel.

Now I understand there is basically one model of 1920*1080 panels suitable for W520/W530. It would also fit T520/T530.
And the sad truth is that they're hard to get.
I think only used ones are floating on ebay - and can you be sure they're really better than yours?..

The exact model name floated somewhere.. you'll need to search a little.. don't have it handy..
If you somehow got a new one it would be expensive.

So I'm a bit unsure what to advise. How bad is your panel? I think it's reasonable to say - okay these screens are not bright enough for proper outdoor use, especially in summer sunlight, let us confine them to indoors..
X220, 2 *T520

axur-delmeria
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Re: W520 display is getting dimmed / dull - what to do?

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:50 pm

The LCD on the W520 has a LED backlight, so there's no inverter board to replace.

You can use certain hardware info software to identify the installed LCD. I think AIDA64 can do it, though I haven't tested recently as I usually run Linux on my computers.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

atagunov
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Re: W520 display is getting dimmed / dull - what to do?

#4 Post by atagunov » Sat Aug 28, 2021 11:00 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:50 pm
You can use certain hardware info software to identify the installed LCD. I think AIDA64 can do it
Certainly but W520/W530 are a special case - there is basically one FRU/model to look for if you want 1920x1080
viewtopic.php?p=852451

Guess we can trust RBS when he names it as
04W1544
AUO B156HW01 V.4
In that topic..
X220, 2 *T520

Phidelio
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: GBG, Scandinavia

Re: W520 display is getting dimmed / dull - what to do?

#5 Post by Phidelio » Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:28 am

Guys, thank you for your answers!

Hmm, I wonder if I am not better off just getting a new (used) W520 then. Seems complicated - and expensive, to get a new display. How I wish Lenovo still made something as good as the W520 (+16:10 aspect ratio).
Has owned a silly amount of Thinkpads: 600|600e|A20|A31p|R31|R40|R50e|R60e|X40|X41|X41Tablet|X60|X61S|X300|X301|T20|T30|T40|T40p|T41|T41p|T60|T60p|T61p|
T410|T520|W500 wuxga|W520|W700

atagunov
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Re: W520 display is getting dimmed / dull - what to do?

#6 Post by atagunov » Tue Aug 31, 2021 8:20 am

Phidelio wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:28 am
Seems complicated
He he, it's also a question of time. I'm regarding myself reasonably technically competent but I'm repeatedly failing to find time to use all the parts I purchased for upgrading my Thinkpads
Phidelio wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:28 am
and expensive, to get a new display
No experience trying to purchase such a panel. No idea how good/bad the cheaper options on ebay are.
Phidelio wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:28 am
I wonder if I am not better off just getting a new (used) W520 then
I suppose you could also look for W530 too, who knows what surfaces on ebay. Again I don't know if the screen you're going to get will be better than the one you have but might be the only option if you like me keep failing to find time...
Phidelio wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:28 am
How I wish Lenovo still made something as good as the W520 (+16:10 aspect ratio).
He he. My sticking point is the keyboard. I'm stubbornly refusing to use any machine not taking W520/T520/X220 keyboard :) So W530 is okay but T440p is not for me. And I want my Thinkpads to have a strong body, I don't trust modern thin designs. T520/W520 is about the right thickness for me, and X220 is how light/thin I want the smaller machines to be. T440p would have been fine too if it wasn't for the keyboard. And it can take modern screen panels.. I'm also a believer in external batteries, with proper 18650 cells in them. Thin LiPo batts in my view are better suited for mobile phones!

16:9 - one can learn to live with it..
X220, 2 *T520

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