Dell isn’t the sexiest of computer brands, but there is a bloody good reason that enterprises will buy it above and beyond other brands: Support and parts. I spilled water on my keyboard back in September. The right shift key began to stick right afterward and the keyboard was cruddy to boot, so I ordered a replacement from eBay. When it arrived I discovered that the entire top panel of my laptop is one integrated unit. The keyboard can’t be replaced otherwise, so now I wonder why the fuck it is even sold by vendors as a separate unit. I damaged the panel in learning this: I tried to peel back part of the metal on the panel on the mistaken assumption that it popped off.
From that point on I had to constantly glue down the panel. I found a panel advertised for my laptop on eBay. The seller emailed me, confirmed that it was indeed for the Samsung NP300V3A-S03NL and promptly dispatched the top panel of the Samsung NP300V4A-S03NL… which is a completely different shape and size. I dug deeper into Google and eventually found a German reseller, M.K. Electronic, who had a page with a list of Samsung’s part names for the NP300V3A. My new problem is that nobody in Europe stocked the part. I hit up maybe thirty different parts portals in France, Sweden, German, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain. Nobody held the part in inventory, would order it until I placed an order in turn, and couldn’t guarantee a delivery date. It took me a week to find a Singapore-based seller through DHgate who claimed inventory for this specific, obscure Samsung component. I had a surprise phone call from Hong Kong thirty minutes later to confirm the exact part I needed.
That was November 28. The panel arrived in good order from a Beijing warehouse this morning. There was a tiny bit of damage on the bottom, and two wires weren’t correctly secured, but its the panel. It works perfectly. See above for the scale of damage on the old panel. Dat glue action, mmm-hmm.
Lesson learned. I don’t think I’ll buy Samsung again given that specific parts have been a bitch to source.
TL:DR: China FTW.