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T480 - WQHD upgrade using the FHD, non-IR lid

T430 and later, plus T530 and later series specific matters only
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tchalikias
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:13 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

T480 - WQHD upgrade using the FHD, non-IR lid

#1 Post by tchalikias » Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:13 pm

Hi everyone, I recently acquired a lightly used T480 which I'd been drooling over for quite some time. I've been using an i7 X260 until recently, and before that, a X230 and a X220 (both specc'd out).

I love this new machine but the stock innolux 250 nit panel is hot garbage, it's 6-bit and with only around ~50% of sRGB coverage. Everything looks washed out and bland on it.

So I wish to upgrade to a better looking, and also higher resolution panel (QHD). The problem is, the official route for the T480 is to replace the lid & camera module & plastic bezel & bezel sticker, since the WQHD FRU doesn't have brackets with screw holes on it.

However, it seems that the T470s WQHD display, FRU 00NY440, model B140QAN01.5 does indeed fit the FHD lid of the T480, and is quite a nice display as well. Or so I've deduced, after hours of looking up specs and measuring, plus a couple of owners' comments over on reddit.

I've attempted twice thus far to find this coveted panel, each time receiving an entirely different panel despite assurances by both sellers that they do indeed ship this AUO panel I'm specifically looking for. The latest one I got was an unbranded panel with bottom and top screw mounts, whose EDID reports it as a 2013 LP140QH1-SPB1, but which doesn't look at all like this panel is supposed to look from the back. Furthermore, as I discovered after having disassembled my T480, it simply doesn't fit in the FHD lid's metal brackets, due to its height, by just 2 or 3 mm, which are impossible to shave off as its metal edge to edge.

I am therefore going to take another gamble, after getting refunded for this latest failed order, and order another one from a seller I've been talking to for quite some time on ebay. My question is this: can any owner confirm that this 'mod', so to speak, works? I.e. does the 00NY440/B140QAN01.5 panel fit perfectly on the T480 FHD lid, without modding the lid? Do the screw holes align (doesn't have to be perfect, I can enlarge said holes).

Thanks in advance!

tchalikias
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:13 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: T480 - WQHD upgrade using the FHD, non-IR lid

#2 Post by tchalikias » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:22 pm

Well, to answer my own question, it seems that most panels sold online currently, even ones with AUO stickers, are simply older LG lower gamut panels. It seems quite a few batches of 'counterfeit' panels have been channeled to ebay sellers all over.

I ended up using one of the aforementioned LG panels (LP140QH1-SPB1), which looks decent, although the colors do seem to indicate its got mediocre sRGB coverage (apparently its about 72% according to notebookcheck).

I also got a 01AX955 magnesium lid, and the - very hard to source - 01YR490 magnesium lid bezel + thinkshutter sticker. After snipping off a number of cable routing protrusions and the lower screw holes and tabs, the 14" LG panel fits perfectly, and is secured at the top with screws and at the bottom with double sided 3M adhesive.

The bezel also requires a bit of modification, you need to cut the plastic inner tabs that interfere with the PCB of the screen. Afterwards, it clips only normally, and the sticker can then be applied regularly, without issues (weird bumps etc).

While this display is okay, I ended up using the refund from my latest failed WHQD order to get a B140ZAN01.1 4k 400 nit panel with 100% sRGB coverage, which is also PWM-free supposedly. I'll update this post once it arrives and I've seen how it works on the T480 magnesium lid.

malch
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Re: T480 - WQHD upgrade using the FHD, non-IR lid

#3 Post by malch » Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:53 pm

I did it a while back. Here are the posts of the swap. You notice in the second one I have second thoughts about this swap.
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-T ... =1#5017278
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-T ... =1#5136686
Conseil des pharmaciens www.viagrasansordonnancefr.com France sans maladie

tchalikias
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:13 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: T480 - WQHD upgrade using the FHD, non-IR lid

#4 Post by tchalikias » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:02 am

Finally done with this mod. Quite an adventure. First of all, you have to be very cautious in how you attach the 4k panel to the display lid.

Just throwing in gobs of double sided tape may look like a good idea, but it actually causes severe backlight disturbances on the screen. The best way I've found is using very narrow strips of double sided tape on the left and right sides of the panel.

You also have to account for panel thickness - the 4k panel is thinnter compared to the 1080p one. At the same time, the lid has a foam backing at points, which complicates things even more re: thickness. So I ended up using thin foam strips to "raise" the panel from the back of the lid so that it was aligned perfectly with the outer bezel and sticker. One also needs to cut the bottom left and right corners of the hard plastic bezel so that it does not interfere with the panel's controller, and ofcourse with a clipping tool you need to clear the bottom screw mounts and guides.

All in all, after a lot of troubleshooting and attempts, I have a stock looking T480 with a 4k, 100% sRGB, PWM-free panel. Furthermore, I have used a CH341a SPI programmer to dump and mod the stock bios to enable advanced settings - this allowed me to set DVMT size to 64mb in the bios, which in turn makes macOS bootable on this panel (at 48hz sadly, still haven't found a workaround for true 4k60 in macOS). Windows and Linux work out of the box, even with a 32mb DVMT.

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