On the pic below a distinctive outline on top and both sides of the screen can be seen. On the bottom of PC very sticky liquid is coming out.
I bought this best available and most expansive ($2.5K) All-In-One system in Nov. 2017 thinking it would last long time. When it first arrived, right out of the box, I noticed a line in the top left corner of the screen that looked like a crack. I assumed that PC was damaged during shipment. Contacted Dell and they replaced the system. The warranty and extended warranty I paid for, until it was no longer available, expired in Oct. 2021. Shortly after, I noticed a line in the top left corner of the screen and at first thought it was again a crack. But when the line started moving, I thought it was moisture penetration. I blamed someone else for using a wet tissue. Over the period of almost six months this “moisture” line expended to the other corner and down on both sides of the screen. I searched online and read that this moisture may go away from the heat of the screen. I turned PC upside down trying to drain it. It didn’t help. Thinking that it was our fault I did not contact Dell.
Three days ago, I accidently touched the bottom of PC and found sticky substance that I couldn’t get off my hand. Searched online again and found that other owners reported similar sticky leak problems with their screens. Putting two and two together, I am convinced now that 2017 out-of-the-box problem was the leak problem: just started to develop. It is obvious now that the root cause was in design and manufacturing. This XPS desktop system obviously was all lemon and Dell discontinued selling it.
As far as toxicity: any bonding compound, even water based, you buy in the store comes with a health hazard warning. Short of proper disposal and considering the screen size, we and others with the same problem are set for a long exposure time. If it was an automobile, a recall would’ve been issued long time ago.
A very expansive lesson. Over the years I only had purchased Dell systems, but with this experience, if there is no solution, I will be looking elsewhere.
I will continue posting new pics to document this bonding compound leak progress.
After more research:
In the touch screen displays there is an Optical Bonding Compound between the screen and the glass that is leaking out. The line towards the top and the sides is the liquid level as it slowly oozes out of the display panel. The seal at the edge of the screen that was meant to keep the compound in, has failed.
Optical bonding compound fills the air gap between the individual components and is used to reduce glare and surface reflections. The chemical will slowly leak out from between the glass and LCD over time, with bubbles forming and making it appear that it is leaking into the screen while it is actually leaking from it. If the leak was from the LCD itself (liquid crystals), I would expect to see a significant "damaged pixel" look to the display. I don’t see any pixel damage on my display, just lost brightness in affected area.
The XPS 27 Service Manual has a D-I-Y procedure to replace Display Assembly in touch screen systems ($1100). In non-touch systems - Display Panel can be replaced ($98). Had to return the panel I ordered because, despite what Dell said, it cannot be used in touch systems.
Thanks for your comment, ejn63. Plastic is not cracked, and screen is not scuffed. It's the sticky compound, that is impossible to remove, clouds the picture. The display did not fail because of abuse, it failed because it was manufactured to fail.
Dell offered a replacement non-touch screen for $98 and said it will fit and will work. They said there is no touch available. I placed an order but have my doubts. I don't use touch and it's disabled in BIOS.
$500 for used touch screen on eBay? Hmm...
Since it's evident this system is physically damaged -- the cracked plastic and scuffed display are evident in the photo, the question is whether the leakage occurred after the screen was damaged. One way or another, the display needs to be replaced.
Whether you want to undertake that is up to you but replacement displays are available.