Tightening the display hinge on convertible Tablet PCs

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Have you noticed how swivel display hinges have become common in the last few years? Five years ago new Tablet PC buyers were hesitant about rotating the display. After all, even traditional notebook PC hinges need servicing and what issues would a converible introduce? The convenience of another degree of motion outweighed concern and today we see swivel hinges in consumer portable DVD players, phones, and other items also.

We thought you’d like a look at a swivel hinge from the inside out. The Toshiba Portege M400 that Elizabeth will use for college this spring is our example machine.

First, we removed the cover near the hinge.

Enclosure cover near hinge

This exposes the mechanism. Two screws on either side of the hinge were loose. A turn to one screw and a half to the other was all that was needed to get rid of the wobble. Be careful to not over tighten.

2 screws supporting hinge

As with any machine or tool, it is smart to clean and service it regularly. I’ve heard manufacturer representatives suggest that screws supporting display hinges be tightened once every six months to a year. Based on my use of Tablet PCs, this seems reasonable.