Thursday, March 15, 2007

Toshiba Portege M100 odyssey

A couple of weeks ago I bought a used Toshiba Portege M100 laptop for a fairly good price. At first glance it was a perfect laptop for my needs: not too big or heavy, decent CPU, plenty of RAM and good battery life. Infact, it runs Windows XP almost as good as my desktop Athlon XP-M 2400+ (Barton core) system! The only area where this little beast fails is 3D gaming but I didn't buy it with gaming in mind so that's fine by me.

As I was saying, the laptop is great but there's a catch. After a while I noticed strange grey spots on the LCD panel. At some angles they were barely visible while at others you could see them all over! Naturally this bothered me a great deal. Since I couldn't come to an agreement with the guy that sold me the laptop, I went hunting on eBay. Eventually I picked one up for $50 from the States. With postage on top it cost me $80 which is fine considering that the official Toshiba repair shop charges $800 for a brand new panel. However, it was a bit risky since I wasn't sure would it work as the item was sold as untested and "as is".

Well, I got the replacement panel today and immediately went to work. Thanks to and their disassembly guides, I was able to disassemble the laptop, replace the screen and put it back together again in about half an hour! And guess what? It worked! The replacement screen also has a few spots but these are a minor annoyance and I barely notice them.

I came to the conclusion that this is a common issue with Toshiba Portege M100 series. I say that because this is the 4th screen that I found with the same problem which is a shame considering the fact Portege laptops used to be Toshiba's prestige product line!