I know about the differences between the two displays, that I need a different cable to drive the SXGA+ panel, etc.
The frame is a piece of metal, the backlight assemblies are functionally equivalent; what I dream of being able to do is transfer the unique parts (LCD and electronics) between frames without breaking the ever-so-delicate contacts between the electronics and the LCD.
The alternative is to saw and grind bits of the SXGA+ panel so that it fits my X61. It's ugly but plenty of people have managed it.
Fair enough: I understand what you want to do better now.
If I may hazard an opinion, I am one of the people who have done the grinding to make the SXGA+ panel fit into the X61s (not the X61, I am not sure what clearance is like in that unit). It is MUCH MUCH easier than what you are proposing to try. I was able to do it with a pair of pliers and a lot of patience - no dremel or grinding.
The project may be a non-starter though.
For the X61/X61s 1024*768 panel [specs here]
, dimensions are (using a HT121X01-101)
261.0±0.4mm(W) ×198.0±0.4mm(V) ×4.7mm(D) Typ./5.0mm(D)Max
For the X60/X61 tablet 1400*1050 panel [specs here]
, dimensions are (using a HV121P01-100)
270.0 ±0.5mm(H) ×199.0 ±0.5mm(V) ×4.8mm ±0.3mm
The SXGA+ panel is the same height but 9mm wider, I am of the opinion that the glass etc from the SXGA+ will not go into the XGA LCD frame in the space-time continuum we occupy.
That's NOT what I was referring to.
You need BIOS that will allow the X6x non-tablet motherboard to "recognize" the new LCD.
Middleton's "standard" modded X6x BIOS won't help you there.
You are right @ajkula66, Middleton's BIOS will not help in the sense that without BIOS patch to report a new 1400*1050 resolution, the BIOS will keep reporting a 1024*768 resolution to the operating system. From a practical usage perspective, this means that Windows and other OSes that get screen resolution from BIOS will attempt to paint a first 1024*768 area of the 1400*1050 screen with the wrong sync rate and resolution. You do need a BIOS that gets you the full resolution to use the mod with Windows. This is the BIOS mod @ajkula66 is referring to @trmsw
There are operating systems though that get display resolution directly from the display using EDID such as linux. For these operating systems, the display will start at 1024*768 and then switch to 1400*1050 when OS (for example linux) drivers take over.See here to understand what I mean.
TL:DR version: you can use a stock BIOS or Middleton's BIOS with Linux with minor issues (for example, changing BIOS settings will be hell without an external monitor) but you cannot use either BIOS with Windows.