Why I'm Repairing a Fully Depreciated Dell Latitude C810

Late last week Kathleen and I bought a 2007 Honda Accord SE. I hadn't anticipated buying a new car in 2006, but we we had to act quickly after the transmssion in my Jeep Grand Cherokee failed. A purchase of this magnitude will force us to make a few sacrifices in other aspects of our life. One of them is that I'm attempting to repair the Dell Latitude C810 laptop that I've been using for several years rather than purchasing a new one.

My Latitude started having display problems just before Christmas. The backlight on the LCD started flickering, then started shutting off completely for longer and longer periods of time. I concluded that the problem was that the FL inverter was failing. I took it to a local computer repair place, which turned out to be a waste of time because they charged me to re-diagnose the problem, then recommended that I buy a new Dell laptop from them rather than repair my current laptop.

This advice may have made sense, but their recommendation really upset me because they didn't do what I requested: quote me the least-cost approach to repairing this laptop. I responded by saying, "Thanks anyway," and taking my laptop back home.

I decided to attempt a repair on my own. Rather than try to buy a replacement FL inverter and substitute it for the supposedly failing one, I decided to buy a used LCD display unit that fits my laptop. Quite a few of these LCD display units are offered for sale on Ebay at any given moment, so I purchased one for about $150 plus shipping. That's less than 25% of the purchase price of the least expensive new Dell laptop: an Inspiron 1501.

I've never replaced the LCD display unit on a laptop, but I understand that this is particularly easy to do to late-model Dell laptops. I hope that's the case and I will report on how well the replacement goes after I've done it.

Even if I had around $650 to spend, I wouldn't have purchased the Inspiron 1501 at this time. I would have either repaired my Latitude C810 as I'm doing now, or scraped together another $500 and purchased an Apple MacBook. I hope that the Latitude C810 is my last Windows laptop. I want something better next time around, and the MacBook or a MacBook Pro is what I have in mind.

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