Asus has introduced a zero bright dot (ZBD) policy on selected LCD notebook screens. The announcement is part of a warranty upgrade the vendor plans to rollout throughout the year.
The ZBD policy applies to three of its models - W1, V6V and M6 - for up to 30 days following purchase.
The offer is similar to Acer's short-lived zero dead pixel policy, which was introduced in January 2004 but retracted just two months later. At the time, Acer cited panel shortages for its about turn.
Asus notebook product manager, Emmanuele Silanesu, said the new ZBD initiative would not be a flash in the pan because the company had built strong links in the LCD panel industry.
"Other brands buy their notebooks from a manufacturer and have to negotiate these things through them," he said. "Whereas Asus can deal directly, because we are a manufacturer."
But while every little bit helped to differentiate products in a crowded market, one Asus reseller said the ZBD policy would have little effect on his warranty services.
"We hardly ever get dead pixels on screens anyway," Tri Benedict manager, Erik Kwon, said.
Asus was unwilling to give dead pixel statistics but failures were a fact of life, Silanesu said.
"The ZBD warranty is beneficial to resellers because it gives them the opportunity to up-sell to a higher range of notebooks," he said.
Differentiating products by warranty was a strategy to combat falling notebook prices, a trend that is particularly acute on low-end systems, Silanesu said.
The selected ZBD models were expected to contribute almost half of this year's sales volumes, Silanesu said. He predicted they would be key models for the vendor in terms of corporate and education deals.
Asus had yet to score any big wins in education, but had won deals for more than 100 units with Victorian universities through resellers such as Techware, Silanesu said.
"We are also talking to key retail, corporate and education partners about offering them direct pricing support," Silanesu said.
Asus currently distribute through Ingram Micro, Synnex and Cassa.