If I don’t take particular care of my cameras and I’ve killed quite a few of them (by sitting on them, or dropping them regularly…), I’ve never had any case of dead pixels or horizontal black lines on my screens… until now – with my Toshiba Kira-102 (it’s the one on the left on the picture)
I sincerely believe that my computer has a manufacturing defect in the first place. I bought it from Fnac in 2014 for its Core i7 capable of reading my 60,000-line Excel files – leaving my PEL in it: 1300€ at the time. After a week, the “right arrow” key detached itself from the keyboard. I could have changed my computer at that time, as it was still under warranty. But I preferred to buy a new key instead of reinstalling all the software and reconfiguring my preferences. Error! After 3 weeks, I couldn’t load the computer anymore. Fnac’s after-sales service department returned the computer without any modifications and told us that we simply had to wait a few days. And the fact that the charger was permanently plugged into a socket occupied by all the high-tech equipment in the apartment – completely knocked out the charger
And then, last August (2017), following my flight from Budapest to Bucharest, I noticed a dozen horizontal black lines on my computer. Some of them covered the whole screen, others were 2-3cm long and were spreading as I went along. Any attempt to reinstall the graphics card, wild presses on the screen (I know, I’m cruel with my devices), reboots… failed completely
It was the 2nd time that I took the plane with my computer. And since it slept in a garage (dry and clean) for a year during my world tour, I thought that its period of inactivity had finished it
By inquiring on the Internet, I found a site selling Toshiba brand tiles but I didn’t know how to change them myself, and considering the price (80€) I wasn’t sure if it was compatible with my computer (which has a touch screen). JB and I agreed to buy another computer as soon as we returned to France in September – since my Toshiba is no longer under warranty
And then, we went away for 4 days on weekends, without a computer of course. When we came back, most of the vertical lines had disappeared ! So they were not dead pixels!
However, with intensive use, other lines would reappear, and the more I used the computer during the day, the more the lines would stretch
In September 2017, we flew back to France and after the flight, my screen was getting worse! There were black spots on the screen, and about twenty horizontal lines. Disgusted, I told myself that I couldn’t even sell it anymore in this state
I turned it off, and a few hours later, complaining with a girlfriend, I took the computer out to show her the damage: “you see I have to throw it away now and buy a new one”, but all the lines had disappeared. I found my screen as good as new ! My friend laughed and told me that the computer was probably afraid of being thrown in the trash and it healed itself 😀
After some thought, I realized that I had put it in a too big protective pouch – so I filled it with newspaper – which must have put too much pressure on my computer. After my flight from Marseille to Seville, by removing the newspaper, the damage was less important (3-4 small lines that left in 3 hours)
So I just think that my Toshiba Kira simply doesn’t like flying, nor the pressure. If horizontal lines appear after a flight or too much pressure, you have to leave the computer alone for several days and the lines will disappear as if by a miracle
Practical advice: which computer to choose for a digital nomad?
- Don’t be silly like me, when there is a suspicion of a manufacturing defect (a key that goes away after a week), ask for a computer exchange right away.
- Buy your computer at least two months before going on a world tour, the time to discover the hidden defects and exchange it for another computer.
- I sincerely think that when you buy a computer with a touch screen, it is quite justified to buy additional insurance to extend the warranty period (check that the warranty is international anyway).
- Ultrabooks are good, but when you are a nomad worker, you have to choose ultra strong models. I hate Apple, but I must admit that they are really made for that, and their after-sales service is available all over the world.
- I was only paying attention to the keyboard when I bought my computer, but it turned out later that its screen was a huge problem for me, because the readability of the screen is very bad when I sit outside (it looks like a mirror, horrible!). Likewise, for nomad workers who often have to work with their feet fanned out in front of the beach/pool, choose a suitable screen.
p/s: I’m not the only one who mistreats my computer, my cat does it as well