Ah… portable electronics — the joy of modern technology. The most appealing thing about touchscreen phones, notebooks, netbooks and tablets is their portability. We take them just about everywhere we go. We toss them in our backpacks, our purses, and our pockets. And sometimes… they pay the price.
They Are Breakable
Although they are designed to resist the rigors of daily use, the screens on our favorite mobile devices are actually very fragile.Most laptop and netbook Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are less than ¼ inch thick. (Touch sensitive screens of mobile devices are even thinner.) If twisted, poked hard, or if just enough pressure is applied to the back of the LCD assembly, the screen on any of these devices will crack.
None of us are perfect. Accidents happen. What can you do to recover when the inevitable happens?
Surveying the Damage
If you look at the screen, you might see/feel physical cracks in the tempered glass. Imagine stepping on a frozen puddle in the wintertime and seeing the ice crack under your foot. If you were to run your finger over the cracks, you may feel sharp edges or flakes of glass. Unless you like glass slivers embedded in your flesh, you might want to avoid running your hand across a screen you think is cracked.
You may or may not be able to see anything on the damaged screen when it is powered on. This usually occurs when the device is dropped or the screen is flexed past its breaking point. It can also occur if something is banged against the screen, or if you shut something hard in between the screen and the keyboard.
|Sometimes the glass won’t break, but your screen will appear to have a large splortch (it’s a technical term, look it up) of blackness with trails of black that radiate outward like tentacles from the blob. This type of damage is caused by pressure being applied either to the screen itself or to the back of the unit. This damage is common when a device is stepped on or sat upon. The glass doesn’t break, but the chemical inside that renders the image is leaking.At a basic level, your device screen is like those glowsticks you get at Halloween. Inside the plastic tubing is a thin glass container with a chemical. If you apply enough pressure, the container will shatter and the chemical inside comes out. The same principle applies to your LCD screen.|
Protecting Your Screens
- Protect your device when carrying it by putting it in a sleeve, padded bag, or a hard plastic case. This will protect your phone when it falls out of your shirt pocket (and your laptop when you toss it in your car).
- Avoid putting larger, heavier objects in places where they can fall or somehow end up on top of your device. Screen damage caused by heavy objects is why it’s never a good idea to put your phone in your back pocket, or toss your laptop bag in the trunk and put suitcases on top of it. If you are traveling with your device, carry it on the plane with you to avoid it being smashed or damaged in your luggage.
- Don’t leave your laptop or phone on the bed with you when you sleep. And never place it on the floor. If you do, when it falls off the bed (and it will), or if you step on it when you wake up, you’re likely to damage the screen.
- Try not to lift laptops or netbooks by the corner of the screen. Always pick them up by the bottom of the device.
- Be careful with liquids around mobile devices. Spills can damage the screen.
|No matter how well you care for your product or how careful you are, accidents will happen. The best way to protect yourself against accidental damage and cracked screens on all mobile devices is to purchase a repair or replacement plan that covers accidental damage when you buy the device.|
Agent Kate B is a 3 year veteran of Geek Squad, currently on assignment at Geek Squad City. Follow Kate on Twitter @AgentKateB.