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Half-Saint
May 7th, 2013, 08:51 AM
Hi,

I bought the abovementioned laptop recently for about $30. Cosmetically it's great but there are some hardware issues.

The OS loads fine however the LCD is somewhat dim with a very bright area in the upper left corner. It's not evenly lit and it looks like there are very tiny little black particles beneath the glass... hard to explain so I'll try to add a photo tomorrow.

The 2nd issue is the keyboard. While the trackpoint works, mouse buttons don't as well as a few keys; for example: Esc, left arrow, up arrow,...

Any ideas? Is it worth fixing?

Cheers

vwestlife
May 7th, 2013, 09:30 AM
Try opening it up and reseating the connectors.

Unknown_K
May 7th, 2013, 10:59 AM
Somebody might have replaced the backlight bulb and did a bad job of it?

Half-Saint
May 7th, 2013, 12:19 PM
Try opening it up and reseating the connectors.

Good idea. Might have a loose connection due to transport damages..

Half-Saint
May 8th, 2013, 04:05 AM
13166

This is what I get. The video output is very dim and looks like a very high ISO photograph. When I connect the laptop to an LCD monitor, it works fine.

Is this the case of a bad bulb or a failing inverter? Can anyone help diagnose the problem?

P.S. It looks brighter in the photo than it actually is. Brightness level is at its highest.

vwestlife
May 8th, 2013, 07:43 AM
The dual sliders for contast and brightness means it is a passive matrix LCD. Those were always dim and ghosty even when new. But usually a passive matrix LCD will become almost totally white and washed out when you turn up the brightness all the way, so you could have a failing backlight.

Unknown_K
May 8th, 2013, 09:18 AM
13166

This is what I get. The video output is very dim and looks like a very high ISO photograph. When I connect the laptop to an LCD monitor, it works fine.

Is this the case of a bad bulb or a failing inverter? Can anyone help diagnose the problem?

P.S. It looks brighter in the photo than it actually is. Brightness level is at its highest.

looks normal to me for that type of old screen

Half-Saint
May 8th, 2013, 10:00 AM
It looks horrible. Something is definitely wrong with the screen because I have a Jornada 720 which is also using a DSTN screen and it's not nearly this bad. It's actually quite OK.

arrow_runner
May 8th, 2013, 10:13 AM
Looks normal to me like K said. Reminds me of a Sega Game Gear. In more recent laptops, when a backlight starts to fail it will give off a pink or red hue and maybe flicker, just like a florescent light bulb. When inverters fail the screen just goes dark.

Half-Saint
May 8th, 2013, 10:57 AM
As I said, it looks better in the picture than in reality...

Compare it to this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_mayhem/2878548924/ and you'll see that the Jornada screen is ten times better.

Old Thrashbarg
May 8th, 2013, 11:43 AM
There is nothing wrong with the screen in the Thinkpad. The only problem here is that you seem to think all DSTN LCDs are created equal. They are not. The fact that the Jornada screen looks better simply means that the Jornada has a better screen. And the smaller size and different aspect ratio plays a very significant role in that quality difference... it's much easier to get bright and even backlighting when there is less area to backlight.

Here are a few examples of DSTN screens in Thinkpads of that general era. A 560 (http://www.mars.dti.ne.jp/~ayase/tp/tp560_12.jpg), a 365ED (http://www.mars.dti.ne.jp/~ayase/tp/tp365ed_14.jpg), and a 530CS (http://www.komotch2.com/tps/530cs10.jpg). Notice that they all share a common property... specifically, that they all suck.

Unknown_K
May 8th, 2013, 12:07 PM
All DSTN suck, some just suck less then others. IBM used pretty decent screens even on their cheap models (back when Thinkpads were IBM anyway). DSTN doesn't age well either.

Half-Saint
May 8th, 2013, 12:07 PM
Good grief. I'll see, if I can swap the backlight with a LED backlight.. not any time soon tho.

Old Thrashbarg
May 8th, 2013, 01:18 PM
Honestly, swapping the backlight probably isn't worth the effort. There's only so much you can do to make it look more even (since some of that unevenness is inherent to the panel itself), and making it brighter is going to have the side effect of making the colors look (more) washed-out.

However, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, and you can find the relevant parts for less than the cost of just replacing the whole laptop, I believe it's possible to swap out the DSTN for a TFT. Note that it can't be done on all laptops, but I think on those particular models, it's as simple as changing out the lid assembly (though you would have to change the whole lid assembly, and not just the panel itself)... the service manual seems to confirm that, as the DSTN and TFT variants share all the same part numbers in the bottom half, it's just the screens/lids that are different.

Unknown_K
May 8th, 2013, 03:08 PM
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:365X

They did have a 10.4" TFT option for that model (not sure if the LCD cable needs replaced).

Actually I have a 365x with TFT that needs repaired on my bench.

MikeS
May 8th, 2013, 03:49 PM
Might be useful to know which model we're talking about...

Half-Saint
May 8th, 2013, 11:35 PM
However, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, and you can find the relevant parts for less than the cost of just replacing the whole laptop, I believe it's possible to swap out the DSTN for a TFT. Note that it can't be done on all laptops, but I think on those particular models, it's as simple as changing out the lid assembly (though you would have to change the whole lid assembly, and not just the panel itself)... the service manual seems to confirm that, as the DSTN and TFT variants share all the same part numbers in the bottom half, it's just the screens/lids that are different.

That suonds like a better option.