I can’t fully describe how much I hate dead pixels. Recently, I went through a horrible return process trying to bring back one of the best gaming monitors that had a very specific screen defect. After it took me nearly two months to get a full refund, I came to a clear conclusion: dead pixels are the absolute worst.
Before I delve into the amazon herbal weed that brought me back, let me tell you what exactly a dead pixel is.
Defective pixels have been around since LCD screens entered the market. As such, this flaw has plagued every flat screen technology — from the best OLED TVs to the best laptops — for decades.
Sometimes known as “stuck pixels” but more often referred to as “dead,” a flaw that would drive die-hard A/V fans bananas. Dead pixels appear as tiny spots on your screen that will never change color or shape, no matter what content you’re watching on screen.
If you are unlucky enough to own a screen afflicted with such a defect, you are probably wondering what is causing this annoying problem. In most cases, dead pixels are caused by faulty power connections.
Since pixels need energy to change color, a conductor that is discharged will turn the pixel off. When this happens, said pixel turns black, which in turn fills my eyes with an unbelievable level of dread.
During standard manufacturing processes, be it with televisions or laptops, it is not uncommon for dead pixels to occur. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve bought a shiny new device only to have my obsessive eyes discover a dead pixel within hours of first use. It is infuriating.
I’ve owned some of the best phones, tablets, and a number of TVs that developed dead pixels within weeks of use. It happened regularly, and sometimes I think I’m a dead pixel magnet – which definitely has to be the worst superpower of all.
If you’re watching a TV from a reasonable viewing distance, it can be hard to spot dead pixels. In fact, there’s a reasonable chance that your current TV may have one or more; You may not have noticed it yet. my advice? Don’t go looking for them!
The real problem is when one of those stupid little lumps pops up on a phone, tablet, laptop screen, or stand-alone monitor. When you’re using a device that normally requires your face to be stuck to it, it’s very easy to spot a dead pixel. Spend any time browsing the web on a screen with dead pixels, and you’ll spot the little pest before long.
If you’re anything like me, your eyes will then be drawn to dead pixels, no matter how unwilling you are to look. Once I spot one, that’s all I can see. Calling them “destroy the machine” might sound like a stretch, but try telling that to my Terminator’s dumb eyes.
If you find a dead pixel on a device you recently purchased and say the tool is still in the return window, there’s a chance you’ll be able to send your defective screen back for either an exchange or a refund.
The problem is that return policies vary by seller and manufacturer, so there’s no guarantee that you won’t be stuck with your defective screen.
Which brings me back to my recent nightmare of trying to return the Alienware 34 QD-OLED Ultra HD display. After purchasing this excellent gaming monitor from a third-party Amazon Marketplace seller, I quickly discovered a dead pixel about in the middle of the screen while scrolling through this website. Suffice it to say, my eyeballs weren’t pleased.
Experience a torturous few weeks with the seller that included sharing screenshots, charging the courier a pick-up fee, and then suddenly being denied a full refund.
Thankfully, Amazon finally stepped in and refunded my money a full two months after I purchased the monitor. Looking back, probably the worst customer service experience ever.
During one of the dozens of semi-passive-aggressive, obtuse messages I received from an Amazon Marketplace seller, I was all told “dead pixels are normal, so get over it.”
Or to quote the seller exactly: “During the LCD manufacturing process, it is not uncommon for one or more sub pixels to enter an unchanging state causing a bright or dead pixel. A display with 1 to 5 fixed sub pixels is considered normal And within industry standards.”
Coating Screw This: Industry standards need improvement.
I can accept this line of defense when it comes to even the best TVs — unless you have bald eagle vision, you’re unlikely to spot a dead pixel if you’re watching from a reasonable viewing distance. But when it comes to phones, tablets, laptops, and monitors, a completely dead pixel should guarantee a replacement or a full refund.
Obviously, I was lucky in my case – if I hadn’t been an Amazon customer for more than 15 years, the stubborn seller might have won today. That doesn’t make the tech industry’s ongoing problems with dead pixels any good, though.
In my opinion, if you own a device with this defect and it is still covered under warranty, you should have the right to a replacement without question.
Dead pixels really need to die.