Because laptops are highly mobile, they are susceptible to damage from falls and bangs while being used or carried. Some damage to a laptop requires professional maintenance to correct, but repairing a laptop screen and LCD panel can easily be accomplished by users at home. When replacing laptop screens, buyers should generally stay with the type of screen that was original to their laptop models, unless the buyer has extensive electronics repair experience.
Replacement laptop screens and LCD panels can be found at local computer or office supply shops and salvage shops that specialise in electronics parts. Conversely, buyers can shop online at sites like eBay, which offers a large selection of laptop replacement parts. Before purchasing a laptop panel, buyers can prepare for shopping by researching a number of factors that impact the successful replacement of a laptop screen. In general, buyers should understand how to check an original laptop screen for problems, make distinctions between laptop panel models, and familiarise themselves with installation methods before choosing their screens.
Troubleshooting Laptop Screen Issues
One of the main reasons buyers opt to replace their laptop screens is damage. In many cases, the damage that a laptop panel sustains is obvious. Cracks within the surface of a laptop screen can increase the risk of internal damage, necessitating replacement. Warped colour reproduction and resolution problems when a laptop is turned on also signify issues with a laptop screen. In some cases, however, laptop screen issues are related to other computer problems that are not corrected by replacing a laptop screen.
Checking a Laptop Screen
To identify if a laptop's problem is a malfunctioning screen, users should connect a freestanding monitor to their laptops using the laptop's VGA connector port. A laptop that is functioning correctly with the exception of its laptop screen, can transmit its signal to the monitor so users can see if there are any problems. If nothing appears on the external monitor when it is connected to a laptop, there is something wrong with the laptop's motherboard or graphics card. Problems with motherboards and graphics cards do not eliminate additional issues with a laptop's screen if a laptop has sustained extensive damage. Before repairing a laptop with serious damage, buyers should do a cost analysis to determine if repairing the laptop justifies the expense of purchasing multiple replacement parts.
Types of Laptop LCD Screens
Laptop screens employ liquid crystal display (LCD) technology to produce pixels that form the images and videos that laptop users see on their laptop screens. LCD technology does not produce the backlight needed to see these pixels, however, so buyers need to choose between two backlight options when purchasing their laptop replacement screens.
LCD Backlight Options
Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
Strips of light-emitting diodes connected directly to an LCD screen illuminate the back of the screen
A fluorescent tube is hooked up to an inverter board to supply an LCD screen with backlight
CCFL LCD screens were standard in early laptops and are still added to laptops by manufacturers, but LED LCD screens are becoming more popular because they are lightweight and consume less power. Determining which type of LCD panel to purchase relies on the laptop model a buyer owns.
Choosing a Laptop Screen
When choosing a laptop screen to replace an original screen on a laptop, buyers should consider their electronics repair experience. It is possible for buyers to change their laptop screens from LED LCD to CCFL LCD screens and vice versa or install touchscreen replacement models, but changes of this magnitude necessitate disassembling a laptop completely. Buyers who want an easy option for replacing their laptop screens should purchase laptop panels that are the same screen size, aspect ratio, and display technology as the original screen installed on their laptops.
Laptop Screen Compatibility
To find a laptop's screen specifications, buyers can consult the owner's manual that was supplied with their laptops at purchase. The owner's manual provides buyers with information about the laptop's screen as well as the laptop's make and model numbers. Laptop screens that are easy to replace must be compatible with a particular laptop model, so sellers often label their screen replacement models based on a laptop model's name and model number. Before purchasing a laptop screen replacement, buyers should check the replacement's details for a list of compatible laptop models and the screen size, aspect ratio, and display technology of the laptop screen to ensure it is the correct model to purchase.
Installing a Replacement Laptop Screen
After buyers determine that their laptop screens need replacement and purchase a replacement screen model that is best for their laptop, they can begin the screen installation process. Buyers should begin by removing their laptop batteries and unplugging any power cords that are connected to the laptop. This eliminates any threats of electric shocks while working on the laptop. To work efficiently and without any mishaps, the laptop should be placed on a steady, solid surface, like a tabletop, during the installation process.
Removing the Original Laptop Screen
Laptop screens are held in place by a combination of screws and a fitted plastic part called a bezel. The bezel acts like a frame around the laptop's screen. The screws of the bezel can be placed on the front of the bezel or along the sides of the bezel's frame. Before removing the bezel, buyers should open up the laptop completely, which allows greater access to the laptop screen's components.
To protect the laptop screen's screws, manufacturers add a screw cover over the screws which must be removed before the screws can be accessed. A narrow, flat screwdriver can be used to lift the screw cover off of the screws. Next, the screws holding the bezel in place can be removed. Buyers should remember to place the screw covers and screws in a safe place while continuing with the installation process.
Lifting Off the Bezel
To access the laptop screen, the bezel must be completely removed from the laptop. Buyers must be careful during this process because they do not want to damage any of the laptop's components that are underneath the bezel, like a laptop's onboard camera. In some cases, manufacturers use a double-sided tape to hold a bezel in place before screws are added, while other manufacturers snap the bezel in place without the aid of adhesives. Buyers should use a flat plastic spudger or scalpel to pry the bezel off of the laptop. If the bezel resists, buyers can check to see if they failed to remove any screws.
Dislodging the Original Laptop Screen
Laptop screens are often held in place by mounting brackets that are placed under the laptop's bezel. Before dislodging the screen, these screws should be removed. When the laptop screen is pulled away from the laptop, buyers should disconnect any data connector cables that are attached to the screen. These cables can be held in place along the length of the laptop screen with fixing tape, which should be removed from the cables.
Adding the Replacement Laptop Screen
To start adding the new replacement screen to a laptop, buyers should connect all of the cables to their ports on the new laptop screen model. Once all of the connections are secured, the laptop screen can be mounted into the laptop. Buyers should test the new laptop screen at this point to make sure it is functioning properly. Lastly, the bezel is placed onto the laptop and snapped or taped into place. All of the screws are replaced around the bezel and the screw covers are added, completing the installation process.
Laptop screens are vulnerable to damage, but buyers can easily replace a screen to extend the longevity of their laptops. In most cases, buyers are motivated to change their laptop screens because the screen is cracked, punctured, or malfunctioning. A malfunctioning laptop screen can be an indication that a laptop is suffering from hardware issues, so buyers should test their laptops with an external monitor to pinpoint the source of a problem. Replacement laptop screens can be either LED LCD or CCFL LCD screens depending on the specific components of a laptop model.
To make installation easy, buyers should choose a replacement laptop screen that is the same type as the laptop's original screen. Installing a laptop screen is a simple process that includes removing a laptop's bezel and connectors from its original screen and reversing the process to install a replacement screen. Once buyers know the type of laptop screen they need and the basics of the installation process, they can visit eBay to browse a large assortment of laptop screens with different display technologies, screen sizes, and aspect ratios.