How do I protect my Palm PDA from damage?
September 7, 2004 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Am I just fated to buy a new Palm Pilot every year, or does everyone find the screens of Palms PDAs to be rather fragile? My Tungsten E has just suffered it's first pitting after nine months of use, and, somehow I suspect the end is near...
posted by ParisParamus to Shopping (14 answers total)
In my PDA owning life, I have gone through a Palm Pro, another Palm Pro, a Palm VII, and now use a nicely upgraded Palm III. With the exception of the very first Palm Professional, which had the guts die on me, I have the rest of these things in a drawer in good working condition. None have had screen problems, and yes, I have dropped them all.

Possibly the color screens are more fragile, but I'm given to understand that people preferred them because they were somewhat more durable.

Are you putting a nice screen protection sticker on your Palm? ConceptKitchen used to make really nice ones, but I don't know who bought them since the olden days; I'm still using my ancient stash of CK screen protectors.
posted by majick at 7:25 AM on September 7, 2004

I used a Palm IIIx for about five years. Mine too had sustained a few falls. The screen was getting weird (the contrast was varying on its own and I needed to recalibrate the digitizer frequently) but it never pitted. I'm assuming you are referring to physical indentations in the screen surface?

I finally stopped carrying my IIIx last year and have been pining for a new PDA, but I'm waiting to see PalmOne's next offerings before I dive in. I didn't use screen protectors on my old Palm, which was a hand-me-down from a previous employer, but when I spend my own hundreds on one I most definitely will.
posted by Songdog at 7:34 AM on September 7, 2004

Instead of buying a new Palm, you could replace the screen yourself.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:49 AM on September 7, 2004

Consider a hard case for your Palm. The Innopocket cases, made of aircraft-quality aluminum, get good reviews from many quarters. And the Otterbox could probably withstand a baseball bat.

Personally I never use cases. I've used a Palm device of some sort almost every day for the last five years, and I have never broken a screen.
posted by profwhat at 8:07 AM on September 7, 2004

I have a hard case, but no film on the screen. I'm hoping Palm will cover it in warranty; or perhaps the Xchange Card I bought will help me? (don't even remember if the warranty is 1yr or 90 days.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:11 AM on September 7, 2004

(it never dropped; either the screen is defective, or something scratched the screen; it still works, more or less fine, but the letter recognition had dropped off).
posted by ParisParamus at 8:22 AM on September 7, 2004

Have you tried recalibrating the digitizer through your Prefs directory?
That should correct the recognition.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:12 AM on September 7, 2004

I'll try that; I do it all the time, actually.

Has anyone ever sought replacement-under-warranty or under the aforementioned Xchange Card for such a "defect"?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:30 AM on September 7, 2004

I have broken a Palm screen and a Visor. Both were out of warrantee. Putting in replacement screens took me well under an hour (mind you, I enjoy diasassembling things) and the parts were much cheaper than the cost of replacement.
posted by plinth at 9:34 AM on September 7, 2004

I'll look into the screen replacement thing if necessary. Is much needed in the way of tools to replace a screen? What does it entail?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:59 AM on September 7, 2004

A miniature screwdriver is all you pretty much need.
Once it's open, you carefully remove a cable attaching the screen to the motherboard, and seperate the screen from the upper half of the case.
You can find instructions online which show where the cabe connection is, along with tips on the correct way to fit everything back together.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:33 AM on September 7, 2004

I sat on my Tungsten C shortly after I bought it. I considered replacing the screen myself, but Palm will do it for not much more than you can buy a screen for at I think it was $115 or $120--the replacement screen was $100. I had to live without it for a couple of weeks, but now it's good as new.
posted by jpoulos at 10:42 AM on September 7, 2004

The link I provided has instructions for the Tungsten T units, which use the same screen as the E series. The instructions would basically be the same.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:44 AM on September 7, 2004

You'll need a Torx driver. A regular screwdriver will damage the bolts.
posted by golo at 12:05 PM on September 7, 2004

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