options for screen replacement In G4 Powerbook Aluminum 17" 1.5G

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options for screen replacement In G4 Powerbook Aluminum 17" 1.5G


I am working with a client/friend that has a Powerbook G4 17" Al. with a 1.5G processor. She bought it new in 2004.

The laptop was dropped, and the screen is now cracked into an interesting pattern. (Still, do not try that at home if you can help it!)


Plan A: Can we purchase a standard LCD monitor off the shelf and kinda cut and past the new LCD into the old case "easily"?
If so, is there one or more such LCDs that happen to use the same LCD panel for a screen?

Plan B: Is there a way to essentially remove the notebook top (screen and all) and then use only an external monitor without harming the rest of the computer circuitry? The replacement screen services availablefor about $300+ up seem a bit steep right now. She has an adapter to a svga monitor mirrored with the original screen now that works ok, but that is not a preferred long term solution.

Plan C: I suspect simply purchasing a different IMAC that is the screen and all in one that could be carried in its original or a custom box may be explored, too. Then this one could be sold on E-bay or what ever for parts. However we would like to put it to the best use we can ourselves, if possible, at a reasonable price.

Any "tried and true" advice from the people that may have gone before us on this unpleasant detour would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Jon's picture
Last seen: 12 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 2804
Pulling the cracked LCD and u

Pulling the cracked LCD and using just the external is perfectly fine. It's been done by people around here several times. A quick run to eBay showed LCDs going for $250-400. If an actual service company will charge $300 to get and put a new one in, I'd say go for it. That is, if their tech is Apple Portable Certified. Wink

To check for similar machines with the same panel you'll need to get the OEM name and model number off of the panel itself. There are only so many LCD makers, and often the same panel is used in very different machines. With the 17" G4 though, it's an unusual size so I doubt there will be many laptops that used it, but maybe some desktop LCD monitors.

Eudimorphodon's picture
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: Dec 21 2003 - 14:14
Posts: 1207
Desktop LCDs

An LCD from a desktop monitor isn't likely to help you much if you're talking about keeping the machine portable.

A: Most (not all, but most) 17" stand-alone LCD monitors use a lower resolution panel then the 17" Powerbook. (1280x768 vs 1440x900) 1440x900 19" panels are becoming pretty common, but that doesn't help you.

B: From my limited experience in taking desktop monitors apart I'd guess that it's fairly standard to use different LCD panel components then used in laptops, or at least fit them with different (and thicker) back panel and mounting bracket components. (Probably to accomidate the more powerful backlighting systems usually found in desktop monitors.) Even if you found a "compatible" panel in a desktop monitor it'll almost certainly have incompatible mounting hardware and backlights, and not physically fit inside the PowerBook's case.

Honestly I'd say your best option is to just repair the thing properly. If you've found someplace that'll repair your LCD for $300 jump on it. That's a more then fair price for that. Otherwise if you want to swap it yourself ebay "buy it now" prices for the component seem to run in the $270 range, which means you might get one for substantially less. That's *about* the same price as a desktop monitor of similar specs to the built-in screen, and you'll get to keep using the machine as a laptop.

Last seen: 14 years 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 14 2004 - 20:14
Posts: 122
You can join join LEM-Swap fo

You can join join LEM-Swap for buying & selling Mac stuff. http://groups.google.com/group/lemswap
After you join, post a WTB (want to buy).Someone may have a used display.

Here's some helpful laptop sites for DIY.

Fix It Guides for Mac Laptops & Mini
The guides can be viewed on-line or you can download a PDF file.

How to Upgrade, Repair, Disassemble an Apple/Macintosh Laptop or Notebook


Cheers, Tom
Mac Troubleshooting, Maintenance & Tips

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