HURRAH! My WQHD AUO B140QAN01.5 screen from china arrived and way before the late May 2018 delivery date!
So it was time to start the T430s WQHD mod. I already have received the RMSMajestic board a few weeks back and I briefly wrote about this planned upgrade in this post.
Before I continue, I want to clarify one thing about the seller. RMSMajestic is a user apparently located in Washington D.C., USA and is a frequent poster on the thinkpads.com site. RMSMajestic is working with a person by the name of Javi-Jie from China and they have come up with this solution. It seems by past post history that this isn’t their first project together.
I gathered the required tools and items and went off to a friend’s place to do this mod.
We started off with stripping the laptop apart. The process that I followed was from the Lenovo Hardware Maintenance guide for the T430s. RMSMajestic also provides instructions to the people that purchased the mod.
The AUO panel arrived extremely well packaged and within a reasonable time frame. I would rate the seller with 10/10 so far. The panel looks to be authentic and not some kind of knock off, that I can tell.
When I was researching panels, I found some AUO panels that had slightly different sticks on the back. Using google images as references and trying to find as much as I can on the AUO B140QAN01.5 panel, I believe I have received an authentic screen.
Next, I’ll show off the actual WQHD mod kit. The reason this kit appealed to me (besides the WQHD upgrade, duh) was due to it being really basic to install and required no soldering at all!!! My x230 ThinkPad with the NitroCaster mod required precise soldering onto the motherboard, something I couldn’t do myself.
Before you do any installing, make sure you apply Kapton tape to the bottom of the WQHD circuit board kit. As this circuit board will rest on top of the motherboard, you want the Kapton tape to help protect the components from any electrostatic charge.
Due to its large range of temperature stability, and its electrical isolation ability, Kapton tape is usually used in electronic manufacturing as an insulation and protection layer on electrostatic sensitive and fragile components
With the goodies out of the way and installed, we started testing.
CAUTION: DO NOT HAVE ANY POWER SOURCE (BATTERY, POWER ADAPTER) ATTACHED TO THE LAPTOP WHILE WORKING ON THIS MOD. MAKE SURE ALL CONNECTIONS ARE SECURED AND FIRMLY SEATED BEFORE TURNING ON THE LAPTOP. FAILURE TO DO SO CAN CAUSE THE SCREEN, FUSE, MOD BOARD TO GET DAMAGED AND FAIL.
I needed to write that in case anybody actually reads this post and thinks about doing this. ANYTIME you are working on electronics, you should disconnect the power from the adapter/battery and press down the power button a few times. This will allow the circuit board to drain the power from the capacitors.
The panel that I received has four mounting points. When installing the screen, only the top two holes lined up perfectly with the T430s display housing. The bottom two holes are 75% visible. Some patience, a dremel and careful work should allow the hole to be slightly widened so that the screws could make their way into the threads. This may not be a huge issue but I prefer for my screen to not flex or move any more then it has to. I’d also like the panel to be fully secured to the housing for a piece of mind.
We made sure to install the new screen panel into the display housing. The screen panel is only being held up by two screws at the top of the case and the front bezel fascia, which snaps in and keeps the screen relatively secure.
Sorry for the poor quality photos, it was dark and lighting was inadequate but we managed! The first photo was a test to make sure the screen, the cabling and everything was properly fastened and working. The second image is with Windows 10 loaded up and the resolution now at 2560×1440! What a friggen improvement over 1600×900!!!
With the taste of 2k resolution, I was now eager to re-assemble the laptop slowly and carefully, being cautious to not damage any of the critical components for the display. One of the challenges with doing mods, is keeping everything looking and feeling as OEM as possible.
Now with everything hooked up, I started figuring out a proper way to run the WWAN and Wireless antenna cables through the magnesium cage. Below are the final photos before re-assembly.
…and that’s about it. I know I didn’t go in depth regarding the actual process to install these components. I figure that if you are wanting to do the WQHD and are into modifying your ThinkPad, you probably should research this as much as you can and feel confident enough to do the work. As mentioned before, the Lenovo Hardware Maintenance Manual is excellent and RMSMajestic/Javi-Jie provide clear enough instructions to help you through this.
Here she is in regular business fashion.
Now if you have a keen eye, you may also notice that on the left side of my screen, towards the bottom portion there appears to be screen light leak.
I’ve informed the eBay seller and hopefully we can get this issue solved. The screen was %100 brand new and if this is a defect, I’d love a replacement. It’s not a huge problem, but my eyes tend to gravitate towards the issue. I have tried to adjust the bezel, thinking it was the problem but it didn’t help. I event went as far as removing the bezel and slightly lifting the screen and the light leak was still there. I would say this is for sure a screen defect.
I will keep this post updated with whatever we determine to do with this issue and screen.
Insert Edit: March 28th 2018: The seller has agreed to ship me a new screen. As they were in the process of testing another AUO 1.5 screen prior to shipping, they discovered their batch of displays all had these kind of defects. So my only option is to ship it back and try to buy from another seller, hoping they didn’t received a defective panel from AUO.
As we close off this post..for now, I’ll upload a few screenshots of windows showing the resolution and the different variations of scaling in Windows 10.
I am currently set at 125% scaling but I could do 100% also. The screenshots go from 100% all the way to Windows 10 recommended, 200%!!!
I hope this helped anybody looking or considering this mod. I think it’s fantastic and I thank RMSMajestic and Javi-Jie for their work and dedication to this project.
If you are interested and want to read further, please see the purchase thread here or the support thread here.
Thanks for reading!