mod project: retro fit MBA screen to the unibody MB?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by cryonic49, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. cryonic49 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    So we all know that MBAs have better lcd panels than the MBs'. The part is B133EW03 according to ifixit. There are several versions of that panel, v.0 is matte, while v.1 is glossy...

    after some searching on the net, it seems like the replacement panel is quite cheap, at around $250 a pop...

    So maybe, just maybe.. we can replace our crappy MB's glossy screen with MBA's matte...

    Does any one have high res photo of the both MB and MBA's panel connectors? and any guide on disassembling the macbook's display, ifixit didn't fully disassemble it :-\
  2. Tomomcd macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    Problem here comes that it would seem the Screen and the Glass come as one unit for the new macbook and must be bonded in someway.

    So wouldn't be as simple as hoped, unless you can get hold of a replacement piece of glass.
  3. DaveOZ macrumors regular

    May 13, 2008
    Sounds more like a project for Apple. Shame they didn't take it on a few months ago. :mad:
  4. nitewolfgtr macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2008
    hehe i like to see someone do this, although it would be hard on the late 2008 MB or MBP. Last time i heard, the LCD has to be replaced with the glass intact.
  5. cryonic49 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    Well according to this video, the glass can be disassembled from rest of the body... i will try to see how easy it would be tonight
  6. AreYouAMac macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    sorry to high jack the thread... but

    will the MBA screen fit onto the older macbook?
  7. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    I love the animated videos. Geek porn...

    Has anyone tried giving those guys a call and see if they think putting a better display or MBA display on the otherwise great MB. I emailed ifixit a few days ago and they said it probably couldn't be done.
  8. cryonic49 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    yeah, ifixit just replied my inquiry about the connectors, apparently they are very different :-( So i guess it's no go on retrofitting..

    that stinks...
  9. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    DAMN! My work will basically buy any laptop that I need and I think the new MBs are the perfect size/performance point for me, except I'm not convinced the screen is any good. I was thinking I could just upgrade it in a few months if I was really dissatisfied. Total bummer. What to do...
  10. sselemit macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2008

    But, even after the mod is done. how are you going to fill in the place of the glass. You know the glass accumulates the screen + the bezel too.:confused:
  11. cryonic49 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    So i've done a comparison of connectors myself, and it seems MBA and MB Alu's are the same.

    So i ordered the b133ew03 (MBA's panel) today and it should be here next week.

    Meanwhile, I got really annoyed by the reflection, so I figured, oh why the heck not, let's just try to open the panel for fun because:

    1. even if I break the glass, I can make my own bezel..
    2. if the new panel doesn't work - at least the glass reflection can be removed

    so I got my t6 screwdriver (which finally arrived today), and separated the panel from the unibody. After removing black hinge plastic and the wireless components inside, I was discouraged by how seemly impossible it is to remove the glass.

    Then I had an idea. I grabbed a replacement box cutter blade and wedged it between the thin rubber and the glass. After wiggling several times, the glass started to come out. (at this point, I realized that it isn't really glass, as someone told me in the forum, it's like a mixture of glass and plastic, but I will still call it the glass for now).

    I was ecstatic and used more force to yank more the glass out. Then... I broke it.. hehe here is the glorious pic:

    But I gotta say, the glass is definitely removable, it just requires a LOT A LOT of patience.

    Now that I got that removed, the glare is so much more manageable.. yay. I just need to wait for the new panel to arrive and order a black macbook bezel. The bezel will require some cutting and sanding, but the basic size is the same.

    Here is the picture of the glass off.

    The back end label for the LCD:

    I'll give more updates when the new lcd panel arrives.

    Attached Files:

  12. Jpoon macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2008
    Los Angeles California
    You're my hero LOL. This is being done for great justice. *says indescernable chants*
    Haha can't wait to see if you're successful or not!!!
  13. bektravels macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    You go cryonic49! Can't wait to see how it pans out...
  14. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    This is an example of what people do when they have too much time + money. The glare isn't much of a bother. I'd rather keep a new notebook in warranty in exchange for a (acclaimed) bad screen and just get an external. That's more professional than spending a excess of $300... Just my opinion. But if this works that would be pretty cool.
  15. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    Great work.

    does the panel look different without the glass? If so, how?
  16. steve31 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2007
    Edmonton Canada
    :eek::eek: Your Brave!! Cant wait to see it when your done!
  17. LowEnder macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA

    This is definitely the best thing here right now!
    I can't wait to see how it works out....
  18. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    Whoa! You're crazy :eek::D

    I think you're the first person to post pics with the glass removed, even iFixit doesn't have it.

    Could you post higher resolution pictures? Maybe a close up of all the internal components such as the camera/etc? :)
  19. deadkenny macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2006
    Is ist possible to get the whole ting out of the aluminium houseing? I mean display + glas + everything, so you just face the bare aluminium?
    I'd like to paint my MacBook so that would be cool :)

    Very nice project indeed, are you going to use the display bevel in aluminium from the MacBook Air?
  20. colourclassic macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2008
    That looks really ghetto with the glass bezel removed, good luck with your project, I'll be watching.
  21. cryonic49 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    Less glare, not as reflective.. Viewing angle still the same, washed out color, the same...

    I will when I get home tonight.

    yes, once you remove the glass, everything is super easy to remove...

    I really don't know how Apple managed to design the most beautiful and functional case and decided to glue the glass unto the backing. If the glass wasn't an issue, this would be the most mod friendly laptop, ever.

    I would love to, except there is none on sale. If you can find one, tell me! I already ordered a macbook black's bezel, so I'll be sanding the corners down to make sure it fits.
  22. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    if you could post exact details how you removed the glass that would be cool. I have dust under my screen I'd like to get rid of ;)
  23. cryonic49 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    You should goto Apple first, they might cover it under warranty. There is a high chance of the glass breaking if you are not careful. I'll post more on what I did, and what I should have done when I get home.
  24. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    Very nice. Can't wait to see the final product...
  25. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I like how people take it into their hands to get what they want (like a better screen).:cool:

    Honestly, I hope everything comes out great for you. Please when you are done, post a guide so other brave souls can follow your steps!!:D

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