There is nothing worse than dropping your tablet. Despite inventions such as gorilla glass and even some of the best cases, a big drop can crack your tablet screen. When this happens, most of us don’t have any idea on what we should do. In many cases, we get mad at ourselves and just buy a new tablet. However, there are steps you should take when you crack your tablet screen. By following the steps below, you can determine if your tablet is worth fixing and how you should go about getting it repaired.
1. Don’t Panic
First and foremost, and before we get into anything else, it’s important that you don’t panic. I know, you just dropped your very expensive tablet and the screen could be a mess, but getting upset isn’t going to fix anything. I’m sure you will be mad at yourself or your kids and you will be wondering what to do, frantically. Don’t. Take a deep breath and count to ten. Once you hit ten, move on to the next steps in this guide so you know what to do.
2. Assess the Damage
Pick up your tablet gently and take a closer look at the screen. Try and assess how bad it really is. Is it just a small crack in the corner that you can’t even feel, or is it a huge shatter across the entire display? The type of crack can impact what you do next. In some cases, you may not do anything, but in others, you may need to take action in order to use your tablet again.
At the same time, you need to assess your tablet for other damage other than the display. If there is more damage, say to the home button or to the exterior case, you could have bigger problems and that may impact what you do next.
3. Determine If It Should Be Fixed
Once you assess the damage, it’s time to consider if it is worth fixing or not. Here is what you should consider when making your final repair decision:
- Type of Tablet
- Model of Tablet
- Age of Tablet
- How much damage
All of these factors will help you determine whether you should bother fixing it or not. For example, if the tablet is four years old, then it may not be worth fixing. Instead, you could devote that money toward a newer and faster tablet. Some tablets are more difficult to fix than others. Apple iPads and Samsung tablets are pretty popular, so it’s easy to find parts. But some off brand Android tablets will be tough to repair. Finally, the damage. If the screen is completely shattered and there is other damage, then it may not be worth it to fix.
4. Check your Warranty
Once you decide that your tablet is worth fixing, it’s time to examine your repair options. Most major manufacturers do offer a basic warranty for their tablets, but they don’t usually include accidental damage from drops. In these cases, you will usually need an extended warranty such as Apple Care in order to get it fixed. If you don’t have a warranty that will cover the damage, you will have to pay for the repair out of your pocket, so be prepared to spend a little money.
5. Send It to the Manufacturer
Your first option for repair will be the manufacturer. Using the original tablet manufacturer will mean that you get certified parts straight from them and any warranty you have will remain valid if you use them for the repair. However, in some cases, these repairs can be more expensive than other options and you may have to send your tablet to them to have it repaired. These repairs will usually take a few weeks to perform. In other cases, the manufacturer may just replace your device with a refurbished model and keep your device, meaning you must back up all your data before you ship it away.
6. Take It to a Repair Shop
Instead of a manufacturer repair, there are many certified dealer and repair shops that can handle the repair for you. If the repair shop is certified, chances are your warranty will remain valid if they perform the repairs. However, not all shops are certified, so if you have them fix your tablet the warranty could be voided.
Still, there are many benefits with using a local repair shop. In most cases, the repair will happen much more quickly, as you don’t have to wait for shipping or some giant company to work on it. In some cases, I have seen these repairs take as little as a day or even a few hours. Often it comes down to what parts they have on hand at the time of the repair. These shops are usually a little cheaper than a manufacturer repair. This isn’t always the case, but in my experience you can save a little bit of money if you use them instead.
7. Fix It Yourself
If you are handy or just like tinkering with electronics, you could try your hand at the repair yourself. There are many sites out there such as iFixit that will sell you packages with the parts and the specialized tools you will need to perform the repair yourself.
I must caution you, however. These repairs can be difficult, especially if you have never tried something like this before. If you make a mistake, you could do even more damage to your tablet. If you perform the repair yourself, you may also void your warranty. If you don’t have a warranty anymore, this is no big deal. But if you do, you may want to consider another option.
This method will definitely save you money, as the cost of parts and the tools won’t add up to the cost of parts and the labor when sending to the manufacturer or taking to a repair shop. But it will take time and there is further risk of damage if you don’t know what you’re doing.
8. Purchase a Replacement Tablet
When all else fails, you may need to buy a new tablet. In many cases, the damage could just be too great or the repair costs too much. Maybe your tablet is just too old to bother with the repair. When this happens, you really are better off buying a new tablet. Often you can find a new tablet for just a little more than the repair bill, and you will have access to the latest hardware when you buy a new one.
There is nothing worse than dropping your tablet and cracking the screen. I know how it feels. I once dropped and shattered the screen of a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. It was a painful experience. In the end, the cost of the screen was too much and I didn’t have a warranty, so I bought a new tablet to replace it. But your experience may vary.
By following the list above, you can determine the best course of action for your tablet. Have you ever dropped your tablet and shattered the display? If so, what did you do? Did you have it fixed or buy a new tablet? If you fixed it yourself, what was your repair experience like? I want to hear from you. Sound off with your opinions in the comments below.