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T480s FHD screen to QHD screen upgrade - log & step-by-step guide

T430 and later, plus T530 and later series specific matters only
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iamdmc
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T480s FHD screen to QHD screen upgrade - log & step-by-step guide

#1 Post by iamdmc » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:01 pm

After a few months of using the low-brightness FHD panel that came with my T480s, I recently upgraded my T480s from its original BOE FHD screen (FRU LEN40A9, part number NV140FHM-N46) to the AUO QHD (non HDR) B140QAN02.3 (FRU 00NY681, part number B140QAN02.3). I found a reputable seller on ebay (ThinkPad2015, in the UK) and bought the panel for 80 Sterling pound, and the QHD 40-pin eDP cable for 20 Sterling pound + 5 pound shipping.

I'd considered getting the AUO HDR model B140QAN02.0, or the LG non HDR model (FRU 00NY664, part number LP140QH2(SP)(B1)) which was featured in the X1 Carbon 5th gen, BUT I couldn't find any reputable sellers for it - only china sellers with stock photos, no replies, aliexpress, etc - and I wasn't willing to take the risk. The only better screen than the AUO panel I bought or the LG non HDR panel, is the LG QHD HDR panel found in the X1 Carbon 6th gen. The steps below apply to all QHD models.


Panel comparison (numbers from notebookcheck reviews)

* AUO QHD (upgrade installed) non-HDR panel: 96% sRGB, 61% adobeRGB

* LG QHD non-HDR panel: 98% sRGB, 68% adobeRGB (the HDR panel has nearly 100% sRGB & adobe RGB, and is about 100 nits brighter)

* BOE FHD (original) panel: 59% sRGB & 38% adobeRGB


Full AUO QHD panel review available from notebookcheck's review of the ideapad 530: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-Id ... 662.0.html

Photos of the process: https://imgur.com/a/RankYYW

Step-by-step:

1. power down your laptop, remove USB C charger

2. press power button, followed by F1 to get into BIOS

3. in BIOS, find power options, then Config, then "Disable Built-in Battery"

4. Close laptop, lay face-down, unscrew 6 screws from bottom side

5. use plastic pry tool or finger nails to pry bottom panel off laptop, starting from the back. The entire panel hinges on 3 clips on the front side of the laptop.

6. unscrew 4 screws from battery, then gently disconnect power connector, and lift the battery toward you. Set aside

7. open laptop, lay flat

8. using pry tool or fingernails, pry off front bezel from screen, starting at the bottom. I used a small screwdriver to help me push out the clips

9. use a hair dryer on medium around screen to loosen adhesive (if you blow it on your hand it should feel warm but not uncomfortable) then pry front bezel from screen. You can reuse the double sided tape (but be careful when pulling off as it's fragile/will break into pieces, and also coils once fully removed)

10. remove 4 screws holding FHD panel into frame. Be careful not to pull, as it's still connected by a cable to the motherboard

11. angle out the screen, lay flat, then remove LCD cable (there is a clip to remove, then gently detach cable)

12. loosen 2 screws that hold hinge to LCD lid

13. turn laptop over, find LCD FHD 30-pin cable part that plugs into motherboard, gently remove, and thread through clips

14. attach LCD QHD 40-pin cable to LCD, securing with clip. Thread the other end through the hinge and to the motherboard. Attach motherboard end to motherboard, threading cable through clips

15. screw hinges back down to LCD lid

16. my QHD panel did not come with the frame to screw the panel to the lid, so I used electrical tape and made a loop to make it 'double sided'. I made a few 'loops' and placed them in each corner, in the top middle, bottom middle, and exact middle of the screen to hold it into place

17. set QHD screen down flat, and try to fit the bezel back as centered as possible.

18. before reinserting the QHD LCD screen with bezel back into the LCD lid, and clipping things back together, test the monitor for dead or stuck pixels and abnormalities. You'll need to reconnect the USB C charger for the laptop to power back on. I used https://www.eizo.be/all-monitors/access ... itor-test/

19. if the monitor looks right, clip the panel back in.

21. To get the best colour calibration without professional calibration tools, you can use notebookcheck's .ICM file, available at the link: https://www.notebookcheck.net/uploads/t ... AN02_3.icm. To load the profile, press the start key on the keyboard, and type "Color Management", then load the file both in standard and advanced color ICC profiles. Make sure this is the only profile so it is set to default. I noticed a big difference here.

21. make sure the laptop screen is displaying at 60Hz, and Turn off "Display Power-Saving Technology" in Intel UHD Graphics control panel (right click desktop, select "Intel graphics settings" to get max brightness

22. adjust cleartype settings to your liking - press the start key on keyboard, type "cleartype", select "Adjust Cleartype text"

That's it! A lot of little steps and ~1h later you're ready to enjoy your new screen.

T480s FHD (BOE panel) compared the T480s QHD (AUO panel): https://imgur.com/a/TpZnH2y

My impressions: it's noticeably brighter, sharper, and has much better colour reproduction. I'm re-selling my FHD screen and 30-pin eDP cable, and hope to make about 60 Sterling pound off of those, making the upgrade cost about 45 Sterling pound + 1 hour of installation + about 5 hours of research (which you don't have to do if you use this guide unless you are a geek like me and like reading about it)

Hope it helps someone who's also looking to upgrade from FHD to QHD on their T470, T480, T470s, T480s, X1 Carbon 5th & 6th gen.

Other useful links to determine compatibility of parts:

* https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/
* https://thinkpads.org/fru/?t=T480s (if other T-model, replace "T480s" with your model)
* https://thinkpads.org/fru/?t=X1Carbon6thGen (if 5th gen, replace "6th" with "5th")
* https://old.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comme ... h_to_wqhd/ - post that inspired me to make the upgrade
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yBCvGgZoeE video of T470s screen removal
Last edited by iamdmc on Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 500GB Samsung 970 | FHD-to-QHD upgrade (ask me how)
T480s 2280 M.2 M-key (PCIe x4) & 2242 M.2 B-key (PCIe x2) @WWAN slot
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
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Posts: 596
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:37 pm
Location: Downtown Toronto, Canada

Re: T480s FHD screen to QHD screen upgrade - log & step-by-step guide

#2 Post by iamdmc » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:19 pm

Reserved
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 500GB Samsung 970 | FHD-to-QHD upgrade (ask me how)
T480s 2280 M.2 M-key (PCIe x4) & 2242 M.2 B-key (PCIe x2) @WWAN slot
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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