When I was in Cambodia I wrote about suffering a technological setback. There, my AC adapter died and was overheating in a dangerous way.
HP support was worthless despite my warranty and I had to buy a replacement universal adapter.
Over the past month, I’ve noticed my laptop screen hasn’t been behaving properly. When I move the lid the screen would dim, for example. And when the screen would dim, I could see the lights at the bottom that provide the brightness for the screen.
Sure of imminent death, I decided to take advantage of being in Bangkok and visit the famed Pantip Plaza.
Known for being the headquarters of pirated movies in Bangkok, it has changed a lot since I last visited in 2006. Gone are the stands selling movies and music, perhaps because broadband internet access has cut demand. Instead, stands selling Apple products and accessories, other cell phone stuff, computer stuff, and repair shops dominate the mall.
I went to the HP authorized dealer and talked to a representative. He told me he thought it was the screen. I could have HP replace it for a boatload of money, or I could go downstairs to an independent dealer and have them replace it for about 3000 Baht/$95. So that’s what I did.
I went downstairs and found a guy who was willing to replace my screen for 2900 Baht. I didn’t even bargain with him since he gave me the right price from the beginning instead of overcharging me since I’m a foreigner.
The process of replacing the screen was easy, but I was still worried throughout the process. It involved peeling away the plastic surrounding the screen, taking out the old screen, putting in the new one, and putting humpty dumpty back together again.
At times, special tools were required and pressure needed to be applied. Also, I worried about the joints where the screen connected to the base of the laptop. It seemed like they were being overloaded with pressure.
But, in the end, the guy did a fantastic job. When all was said and done, he turned the laptop on and it was fixed.
Just one problem.
There was a clear sticker on the screen that wasn’t obvious. But what was obvious was a big red C, presumably the manufacturer’s logo, in the lower left quadrant of the screen. So he had to open it up again and remove the sticker.
He recommended I put a LCD cover on top of the new screen to keep it in good condition and make it easier to clean. So I went downstairs and paid about $6 for the screen and a professional installation complete with using tape to remove individual pieces of dust from the screen before the plastic cover was set in place.
Again, this whole situation was not ideal and not something I wanted to spend money on. But it had to be done.
I think this is my limit with this computer, as I’ve now spent about 1/3 the original price on maintenance. Any more will feel like a sinkhole.