I originally posted this article in 2014, but the video has received so many views on YouTube (more than 150,000 at time of writing) that I thought it was worth giving it a bit of a spring clean.
When I wrote this, I had just given out 300 Toshiba Chromebooks to teachers and students, and in the two months that they’d had them several had been returned for repair.
One of my concerns back then, was how many Chromebooks were going to get broken, and would we be able to keep with a constant flow of damaged devices? In those days, before school BYOD became the norm, I didn’t know whether it would even be possible to finance and keep up with repairs. In the time since we’ve been able to put in processes to deal with this sort of issue, but back then it was the wild west.
How to repair a Chromebook screen
In this video I show how simple and quick it is to carry out Chromebook repairs yourself and save you hundreds in spare parts. Admittedly, since the video was originally made, things have a got a little more complicated. At the time you didn’t have to worry about screen sizes or resolutions — most Chromebooks similar sized screens. And there wasn’t a hope of finding a touchscreen in a Chromebook. But the video still holds up and covers the basics of replacing a Chromebook screen really well.
What you will need to replace your Chromebook screen
The low price of most Chromebooks is reflected in the build quality of Google’s popular range of laptops. The flimsy plastic and soft screens that are synonymous with Chrome OS devices allow them to be extremely cheap but also make them very prone to damage. This cheap construction does, however, have two huge positives — Chromebook parts are cheap, and they’re easy to repair yourself.
Chromebook Screen Replacement
The first thing you need is a replacement Chromebook screen. You can get an original from the device manufacturer, but they will usually cost hundreds. Instead source a compatible screen from Amazon — much cheaper and just as good.
Precision Screwdriver Set
When opening your Chromebook, especially when replacing the screen, expect to deal with a lot a tiny screws. A precision screwdriver kit allows you to remove them without damaging the screw head.
A spudger opening tool makes it easy to pry apart your Chromebook’s case without damaging or scratching it. This isn’t essential, but it’s worth it to save your Chromebook from harm.
Finding a replacement Chromebook screen
An official replacement Chromebook screen direct from Toshiba costs in the region of £220 — more than the cost of a replacement Chromebook — but I was able to source a perfectly acceptable alternative through Amazon for just £34.
While I was initially sceptical about using unofficial parts, in testing we’ve been unable to tell the difference between the official and third-party screens.
When choosing your replacement screen, be sure to take into consideration the size and resolution of your current screen, and whether it is a touchscreen. Also consider the positioning of the screen’s connector as this will affect whether the screen is compatible with your Chromebook.
If you do buy an after-market screen, but can’t find one for your specific Chromebook model, you will often find that another model’s screen may fit yours as the same screen is often used between several manufacturers and models.
How did you do?
Let us know in the comments how you got on with your repair, and don’t forget to subscribe to the ClassThink YouTube channel to get all the latest videos.