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The Science of the Broken Screen

ZAGG Phone Repair > ZAGG Blog > Tablet Repair > The Science of the Broken Screen

One of the most common problems in tablet repair is a broken screen. Most of the time, this happens when the screen is dropped or otherwise subjected to a major impact. Other than phone design, several factors influence how, and if, a screen breaks.

  • Drop height. The “impact force” is proportional to the square root of the height from which the phone or tablet is dropped. Tablets dropped from higher up are more likely to break.
  • Drop orientation. You may escape the need for tablet repair after dropping your device, depending on the angle at which it fell. The glass screens break as a result of surface tension, which is most likely to result either from the direct contact of the glass with a hard surface, or bending during the fall. Tablets are usually designed specifically to resist impacts at their corners and edges, which does not result in any direct contact of a floor with the glass. In fact, experimentation has shown that an iPad can be dropped on its corner from up to 12 feet with no screen damage. Face-down drops are the most likely to break the screen, but surprisingly, they’re not the worst. When a tablet or phone impacts at a slight angle, rather than completely level, the phone rotates around its center of gravity, doubling the impact velocity
  • Glass quality. Glass tablet screens usually become damaged over time. With heavy use, scratches and chips easily form. These flaws in the screen concentrate the force of the impact,

One way to reduce the chances that an accidental drop will result in the need for tablet repair is to invest in a good screen protectors. Screen protectors not only shield touch screens from skin oils and glare, but they also help protect the screen against scratches, chips, and breakage.

With that said, accidents happen. Fortunately, many broken tablet screens can be repaired or replaced. This depends on whether the internal components of the device are still intact. If the CPU or other parts were damaged when you dropped it, you’ll probably have to buy a replacement. Unless you’re very good with computer repair, you will probably want to take it to a professional company that specializes in phone and tablet screen replacement. If only the screen is damaged, it can generally be fixed for a much lower cost than what you might spend on a new tablet. In many cases, the LCD display itself is still quite intact; it’s the glass panel that has broken. The process of replacing the glass doesn’t take more than a few days, and the affordable cost makes it a better alternative than simply replacing your device. Tablets are expensive, but they’re designed to be surprisingly resilient when accidentally dropped. Although falling at the wrong angle can devastate the glass panel, especially if it was chipped or scratched to begin with, the important internal parts and LCD display are often left intact behind the shattered screen.


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