We are wondering if anyone else are having the same issues as us and have seen this problem before. We currently have over 200 Samsung NC10 Netbooks which are in daily use here at the school. They are just over a year old now from the date of purchase. Yet in terms of the number of months usage it is actually less elapsed time due to them being configured and then kept in storage prior to distribution to the end users. However we noticed about six months into their lives that the LCD screen would ‘white out’ and fail. This problem could be temporarily rectified by lightly tapping the lid of the unit and/or by moving the lid in an opening and closing motion.
After sending several defective units back to Samsung we have since discovered that it is in fact the LCD cable which connects the LCD to the motherboard which is causing the problem. This is the part which is replaced by Digicare each time we send the units back under warranty.
In this time we have seen a significant number of these units fail and thus subsequently being sent back to Samsung for repair, so much so that is now almost becoming a weekly occurrence. Samsung however do not seem to admit a problem and as such will not repair the units past the end of the warranty period despite this appearing to be an unfortunate manufacturing defect.
We have done some testing of our own and have discovered indeed that it is the LCD cable which is at fault, specifically the degradation of the individual wires which make up the cable itself. Samsung have been using at least two types of cable on this unit:
[Winchester Rev. 1.0 SINBON – comprising of 28 wires, 4 red, 4 brown, 7 black, 2 grey, 3 yellow, 1 purple, 4 orange, 2 green, 1 blue]
[Winchester Rev. 2.0 CNJS - Comprising of 18 insulated wires, 4 black, 13 red and 1 ground]
These are wrapped in an adhesive-backed fabric tape to form the cable. The defect, as far as we can see, occurs due to the stresses of bending where the cable loops through the hinge connecting the lid to the base. [See photo below.] It is our opinion that the problem is caused by the extremely small diameter of the wires, combined with the tight bend radii of the space it needs to traverse, is exacerbated by the fact that the wires are twisted and then wrapped inside the adhesive tape. This allows for little-to-no give in the wire whenever bending forces are placed on the cable. In this case the constant opening and closing of the lid.
We have a very competent IT team here and are more than capable of replacing the LCD cables ourselves. In fact, we now do so on a regular basis. However, up until now Samsung are refusing to cover the cost of the cables, each time referring us to Digicare to either; A) have them fit the new cable; or B) sell us the cable for us to fit ourselves. The latter obviously being the least expensive option of the two. However, this is now becoming increasingly apparent that the fault lays with Samsung the construction of the units.
We are wondering if anyone else is having the same issues and has seen this problem before. We are also wondering if anyone else has managed to elicit from Samsung or Digicare that there is in fact some kind of admission of a common fault with these units.