Anyone who has taken a laptop to a shop for repair knows that the typical labor rate is up to twice that for desktop PCs. This is because laptop repair is more difficult than desktop PC repair. The size and portability of laptops comes at a price. Components are smaller and often buried under layers of other components.
Keyboard and Mouse
Replacing the keyboard and mouse on a PC is easy. First shut down the computer. Then buy a new keyboard or mouse for ten to fifteen dollars, unplug the old one, and connect the new one. The same job on a laptop is more complicated and expensive.
Replacing the keyboard or mousepad on a laptop illustrates why getting a laptop fixed is more expensive than PC repair. A new keyboard for a laptop will cost around forty to eighty dollars. To replace it, the technician has to remove several tiny screws, then pry up the old one and carefully detach it from the laptop. A ribbon cable connects the keyboard to the laptop. He or she reverses the procedure to install the new one. Replacing the mousepad on a laptop means replacing the top surface of the laptop. This piece will be even more expensive than the keyboard. Depending on the model, the top panel may include the keyboard. If not, the technician must remove the keyboard before removing the top panel.
Hard Drive and RAM
The hard drive and RAM are two of the easiest components to replace, both on PCs and on laptops. In a PC replacing these components typically means removing a side cover to gain access to the inside. RAM is found on the main circuit board of the computer, called the motherboard. Two clips are then opened and the RAM is then pulled from its slot. The hard drive will usually be in a rack along with CD drives and other media. There will be a power connector and a data cable to detach, and screws or clips holding the hard drive in place.
Replacing these components on a laptop is similar. They are usually located under a cover on the bottom of the laptop. This cover will be held in place by screws. They will usually be identified by a small drawing of the part etched on the cover. Like the desktop RAM, laptop RAM will be in a slot held in place by clips. Screws hold the hard drive to the frame cover.
Motherboard and CPU
Replacing these components on both a PC and a laptop is fairly involved. The CPU in a PC is under a fan, and held in place by a spring-loaded cover. The technician must take extreme care while handling the new one to prevent damage due to static electricity or damage to the tiny connector pins. The motherboard is held in place by several screws. To replace it, the technician must disconnect all the components such as hard drives, RAM and sound and video cards and power connectors.
Replacing these parts in a laptop is similar. The bottom cover must first be removed. Fans, other parts and support frames must then be removed. Replacing the motherboard and CPU is then comparable to those in the PC.
Laptops and PCs have the same components. Their operation is fundamentally the same. The difficulty and cost in repairing a laptop comes from the size and compact placement of these parts in the laptop. This is the trade-off required for the reduced size and increased portability of the laptop.
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Article Added on Sunday, April 14, 2013
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