LCD monitor lifespan

During 2006, I bought a 19” 4:3 LCD Monitor. It was bright, clear and offered more real estate than a 19” CRT type. It took up less room on the desk and generated less heat into the atmosphere too.

It replaced a seven year old 17” CRT which incidentally still works. It is not as bright as it once was, and it is maybe slightly fuzzy, but it still works and is still usable. This is more than can be said for the $300 LCD. It started to flicker during 2009, then displayed only 50% of the entire view, finally giving out completely. It goes without saying that the warranty came to an end only weeks before the final demise.

I tried to get it repaired, but four attempts failed. My $300 monitor became a rather ungainly doorstop. Initially, I replaced it with an LG 18” CRT bought for $30 out of the local classifieds. I must admit, for a monitor made in 1999, the LG CRT was/is really good. Very good brightness, very good clarity, not a flat screen, but for the price, who cares.

So how long does an LCD monitor last? Maybe forever. How long does the backlight last? Nothing like forever. Maybe two years, maybe three. Brightness falls off after this period although some claim 5 + years. Laptop LCDs seem to last maybe 6 years, but I suspect that this is because they are not always running at maximum brightness and tend not to be lefty on like desktop PC’s.

Repair or replace..

Is an aging laptop worth the cost of replacing the screen? I don’t think so because the screen isn’t the only part of the system that is showing its age.

  1. The hard drive will be small and will almost always start to fail due to continued exposure to heat after a few years.
  2. The CD/DVD drive laser will also deteriorate over a period of maybe 4 years. Burning will be a no no and reading disks will become more difficult.
  3. The processor will be an early, low performance unit

I would imagine that most laptops which have been in for hardware repairs come out with refurbished parts fitted. A new screen for a laptop can cost in excess of $300 depending upon size, so if a repairer tells you that the overall repair is less than that, you have paid for refurbished parts. Will they last as well as the originals? I wouldn’t like to say.

I am not a great believer in putting too much cash into an aging computer. It is better to bite the bullet and buy a new one.

This is certainly the case with desktop monitors which is why I buy cheap LCD monitors for my own use. I also keep a spare CRT just in case one of the LCD pairing goes down for good, such is my reliance on a dual screen setup these days.

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