When computers become more complicated, the answer to what to do with a damaged piece of hardware becomes more and more “just throw it.” We’re getting new tools and teaching people how to repair them. We’re not going to shame you for wanting something new and brilliant. But if you’re one of the 11 percent of iPhone users who walk around with a broken phone, you don’t have to splash out your tough-earned money for a new one. Isn’t the battery holding a charge? Cracked screen? The camera came to a halt? It can fix all these things. Here are the gadgets you definitely can repair:
1. Smartphones (eg. iPhone)
The vast majority of smartphone repairs are the screens, with people continually dropping their phones and damaging that beautiful glass screen. If it’s just a small crack you might be able to continue without repair, but often a smashed screen means no touch recognition either, which turns your phone into a brick. Luckily, screen repairs are very common, especially for the most popular phone models such as Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S series devices, and can often be done for less than $200 – much cheaper than replacing the whole device.
It can be useful to refurbish a laptop computer and save you money as well. No matter how efficient and glossy your laptop was when you bought it, time changes everything, and the dirtier, warmer, slower, and less efficient your laptop is now than it was on day one. You can also get laptops from Recompute refurbished laptops.
Modern televisions are essentially mini computers with a large display attached, and so many of the repairs for laptops and other tech devices are also applicable to TVs. A power cable wearing out or a fuse blown in the plug are very cheap and quick repairs, and if the computer is playing up from a software perspective then a full system reset should speed things up and clear up many issues.
While there is yet to be found a universally-guaranteed fix for speakers, some speaker designs have had their most prevalent troubleshooting issues through YouTube. Sometime the cone is a little loose, or with Bluetooth speakers it can be only the charger or cable that needs to be replaced. Taking a little time to work out the issue could save you a lot of money as well as the environment.
5. Computer monitors
Unsurprisingly, technology is involved in many computer problems and may become too much for a citizen. But one of those issues is not a damaged or empty screen. Often it will be the cable that has become damaged or even a simple blown fuse, but other times it can be the digitiser or other elements of the display. A quick search on YouTube for the most common issues might save you needing to replace the whole display.
If none of these methods work, you can take your gadget waste to your nearest store and even get some credit from your bank. Don’t just dump it into the garbage.
Photograph by Warren R.M. Stuart