[Guide] How to remove the anti-glare(AG) coating from a Dell U2312HM LCD

cre3d

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How To Remove the Anti-Glare Coating from a Dell U2312HM Monitor

WARNING: THIS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.


UPDATE (05-DEC-2013): Just want to check in and update that my screen is still 100% flaw free and working fine. It has gone from Jersey to Tucson to Phoenix and sits on an articulating mount so it gets moved around quite a bit. I do not clean the screen with anything other than compressed air and a very soft microfiber cloth with warm water and another dry one after, minimal pressure. I have cleaned it maybe 5-6 times total since the original mod.

It's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Having never taken a monitor apart before, I did a lot of research first and made sure I had the right tools instead of trying to improvise. Now that I know exactly how it's all assembled I could probably do it with nothing more than careful use of a a couple screwdrivers. Looking back, I'm glad I had some soft plastic pry bars to learn with.



First, remove the 4 screws on the back of the monitor.



Next, pry up on the front plastic bezel from the inside (the side where the bezel touches the actual lcd) until one of the clips releases. Carefully go around and pry the rest of the clips out, it gets easier with each clip.



I chose to also unscrew the little menu control board from the bezel as it's only connected by a seemingly fragile ribbon cable.


This allows you to set the front bezel completely aside.

Pull the screen out of the rear housing by gently lifting it out. In retrospect, it would have been easier to lay the panel down on it's face and just lift the housing off; Alas, hindsight is 20/20 and this was my first time :( No harm done.





All that's left is to remove the metal retainer bezel from around the panel which comes off easily by lightly prying the little pry-points up over their detents all around the housing.





The bottom will have a strip of foil tape that is lightly perforated;



Keep this intact and just carefully flip the metal bezel up and lay it down above your panel on your workspace.



To remove the anti-glare coating, make sure the screen is facing up.



Place wet (not damp, not drenched, just wet) paper towels over the entire screen surface.



I used blue scott paper towels (available at all auto stores) because they hold quite a bit of liquid and are rather durable when wet. You want to cover the entire screen surface with a couple layers of these wet paper towels. Leave them on for 4-5 hours, making sure they are always wet throughout. If they begin to dry, just take a single soaked paper towel and lay it on top of the existing layers, allowing the water to diffuse down.

After 4-5 hours, pull up a corner of the wet paper towels and using your nail or a blade, very carefully peel up on the AG coating. Make sure you don't peel up the polarizer! You'll be able to tell the difference if you look at it for a moment as there are two different layers; The dark bottom-most layer is the polarizer which you want to leave intact. The AG coating should come up very easily at this point, like a very very weak sticker. If you notice any residue being left behind or it's overly difficult to pull up, you need to let it sit under the wet paper towels a little longer. After 5 hours mine came up completely effortlessly.









Reassembly is self explanatory with the exception of the front plastic bezel. On the USB port side of the monitor there are two metal prongs that stick up from the USB controller housing which must go inside two corresponding female clips on the plastic bezel.















That's it! You now have a beautiful IPS panel with crystal clean whites, deep blacks and no more sparkle! :)

I know a few other people who have done this modification over a year ago with no ill effects. One thing they all did in common was making sure they left the paper towels on long enough to adequately release the adhesive's bond to the polarizer. Those that reported issues usually admit that they didn't let it soak long enough and had issues during the removal process which resulted in a weakening of the polarizer or residual adhesive which led to damage when they attempted to remove it.

This is a little video showing how the coating should come off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgKr4ofzWpY

Keep in mind that your screen is more fragile now without the coating in place and cleaning it will require additional care. Always let your monitor cool before cleaning the screen and use only distilled water with a very gentle microfiber cloth. Always use light up/down and left/right strokes, never circular.

With that said, for someone who is overly sensitive to the AG coating, this mod is an absolute must for me to enjoy this panel. My main display is currently a 120hz Asus VG236HE with a glossy screen and going from that to a window on the U2312HM was simply painful; It made the "dirty" effect from the coating obvious, especially with white/light colors.
 
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Wage

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One of the better guides for AG removal out there. Thank you very much for the great photos, and I hope this stays up for a long time so people a year or two from now will be able to utilize it fully.
 

the_real_7

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definitely a nice guide , i always wanted to try on the u2311 , think im pick one of these up to try , maybe can figure a way to protect the polarizer
 

cre3d

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Nice work. I love this Image: http://i.imgur.com/T3OJbl.jpg

And people say it isn't noticeable and doesn't affect image quality :rolleyes: or it only affects white backgrounds, which defies logic
Hah, the picture is mostly troll bait since the coating's effect isn't nearly as exaggerated when pressed directly against a surface. However, I too have a hard time believing people who claim they can't tell or aren't bothered by the coating. To me it's so glaringly (heh) obvious that it's worth voiding the warranty so I can actually enjoy the monitor. Would be nice if manufacturers started producing panels with and without AG coat options but I don't see pigs flying just yet :(

Edit: Thanks for the compliments, took a little while to throw it all together but I hope it gives those of you who are on the fence about doing this the know-how to take the plunge!
 

Ashok0

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definitely a nice guide , i always wanted to try on the u2311 , think im pick one of these up to try , maybe can figure a way to protect the polarizer
Really nice guide OP, thanks for posting! And for anyone concerned about the polarizer, another poster who did an AG removal had a custom glass cover made by Islington Glass. They did a custom bevel so the glass would sit nice and snug inside the bezel. Perhaps there is a custom glass company in your area that could cut a protective cover for your U2311?
 

Mr.Pixel

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OP: Have you noticed any reduction in the IPS white-glow effect after removing the AG coating? I noticed this seemed to be true of another mod, but was unable to verify it. I'm thinking the AG coating may affect this since it scatters light coming from both directions?

Oh, and nice guide BTW!
 

cre3d

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OP: Have you noticed any reduction in the IPS white-glow effect after removing the AG coating? I noticed this seemed to be true of another mod, but was unable to verify it. I'm thinking the AG coating may affect this since it scatters light coming from both directions?

Oh, and nice guide BTW!
I'll be completely honest, I have never heard of this white glow effect until I read your post just now. I had not noticed it before I did the mod so I guess it's not something that is obtrusive to my experience like the coating was. Sorry :(

And thanks btw!
 

cre3d

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Really nice guide OP, thanks for posting! And for anyone concerned about the polarizer, another poster who did an AG removal had a custom glass cover made by Islington Glass. They did a custom bevel so the glass would sit nice and snug inside the bezel. Perhaps there is a custom glass company in your area that could cut a protective cover for your U2311?
My only concern with this solution is the possibility of dust getting trapped between the glass and panel. Nearly as infuriating as the original coating itself ;)
 

hammerforged

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Awesome guide. Very interesting. I had no idea this is how the anti glare coatings went on.

OP: This is off topic but how do you like your 120hz Asus VG236HE? I really want one and just want to make sure its the right one for my money. Thanks.
 

cre3d

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Awesome guide. Very interesting. I had no idea this is how the anti glare coatings went on.

OP: This is off topic but how do you like your 120hz Asus VG236HE? I really want one and just want to make sure its the right one for my money. Thanks.
Absolutely love it! After calibration the colors are fantastic for a TN panel and I will never go back to 60hz on my main monitor again. I spent a long time researching the 120hz market and there really wasn't a single panel that had every feature I wanted. This came close without breaking the bank ($240 AR) and I'm definitely glad I picked it up. The day a ~27", 120hz 1920x1200 glossy thin-bezel (think samsung thin) VESA compatible display comes out though... There, I just made myself drool.
 

hammerforged

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I hear ya on the 120hz selection, just wish there were more options. Should start opening up more with the recent increase in popularity. $240 AR is a heck of a deal, newegg has it for 289 AR right now. Ill keep my eyes open for a really good deal and I'll probably snatch it up then. Thanks
 

Fr33t

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Great guide! Wish I had seen this sooner, was really contemplating getting a refurb 2312 but backed out because of the AG coating. This totally changes that. Thanks!
 

Tarball

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Considering what people will go through to get rid of the AG, I'm surprised Dell doesn't release non-AG versions of their monitors. It can't be that hard to not put on AG coating, right?
 

Namelessme

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I too am amazed that Dell (or some manufacturer) won't sell any IPS screens without the coating. If they ever read user reviews (or sites like this), they must know the AG bothers a lot of people. Even if they feel business users prefer the AG coating, there is a market for glossy/semi-glossy IPS screens. Unless it's some weird mandatory thing from LG?

Strangely I believe only Apple sells the non-AG version. Makes no sense to me at all.

First company that comes out with affordable non-AG IPS 24" (16:10) and 27" screens (ie U2412 prices for 24"er) would do very well, in my opinion. They'd be the only company selling those types of monitors at that price range... entire marketplace to them. Beats me why nobody hasn't done it yet.
 

Ashok0

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I too am amazed that Dell (or some manufacturer) won't sell any IPS screens without the coating.
Former DELL U3011 owner here... I asked the EXACT same question in the official [H]forum U3011 thread and almost got killed with a pitchfork.
 

Namelessme

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Former DELL U3011 owner here... I asked the EXACT same question in the official [H]forum U3011 thread and almost got killed with a pitchfork.
I'm not sure why having variety would be a bad thing. Or even get anyone riled up.

I have noticed some people say the AG doesn't bother them, or say something like it's not great, but qualify it with -- well, it's better than the apple cinema display glare.

And for some, that is probably true. If I was using a monitor in an office next to a window, the AG may be the lesser of two evils. But sometimes I think it's more a matter of people simply not knowing the difference, and if they could see the same monitor without the coating all over it, they'd love it.

For myself, using that amount of AG is really bothersome. When I saw my U2412, I thought at first that there was a plastic coating over the screen, or something similar... I couldn't believe any manufacturer would purposely do that to such a nice screen.
 

jaypeezee

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Hmm, I got an extra 2209 lying around that I was trying to sell, UNTIL NOW !

Very nice, detailed, write up... awesome work.
 

e2g

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Has dell used the same anti-glare coating over the years or has it been more aggressive? The reason I ask is I have a Dell 2208 at school that obviously has antiglare coating on it (i have a gateway FHD2400 at home) and wanted to know if it would be very similar to a u2412m or a u3011
 

cre3d

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Has dell used the same anti-glare coating over the years or has it been more aggressive? The reason I ask is I have a Dell 2208 at school that obviously has antiglare coating on it (i have a gateway FHD2400 at home) and wanted to know if it would be very similar to a u2412m or a u3011
People claim that different models have come with different coatings. I believe the 3007wfp's had some of the most aggressive coating. Some people claim it's all the same coating but with varying levels of perceived appearance due to pixel sizes/backlight differences. Regardless, it's annoying and I wish I didn't have to deal with it in a manner that voided my warranty.
 

Pixel Eater

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I got super sketched by this mod after people experienced "graining" wherein some of the now exposed polarizing layer came away in fine strips. I'm afraid it hasn't been limited to soak time issues or direction following. Two things. First, apparently in some cases an initially invisible layer of adhesive remains, and the way you remove it is critical (such as while it's still wet, freshly exposed, no time to waste?) If you leave it without realizing, you may not be able to clean the monitor without having it smear or catch. Eventually dust can stick to it. I feel like cleaning any screen (with isopropyl and distilled water, microfiber) is a necessity, yet would always be afraid to in this case, knowing by nature polarizer wasn't intended for this. Swirl marks may also be a realistic concern.

Second, the direction you pull the film seems to matter. I believe if you pull the film with the grain you're more liable to cause damage. The grain can actually run diagonal, horizontal or vertical depending on the panel. Another condition that can happen is sort of ripples, also inherently directional, where the polarizer itself wrinkles. This mostly seems like an issue in second attempts to soak and scrub glue, but nothing's guaranteed.



http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=878149

I think the fun starts on page 5 or so. It is an interesting mod, but please be careful everyone.
 
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Joined
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oh yeah, this is a really serious user.
IPS coating is an abominium. :rolleyes:

An High haze surface dont should be used in a high quality monitor, its the epic fail of LG, that dont understand the user's problems and continue to use this quality destroyer component in all your panels.
 
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cre3d

Limp Gawd
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Great post Pixel Eater, there are clearly some risks involved in this mod. The pictures you show are a pretty extreme case but honestly, the way this monitor was, I was not happy using it. The risk was worth it to me as it's not my only monitor and I was prepared to purchase a replacement regardless. I'm glad that everything worked out as that's a couple hundred bucks which gets to stay in my pocket but if you're planning on doing this to your only monitor and lack the funds to replace it then I'd definitely be a little wary.
 

Bergkamp

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Good guide ;)
I have done this with 3 monitors.

The first one, a viewsonic vx2025wm that developed grain lines after cleaning the glue layer aggresively with water, i dont care, still looks tons better.

The other, a samsung 2233rz, the AG in this one come out in pieces because i didint left enought time soaking. This was more resistant to cleaning and years after no sings of grain.

The last one and the one im using right now, a dell U2412M, I dont remember when i purchased, but was just after the release and 3 days after using i proceed to remove the AG :D. Again it come out in pieces for the same reason, not enough soaking. No grain yet.

To resume, all 3 have some fails but i dont care because those fails are like invisible when using it, these are visible only with the monitor off.

So, if anybody tries this mod, just clean it with something dry and live with some marks left.
 

Liggywuh

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Was just going to ask the OP if the screen is still fine after this? The U2711's seemed to get problems a while after the mod was done (were the users cleaning the monitor surface with a hammer???)

I was also wondering, you can purchase a wide range of screen protectors that are glossy, would it not be worth applying one of these on top of the naked removed AG screen? Just to make that get dirty, and not the polarizer surface?

And, some pics with the screen on without AG would be great :p
 

cre3d

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Screen is still fine, it developed a couple very small vertical grain lines in the middle of the screen that are completely invisible (and I really mean this, I've tried to look for them) while the screen is on. They do not have any kind of texture detectable when running a fingernail over them gently. I will take a few pictures with the screen on and post them in a little bit.

Edit (pictures):





 
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Liggywuh

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I will say that it is hard to tell how much of a difference it has made, but it looks good in your pictures.

I am looking at the 2412M (funds won't allow a 2711, and if it did I would be far less tempted to remove the AG coating bearing in mind replacement cost) so I was wondering how yours was holding up. Seems there are more potential problems to be caused than I would like, but if it bothers me so much it isn't so bad.

The non AG version of a 2412M seems to be the S24A850, but at nearly twice the price and with no QC to speak of, I could theoretically get a pair of U2412M :p

Many thanks!
 

cre3d

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I really should have taken some close ups of the grainy appearance before I did the mod, really didn't think to and regret it now. If anyone wants to take some pictures of the grain effect on their u2312hm or similar for comparison sake I'm sure it would be appreciated in this thread. I remember seeing such pictures in other threads, though it was a long time ago and I can't be bothered to track them down again right now.
 

NCX

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cre3d what image are you using in your latest u2312 pictures? I want:D
 

sprak74

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Just finished taking the AG off of my Dell 2408wfp. What I like about it is that now the monitor screen looks like glass instead of a plasticky look. My next project to take off the AG of Dell 3007wfp.
 

Liggywuh

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I really should have taken some close ups of the grainy appearance before I did the mod, really didn't think to and regret it now. If anyone wants to take some pictures of the grain effect on their u2312hm or similar for comparison sake I'm sure it would be appreciated in this thread. I remember seeing such pictures in other threads, though it was a long time ago and I can't be bothered to track them down again right now.
My Mrs has her U2211 next to my NEC screen, so I know how it looks with the AG. I meant like a before and after pic or something. But I know it is better in person :p
 

cre3d

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Just finished taking the AG off of my Dell 2408wfp. What I like about it is that now the monitor screen looks like glass instead of a plasticky look. My next project to take off the AG of Dell 3007wfp.
If you actually end up doing the 3007wfp, please let me know how it goes! I have one back in AZ that I am considering doing this to when I get back there in a few months.
 

sprak74

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How hard is it to take off the polarizer or what's the proper way to take it off? It this just a sheet of plastic like the AG and glass is underneath?
 

the_real_7

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Its a plastic but water based , if you wet long enough comes off pretty easy but time is a must , if your a rushed person skip this mod , I'm do to my 2412 this weekend , tested screen for gaming just amazing
 

the_real_7

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How hard is it to take off the polarizer or what's the proper way to take it off? It this just a sheet of plastic like the AG and glass is underneath?
Juse read back up . . Don't think you can take. The polizer out . .
Why would you want to ?
 
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