It seem like there are a lot of people that has TF201s with broken screens, but very little information about how to DIY screen replacement, so I wanted to post my bad experience here as a warning to people, so that they know what they get into.
The screen on my TF201 cracked (dropped on the floor - only the screen was damaged, the LCD and digitizer still worked) so I searched around the web to find ways to replace the screen - without luck
I did find instructions on how to open the device and I also found original glass/digitizer replacement parts on eBay originating from China at about $100 so I took the chance and ordered a new screen. It arrived 2 weeks after and looked good.
With the instructions on how to disassemble the TF201 posted on this forum, it was quickly open and the glass/digitizer/LCD is one subassembly connected to the mainboard with two flex cables - one for the LCD and one for the digitizer.
Next step is to power off the system internally. There is a small internal switch in the lower left corner that you should switch to the off position. The LCD and digitizer cables can now be disconnected from the mainboard. The connectors open easily by putting a nail under the white frame of the correctors and pulling the frame up and then pull out the flex cables. You now have the glass/digitizer/LCD separated from the mainboard.
The LCD has a few screws to hold it to the plastic frame - these should be removed at this step. Mine only has two screws mounted although there is room for more (bad assembly quality or a fix for screen bleeding???)
Now comes the hard part and the part where I failed! There is a plastic frame around the edges of the glass that you need to remove and mount on the new glass. This plastic part holds all the taps that keep the tablet together and it is taped to the glass with some VERY sticky tape!
I used a scalpel to cut between the plastic and the glass with the result that the glass broke in tiny pieces as I went around, but as I saw no other way I kept going... It might have been better to use a heat gun or a hairblower to heat up the glue before trying to remove it, but I was worried that the LCD might be damaged by the heat.
The plastic frame has to be removed first to have access to the foam tape that is used to tape the LCD to the glass/digitizer. Once the plastic frame was off, I again used the knife to gently cut the foam tape (around 1 mm thick) all around the LCD screen so that this can be removed from the glass.
Here I might have made my second mistake. I was worried that I would cut too deep into the foam and hit the LCD screen, but the foam at the bottom of the screen is a little wider than the rest and as I tried to remove the screen I used too much force and might have damaged the LCD - the end result was that also the LCD was damaged in the process. The damage might also have been caused by me pressing too hard on the screen during the removal of the plastic frame (might actually be more likely as the glass was broken across the screen and the damage I was seeing when I turned on the screen was following the same line as the crack).
Well, I got the LCD off the broken screen and though I had been successful even thought it had taken a couple of hours to get there (I could not visually see that the LCD was damaged at this point).
Then on to the assembly with the new screen/digitizer! I had some double sided tape that I used to tape the screen to the plastic, but decided to do a quick test before I fully assembled the unit and this turned out to be a good idea!
I mounted the LCD screen with just the screws and connected the flex cables back into the connectors (these can be a little tricky to get in, so just be patient and keep wiggling them in and close the latches). I enabled the power again and pressed the power button and: DAMM - THE LCD IS BROKE!!!!
After wiggling a little with the LCD cable I was able to get a partial image, but it was evident that I had mishandled the LCD screen during the disassembly and I needed a new screen to get my tablet working again - now I was glad that I did not glue the LCD to the glass, so that I needed both a new LCD and a new glass/digitizer!
Off to the web to search for a replacement LCD screen... Hmm, lots of ebay listings for TF201 replacement LCDs, but none of them looked like the original I had... Then I searched for the partnumber on the LCD I took out (Hannstar HSD101PWW2 rev. 0-A00) and I did find a few items priced around $100.
Before I started to spend more money on the device I wanted to check our if the digitizer was actually working, so I connected the tabled to my TV using the HDMI output to test...WHAT?? THE X-AXIS ON THE DIGITIZER WAS REVERTED!!!
I double checked the flex cable connections, but everything was in order. I then compare my broken screen with the replacement part and noticed that the signal routing on the flex cable for the new part looked quite different than the original.
I emailed the company that sold me the screen and he replied back that they JUST heard that some other customer have had the same problem - there might be different versions for the digitizer used in the TF201 (perhaps depending on production time)!!!
He suggested that I tried a hard reboot and a system reset to default and I tried that without luck.
I also tried to find a way to do a 5 point screen calibration, but this does not seem to be supported.
Does anyone know of a way to revert the x axis by modifying a configuration file - and can that be done without rooting the device??
Have anyone successfully replaced their screen - if so, could you reply with the partnumber listed on the flex cable? Mine is: 3KA12-5SCA01, 18100-10180100.
They did offer to refund the price of the screen if I shipped the screen back to them, but I will most likely damage the screen when trying to remove the plastic frame and it will cost me shipping the part back to China. After a few mails exchanges they offered a $82 refund and I accepted that.
I now have a TF201 with a working touch screen that has the x-axis inverted and no LCD...
- IF YOUR SCREEN ONLY HAS A SMALL CRACK - LIVE WITH IT OR TRY TO FIX IT WITH AUTO GLASS REPAIR GLUE
- IF YOU REALLY WANT TO GO FOR DIY SCREEN REPLACEMENT, MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET A DIGITIZER THAT WORKS WITH YOUR UNIT!
- WHEN REMOVING THE PLASTIC FRAME FROM THE GLASS BE VERY CAREFULL NOT TO DAMAGE THE LCD SCREEN BY PRESSING ON THE BROKEN GLASS AND TRY TO USE A HAIR DRYER TO HEAT UP THE GLUE (NOT TRIED THIS MYSELF)
- WHEN CUTTING THE FOAM TAPE BETWEEN THE LCD AND THE SCREEN BE VERY CAREFULL TO CUT THOUGH ALL THE TAPE BEFORE TRYING TO REMOVE THE LCD
I now have a TF201 with a working touch screen that has the x-axis inverted and no LCD... Unless I get the touch screen issue resolved I most likely will get a TF700 instead of my broken prime - I really loved the prime for the 4 months I had it working...