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Inspiron 5570 Adventures part 2: IPS display upgrade

One of the things I was… less exited about with the Dell Inspiron 5570 was the display. I described it as “basic” and with that “washed out” look. I’m not alone in my un-enthusiasm here either: most of the mainstream laptop review sites list “poor display” under their pros/cons section. Sure it’s a 1080p panel. But visually it’s a very bottom-end panel.

Complaints aren’t just for the Intel-variant (Inspiron 5570), but the AMD Ryzen sister also (Inspiron 5575). Intel/AMD may have been treated differently when it came to the hard drive, but I have a feeling we got the same display.

Fortunately, while Dell doesn’t offer display upgrades for this generation, they tend to recycle designs across various product lines where possible. So an IPS panel meant for a different generation might fit.

The trick is finding a 15.6″ panel for a different model that is a “plug in fit” for the Inspiron 5570. And I did.

Meet the Dell Inspiron 7567 IPS panel: compatible with the Dell Inspiron 5570 (15.6″)

Okay, so before everyone hones in on the 7567, I really do need to mention a few things up front:

  • There are a number of panels from various Dell laptops that are likely to be a plug-n-play fit. This is just the model I went with when screen-shopping, and quite frankly it’s because it was the first one I came across that looked like it would probably swap in. The only reason I’m focusing heavily on the 7567 in this writeup is for those who gravitate towards the “I’ll buy exactly what that guy bought because it worked for him” position.
  • The 7567 came in TN, IPS, and 4K versions. Not all those variants were rated particularly well in reviews. In other words, I wouldn’t expect the 7567 TN to necessarily be better than the one in your 5570. Also, I have no idea whether a 4K variant would work.
  • I’m focusing on the non-touch version. If you use the touch version, you’ll have to do some additional research. Keep in mind that you can not swap between touch and non-touch. They use different pins (40-pin on touch vs 30-pin on non touch).

A few other Inspiron models I peered through that look like they may also fit: 5567, 7559, 5566, 5565. Again, I haven’t tested those and the only reason I suspect they might work is because they look like they might. There are undoubtedly more out there too.

The Replacement – Buying and Swapping the panel

I wasn’t specifically looking for the Stock Dell OEM panel. They weren’t always rated well for each model to begin with. Even if it was well-rated there’s no guarantee they kept using the same panel manufacturer across production of that line. The OEM price tends to be higher. Finally, the panel in my 2018 Inspiron 5570 was manufactured in 2015 – it’s not like “new laptop model” has any correlation with the latest and greatest in panel manufacturing tech.

Really I wanted something that would fit, was likely to be at least as good or better than my current TN panel, and was IPS.

After shopping around a bit I decided to go with a panel from LaptopScreen.com . I’ll list a few key things that gave them a huge edge:

  • Easy to search models, good information about the screens.
  • A solid return / warranty policy.
  • World-wide shipping with stock in US/CAN/UK. They allowed me to *choose* Canada Post.
  • Tidbits that suggested panels were equivalent-or-better-than the stock panel.
  • Really solid reviews around the web (and responses to the negative ones showed a lot of character).

I went with an IPS screen for the 7567. It shipped the same day (I ordered in the morning and it was picked up by Canada Post at around 6pm).

A quick look at removing the original panel:

I did look around for YouTube videos that others have done because my pictures and text won’t necessarily suit everyone. The one I liked best is for a different model but is very similar in process. It can be found at https://youtu.be/u1XFFi0jq_Q . WARNING: BEFORE YOU WATCH where he says “lift the tape and pull away”, you must unlatch the latch/clip ***first*** or you will destroy something when you pull. His model may not have that latch. Look at my images towards the end below to see what latch I’m talking about.

Dell Inspiron 5570 - removing the side and top bezel clips
Dell Inspiron 5570 - removing the bottom bezel clips

Above I’m removing the bezel which is held on by clips. There are no screws and no tools are needed except for your fingernails. Essentially, you get your fingernails in between the screen and the bezel as seen in the 1st image and start pulling. You will see a mild gap between the bezel and screen in the 1st image below my hand as I’m pulling.

I found it easiest to start at the sides just below the top corners. The bezel flexes out until the clips give, and you keep moving along the sides. Then do the top. Top corners seem to fight you a little bit more and may require a few attempts or a little more force. Finally, the bottom which can be a little more tricky – angles are bad and you may have to open the lid all the way.

Be careful not to damage your original display if you intend to keep it – you are *not* prying between the screen and bezel, you are “gripping” the bezel with your nails and pulling away. Your nails should not be touching the screen at all, and you should never be pressing on the screen either.

Dell Inspiron 5570 - screws to remove for display

Above the bezel is now off and there are 4 screws circled in orange. Since other screws are located in the vicinity and it can be easy to get mixed up, make sure you’re doing the correct 4 (look at the mount tabs on your new panel to verify the location). They’re relatively tiny screws so using a magnetic screwdriver is a good idea.

Be careful that the panel doesn’t fall out while you’re removing the screws, or at the very least it’ll rip/destroy the cable I mention next.

Dell Inspiron 5570 - laying down the screen

With the screws out, the panel can come down, but can not be removed yet. There is still a cable attached to the screen so you must be careful not to rip/destroy it. To access it you have to pivot the screen down, similar to what happens when you close the lid.

Dell Inspiron 5570 - removing the eDP connector

You can see the panel now laying on the keyboard. The rear is visible. Finally, the eDP connector has to be disconnected. This is short but be very careful because the wires are delicate.

  1. There is tape holding the connector on to the rear of the screen. Gently peel it back until it’s no longer on the screen, and no longer on the gold connector, but do not peel back further than that. It will still be stuck to the wire sheathing but that’s okay – don’t try to take the tape all the way off or you’ll rip the wires out of the connector.
  2. There is a clip/latch that has to be lifted/flipped up. You can see a close-up of it below between my thumb and finger (I’ve already lifted it – black at the top and silver at the sides). It pivots up on the side “close” to us (it’s hinged on the wire side).
  3. At this point, the connector can be undone. It will slide out to the “rear” in the image (not “up”). If you’re unsure, look at the connector on the new screen. While it would techncially be “easiest” to yank on the wire, you could easily rip it, so the safest thing to do is pull to the “rear” by that little clip/latch which acts like a handle. You shouldn’t have to pull very hard – do a little wiggling if it doesn’t want to move – if you’re pulling hard you may be pulling the wrong way.

Dell Inspiron 5570 - closeup of the eDP connector

Once that clip is out, put your old panel aside, lay the new one down on the keyboard in the same position the old one was, then reassembly is the opposite of removal. Few notes:

  • Be gentle putting the connector in. It’s usually a little awkward to hold that tiny clip and try to slide it into the new display. Try a different angle if you’re having trouble. The new screen may want to slide along the keyboard as you push the clip in – try to keep that from happening. The black “unit” on the bottom of the new display may also want to move/flex and you don’t really want that happening either. Be patient. Be gentle. Take your time. Take a short break and tackle it again in a few minutes if need be.
  • Watch the cable as you pivot the new display up – you don’t want to put any stress on the cable, as stress may rip it.
  • The display “casing” or “lid” has alignment pegs beside the screw holes. Make sure they line up completely with the new screen – the screws will all start even if it’s misaligned (they’ll just get tight too soon), so double-check this. To reduce the chance of the display falling out before you get your first 2 screws in, tilting the lid back as far as you can should give a safer angle.
  • Position the bottom of the bezel into place before snapping in the top because the bottom “hooks” on the main hinges. Once it’s roughly in position, it’s easiest to start clipping the bezel in beginning at a top corner. Line the corner up so it’s flush, then pinch between the rear of the lid and the bezel and the clips should start snapping in. Work your way around, saving the bottom for last. Only pinch near the outer edge of the bezel/lid – you do not want to squeeze the display.

Results!

Visually, the upgrade to the new IPS screen was night-and-day. The bland washed-out look was gone and things looked good.

Power:

I was curious as to the power consumption, since IPS screens in general are said to use more power than TN panels. Measuring power usage from the wall, power consumption was almost identical which was a plus. 6W total system power at the 0/10 brightness setting, 8W total at 8/10 brightness. The only difference I measured was 7W at 3/10 (vs 7W at 4/10 for the old TN panel) – obviously higher resolution measuring equipment might show decimal-level differences but generally speaking this is a good result.

That said, you can’t necessarily make TN vs IPS power consumption claims based on this one experience. Different panels and all… it’s always possible I had a non-efficient TN and an efficient IPS. I also don’t have equipment to measure the brightness so it’s always possible there were difference there.

Visual downsides to the IPS panel upgrade:

  • Games. I did a couple short runs in games where frame rates were in the 20-40fps range. On the old panel, a low framerate wasn’t *that* visually evident. On the new one… I could really tell! My best guess at this point is when the 3D world was spinning but was bland, it didn’t really catch the eye and all blended together in the background, whereas now it’s so vivid that my eyes pick up on it and can register each individual frame. Just a guess.
  • I went with a glossy display, and the reflections/contrast mix were awful on the eyes.

More on the glossy part – the disappointment and the result:

As to the glossy bit, I’ve used a number of glossy displays and this one was actually quite a bit of a disappointment. I’m pretty certain there was no AR coating, which probably would have helped this panel. Even mild ambient light caused everything to reflect horribly. There are normally a couple ways to deal with this:

  • Use in a dark room: no sunlight, no lights.
  • Turn the brightness up high enough that it overbears the reflections.

The problem was that the contrast between white and everything else was insane. Using in a dark room at low brightness, the whites hurt the eyes. Using in a lit room at high enough brightness to drown the reflections and the whites were so intense they caused severe glow and *still* hurt the eyes.

From IPS glossy to IPS matte (a LaptopScreen.com review / experience):

Fortunately, shopping around before buying had paid off: LaptopScreen.com had a solid return policy, so I packaged it up, hit the “return” button on their site, and mentioned in the notes that the glossy version hurt the eyes and that I’d have to return this one and order a matte version. A return mailing label was automatically generated 1 second later (in US/Canada they’ll pay for return shipping).

That was a good experience already. No-hassle instant return label. Here’s where it gets better.

4 minutes and 7 seconds later, I got an email stating I had a ticket response. This surprised me… a ticket response? Evidently creating a return automatically generates a ticket on their system. I had already printed the mailing label and attached it to the box, but I opened the ticket. They asked if I’d like to just do a switch through the support ticket.

My initial thought was that this was probably a way to retain a customer (get the customer to commit quickly to avoid having them shop around), but since I intended to order the matte version from them anyway and this would save me the time of creating a second order with all the payment stuff, I said “yes, that would be great!”.

Their next response: Let them know when the return was in the carrier’s hands and they’d cross-ship a replacement. So I did. And 4 minutes after that, I had a new tracking number.

I’ve gotta say… the next time somebody asks me about replacing a broken display, I have a feeling I already know where I’ll be sending them. That gloss display itself might have been a little too mirror-and-bright-white, but my experience with the seller has just been fantastic thus far.

Update: The new matte version arrived and is installed. No hiccups or hitches.

Closing Thoughts

The original panel in the Inspiron 5570 might be a little drab, but at least the replacement process is on the easy side (albeit delicate). While Dell didn’t offer any IPS versions, panels listed for other models (like the 7567) can absolutely work.

That said, it *is* extra cost – if you’re perfectly content with the 5570 with the exception of the screen, or you get the 5570 at a remarkable deal, doing a screen upgrade may be cheaper than stepping up to a higher model (though keep your old screen around if you’re still in the warranty period in case something else in your laptop dies and you have to send the unit back).

On the other hand if there are a *lot* of things you’re going to be manually upgrading, you may find it more sensible to just step up to a more expensive model from the get-go and avoid the hassle.

In any case, for those who do take the plunge or are considering it, it *is* doable, and hopefully something here has helped you.

8 Comments

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  1. Was the matte screen a good visual upgrade? I’m not a fan of this OEM screen, its just too dull and bland. However a glossy screen seems like it would be more of a mirror.

    • It has pros and cons. The display is considerably more vibrant. Vertical viewing angles are much better and there’s no more color-inversion at vertical angles (the TN panel was really bad at vertical angles). I can lay in bed and have a movie playing without having to worry that the screen is angled “just right”. The screen is easier to stare at for long periods.

      The biggest downside I’ve noticed is that there is less contrast on the darker end. For example, the “purple” in a Ubuntu terminal looks much closer to black. Same with darker backgrounds in Windows. Contrast in lighter areas is fine. Despite being matte, it has a semi-gloss appearance when it comes to light sources. And this IPS panel is still just a 6-bit panel.

      Overall I’d say the upgrade was worthwhile, but I’m approaching that as someone who is using it as my main machine and plans to hang on to it for a good while. If I weren’t using it daily or for extended periods I don’t think I’d go to the trouble though.

  2. Hi! First off, this is a great post, really helped me out (I’m going to order an IPS panel for my Ryzen touch screen version of this laptop). Anyway, I would like a bit of your input for something else regarding this laptop. Do you think it would be possible to install a larger battery? I know I could make room by removing the 2.5″ drive, but the problem would be finding a battery that would fit and work. Honestly, I have no idea where to even start. I see some of the 7000 series laptops have a 4-cell 56WHr battery, and also the XPS 15’s have even larger ones!

    So, maybe you might be able to help, but I’m probably SOL on this.

    • Just in case you get lucky, it could be worth phoning up Dell and asking if they have a higher capacity replacement option in their system for this model. Chances are the answer will be no, but this is one of the easier routes to check first.

      Looking at the (blurry) image I had taken here: https://mattgadient.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Dell-5570-disassembly-inside-guts.jpg

      Option A: Assuming Dell says no, the first thing I’d normally do is find disassembly pics of other somewhat similar 15.6″ Dell models with a higher capacity (perhaps ones you mentioned) and look at the battery to see if it looks to be a swap-in fit either with or without the 2.5″ drive. If visually it passes, search for replacement batteries for that model and look at physical dimensions and location of the power connector. If both of those check out, the only way to be sure if nobody else has tried it yet is to buy and try it yourself. If the entire component layout of the other models is identical then chances are probably good, though there is always the chance of issues. If the component layout isn’t identical, expect an even higher chance of issues.

      Option B would be custom modding. If there isn’t much in the way of proprietary “smart circuitry” built into the battery (not sure if Dell does here or not), you can make just about anything if you’re really intent on it, or mod something somewhat similar to work. That said, you’d have to be pretty excited and determined about doing it, because this can be an extraordinary amount of work.

      Option C would be leaving the battery alone, and creating or buying a custom external power pack (“booster pack”). It would plug into the power port on the side and have to be ~19V with a realistic minimum in the 3A range (higher is safer mind you, and protection circuitry a must). When plugged into your laptop, your laptop will think it’s running on AC and charge the internal battery at the same time. Of course, this is something extra to lug around with your laptop. I searched around just now to see how hard they are to find: unless I’m using the wrong search terms there seem to be only a few, they look to be expensive, and the level of quality… ranges from dubious to unknown. I’d probably make one personally. If you make one and take it out in public, make sure you create a nice enclosure: if you walk around with a buck/boost converter strapped to a LiPo with a bunch of protection circuitry soldered on in plain sight, most people’s first assumption will be… well… not a power booster. Plus, most high capacity batteries should be in an enclosure sufficient to protect from drops and also able to contain a fire/explosion and intense heat if something goes wrong and the battery decides to put out a pyrotechnic display. Major phone and laptop manufacturers are littered with “batteries gone wrong” examples: while much is undoubtedly due to cost and size constraints (protection and quality have both a money and thickness cost), there is also that fact that testing for every potential malfunction and scenario is difficult to do.

      One major warning: Li-Ion battery fires/explosions can be spectacular. They’re also easy to cause with heat, impact (physical damage), or overcharge. So whatever you do, keep that in mind.

  3. First of all I wanted to thank you for the detailed post.
    I bought this same laptop around a year ago and up until now I have been using it at home connected to an external display so the horrendous display didn’t bother me very much. Also I got an extremely good deal on the laptop so I was quite happy.
    Now, however, I am using the laptop with an external display on a daily basis and the screen is bothering me more and more. Also I am using it with Ubuntu so other solutions I found online like downloading color profiles and so on do not work for me.
    I am seriously considering buying a screen like you suggest and replacing it. However I have never disassembled a laptop nor have I specific tools. Would you say is an easy process or do you need previous experience?
    Also, I am current doing a masters in the evenings (thats where I am using my laptop) and cannot risk damaging the laptop to a point where I can no longer use it. So, would you recommend doing this? What are the chances I end up with a useless piece of metal?

    Thanks!

    • Since it sounds like you’re relying on the laptop right now for your masters and you haven’t pulled apart a laptop before, I’d be inclined to wait. Different people fall into this stuff with different levels of ease. This isn’t a particularly hard procedure, but the cable/connector are delicate, there’s always room for error, and there is always risk.

      In the meantime it might be worth picking up a small laptop screwdriver kit since they’re handy to have around anyway. If you get the opportunity, ask around to see if anyone you know has an old/dead laptop they’re throwing away that you can have to take apart first – once you’ve completely taken apart and reassembled one you’ll have a good idea as to your comfort level here.

      • Thanks a lot for the answer and for the blog! I have decided to buy the new screen but go to a repair shop and have them change it. They would be more used to it and it’s the best compromise.

        Best regards!

  4. Hey chap, I had been thinking of doing this for a while on my 5570 ‘daily driver’. It’s so blurry and drab that it can sometimes be tiring to look at. Your post made me pull th trigger and order a (matt!) IPS screen. Thanks for the post!

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