08-09-2011 08:23 AM
Found this thread after getting the same issue with my X61 Tablet. Seems like it is a popular glitch which could have been caused by a manufacturing problem. Yesterday I have spotted two tiny bubbles on the edge of the screen, today in the morning there were three of them, and now they are four. But what is interesting in my case, is that the bubbles are near the middle of the top edge of the display (right from the latch, almost under the third circle), rather than in the bottom.
Living in Russia (with a bit different customer service mentality of PC/laptop manufacturers), being out of warranty, using the laptop so extensively to have no chance to release it to the customer service even for the paid support even for a week, and seeing to sense to pay for the new LCD a price of a whole brand new laptop... seems, like I am doomed to live with the bubbles.
08-09-2011 01:23 PM - edited 08-09-2011 01:35 PM
When I started this thread I had my theories and Lenovo had theirs. This thread is now 10 pages long but no clear solution seems to have floated to the top. If you read my early posts you might know that after being a belligerent customer for months, Lenovo fixed the bubbles with simply an entirely new screen. And I lived happily ever after.
Or did I?
Yesterday I opened it up after months of enduring sticky goo oozing out from behind the bezel. Every time I wrote on the screen the hair on my wrist would get stuck to the bezel and a quick waxing was administered without my consent. The most goo came out near the very popular bottom right corner. I had to invert the display for a whlie to avoid this frequent hair loss.
Under the bezel was, once again, ample amounts of Lenovo's incompetence. They had put a kind of double-sided tape on the edges of the lcd screen to adhere to the bezel. This over time, possibly due to the heat, turned into a runny goop that came out of hiding. I must say this goop is extremely sticky and doesn't stick to itself well. This makes it stretch and is very messy. I have no idea why they had to do this as it really doesn't serve any purpose. I have long had new bubbles on the replacement as well - which I have stopped complaining about and learned to live with.
But I'm not here to promote this defeatist attitude. The last time in fears of voiding warranty I did not have the guts to disassemble anything. But this time I'm very casual about hacking it open. I even broke the plastic bezel in the process of yanking it away from the horrid glue. Here are the steps:
After this I finally saw the holy grail of this bubble theory. The cross-section of the stack of layers looks like this
The bubbles are clearly forming between the bottom of the glass layer and the top layer of the LCD. Not within the LCD layers. The glass is basically a scratch-resistant writing surface that interferes minimally with the transmissivity of the underlying layers. It has no other purpose and contains no passive or active electronics. Now, I'm not certain about the manufacturing process of this particular layer but from the looks of it, it seems like the installing of the glass layer is not done in the same factory where the LCD itself is made. The botched nature of the adhesive / sealant that promotes bubbles is what leads me to believe this. You can see from the photos that the LCD is neatly sealed inside the metal bracket (and bubble issues have almost never been reported for non-tablet laptops), while the glass layer was attached possibly as a post-process.
Even though we all know it was a layering issue, we now clearly know which layer.
[adding photos here]
This top glass layer is really glued on so I patiently took it off. I can now write on the LCD screen directly but it's highly not recommended. Until I can get hold of a replacement glass, I have installed a screen protector in its place and use light pressure for writing. More updates after I reattach / get some fresh glass.
If you are out of warranty this just might be helpful. And you can take heart in the fact that your 'LCD' is likely just fine.
08-10-2011 09:18 AM - edited 08-10-2011 09:20 AM
Hello, it's me again, with my three-day-old bubbles caught just in the progress of springing up. In the thread, the common knowledge was that the bubbles are forming in the bottom of the screen due to that place is hot, right? And my two ones (and the third one in the progress of birth) were unusual for being in the top of the screen which is not that hot.
Well, Captain Log: "Third day of observing the bubbles. Now they are seven, forming a straight line at the top. And today, right out of nowhere, an eight one appeared on the right edge of the screen. Seems like something what has been done in the latest days (I suspect playing Puzzle Bobble) bothered the ancient civilization of Bubbles, and now they are waking up from the anabiosis here and there. But for now they are little and so cute... probably I'll pet them."
08-15-2011 10:34 AM - edited 08-15-2011 10:35 AM
I started having these bubbles too several months ago after having the machine for a couple years. Shortly after the bubbles appeared, the sticky goo started coming through all the buttons rendering some useless and made the machine uncomfortable to use (unless you like glue ripping your arm hair out).
I have next day service, and was suprised when they sent a tech with a new LCD the next day (I figured they were in short supply). The tech installed the LCD, but within a week I started having a garbled display (I should also add that the LCD was of significantly inferior quality, very blurry probably due to the refurbished digitizer).
I opted to send my machine in for depot service since I have never had an onsite tech that really knew what he was doing (especially with the tablet). My machine has been on 'Parts Hold' at the depot for almost a month with no ETA in sight. I'm waiting for a call back from a more senior person at the depot to see what can be done. A month with is ridiculous!
I love my Thinkpad and hate my Dell, but I've never had a problem with my Dell (despite it's relative flimsyness) and tons with my X61 Tablet. I think the tablets just don't get the engineering love that the flagship non-tablet X and T laptops get.
08-16-2011 08:01 AM
Can you send me a PM with your service case # , Model & seial and contact details? Parts are very constrained on these, but I'd like to see what else can be done to help you. I hate to see you stuck in the depot waiting.
08-17-2011 11:24 AM
08-17-2011 11:59 AM
kemetho, you can learn to live with it. read my post above.
lenovo will fix it for around $700. you can get an almost new x61 for that money on ebay. if it gets really bad, you can pry off the top glass (under which the bubble infiltrates exist) and try to get another piece of glass. your next option is to just get a full screen replacement. this probably goes for about $250 on ebay. note that sxga is hard to find.
08-18-2011 08:43 PM
Sorry to hear that you are having this trouble ! This far (a year) beyond warranty it will be difficult to do something beyond the terms and conditions of the warranty.
You can look up the FRU# for your LCD on the support site and find the service parts list. You may be able to search online and find a panel. I will say that there are mixed quality of used panels floating around out there so be careful.
You could also buy the part through service and perhaps save a few hundred dollars of labor and do the job yourself.