Laptop Screens and LCD Panels: The Potential Pitfalls

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Laptop Screens and LCD Panels: The Potential Pitfalls

Today, many computer users opt for owning a laptop in addition to a desktop, or as an alternative to one. The small profile of a laptop, or an even smaller netbook computer, allows users to take advantage of its versatility and mobility to enjoy computer use from virtually any location. With the broad access of internet connection, including free internet connection in many locations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay tethered to the desktop.

Any type of device that is designed for use on the go can encounter numerous opportunities to incur damage on a regular basis. For the laptop, as with many devices, the screen or LCD panel is one of its most likely parts to have problems. Some of the difficulties users face are simple ones; they are truly a matter of user error. Others are known difficulties across all laptops, such as the tendency of the screen to be difficult to view the screen in bright light. Unfortunately, other screen issues involve actual damage that can be difficult to repair. These issues, of course, are best avoided.

Technical Difficulties with Laptop Screens and LCD Panels

Many users become stressed, worried that there is something wrong with their laptop screen or perhaps the laptop itself, when common, built-in computer functions appear to make the screen malfunction. Typically, this may look like a very dark or even black screen, or it may be a sudden dimming. A computer user who experiences these situations unexpectedly may jump to the conclusion that there is something wrong. While perhaps experiencing some embarrassment, most computer owners are thrilled to learn that these issues are often built-in features or personal settings that they have triggered without realising it.

Many computer models include a physical button that allows the user to make the screen brighter or dimmer depending on the ambient light in the present location. It is common for a computer owner to overlook this button and inadvertently adjust the screen brightness during normal computer use, or in transporting the laptop. Children and pets are also culprits of making this adjustment without the computer user's knowledge. If the laptop screen has gone black, or very dark, the first thing to check for is a physical brightness adjustment on the computer that may have been accidentally tampered with.

The brightness level of the computer screen is also a personal setting that the user can adjust in an effort to save power. It is common, in fact, for a user to select the recommended power settings on the computer and not realise that the setting includes dimming the screen in certain situations, such as when the computer is disconnected from a power source. This situation results in a screen that suddenly dims, but does not go black. This setting does save power, and should not be adjusted, but an awareness can alleviate fears that there is a problem with the computer.

Situations That Make Viewing a Laptop Screen or LCD Panel Difficult

The easy ability to transport a laptop or netbook from location to location gives the illusion that these mobile computers can be used in any situation. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few screens that have been optimise for it, most laptop screens are nearly impossible to view under certain light conditions.

In particular, rooms with very bright ambient light, positions that have a light source originating from directly behind the user, and most outdoor environments make viewing the screen very difficult. This is because the light that the screen produces must overcome the strength of the light present in the environment in order for the screen to be clearly visible. Some screens are optimised for this, but most standard laptop computer screens simply are not.


The obvious, quick solution is to lessen the effect of the ambient light. To do this, turn down the lights in the room, ensure that the light source is not originating from a location that may create a glare on the screen, and block the light or create shade where possible. These simple solutions are adequate for many users, but a clear source of frustration for others. Particularly, users who must work in a bright environment and those who are eager to get outdoors want other alternatives.

Computers Optimised for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Users who encounter this situation on a regular basis may want to consider the possibility of purchasing a computer that has been optimised for use in a variety of light situations. There are a number of them on the market, and they achieve this versatility in a number of different ways. The basic option includes a matte screen, a feature that may be difficult to find, but does not typically add to the overall cost of the laptop purchase. Users considering this option who already have a perfectly good, running computer may consider a matte finish screen protector that produces the basic same effect.

Other ways that computers are designed for use in different light situations include those that have the ability to switch between features that optimise the machine for indoor use and those that optimise it for outside light situations. This option is, perhaps, the most expensive solution for this issue. Other computers have been designed to overcome the issue using high screen brightness levels that can compete with bright ambient light. The unfortunate effect of this, however, is that these high screen brightness levels drain the laptops battery power much faster than normal, and typical outdoor users spend some time away from a power source.

Damages to the Laptop Screens and LCD Panels

Laptop screens are thin and attached a portable devices that can be left in places and positions that can leave them open to the possibility of being damaged. A fall from even a moderate height can cause damage to many laptops, including damage to the screen. Depending on the quality of the computer's casing, the screen can be damaged from pressure applied to the lid. Laptops that are left open around pets or children who have not yet learned how to care for the technology may be susceptible to scratches, marks, or further damage to the screen. Clearly, all of these situations should be avoided to ensure the protection of the laptop and to avoid damaging the screen.

Common Defects of Laptop Screens and LCD Panels

Whether through mistreatment, or due to age or use, some laptop screens simply develop issues over time. It is common, in fact, for a pixel or a cluster of them on the screen to weaken or go out, and to no longer display the image or colour it is supposed to. Screens affected in this way are generally still usable, although the display image obviously suffers.

Another common issue that some laptop screens develop over time is a truly dim or nonfunctioning backlight. This issue effectively renders the computer unusable, as the image on the screen cannot be seen. Some users experience some luck with hooking such a computer up to an external monitor until repairs can be made.

Replacing the Laptop Screen

When the screen is malfunctioning, or has been damaged and is no longer usable, the computer owner has several options. The first thing to do is to determine if it is covered under guarantee. Assuming that it is not, some professionals offer advice on fixing damaged screens. These instructions may be more difficult than the average user wishes to follow. Taking the computer to a qualified repair shop is the best option for many users. Users who would like to attempt some repairs may consider replacing the screen, which may be easier to do then repairing it.

Computer repair shops and online auctions often sell computer parts, including screens. Some computer users are able to find bargains on whole computers intended to be used for parts. If the price is right, and the consumer feels confident with making the repairs, replacing the screen with one found through this kind of bargain shopping can get the computer owner back online at minimal cost.

Buying Laptop Screens and LCD Panels on eBay

High quality, durable, long-lasting laptops and netbooks provide computer users with the most reliable means of connecting via a laptop on the go. Those that are optimised for various light conditions, and ones that include sturdy construction may be just the thing for the computer user who is looking for a truly versatile machine. Such laptops are available regularly in electronic stores and online through a variety of websites, including eBay.

eBay sellers also list a number of computer parts, new and used, including replacement laptop screens and LCD panels. When shopping for a replacement laptop screen, it is very important to match the make and model of the machine exactly. Doing so ensures that the replacement should go smoothly and that the screen fits and works well on the laptop. If the screen is from a used laptop, be sure to check that it is in working condition before purchasing. This and other relevant information should be noted in the description of the screen.


Laptop and netbook computers offer users the ability to get out and explore while still being able to connect and be productive when necessary. This mobility is an important feature in the lives of today's active computer users. Laptop owners have the reasonable expectation to use their computer anywhere.

Unfortunately, the lighting in many environments hinders the user's ability to view the screen comfortably, and all of this moving about can put the average laptop at risk of damage. Also, laptop screens are susceptible to several common defects that may develop over time.

These are just some of the pitfalls that users of laptop screens and LCD panels routinely experience, frustrating their ability to remain productive while on the go. Understanding the screen issues that are common for many laptop owners can help the average user to know when something is truly a problem and to arm the computer owner with ways to tackle these common issues.

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