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X230t convert from outdoor to multi-touch?

X230 through X280, plus X390 series specific matters only
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muftobration
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:59 am
Location: Acton, MA

X230t convert from outdoor to multi-touch?

#1 Post by muftobration » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:38 am

I just purchased an X230t for a fairly good price, I think. It was $105 with free shipping and included the stylus, AC adapter, and a Lenovo battery that holds about 60% of its designed charge capacity. It's a stock i5 model with 4 GB of RAM and a 320 GB HDD. I have a 500 GB SSD I wanted to use already, so the HDD was not a minus for me. The only drawbacks are the 4GB of RAM, some light scuffs on the screen from the top row of keys (seems to be somewhat common), and broken palm rest corners (seems to be very common).

I bought on eBay and took a bit of a gamble. I wanted a multi-touch screen and the listing did not specify which screen the machine had. This model has the outdoor display and therefore does not support multi-touch, unfortunately.

The things I really want to address are:
1. Multi-touch (and no screen scuffs if possible)
2. RAM (16 GB preferable, but 8 GB is fine)
3. Palm rest cover

I see a few options and I'm wondering if someone could offer their opinion on which way I should go:
1. Sell this machine and buy another one that has everything I want. I haven't found one that's a reasonable price.
2. Buy a touchscreen (~$140, varies), palm rest cover (~$20), and more RAM ($20-$60) to install it on this machine. Is there a reliable source for parts I should know about, or is eBay it? It looks like I'd be spending close to $250 on parts this way, so either this is a bad option or I need a better source for parts.
3. Mix and match from various machines (like one with a good screen, but bad motherboard, etc). This is probably the cheapest route because I can resell what I don't use (including my current screen, which is in fairly nice condition aside from the scuffs).

Is there an obvious approach here and I'm just overthinking it? Thanks.

atagunov
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Re: X230t convert from outdoor to multi-touch?

#2 Post by atagunov » Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:49 pm

Absolutely purchase DDR3 RAM. It makes no sense whatsoever to look for a machine with the RAM you need. Okay if you're lucky then why not take it but general advice is to purchase RAM. You don't have it to be of a high spec since it has very little impact on performance; just the size you want, SO-DIMM and DDR3 without letter L anywhere. You look about right on palmrest price. I'd suggest to check on Aliexpress for a new one. Make sure to match the one you got exactly.

It's a much tougher choice about the screen.. Is it really that bloody expensive?... There used to be some used screen assemblies on UK ebay for around £35 but I'm not sure they were multitouch.. I actually even blindly purchased one but I'm not that keen to open if right now to check.. And I don't have an X220t/X230t body either to check.. I'd be interested in how much a new multitouch panel costs.. you only need a panel, not the whole screen.. is it really $140?.. I did hope they were priced more sensibly..
X220, 2 *T520

muftobration
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:59 am
Location: Acton, MA

Re: X230t convert from outdoor to multi-touch?

#3 Post by muftobration » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:07 pm

Thank you for the tips on RAM. I won't let that be an influence now.

Regarding the screen, I might be searching for the wrong thing. I assumed the LCD and Wacom digitizer would be adhered together similarly to the way they're assembled in phones, making the separation of the two very risky. I have never taken apart a ThinkPad screen assembly, so I don't actually know. I was looking for entire screen assemblies: case, LCD, and digitizer, but you've inspired me to look for just the digitizer. I've found a few for much cheaper than I thought:

$60.86 - LP125WH2(SL)(B1) LENOVO LCD DISPLAY 12.5 TOUCH X220 4293-2WU (GRD C)(AF11)
$62.95 - Lenovo X220 X230 Tablet 12.5 LED Multi-Touch Panel 04W3990

Looks like I for the price of a digitizer, palm rest, and RAM my total out-of-pocket cost for the machine will be a bit over $200. That seems about right, but I might look for a machine in that price range that does not need the palm rest and digitizer and instead resell this one. I'm sure there's someone out there who explicitly does not want multi-touch!

atagunov
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Re: X230t convert from outdoor to multi-touch?

#4 Post by atagunov » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:29 am

Now these do look more like the prices I would expect :)
muftobration wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:07 pm
I assumed the LCD and Wacom digitizer would be adhered together similarly to the way they're assembled in phones, making the separation of the two very risky. I have never taken apart a ThinkPad screen assembly, so I don't actually know. I was looking for entire screen assemblies: case, LCD, and digitizer, but you've inspired me to look for just the digitizer. I've found a few for much cheaper than I thought
I believe you're right. It is my understanding as well that screen panel and digitizer are very hard/risky to separate. But to be a bit nitpicky about terms a "screen panel" is not the same as a "screen assembly"! A screen assembly does include the panel but also includes the lid, the cables, WiFi antennas, the hinge, screws, mylar bits etc. However I think you have found your footing now!

Those links above, they are definitely not links to buy "digitizers"; those are links to buy "panels". If you do search a bit more look for "panels".. You can try looking by their "model name" or whatever this "LP125WH2(SL)(B1)" string is. Of course one has to know which panel has got a digitizer in it..

It's a actually a bit confusing that for X220T/X230T screen panels do include a screen "bezel". It's literally glued onto them. It somehow would have seemed more natural for panels to be just bare, same as for X220/X230. But these panels also include the bezel with the name of the model written on it. If one doesn't look closely enough it's possible to mistake a photo of a X220t/X230t panel for a photo of a screen assembly. I was surprised when I first learned about it.
muftobration wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:07 pm
Looks like I for the price of a digitizer, palm rest, and RAM my total out-of-pocket cost for the machine will be a bit over $200. That seems about right, but I might look for a machine in that price range that does not need the palm rest and digitizer and instead resell this one. I'm sure there's someone out there who explicitly does not want multi-touch!
The world's your oyster :) Do whatever makes you feel happy! As for me personally I might have loved the perfection of a brand new screen panel enough to justify the extra cost. No scratches, no anything, just new.

It is in fact my secret plan to acquire as many absolutely new (unused) external parts as I can to build an X230t from scratch. I don't have any urgent need so it's a very slow moving project. By I really want to have pristine bottom part, screen panel, keyboard. Possibly even screen lid. Of course I'm dreaming about a *20 keyboard in that machine. Just to enjoy the look feel and touch of a immaculate body/screen I'm planning to spend some extra $$

To surprise you further I did buy an X220t screen assembly for around £35, but my main motivation was to take cables/screws/mylar/antennas from it! So that I don't have to hunt for them separately. I may re-use the hinge too if it proves to be in a good enough condition. I was definitely going to replace the panel eventually. Keeping the panel and the lid will be a change of plans for me. However it's not totally off the cards either.

Ah! Re palm rest. I think palmrests are sort of a weak point for X220/X230 family. They do break. I have a broken one on my X220. Mine is broken under trackpad buttons. It also seems very common to have corners chipped. To me it's almost like a consumable! Quite natural to replace one after buying a used X220/X230 with or without T. I personally hate fingerprint readers so it's a bit easier for me as I don't care if the palmrest I buy has or has not a slot for a reader. BTW if/when you look for a new one keep in mind that it should be possible to purchase one without a trackpad and just move the trackpad from old to new. Same about fingerprint reader. I think there are screws there that hold it in place. Makes it cheaper

Also you're probably already aware but X230T palmrest differs from X230 one by having two extra rubber "buttons" at the corners. I think it's exactly the same difference as between an X220T palmrest and an X220 one. Perhaps you can re-glue them too? No idea. If you ever decide to fit a *20 keyboard then please be advised that it should be easier to fit one if you also fit an X220t palmrest at the same time. X220t/X230t palmrests visually differ by the shape of the "bowls" under cursor keys I think. But more importantly for this mod they probably differ in some kind of latches locking in with the keyboard

Update: ah! these are used panels! Doh! Can't we find new ones for the price?.. Ebay, Aliexpress?.. https://aliexpress.ru/item/32822645843.html https://aliexpress.ru/item/32824420332.html https://aliexpress.ru/item/32825047451.html still pretty expensive..
X220, 2 *T520

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