The worst thing that can happen to a portable computer owner - aside from having his wife or girlfriend leave him or his hard disk go up in smoke - is irreparable damage to its built-in, but relatively sensitive liquid crystal (LCD) display. (No, I'm not putting women on the same pedestal as hard disks, what are you thinking?) This might happen because of an entirely innocuous-seeming mishap, such as leaving a pencil lying on the notebook's keyboard and failing to remove it before closing the clamshell. A firm slap on the top deck to force the unit closed and presto you've got a serious problem with your LCD! Another common misadventure involves cracking the screen when you or a colleague trip over a portable's power or network cables, hurling the computer to the floor with a sickening crunch. Ouch!
At this point, some of you are surely thinking, "That can't happen! How could anybody be that stupid?" Well, I thought that until a freak accident occurred involving my notebook and an old and cherished - but somewhat rickety - desktop lamp. The old lamp base somehow broke and gave way, Murphy's Law took over, and the sharp edge of the metal lampshade found its way into the top surface of my notebook display. After that, the LCD was basically unusable. The edges of the sickle-shaped gouge in the anti-reflective film glimmered with rainbows, and markedly curbed my enthusiasm for using the unit.
Uncool: Deep scratches on the display surface
Replace The Screen With A Factory Part, Buy A New Portable Computer, Or
A quick check with the service department at Fujitsu PC USA confirmed my worst fears. A new factory-fresh replacement display would set me back more than $600. I'd also have to part with my most important working tool to send it in for repairs, get it fixed, and then have it shipped back - a loss of several days of productivity at best, and two weeks at worst. To my way of thinking, this involved too much money and way too much lost time to repair a device that I'd purchased for about $1,200 - including the now-damaged display. I decided to try to find a way to buy myself out of the scratched display, at least as a start.