Dead Pixel
May 18, 2005 7:55 PM   Subscribe

I just got a new laptop which I like very much, but there is one dead pixel on the right side of the screen. I'm debating if I should exchange it. It really isn't that big a deal, but it seems like one of those little things that might slowly drive me insane if I keep it.

Am I overreacting? One bad pixel worthy of exchange? If you have lived with pixel trouble I'd like to know what you think.
posted by furiousxgeorge to Computers & Internet (17 answers total)
If you can get it replaced hassled free (and if you get to check out the new unit before accepting deliver), go for it.

I had a stuck pixel (blue) on my laptop. It went away on it's own. There's one stuck pixel (also blue) on the LCD I have attached to my desktop - it's still there but it doesn't bother me anymore.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:08 PM on May 18, 2005

I bought my laptop almost three years ago, and after about two weeks I noticed two stuck pixels–one red and one blue (venus and mars ;^) ). I took it back to the dealer and they told me to use a screen-cleaning cloth and gently *massage* the screen in the area of the stuck pixels. I tried this and it worked. It was a gradual thing, in that they would reappear over the course of several weeks, but I haven't seen them in 2 1/2 years.
posted by al_fresco at 8:22 PM on May 18, 2005

I have a dead pixel on my laptop, but I rarely notice it. You're just more sensitive because it's new - it's like when you paint your home and you mess a tiny bit up and it's annoying. And then later you realize you never see it because in fact nobody sits and stares at their walls.
posted by forallmankind at 8:34 PM on May 18, 2005

Depending on the manufacturer and where you bought it, you may not be able to get it replaced (free). Most manufacturers have certain rules about how many stuck or dead pixels, and in what configuration, you must have, as well as how long after purchase they show up, before they will replace it at no charge. Some store policies will not swap it out for you (whether the mfr will or not) after a certain time, and some not at all. Contact the vendor immediately (assuming you didn't buy it direct), and if you get nowhere with them, call the company that made the laptop, also right away, and try there.
posted by attercoppe at 8:38 PM on May 18, 2005

A list of dead-pixel policies of popular laptop brands.
posted by TimeFactor at 9:10 PM on May 18, 2005

One reason to get it fixed is if you bought an extended warranty, some of them have a lemon policy where your laptop is replaced totally new if it breaks three times.
posted by jmd82 at 9:51 PM on May 18, 2005

Well, I got it from Staples. From what I've read they have a no hassle policy on returns, so I don't doubt they will exchange it.

It really isn't that noticeable at all, and I agree with the comparison to painting the house and noticing the tiny imperfections.

It's unnoticeable unless you really look for it, but it's one of those, "It hurts when I do this..." type situations.

I also have this feeling that if I return it the universe will take revenge and I'll end up with one with even more dead pixels.

...but the sensible part of me says that there really isn't a great chance of that and and I should get a perfect display.

It's kind of weird these things even get shipped out with dead pixels anyway.

Gonna have to sleep on this one, thanks for the opinions so far.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:03 PM on May 18, 2005

I don't think it's really worth it to replace the computer for one dead pixel, especially since there is no guarantee that the replacement won't be just as bad or worse. The two displays I use with my desktop each have a dead pixel, but I never see them unless I'm specifically looking for them. Just think of the dead pixel as a dust speck that can't be cleaned off.
posted by yarmond at 10:27 PM on May 18, 2005

I also think that it's silly that they sell computers with dead pixels. The first time I experienced this I was incensed.

But really, it's not that big a deal. You do get used to them over time, largely because they don't all always show up all the time. Some bad pixels are just red when the entire screen is black, and are otherwise unnoticeable.

Of course, in your first few days of owning a new laptop you are ultra-exacting about its utter perfection, not to mention paranoid of getting gypped, so these things tend to STAND OUT in a big way.

But I swear youwill get used to 1 bad pixel and eventually not notice it al all over time.

Still, return it if you can. Many OEMs will not accept a return of this kind unless it has several bad pixels, but if you are going through a retail giant, you have a better shot, I think.
posted by scarabic at 10:59 PM on May 18, 2005

One dead pixel close to the edge of the screen is something you get used to. I have two LCD screens each with one dead (green) or ill (blue, I think) pixel. I've joked that I should measure and record where they are incase they're stolen.

Admittedly, I don't use either of these screens for watching videos. They would definately be within the upper black bar of a widescreen video and that might get a little annoying.
posted by krisjohn at 11:18 PM on May 18, 2005

When I bought my laptop, it had a dead pixel. Make sure you are running it at its native resolution, such as 1280x1024 or whatever resolution the screen was made specifically for. This might reduce the ability to see it. I was bothered at first about the dead pixel, but after that one time I tripped on its cord and it fell off the table and screwed up the charging plug, my thoughts turned elsewhere.
posted by Dean Keaton at 1:31 AM on May 19, 2005

If it's permanently off you won't notice it. If it's permanently lit, it's more of an issue.
posted by cillit bang at 2:42 AM on May 19, 2005

It's perma-black.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:12 AM on May 19, 2005

I would exchange it. If I'm spending over a thousand dollars on an item that I will presumably have for at least a year or two years, I want everything on it in tip top shape. I mean, would you have paid the price you did for your laptop knowing it had a dead pixel?

A few years ago I bought a laptop from Staples and had a fine experience with getting it serviced under warranty. So exchanging it shouldn't pose a problem.
posted by cajo at 4:19 AM on May 19, 2005

I recently bought a digital camera from the Dell store and there was a broken pixel on the LCD screen. It wasn't as big a deal as it would be if it were a laptop (since picture-taking wasn't affected) but I still exchanged it.
posted by superkim at 7:59 AM on May 19, 2005

If it's perma-black you generally won't notice it, because the glow from the surrounding pixels tends to cover it. Basically, the greater the difference between the black pixel and the background, the smaller it appears due to the energy of the surrounding pixels. Very handy, that.

Bright red or white pixels that show up against black backgrounds, however, are absolutely the most insanely irritating thing ever - especially if you're a gamer who likes Splinter Cell, Doom 3, etc. - they will quite literally drive you mad.
posted by Ryvar at 12:16 PM on May 19, 2005

Just noticed another one in the center of the display, this one is kind of a bright purpleish. I'm gonna take it back and exchange it tommorow. ;)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:14 PM on May 19, 2005

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