Lenovo Thinkpad T460 screen replacement


Tags: T460 thinkpad

Problems with the original panel

The default screen shipped in many Full HD non-touchscreen T460s was an Innolux screen, of variable quality. Many of the screens exhibit a banding issue until they warm up, and others have been seen with a yellow cast to the display. The banding looks almost like an interlaced picture where alternate lines are of different brightnesses.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly picky person when it comes to displays, so although it did bother me I didn’t replace it immediately.

Some time later the screen was damaged through having pressure applied to it, so at this point I decided to get the screen replaced.

After doing some research (mainly on https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/), the recommended replacement screen is an AU Optronics B140HAN01.3 unit, which is also one of Lenovo’s alternative FRUs. I’m in the UK, and obtained mine from the eBay user “bumblesale” (Require IT), who were very responsive to my questions, and reassured me that the exact panel would be shipped. Many sellers use words such as “compatible”, which could result in ending up with another Innolux panel as they are technically compatible!

Be aware that there are versions with different firmware - getting the wrong firmware may result in being unable to change the brightness so I went for one that specifically mentioned Lenovo.

To replace the screen you need to remove the plastic bezel which is stuck on with double sided tape. To restick it I used 3M 300LSE double sided tape, which is very thin and seemed similar to what had been originally used. I got a sheet of this off eBay and cut appropriate width strips of it.

Image Quality

The image quality of the AU Optronics screen is an improvement on the Innolux - there is no banding, and colours are superior. One downside is that it has a rather aggressive and grainy anti-glare coating, giving things a “frosty” look. I’ve not seen this level of grainyness since early 2000s LCDs :D

As I have subsequently managed to damage the LCD again through pressure to the back of the screen, I am on the lookout for another LCD. As the T460 does not implement EDID whitelisting, it’s less critical about getting a screen with the correct firmware version.

Other panels to consider

I’ve read recommendations for the Innolux N140HCE-EN1 Rev.C2 or potentially the LG LP140WF3-SPD1 (less sure about this one), so I may try one of these next!