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Dell replacing displays on XPS 12 hybrids with 'burn-in' issues

Dell replacing displays on XPS 12 hybrids with 'burn-in' issues

The computer maker will replace screens whether the system is in or out of warranty

Dell's XPS 12 with Intel's Haswell processor

Dell's XPS 12 with Intel's Haswell processor

Dell has admitted that some of its XPS 12 convertible laptops have "burn-in" issues with the display and is offering to replace affected screens for free, even on systems that are out of warranty.

Users have been reporting that images burn into the screen and take a moment to disappear on both the latest XPS 12, which shipped last year, and its predecessor, which shipped in 2012.

Complaints about the problem have been mounting in Dell forums.

"If a bright image on [a] dark background stays on the screen for a couple of minutes and then I switch to [a] somewhat dark background, I can clearly see the previous image on the screen for some time before it fades away," a person who goes by Eirenarch wrote in one forum post.

Dell acknowledged the issue and is now replacing screens on affected laptops.

"This image retention does not affect the lifetime performance of the LCD display. Dell is replacing the displays for affected customers," spokeswoman Ellen Murphy said via email.

That includes systems that are outside their warranty period, Murphy said. XPS 12 users experiencing the problem should contact Dell technical support.

The XPS 12 has a 12.5-inch screen that can be rotated within its display panel to turn the laptop into a tablet. It's a unique design that has not been replicated by other PC makers.

Dell buys special panels for the laptop from LCD makers. It said it had isolated the problem and is receiving replacement panels.

Some other laptops, including Lenovo's ThinkPad X220, have also had burn-in issues. Common causes include a charge build-up and the temporary migration of impurities within the liquid crystal, which dissipate over time.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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