I knocked the Tab key off my Dell XPS 17 laptop (stupid I know) but I am not sure the best way to replace it. I am out of warranty now, but if I have to buy a replacement keyboard online and take apart the laptop to fit it, will I not be able to extend the warranty if something breaks further down the line? Because I'd rather keep that option open.
I uploaded a picture of the key, which can be viewed here - Picture of Key
The plastic underlayer with the rubber bit on is still in place, but three of the four legs of it have snapped, so ideally that would be replaced, but I'm assuming that you'd have to replace the whole keyboard for that. The plastic part that sits on top of the rubber part is snapped, so that is the main part that needs to be replaced.
Does anyone know of any alternatives, perhaps a DIY-style solution to replace the snapped plastic part?
The only permanent solution is a replacement keyboard - nothing else will last, and the keys aren't available separately.
If your warranty has expired, game over for extending it - the cost to do that is so high it makes no economic sense. It'll easily be $350 for one year - money you'd just as well put aside for a repair if it becomes needed (or toward a newer system).
Yes - on most of the 15" and 17" systems, the keyboard is relatively easy to replace. Be careful with the latch that secures the ribbon to the mainboard though - these are flimsy, easily damaged and not available as replacement parts if they break.