Purchasing Repair Parts for Laptops – OEM vs Aftermarket.
OEM which stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer is a part made by the manufacture or made for them to their specification but a third party manufacturer. These are genuine parts supplied by the official manufacturer of the device or equipment and are specifically made or designed for that particular device or equipment.
Aftermarket parts are parts produced by any other companies that often reverse engineer their parts to be very close to the original specification of the target device manufacturer’s part. Note that there are some specialized aftermarket suppliers are able to produce more durable parts than OEM. For instance, you may find batteries manufactured by third party companies that will either match or exceed OEM qualities.
When it comes to finding parts for your laptop or mobile device, there are many options available in the market today and they can vary widely in price and quality. To the untrained eye, both OEM and Aftermarket parts may usually be physically indistinguishable.
Should I buy OEM or Aftermarket parts for my laptop or mobile device?
This is an important question that everyone who needs to do a repair on any device whether their own or a customer’s should always ask first. Based on our experience in the tech repair and parts industry, while it’s always important to use OEM replacement parts for all repairs needed, you should be especially concerned about getting ‘quality’ parts when looking to replace the following:
- The motherboard and its components
- The battery
- The keyboard
- The LCD or Touchscreen Assembly
- Internal cables preferably the LCD display cable.
- It is also very important to have an OEM AC Adapter for your device.
Other than the aforementioned parts, most other components in laptops or mobile devices are often made of plastic or aluminum and primarily serve as shielding or housing for internal components.
OEM parts often cost more as compared to aftermarket parts and this is because they considered to be of better quality – although in some instances there is imperceptible difference between the two in terms of their quality and physical appearance.
At the very least you should always prefer to use OEM parts because compatibility is guaranteed. You will worry about whether the part will fit your device or not when using an OEM part. The same can’t be guaranteed for an aftermarket part.
What if I can’t find the OEM part for my specific device model?
One of the downsides of especially targeting an OEM part for repair is that they may not always be readily available and there is the possibility of having to wait longer than usual in order to secure one.
However, did you know that many of today’s laptop or mobile devices have parts that are cross compatible? This means that if you broaden your search scope when hunting for an OEM part, you may find a part that fits your device but is also an exact fit for another device model by the same manufacturer and vice versa.
If you have exhausted all options in finding an OEM replacement, your best bet will be to find a good quality aftermarket part from reliable vendors or distributors. It is also important to note that some OEM parts are rebranded aftermarket parts and are therefore no different to third party parts.
In the end, whether you are getting an OEM or Aftermarket part, always make sure that you are comfortable with the terms of the warranty provided for any part and never forget to check out their return policy.