Laptop screen connector positions explained
Buying a replacement laptop screen can be easy if you find a skilled supplier and take the time to read the information provided on the LCD supplier's website. In more recent years, laptop screen manufacturers have started supplying identical screens that have connectors in different positions. This of course can cause a problem for you if you do not understand screen connector positioning.
What is the connector?
On the back of your laptop screen there will be a connector, often referred to as a 20 PIN, 30 PIN or 40 PIN connector. The connector is for the picture signal that comes from the base of the laptop. A flat grey cable will come from the base of the laptop and connect to the connector on the back of the laptop screen. The cable from the base of the laptop can come from either the left or right hand sides (when looking from the back) of the base and therefore you can have the same screen with either a left side or right side connector.
How do I identify which side the connector is on?
With the screen still fitted to the laptop, turn the base of the laptop around so you are looking at the back of the screen. You will see the flat grey cable we mentioned earlier coming from the base of the laptop and attaching to the connector on the back of the screen. The connector will either be, top right (common), bottom left (common) but could also be top left or bottom right.
Figure 1: A Screen with a bottom right hand side connector
In fact the very same model of laptop can come fitted with screens with left and right connectors, depending on the cables used at the time of manufacture by the laptop maker. In addition to this, we advise that you check the connector position with the screen fitted to the laptop because some manufacturers fit screens upside down which can cause confusion. You want the connector position with the screen in place, from the rear.
Figure 2: A screen with a bottom left hand side connector
You can now purchase either a left or right hand side connector replacement screen for your laptop computer with total confidence.
Figure 3: A screen with a top right side connector
Over the years connectors on laptop and tablet screens have changed. Different standards have come and gone and so the sizes and types of connectors vary. Some laptop models can have more than one screen type, especially DELL and Clevo, and some of the older top end Sony machines. Typical connector size are 20 pins, 30 pins and 40 pins although some specialist screens have come with 50 pin connectors. There is also an Acer model with a 34 pin connector screen made by Lucom.
If you inspect the rear of your screen and identify the connector position you can carefully inspect it and you will see the pin connectors and be able to count them. The image below shows this in detail. If you are unable to see the connector pins you may need to use a magnifying glass.
You see that the back of the screen has a socket that you can count the pins on and the signal cable you can also inspect and you will be able to count the pins. This example picture shows a 30 pin connector. It's imperative you select a screen that has the same connector as the original. If there are multiple connector options for your machine we will show you them. Usually you would need to remove your old screen
to match it via the specs and photographs on our website. If there is only one option listed on our site you can buy without checking this.
Why do connector positions on screens change?
Usually, contrary to popular belief it isn't to make our lives difficult. Usually cost saving measures are the cause of this as many 15.6" bottom left hand connector screens are in fact technically top right hand side screens, fitted upside down. With a screen fitted upside down, the connector is now at the bottom and far less cable is required from the base of the laptop to the screen connector.
Availability can also be an issue as screen models become obsolete or unavailable manufacturers are forced to buy alternate screens for their laptops and change the LCD cable to match. This can cause the same model of laptop to have different screens that are not compatible due to connector positioning.