T4210 The black plastic latch has broken.

Discussion in 'Fujitsu' started by ehostin, Sep 8, 2012.

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  1. numbah

    numbah Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Greetings,

    I've owned the T4210 for almost 2 yrs now. I initially purchased the machine with high expectations of reliability. The build quality has remained good but far from excellent. My machine has also been making significantly louder fan noises as time has passed. Anyway, the current problem..

    The black plastic latch which locks the screen/lid in closed and tablet positions has broken. The plastic itself is a 2mm L-shaped fixture embedded in the screen. One half of the L broke off a week ago as I removed the tablet from my bag. [ I tend to baby my toys, so please no accusations of negligence! =) ]

    This has become a pain in the @ss. My tablet won't lock in closed position anymore, which is only marginally better than not locking in tablet position. But still.. Fujitsu should've seen this coming. We've all known that it's flimsy. kureshii is one owner who has had a similar problem. I don't know how it was solved, though. I am out of warranty. Fujitsu won't cover any repairs, and my local authorized repair shop wants $115 for just base inspection and labor. For a $1 piece of plastic?! Ridiculous...

    Anyone else who has had this unfortunate experience? I was told that the plastic latch cannot be ordered separately by users. Plus, I've never taken apart the screen in the past. What can I do?

    Sorry for rambles,
    numbah
     
  2. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Since your T4210 is using the black plastic latch, I suppose it isn't a FJ-Siemens model, since those supposedly come with aluminium latches, as P8RSON had informed me. Which region are you in?

    Well, anyway, I got me latch fixed (together with a cracked LCD). If the cost breakdown is still accurate (15 months after the event) the latch should cost only 20SGD (and I say "only" because the total repair cost including the glass panel and LCD amounted to >800SGD >_<). There was no additional labour component included so I suppose it's probably included in the parts pricing.

    If you really want to save on that and are a DIYer at heart in the first place, find some thermoplastic, mould it into the general shape and mill/dremel it to final shape ;)
     
  3. Rieuk

    Rieuk Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Just get a piece of plastic of the same thickness and get a dremel (it's handy for a lot of other things as well so it'll be worth it).

    Dremel + piece of plastic = done :)

    Oh you might need a drill for the pivot hole...

    And screwdrivers for taking the tablet apart...
     
  4. numbah

    numbah Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Sorry for the delay - wanted to see if there were any more initial replies.

    1) Great ideas, but I'm not enough of a DIYer to make your suggestions work. I had to look up what a Dremel is!

    2) Do you know where I can find a guide to taking the tablet screen apart?

    3) Any other ideas for this poor medical student?
     
  5. radicalblackrose

    radicalblackrose Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hey,

    Thought this might help. I suppose you can do the repair yourself if you can at least find the part. Its cheaper than your $115 option. You might wanna give it a go.

    :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  6. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I put up a screen disassembly guide here. Unfortunately, it doesn't include the locking tab part. If I have time tonight I might update it for you.

    [edit] checked it out - just follow the screen disassembly guide I linked above. You won't need to touch the back plate and keyboard strip, just go straight to the bezel.

    The plastic latch should be easily visible. It is secured by two screws; easy-peasy.

    [​IMG]

    (Yes, the screen is still on. I had some downloads going on and didn't want to interrupt them. No, it is not recommended. No, I don't think any resulting damage is covered under warranty.)

    Unfortunately, this is about as far as I can go. The latch mechanism construction is very sturdy and I haven't found a way to remove the latch from the housing yet. This means:

    1) You'll need to destroy the latch part, make a new one (with a slimmer hinge - do the disassembly and you'll know what I mean) and slip it into the old housing. But this requires specialised machinery and plenty of DIY spirit.

    2) If you still have the broken piece, you could try using epoxy or super glue to stick it back. This won't require disassembly, but it won't last long either (speaking from personal experience - I repaired it twice before the LCD cracked in a separate incident and I got the whole thing fixed).

    3) You could order the plastic hinge part as linked by radicalblackrose, and just replace the whole works. This is pricey though.

    These are the 3 solutions I can think of at the moment, sorry I couldn't be of more help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  7. leaftye

    leaftye Old timer Super Moderator

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    Since I also have a T4210, would you please share more information about this? I'd like to know what orientation your tablet is stored in your bag, if you use a separate sleeve or case, and maybe even see a picture of the broken latch.

    I store my tablet in a Fieldmate case similar to this.
    [​IMG]

    It prevents the screen from shifting around, or from opening. Because of the case, my tablet goes into my backpack with the hinge side down.

    Anyway, good luck. Please share your findings, and if you do a repair, please share pics of the process as well. TIA.
     
  8. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    numbah, you got your screen latch fixed yet? I hope everything's still okay; do let us know how you got it fixed in the end =) It would be a pity if you have to give up on Fujitsu because of it...
     
  9. numbah

    numbah Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi kureshii,

    Thank you for your follow-up post. Unfortunately, I have not been able to fix my screen latch yet.

    Much appreciation to radicalblackrose for the eBay link. To answer your question, I store my computer closed in notebook form (screen side facing keyboard) in a padded, messenger-style laptop bag. There is no sleeve but at least half an inch of padding in all directions from the bag itself. I don't have a picture of the break, but it's really not hard to visualize. Imagine the L shaped part of the latch pointing outwards toward the screen side. (This is how you'd normally close the laptop to lock it in notebook, non-tablet form.) Now imagine the break such that the protrusion no longer exists because it broke off.

    At this point, replacing the screen is completely out of the question. The eBay link provides a $45 + $10 shipping option, which is still rather steep. I don't know what to do at the moment. I'm still pretty frustrated that $55 and no installation is all that we've found available for a plastic part that costs less than $1 to manufacture. I just spent $480 to register for Step 1 of my medical boards exam. I am broke; I am busy; I am pretty angry.

    I'd rather not try to epoxy or otherwise glue the piece back on. It seems possible, but I doubt that it'll hold. Do you all still think the $45 eBay replacement latch is my best solution? I don't know when I'll find the money and the time to operate on my computer. It's funny that I can take out a gallbladder in 20 min via laparoscopic surgery, but I just can't seem fix my stupid Fujitsu..
     
  10. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well actually, I think the best option will be to take it to a Fujitsu Service Centre and let them do it for you; local repair shops may be good with laptops but not so good with tablets, as some people have found out.

    The latch is a standalone part, that would take no more than 15 minutes to replace by a skilled technician. Most of the waiting time would come from waiting for the part to arrive. In my case it would probably cost a little over 20SGD (~13USD), if you ask nicely they might be able to expedite your case.

    I'm sorry that this has to happen at a busy time for you, but many of us have had positive experiences with FSC and I hope they won't eat up too much of your time.
     
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