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Upgrading Your Laptop Screen

Upgrading your laptop screen

We all know that different types of screen display different laptop screen resolutions. The higher the resolution, the crisper the and sharper the images will appear on the display. Of course, the higher the resolution of the laptop screen, the more pixels or "dots" are needed to create the finer image. On smaller laptop screens around 15" or less, high resolution screens can seem unusable. Those suffering from impaired eyesight for example want to avoid high resolutions on smaller screens.

* Note that some high resolution screens can display grainy or pixelated text if you try to run them at lower resolutions.

Common questions

Can I buy a Screen with different connectors?

You must replace the old screen with another that has the same connector positon and type, or the signal cable will not fit, and you'll end up paying to send the replacement screen back.

Can I Upgrade My Screen to LED?

CCFL and LED screens use different lighting technology and cannot be interchanged, you must always replace a CCFL screen with another CCFL and vice versa.

Can I Upgrade My Single Lamp Screen to a Dual Lamp?

CCFL dual lamp screens have extra cables and cannot replace single lamp CCFL screens. If your exisiting laptop is a single lamp CCFL screen, you must replace it with another single lamp screen.

Can I Upgrade My Screen Resolution?

The short answer here is "maybe", we don't reccomend it, often the replacement screen will not work.

You may have seen that your particular model of laptop comes supplied, or is upgradeable at the time of purchase with a higher definition laptop screen. Here are some of the main reasons why we recommend you do not try to attempt this without a valid upgrade screen model number.

"My laptop is upgradeable at the time of purchase, so I know it takes a high res screen"

- When you select the upgrade option, you may not be sent the same model of laptop. Differences in the graphics controller or cabling inside the machine can prevent an upgrade screen from working. Different service tags and serial numbers on the same model of laptop denote these kind of differences.

"My laptop says FULL HD playback, so I know I can upgrade my screen"

- Many laptop manufacturers mislead consumers by stating that the laptop is FULL HD or high resolution capable. This is true, however only with an external screen attached, the internal screen will most often only operate at a lower resolution.

"I've been told by XXX that my machine will take a FULL HD screen"

- In our experience, most of the time this advice is incorrect. We've even noticed that many of the major manufacturers when contacted will give incorrect information about your machine.

What are the dangers?

1) Damage to the motherboard

Fitting an incorrect screen can damage the motherboard or other components inside the laptop, especially with LED laptop screens. This can leave the laptop unusable.

2) Damage to the screen itself

 You also risk damaging the laptop screen itself and therefore losing your statutory right to return the product as unused.

3.) Frosting effect

Most of the time, the upgraded screens light up white when fitted, in worst case scenarios the screen will burn out components on the motherboard of the machine and render the computer totally unusable. Other users with Acer Aspire laptops that tried to upgrade to the high resolution screen reported a frosting effect, as though they were looking at the desktop through a window that was iced over.

What if I know I can upgrade?

If you are still serious about wanting to try and change the type of screen fitted to your machine you will need to take the following steps:

Step 1

 Contact the manufacturer of your laptop, request the part number of the upgraded screen for your machine.

* Note that mostly they will give you their own part numbers, these are no use, you need the LCD laptop screen model number (they didn't make the screen fitted inside the machine.)

Step 2

Contact a reputable laptop screen supplier for availability of that exact part number.

You may also need to change your LVDS or EDP cable, which connects the screen to the motherboard. In some cases you can use the existing cable but in others a cable replacement is required to make the screen work.

Drivers may also need to be upgraded or removed to make the panel work or you could end up with inverted colours, a frosting or "out of focus effet" or a split screen or psychedelic display!

High resolution displays

Can't I just buy a high resolution screen?

Because there are millions of screen models out there fitted to machines, with many screen models now obsolete, laptop screen suppliers have to use "compatible" screens. The suppliers work by laptop screen compatibility databases and know that for a DELL Inspiron 1545 machine they can send part numbers LP156WH2 by LG Philips, B156XW02 by AU Optronics and LTN156AT07 by Samsung. These three are all the same thing, 15.6" HD with a resolution of 1366x768. Other types/models of screen may damage this laptop. 

For this reason, you will need the compatibility information, or model numbers of the upgraded screens that can be fitted to your machine. Usually the LCD suppliers do not have this information.

Bottom line:

We do not recommend trying to upgrade your laptop screen to a higher resolution. 

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