Laptop Screens and LCD Panels: Protecting Your Investment

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Laptop Screens and LCD Panels: Protecting Your Investment

The screen of a laptop is generally a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitor. These LCD screens are delicate and can be damaged easily without proper care. Laptop users need to take great care in avoiding scratches, cracks, and even smears, if they want their computer to continuously have a crystal clear display. LCD monitors can be expensive to replace, as a matter of fact, some consumers prefer to buy a brand new laptop rather than replace a broken LCD screen; therefore, buyers should focus on maintaining their LCD's functionality and clarity to avoid costly repairs.

LCDs are made with a strong yet fragile plastic layer over the laptop's display, and while computer manufacturers may claim that their laptop screens are breakproof, scratchproof, and dustproof, they are still susceptible to breakage, scratching, and dust collection when they are in use or being transported.

Users need to protect their investment by implementing protective methods and tools to safeguard their LCD panels. Aside from practicing routine safety procedures, users should invest in buying protective gears such as screen protectors and laptop cases and covers.

LCD Screen Protection Best Practices

Many people would say that acquiring scratches on a laptop screen is inevitable; well even if that were true, there are procedures that users can follow to delay the inevitable for a long time. Below are some good practices that users should consider implementing with their own laptops.

Laptop Cleaning Practices

Most laptops today are accompanied by a soft cleaning cloth for the LCD screen, but if none is available, a similar soft material should be used. Users should avoid rubbing the screen with paper towels and rags as this may create minor scratches. Instead, users can clean the screen with cloth acquired from a glasses case or soft non-lint shams that are often bought for cars. In addition, if a liquid is necessary to clean the screen, isopropyl alcohol is recommended, not soap and water. Users should also avoid using baby wipes, some of them have lotion-based liquid, and they often leave streaks or lint on the screen.

Laptop Usage Practices

Laptop users, especially students tend to eat and drink around their computer, but this is a major safety violation that could damage the entire laptop, not just the screen. It is best to eat first, then resume laptop usage. Users should also take care when opening and closing their laptops because forcing it open or banging it shut can damage the ribbon that connects the display to the rest of the computer.

A laptop is portable, so many users tend to take it outdoors to enjoy the scenery or for a cooler environment, but whatever the reason, users need to ensure that they keep the LCD monitor away from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can damage a laptop screen in so many ways. The high heat from the sun rays can warp the plastic enclosure, which leads to further LCD issues, but more importantly, the heat and UV rays from the sunlight can break down the liquid crystal, which can permanently damage the display. Additionally, other components within the screen are not made to tolerate high heat, so while the display may still be viewable, certain other malfunctions may take place.

Laptop Travel Practices

While a specially made laptop traveling case should be used, it is understandable if one is not readily available. However, it is never all right to simply close the laptop and stuff it in a school bag with many heavy books. Many laptop screens get damaged from their own keyboard when the laptop is closed and pressure is applied to it during travelling. Therefore, users should make every attempt to carry their laptop in a separate bag, or ensure that it is placed atop the books or other heavy items.

Laptops should be placed in a secure position during traveling. Unnecessary bumps and falls should be avoided at all cost as this may loosen internal components or break or damage the ribbon that attaches to the LCD screen. If the ribbon gets damaged, the laptop cannot display the inputs from the processing unit.

Laptop Screen Protection Items

For those who have the resources, there are certain items that can aid in the welfare of a LCD panel. Most of the items are fairly affordable and easily attainable, and some items do not need to be replaced for a very long time.

Laptop Screen Protectors

This is probably one of the first things that most users invest in after acquiring a new laptop. Screen protectors are affordable, and they go a long way in protecting LCD screens from scratches and dust. The screen protectors are generally clear adhesive plastics that cover the entire length and width of the display without interfering with the view. Some protectors are even made with anti-glare features that make it easier to read and view images in bright rooms or sunlight.

LCD Cleaning Cloth and Wipes

Having cleaning cloths and wipes handy makes it easy to keep the laptop screen clean, but buyers should ensure that they buy items that are specifically made to clean LCDs. This ensures that the materials used are of the right quality for its purpose. Microfibre is best used for cleaning but also serves another purpose when used correctly. Users can opt to cut out a piece of microfibre to the exact dimensions of the length and height of their laptop screen. They can then place the microfibre between the screen and keyboard when the laptop is being closed for storage or travelling; this prevents the keyboard from scratching the laptop screen.

LCD Cleaning liquids

LCD cleaning liquids are specifically made to clean the laptop screens. They do not contain any harsh abrasives that can damage the screen but still remove the dust and grime acquired during everyday use. Some liquids are sold as part of a cleaning kit for the entire laptop, while other are sold separately.

Laptop Cases and Bags

Acquiring a laptop, case, sleeve, or bag goes without saying, but the choice is often dependent on preference, usability and affordability. Traditional laptop cases resemble fabric briefcases that often comprise additional compartments for papers, files, and stationery items. People who do not plan to travel with any additional bags generally use these bags, and business executives and people who basically have a travelling office also often use them. Laptop backpacks are also another popular product; they look like regular backpacks, but they tend to be more padded and sturdier to support and protect the laptop.

Laptop sleeves are slender padded cases that the closed laptop can easily slip into without adding much weight or bulk. This is often used by students who carry them as is or slip them into their backpacks. The chart below provides sleeve sizes for various laptop measurements.

Sleeve Size

Laptop Width (cm)

Laptop Height (cm)


11" Laptop Sleeve



Can also be used for 11" MacBook

13" Laptop Sleeve



Can also be used for 13" MacBook

15" Laptop Sleeve



Can also be used on for 15.4" und 15.6"

17" Laptop Sleeve



No additional comments

9" Netbook Sleeve



No additional comments

10" Netbook Sleeve



No additional comments

Users can easily calculate the size sleeve that they need by measuring the width, height, and thickness of their device and then add the thickness of the device to the width and height. The newly derived dimensions are used to select the sleeve size. For example, a laptop with the following dimensions: width 39 cm x height 31 cm x thickness 4 cm, would correspond to 43 x 35 cm, which would need a 17 inch sleeve.


Owning a new laptop can be exciting, but it can quickly become frustrating with a scratched, damaged, or broken LCD screen. The onus is on the users to protect their laptop screen by investing some effort into it. While buying protective items are helpful, users can still take steps to protect their investment without spending a dime. Users simply need to practice certain safety measures when their laptop is in use, when it is being transported, and when it is just being stored. However, protective equipment is not generally expensive, so users who have the resources should invest in protective gear for their laptop screens.

Simply items such as a laptop case, screen protector, and cleaning wipes can make a huge impact on the longevity of a laptop and its screen. These items are always readily available at computer stores, but for competitive prices, a wide variety and the convenience of shopping online, users can choose to purchase their items from eBay.

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