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ThinkPad T480s QHD to UHD 4K LCD screen Upgrade LP140UD1-SPD3

T430-T490, T530-T590 Series
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iamdmc
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ThinkPad T480s QHD to UHD 4K LCD screen Upgrade LP140UD1-SPD3

#1 Post by iamdmc » Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:45 am

Photos here: https://imgur.com/a/FYEvdAm

Following on from my FHD (1920x1080) to QHD (2560x1440) panel upgrade from late 2018, I decided to take the jump to UHD (3840x2160). Here's my guide on replacing the panel: https://old.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comme ... pplies_to/ note you will absolutely need the QHD+ 40 pin eDP cable for this mod if you're going from FHD to QHD or UHD. If you already have a QHD screen then all you need to do is unplug the old panel and pop the new one in

**PANEL PROGRESSION**

First panel from factory was a terrible BOE NV140FHM-N46, 1920x1080, 6-bit color (252K colors, 68% sRGB, 38% adobeRGB), dim 220cd/m2, with noticeable 'IPS glow'

Second panel from FHD to QHD upgrade was a decent AUO B140QAN02.3 (not the better B140QAN02.0 that supported HDR and 500cd/m2). 2560x1440, 8-bit color (16.7mil colors, 100% sRGB, 60% adobeRGB), a bit brighter at 300cd/m2, and no noticeable 'IPS glow'

Current panel from QHD to UHD upgrade is an LG LP140UD1-SPD3: 3840x2160, 8-bit color (16.7mil colors, 100% sRGB, 100% adobeRGB, 100% DCI-P3), a step brighter at 350cd/m2, and no noticeable 'IPS glow'

**Some details about the upgrade**

Before you start, I agree with you: 1440p (220PPI) is good enough for most everything... but I do work with details that I sit nearer to my screen and 1440p loses its 'retina' quality nearer 16", whereas 2160p (315PPI) is good up to 11" and that's about as close as I'll ever sit to my screen.

Other notable improvements from this upgrade are a noticeable jump in peak brightness, ever so slightly crisper text, and sharper video. The color reproduction is also far better. The jump from QHD to UHD wasn't as massive as the jump from FHD to QHD (possible because the Lenovo factory installed FHD panel was inexcusably bad).

Of note, the initial color reproduction was terrible, contrast and white balance were way off, and it absolutely required a calibration. You can use ICM files from the web, but it's always better to calibrate your own individual panel. I picked up a calibration tool (X-Rite i1Display Studio) for 87GBP on amazon, and have used it on my LG 4K projector, LG 4K 27" monitor, several 14" laptop panels, and a few external portable monitors. Calibration sometimes doesn't change much, but in this case it made a huge difference. If you get this panel and need an ICM file message me and I can email you mine with the caveat that 'your mileage may vary'


**Where can I get one**

I sourced the panel from [this seller](https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003 ... 4c4dI4TGNb) aliexpress for about 87GBP taxed & delivered. Pro tip: ask each seller you're considering to send you photos and videos of the panel - the best sellers will and are also very responsive to messages. No it wasn't new, but no panels on aliexpress are. I paid around the same price in 2018 for my QHD panel from a UK seller, and it was a new screen in a Lenovo box (so the EDID populated correctly whereas it does not on the new panel), but again that was QHD. The LG UHD panel is, unfortunately, thicker and wider than even the original FHD panel so some lid modification was required and my trusted dremel came out to play. You basically need to grind down all of the raised plastic tabs on the inside lid and under the plastic bezel/frame to fit in the new panel - this took a bit of time. It's not a drop in replacement as the QHD panel was or some other UHD panels, but compared to the other options out there from the likes of BOE which are reviewed as grainy and not as color accurate, the LG panel was worth the effort. I don't recommend this upgrade for the feint hearted.


Any questions feel free to ask!
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 1TB Samsung 980 Pro 2280 M.2 M-key PCIe x4 | FHDtoQHDtoUHD upgrade | 2242 M.2 B-key PCIe x2 @WWAN slot | Intel AX210

The X61 is dead... long live the X61

Past IBM ThinkPads: T450s, X250, X230, X220, X300, T410, X61s, T60p, T41, X31, T23, A21m

lsp1138
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:29 am
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Re: ThinkPad T480s QHD to UHD 4K LCD screen Upgrade LP140UD1-SPD3

#2 Post by lsp1138 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:40 am

Hello and thank you for the detailed pictures and work on this. I love my T480s but as its my main working machine I suffer from the poor FHD screen. My use of the laptop is programming and system development but I take my laptop everywhere and need it to be useable also in places with sunlight or a lot of natural light. I dont really care about color accuracy or movies or anything like that. What i really need is high resolution to comfortably be able to show more detail without straining my eyes and more brightness to work comfortably in varying light conditions.

From your work I gather that the UHK screen is good but it looks like a daunting prospect to mod the screen case so much. I think I would be best to go with the high brightness QWHD screen you mention (B140QAN02.0). Am I right in thinking that this is the best mod for my use? I have found what looks to be a reputable seller on Aliexpress for this screen (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000911 ... 9600%22%7D) and I have asked the seller to give me information about the screen on hand and with pictures.

I have read elsewhere that there are a few low-power FHD screens with really high bightness as well (the models are not at hand) but I think the combo of both high bightness and the extra resolution will add a lot to my trusted T480s.

Only question is if the screen is glossy or matte (hoping it is) and that it does not draw all the battery out of my laptop (which is not the end of the world).

Thanks again for sharing all this - soon - hopefully - I will be trying out the mod myself.

cheers
Lars

iamdmc
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:37 pm
Location: Downtown Toronto, Canada

Re: ThinkPad T480s QHD to UHD 4K LCD screen Upgrade LP140UD1-SPD3

#3 Post by iamdmc » Fri Oct 15, 2021 7:02 am

lsp1138 wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:40 am
Hello and thank you for the detailed pictures and work on this. I love my T480s but as its my main working machine I suffer from the poor FHD screen. My use of the laptop is programming and system development but I take my laptop everywhere and need it to be useable also in places with sunlight or a lot of natural light. I dont really care about color accuracy or movies or anything like that. What i really need is high resolution to comfortably be able to show more detail without straining my eyes and more brightness to work comfortably in varying light conditions.

From your work I gather that the UHK screen is good but it looks like a daunting prospect to mod the screen case so much. I think I would be best to go with the high brightness QWHD screen you mention (B140QAN02.0). Am I right in thinking that this is the best mod for my use? I have found what looks to be a reputable seller on Aliexpress for this screen (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000911 ... 9600%22%7D) and I have asked the seller to give me information about the screen on hand and with pictures.

I have read elsewhere that there are a few low-power FHD screens with really high bightness as well (the models are not at hand) but I think the combo of both high bightness and the extra resolution will add a lot to my trusted T480s.

Only question is if the screen is glossy or matte (hoping it is) and that it does not draw all the battery out of my laptop (which is not the end of the world).

Thanks again for sharing all this - soon - hopefully - I will be trying out the mod myself.

cheers
Lars
Hi Lars

You're correct that the QHD screen model you mentioned is best for your use case, but it is also glossy (as are most 500nit + HDR displays, sadly). There are supposedly UHD 500 nit matte panels in the T14 gen 2 that would also meet your needs, but may not be drop in replacements as the QHD panel is, and I haven't even found those new panel models (2021 production) on any consumer facing marketplace yet. When they do become available (likely mid 2022 thanks to the ongoing shortages) they will likely cost 2-3x what the QHD panel does.

Read some panel reviews (especially the excellent review by notebookcheck) and decide if it's right for you. Best of luck!
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 1TB Samsung 980 Pro 2280 M.2 M-key PCIe x4 | FHDtoQHDtoUHD upgrade | 2242 M.2 B-key PCIe x2 @WWAN slot | Intel AX210

The X61 is dead... long live the X61

Past IBM ThinkPads: T450s, X250, X230, X220, X300, T410, X61s, T60p, T41, X31, T23, A21m

iamdmc
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:37 pm
Location: Downtown Toronto, Canada

Re: ThinkPad T480s QHD to UHD 4K LCD screen Upgrade LP140UD1-SPD3

#4 Post by iamdmc » Fri Oct 15, 2021 7:11 am

lsp1138 wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:40 am
Hello and thank you for the detailed pictures and work on this. I love my T480s but as its my main working machine I suffer from the poor FHD screen. My use of the laptop is programming and system development but I take my laptop everywhere and need it to be useable also in places with sunlight or a lot of natural light. I dont really care about color accuracy or movies or anything like that. What i really need is high resolution to comfortably be able to show more detail without straining my eyes and more brightness to work comfortably in varying light conditions.

From your work I gather that the UHK screen is good but it looks like a daunting prospect to mod the screen case so much. I think I would be best to go with the high brightness QWHD screen you mention (B140QAN02.0). Am I right in thinking that this is the best mod for my use? I have found what looks to be a reputable seller on Aliexpress for this screen (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000911 ... 9600%22%7D) and I have asked the seller to give me information about the screen on hand and with pictures.

I have read elsewhere that there are a few low-power FHD screens with really high bightness as well (the models are not at hand) but I think the combo of both high bightness and the extra resolution will add a lot to my trusted T480s.

Only question is if the screen is glossy or matte (hoping it is) and that it does not draw all the battery out of my laptop (which is not the end of the world).

Thanks again for sharing all this - soon - hopefully - I will be trying out the mod myself.

cheers
Lars
Ps I wouldn't trust that you're getting the B140qan02.0 as this seller has multiple model numbers from different manufacturers listed
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 1TB Samsung 980 Pro 2280 M.2 M-key PCIe x4 | FHDtoQHDtoUHD upgrade | 2242 M.2 B-key PCIe x2 @WWAN slot | Intel AX210

The X61 is dead... long live the X61

Past IBM ThinkPads: T450s, X250, X230, X220, X300, T410, X61s, T60p, T41, X31, T23, A21m

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