The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Laptop Screens and LCD Panels

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The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Laptop Screens and LCD Panels

Most laptop users agree that one of the worst things that can happen to a perfectly useable laptop is to have the screen shattered or otherwise broken. In addition to actually breaking the laptop screen, some laptop users may find that some of the pixels on their screen burn out over time. Though one or two may just be a nuisance, several burnt-out pixels, especially grouped close together make it difficult to read the screen. This renders the laptop useless unless it is plugged into an external monitor, which defeats the purpose of using a laptop in the first place. Although most individuals faced with this situation would most likely discard the laptop and invest in a new one, there is a solution that does not cost nearly as much.

It is possible to purchase replacement laptop screens and LCD panels for laptop computers. This solution typically costs a fraction of what users would spend for a new laptop and can significantly extend the life of a laptop that is still considered up-to-date. When considering replacing a laptop screen or LCD panel, individuals should be sure to do their homework so they know exactly what to purchase and how to go about installing the replacement screen.

Do Determine Whether the Screen Is the Problem

When the screen on a laptop suddenly stops working for any reason, many computer users automatically assume the screen is the culprit, but this is not always the case. If the laptop is dropped or the screen is otherwise damaged, it is likely that that is the reason the screen is not working properly; however, if the screen alternates between light and dim or suddenly stops working with no damage to the computer, there could be something else causing the problem.

The first step in determining whether it is the screen or something else is to plug the laptop into an external monitor. If the image is displaying perfectly there, it may be the laptop screen that is the problem. If there is no image on the external monitor or it is displaying lines or something else that does not look right, the problem may not be the screen.

Don't Attempt Replacement Without the Proper Knowledge

Replacing a laptop screen is not as easy as replacing the battery or performing other fairly simple upgrades. It involves removing the bezel, which holds the screen in place, and disconnecting the screen from the main board of the laptop.

Additionally, the battery should be disconnected so it does not short out the computer components during the repair. Individuals who lack experience working with laptop computers may want to hire a professional to install the screen or at the very least use online tutorials to learn the proper steps.

Do Determine What Type of Screen Is Needed

Laptop screens come in a number of different sizes and certain brands may use different screens than other brands. This is why it is important to find out the make and model number of the laptop before a prospective buyer starts shopping for a replacement laptop screen or LCD panel.

The best way to ensure compatibility is to search for replacement screens based on the make and model of computer, or at least confirm that the screen is compatible with that specific model. There are several different factors prospective buyers need to consider when shopping for replacement laptops that are compatible with their existing laptop computer.

Screen Size

The screen size is the first factor prospective buyers should look at when shopping for replacement laptop screens and LCD panels. The new screen must fit in the same casing as the existing screen, which means it must be the exact same size as the broken or malfunctioning screen.

Connector Type

Most of the more recently manufactured laptops all have the same type of connector that provides the interface between the motherboard and the screen; however, prospective buyers should be sure to confirm whether the screen they are considering purchasing as the correct connector type as it cannot be switched out. Shopping by computer make and model is an excellent way to ensure that buyers find screens with the proper connector.

Display Technology

There are two main types of technology used for laptop screens: LED and CCFL LCD. Older laptops utilised the CCFL LCD technology, while newer laptops feature the LED technology because it provides a brighter screen and uses less power. It is possible to purchase replacement screens for both types of displays, but LED displays do not work on laptops equipped for CCFL LCD screens and vice versa.


Matching the resolution of the existing screen is the best way to ensure compatibility though individuals who want to increase the resolution of their laptop's screen may be able to do so. Individuals should keep in mind that not all motherboards can handle higher resolution screens and should consult the screen and laptop manufacturers so they do not purchase a higher resolution screen that cannot be used with their laptop model.

Don't Forget the Proper Tools

Although a somewhat tricky and time-consuming repair, a laptop screen replacement does not require too many tools and many of them are tools most individuals already have on hand. Before beginning a laptop screen replacement, individuals should be sure they have all the tools handy so they do not have to go searching for them in the middle of the task. The chart below lists the necessary tools and their purpose.



Flat, Metal Blade

Removing the rubber pads concealing the screws

Small Screwdriver

Removing the screws themselves

Thin Plastic Tool

Prying the bezel off; can use spudger or credit card

Though there are only a few required tools, individuals should be sure to have them ready so they are not tempted to use other items that could end up damaging the screen or the laptop itself. Another important rule computer users need to keep in mind when removing the old screen is never to force anything. If the bezel does not come loose easily, individuals should check and make sure they did not miss any of the screws holding the bezel in place.

Do Check Out a Tutorial

Before beginning such a complex repair, individuals should either read one of the in-depth tutorials or watch one of the how-to videos available on the Internet. This allows individuals to get an idea of how the repair should work as well as how to use each of the required tools. If possible, individuals should search for information regarding their specific laptop, but if that information is not available, a generic tutorial should still prove helpful.

Shopping for Laptop Screens and LCD Panels

Most local retailers do not stock laptop screens and LCD panels because they are very rarely purchased and there are so many different models. This means that prospective buyers must shop online to find the laptop screen or LCD panel they need to repair their laptop.

When shopping online, buyers should remember to browse the listings on eBay. The site has thousands of listings from nearly as many sellers, which means buyers can find just about anything on the site. Buyers should be sure to confirm that the screen they are considering buying is compatible with their laptop before making a purchasing decision.

Buying Laptop Screens and LCD Panels on eBay

If you want to take a look at the available listings for laptop screens and LCD panels on eBay, go to the site's homepage and type laptop screen into the search box. You can narrow down the search results using the filters on the page, such as screen size, display technology, or aspect ratio, or you can type more information into the search box for a more focused search. For example, if you are looking for a 15.6" screen for a Dell laptop, type in 15.6 " Dell laptop screen .

Before making a purchasing decision, buyers should read each listing carefully to ensure that the screen in the listing is the proper size and resolution and that the screen utilises the proper display technology. Prospective buyers should also review the seller's return policy to determine whether the laptop screen or LCD panel can be returned if the buyer changes his or her mind or if it not compatible with the buyer's laptop.


Although some individuals may decide that switching out a laptop screen is too daunting of a task, those who do have the technical savvy should be able to make a broken laptop screen work like new with the proper replacement screen, a few tools, and the proper knowledge. Those who are afraid to take on the task themselves could purchase the screen and then pay a computer expert to perform the transplant rather than risk further damaging the laptop themselves.

Because of the high level of specificity of laptop screens and LCD panels, prospective buyers must keep a number of factors in mind when shopping for a replacement. Individuals who are unsure of whether a specific screen is compatible with their computer may want to contact the seller and confirm the specifications so they are sure they are buying the right screen. With a little technical knowledge along with the do's and don'ts of buying laptop screens and LCD panels, computer users should have no problem finding the perfect laptop screen or LCD panel on eBay.

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