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Old 04-07-2012, 09:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

I bought a used Latitude E4300 off of Ebay. Flippin love this laptop. 13", Core 2 Duo, SSD on its way, it'll be a substantial upgrade vs the Intel Atom thing I've been using for a while now. About the screen, I noticed the viewing angles on it weren't exactly impressive. I read some posts on a notebook review forum regarding this exact model. One user in particular said (I have no idea what his line of work is) that he's seen newer E4300's that have better screens, and that he runs into an E4300 about once a month. I have to assume he's heavily entrenched in an IT job somewhere to come across an E4300 that frequently. At any rate, his post (dated 2010) suggested that perhaps the 2009 panels were of lesser quality.

Are there different quality levels when it comes to LCD panels? Like is it possible to get an LCD that's better than the next guy selling one for my exact laptop? Is that where the 130 dollar LCD's come in when I'm also seeing LCD's from 70 bucks for the same laptop? Considering the user said the newer E4300's seemed to have better viewing angles I can't help but to think maybe there's something there that holds water.

If that's the case, is there anything specific to look for to identify differences?
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

I'm going to couple the lack of responses with what I've read on Google and assume that's a bit fat negative. That being said, I'm going to drop an SSD in this laptop and switch out the optical bay for a 2nd HDD bay and drop a 250GB SATA drive in there. 60GB SSD, 250GB SATA. Should pitch for a bit more than what I put into it, but we'll see.

That said, if I'm in the market for a cheap Core 2 Duo/i3 laptop with a screen that isn't completely terrible, anybody recommend anything? I'm hoping to find something with DDR3 as I have some DDR3 RAM I could use right now... Any suggestions? I'm after a basic laptop, really. Something that is like my CR48 except faster (Intel Atom kills me). Other than that I love that laptop...
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

Well yes and no. There are different techniques/methods employed to try and achieve better response times, colour gamut, bleed, etc, I guess it's possible they stopped using xyz panels in 2009 and moved onto abc panel in 2010. No reason why they couldn't, and if it was only a small change then they might not even have made mention of it.
As for identifying the change, that could be a little difficult. If it's not listed anywhere in the specs you'll have to take her apart and look at the panel's model number.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayce View Post
I bought a used Latitude E4300 off of Ebay. Flippin love this laptop. 13", Core 2 Duo, SSD on its way, it'll be a substantial upgrade vs the Intel Atom thing I've been using for a while now. About the screen, I noticed the viewing angles on it weren't exactly impressive. I read some posts on a notebook review forum regarding this exact model. One user in particular said (I have no idea what his line of work is) that he's seen newer E4300's that have better screens, and that he runs into an E4300 about once a month. I have to assume he's heavily entrenched in an IT job somewhere to come across an E4300 that frequently. At any rate, his post (dated 2010) suggested that perhaps the 2009 panels were of lesser quality.

Are there different quality levels when it comes to LCD panels? Like is it possible to get an LCD that's better than the next guy selling one for my exact laptop? Is that where the 130 dollar LCD's come in when I'm also seeing LCD's from 70 bucks for the same laptop? Considering the user said the newer E4300's seemed to have better viewing angles I can't help but to think maybe there's something there that holds water.

If that's the case, is there anything specific to look for to identify differences?
Most laptop LCDs suck just as badly today as they did in 2009, in some cases they could even be worse. Quality can vary within a model range though, especially if they offered optional display upgrades.


Any of the LCDs made specifically for the e4300 are likely the same quality as the original ones offered so you will possibly be looking at using a panel from a different laptop if you want a major upgrade. I have heard of people doing that but I don't know what you would need to look for as far as compatibility is concerned.

The best 13.3" LCD I am aware of is the panel used in the Macbook Pro 13 but I have no idea if it could be using in a latitude.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

Well, this kind of morphed into an interesting direction. I'm heavily looking at Lenovo laptops now. I'm not sure why I didn't consider Lenovo more heavily sooner but there's a solid array of laptops I found on ThinkWiki that are enlightening to me. I'm heavily considering the T400 now. Core 2 Duo, DDR3 RAM, 14" screen, seems pretty snazzy. Reviews suggest the viewing angles are "better than average" which is good. I have extensive experience with Lenovo and never came across one that drove me as crazy as this Dell is. I found a few decently priced T400's used. I'll probably drop a Crucial M4 in and call it a day with whatever I get.

Only downside to the T400 is it doesn't have HDMI out. On the flip side, I don't recall ever needing HDMI out, however my buddy utilized it a few times on vacation, so it'd be nice to have in the event we ever went anywhere and he didn't have that laptop. It looks like the T500 has a DisplayPort, though, which might be able to handle that task. The T500 is up in 15" territory. I wanted to hang out down in 12.5-14.1 if possible.

Any suggestions, by chance? I'm trying super hard to stay below 400 used...

EDIT - Lenovo Essential just popped on the radar. I remember liking the 15.6" screen size as it didn't feel that big for what screen real estate it provided... 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, HDMI out, looking to be 350-450ish... not too shabby...
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayce View Post
Well, this kind of morphed into an interesting direction. I'm heavily looking at Lenovo laptops now. I'm not sure why I didn't consider Lenovo more heavily sooner but there's a solid array of laptops I found on ThinkWiki that are enlightening to me. I'm heavily considering the T400 now. Core 2 Duo, DDR3 RAM, 14" screen, seems pretty snazzy. Reviews suggest the viewing angles are "better than average" which is good. I have extensive experience with Lenovo and never came across one that drove me as crazy as this Dell is. I found a few decently priced T400's used. I'll probably drop a Crucial M4 in and call it a day with whatever I get.

Only downside to the T400 is it doesn't have HDMI out. On the flip side, I don't recall ever needing HDMI out, however my buddy utilized it a few times on vacation, so it'd be nice to have in the event we ever went anywhere and he didn't have that laptop. It looks like the T500 has a DisplayPort, though, which might be able to handle that task. The T500 is up in 15" territory. I wanted to hang out down in 12.5-14.1 if possible.

Any suggestions, by chance? I'm trying super hard to stay below 400 used...
If you want a good display many of the Thinkpad X series tablets should have IPS displays and you might have been able to get them in select versions of the normal X series laptops. Look for ones with outdoor viewable screens or similar branding as they should be the ones with the best displays.

Unfortunately good screens have gotten very hard to come by in laptops, I spent months looking over all of the options are there are only a small handful of models out there that are really good. I ended up just biting the bullet and ordered a Thinkpad x220 since it was the only sub 15" laptop available with a IPS display at the time.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

I don't need or want an IPS display due to the costs. IPS is easily out of my price range. I just want a TN panel that isn't terrible. Before you chuckle and think "Well all TN panels fit the terrible category", I just wish there was a way to accurately video what I'm seeing. I haven't seen a TN panel this bad before, meanwhile every other laptop I've ever picked up has been significantly better, all with TN panels.

I think what I need to do first of corral a bunch of laptops that might fit the bill, then do some review searching from there. So far the T400 is a hot item on the list despite its optional webcam (would like one) and no HDMI/DisplayPort out. The Lenovo Essential could easily be had for 400 bones, but I know next to nothing about it, and the insanely left-aligned touchpad is beyond questionable...
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

I just happened to remember reading a review of a E4300 that actually seemed to have a decent TN panel.

Review Dell Latitude E4300 Laptop - Notebookcheck.net Reviews

When I looked at the replacement panels for that laptop there were CCFL and LED versions. Assuming you have a CCFL one in it now that LED panel should be acceptable
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: LCD Screens - Would today's be different than 2009's?

I do have the LED version. Looks like Samsung and LG made panels for this laptop. Turns out one sucked. Guess who's lucky. :/
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