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A Chromebook produced by Lenovo in 2014 for those looking for versatility at a reasonable price.

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Help! Don’t know if I should go to Best Buy or if I fix it myself

So my daughter spelled nail polish remover on her chrome book. Not sure the make and model. So when she spelled it the keys are coming up… it’s like eating the glue or something… so what should I do?

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The palmrest and keyboard is probably history, especially if it’s acetone based - most are. Yes, you may be able to replace the keys but if the acetone melted the key mech as well you need to replace both parts of the keyboard. The problem you often run into with used Chromeboooks is the repair vs. replacement cost is so close because of the low initial purchase price, cloud based storage making the actual device disposable and popularity. If the plastics are melted, it was acetone based.

Start with the cost of a palmrest and keyboard and estimate the repair costs off of that (I’m going to assume the keyboard is damaged due to the context provided). Once you know, compare it against the cost of a used Chromebook that is newer (at least 2-3 years of updates left) and an identical model. This is usually not a cheap mistake, so be prepared to pay a fair bit in parts alone. If it’s yours/your daughters, I did a rough estimate with used eBay parts and it comes to ~$30, give or take. I would assume closer to the $30 range rather then the lower range.

HOWEVER, you’re stuck in a pretty bad place if this is school issued, especially because of COVID. School districts usually cannot order parts from eBay (some may allow it, but few do) like we can. A rough estimate with Encompass (Lenovo’s sanctioned part supplier) is bad news if the keyboard is damaged - they still sell the palmrest (FRU: 5CB0G15039) but the keyboard (FRU: 25216074) is an EOL part. Since the keyboard is EOL, the school may bill you for a new Chromebook.

As far as a used machine goes as a complete unit (which may not include a power supply) it seems to go for ~$51 due to the age of the device. Since it’s 5 years old and it’s officially EOL (6/19), the odds of it being repaired if school owned are low. Most of the service parts are discontinued by Lenovo, so even Encompass may not have a lot of the parts available.

I’m hoping this isn’t school issued, especially with the current pandemic. Depending on the district, you may need to pay CDW pricing since a lot of districts buy equipment through them, or are required to due to district policy. TIP: If it’s part of an enterprise enrollment, it’s school owned. However, some districts sell them to the “student” (parents) and shift the cost of repair.

The problem here is schools won’t let you off by buying one and transferring ownership to the district. They expect you to pay the CDW rate (*always* more then the direct from manufacturer cost) or the Lenovo rate - hopefully if it’s at the Lenovo rate, they let you off lightly at the discounted cost they get. If they try to charge CDW pricing, call them out and demand the Lenovo retail price. Since this model is discontinued, the closest new match is the C340 at $250. It’s $308 at CDW, so it’s a good $58 more if you don’t push back.

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