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Report: Tablet repairs cost 50% to 100% of purchase price

by Tom Dunlap

November 28 2011

The new dilemma of low-cost technology: Is repairing your broken tablet's screen or mainboard worth it?

Everyone is admiring the new tablet you snagged on Black Friday when your eggnog-swilling Auntie Lynn bumps you, causing you to drop the tablet and craaack – the screen becomes a spider web. In many cases, you're now facing one of the dilemmas of the low-cost technology age: Is it worth it to fix it? Or do you sink your money into a new tablet?

N.E.W. Customer Service Companies (NEW), which sells extended warranties and service plans for a variety of products, today released data showing that repairs of some gadgets cost 50% to 100% of the purchase price. With tablets, smartphones and e-readers becoming more popular than ever this holiday season, smart consumers may want to factor the potential cost of repair into their overall buying consideration.

“The cost of tablet and e-reader repair is extremely high when compared with other products," said Jamie Breneman, a contributor to The Savvy Shopper blog and NEW's senior marketing director. "For example, for a $400 tablet, you will need to pay at least $200 to repair the LCD screen, one of the most common issues, and for a $120 e-reader, the least expensive problem to fix will cost you upward of $100.

NEW reported that other main reasons for tablet failure are, in order of occurrence, digitizer failure (with the average cost to repair at $228) and main board failure (with the average cost to repair at a probably-not-worth-it $328).

NEW also reports that for a $150 e-reader, a consumer-oriented extended service plan should cost between $10-$30. For a $400 tablet, extra protection will range between $40 and $80, depending on where you buy the device and the level of benefits.

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