T420 and T430 HD+ Screen Upgrade

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The T420/T430 generally come with a 1366x768 HD screen. However, it is capable of using a higher resolution 1600x900 HD+ screen; the extra pixel density and vertical space is a game changer for programmers.

If you forgot to purchase the upgrade from Lenovo when you bought your computer, follow this guide to do so. However, the process requires quite a bit of disassembly, since the default HD cable must be replaced.

Note that both the HD and HD+ screens are both lame TN panels, and have the exact same viewing angles, colors and brightness.

If you want to try and install the X1 Carbon's beautiful panel instead, check out this guide. Unfortunately, with that mod the LCD cable has to be extended, so it can be daunting.

The 1600x900 HD+ Screen

There are three manufacturers that make the 1600x900 HD+ screen; Samsung, LG Philips, and AUO. Many fans believe that the Samsung screens are the best, and the AUO screens are the worst. The panels generally cost around $50. Search for these FRU numbers on eBay.

  • Samsung 93P5685
  • LG Philips 04W3331
  • AUO 93P5693

The HD+ LCD Cable

T430 HD+ LCD cable
FRU 04W6867 or 04W68684
approx. cost2 About $10 in US or € 35 incl. shipping to EU (think_2009)
suppliers - Lenovo
- twin-bears on ebay (EU)
- think_2009 on Skype (China)
- laptoppartstore.weebly.com (USA)

In order to make a 1600x900 HD+ panel work in the T420/T430, an HD+ LCD cable must be installed.

This isn't a trivial task: you will need to unplug the keyboard and the keyboard bezel assembly.

If you're a bit practical with this sort of things, it would take approximately 40 minutes. If this is your first time opening something, maybe you should ask someone to help.

The HD+ LCD cable works both with HD+ and HD panels.


Below is a basic outline of the procedure.

For the actual nitty-gritty details, follow the Lenovo Hardware Maintenence Manual for now. As you proceed, some minor parts don't have to be removed (e.g. speaker assembly, LCD unit and integrated camera), so skip over such sections.

Replacing the LCD cable

Instructions for replacing the LCD cable can be found on Lenovo website: "LCD panel and LCD cable removal and installation - ThinkPad T430 and T430i".

  1. Unplug the battery.
  2. Remove the keyboard.
  3. Remove the palmrest.
  4. Remove the LCD Bezel.
  5. Replace the HD cable with an HD+ cable. (takes a bit of snaking out)
  6. Reinstall the palmrest.
  7. Reinstall the keyboard.

Installing the 1600x900 Panel

  1. Unscrew and unplug the old panel.
  2. Install the new panel.
  3. Reinstall the LCD Bezel.

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