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For example, if I have an old p4 acer laptop with a perfect screen, and a newer dual core acer laptop with a cracked screen, can I swap the screen in to the newer unit (assuming it's the same size)? Or, do they change the cables/interface technology so they are not compatible?

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Yes you can, but...

Look at this picture, and the connector on it. It is pretty common connector on newer model notebooks... after Celeron ones. Any really older notebooks have varying, and propriety connectors that will not be compatible.

enter image description here

I think these are called PPI but many distributors call them 40PIN Data Connectors. I never actually thought about what it is called, i guess I must have a photographic memory.

That type of connector works with any size LCD, so you can use a 13" in 15.6"- obviosly it wont fit in the frame it was built for.. but the picture will work fine, because it uses the same protocol and image processor on the LCD chip.. So it can handle the scaling, refresh rates and all that mumbo jumbo directly on the LCD, making it an easy standard to work with.

  • Dell uses vendor specific inverter and it determines if the LCD installed is the original one. So sometimes swapping it on the DELL, you will see an image but the backlight will not come on, or it will be very dim... also the BIOS will moan about LCD fault. Using the original inverter will solve this problem. So do not use the invertor with the screen, but the one with the laptop and in 99% cases it will work fine, including brightness regulation

This is how the inverter looks like...

enter image description here

Notice this cable has golden fingers, not pins.

enter image description here

Here are some old connectors are are not cross compatible

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

LVDS (Pins)

enter image description here

Then you also get this weird PCB, that is exactly the same as the cable in the first picture (PPI), it is the same connector, and these are usually found in Dell's and Acers, sometimes a WEBcam connector comes off it too.

enter image description here

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I seem to think the same connector is also referred to as LVDS – Journeyman Geek Jan 23 '12 at 14:15
Hi, by looking at the picture LVDS is the one with pins, and is common in Macintosh Screens and older PC/Notebooks.. and are not cross compatible/ but it might be the Parallel Version of LVDS... but i cannot find any data relating to it really.. – ppumkin Jan 23 '12 at 14:25
LVDS is just the electrical interface's name. It's not the actual connector which yes, is some proprietary NIH stuff prior to the 40-pin ones. ;) – user245044 Aug 12 '13 at 10:20

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