I wanted to upgrade the resolution of my laptop screen recently but couldn’t find any resources in the ASUS forums or elsewhere online of anyone who had done it previously. The other requirement I had was that I wanted to not only go for a piecemeal ‘next resolution up’, I wanted to go all the way WUXGA (1920×1200) if possible.
The tech specs on the ASUS website for the M51SN only stated they supported screens up to WSXGA (1600×1050) but I did come across a laptop reseller p4laptops that was offering the model with an aftermarket WUXGA upgrade. This got my hopes up that I could support the change.
Unfortunately the laptop LCD reseller websites I listed, only provided panels for the M51SN up to WSXGA if you were lucky. Some were really bad only offering WXGA panels for this model – I certainly didn’t want that given I had a WXGA+ already.
I ended up contacting a panel vendor, Screen Country based in Canada who after explaining the situation of what I found were quite helpful in finding what they thought would be a compatible WUXGA panel. It did come with some heavy disclaimers though – you do have to pay for the postage back if it doesn’t work and it has to be in new condition to return. After telling them my existing panel number, which for my M51SN-AS037G, was an AUO2277 (B154PW02 V2), they advised me of a Toshiba panel (LTD154EZ0L), I soon put the order in and it took about a week to arive.
The first thing you should do before installing is unplug the power from the laptop and remove the battery.
As for pulling apart the laptop, I found the M50 disassembly guide. The laptops are pretty close, the only difference is that they have 8 screws surrounding the screen. The 4 pictures they had regarding LCD disassembly let me know what to expect. The bits to know here was that I didn’t need to pull off one of the plastic hinges at the bottom of the screen. It wont matter too much if they stay on during the LCD replacement.
Once the plastic surrounding the screen was unscrewed and snapped off, the existing LCD needed to be removed. The other useful resource was the Screen Country support docs which explained how to disconnect the existing panel. They do the disassembly on 2 laptops. For this, the 2nd diagram more closely fit the Asus’ layout. The key bit here is not to remove the immediate 4 screws that are on the edges connecting the LCD bracket to the laptop casing. All you need to worry about are the smaller screws on the left and right side of the monitor connecting the casing to the monitor.
When pulling off the main video cable that runs along the back of the monitory, just take the tape off and use your fingernails and slowly edge out the video connector. To remove the inverter cable at the bottom (white and pink coloured wires), its probably best to approach it from the right side and pull out the connector. The inverter connector only snaps in one way too if u forget which way it is.
What tripped me up was putting the new panel in and plugging the video connector back into the laptop. Its a very small bit of connectivity, and I didn’t push it in enough. Its a bit counter intuitive but you have to apply a bit of force here. Its probably best that once you line up the connector, you use the sticky tape thats goes over the connection to help push the connector in. You’ll know the difference between partly in, and fully in when the connector slides in that couple of mm more.
Once that was sorted out though, I powered on the laptop and could see my windows boot up in new resolution glory. A nice moment indeed. Facebook, web browsing and IDE use are the apps that benefit the most from this change.