This is just my subjective experience and obviously should be read that way, but when the fan in this laptop started to make too much noise I took it to Johnny Computer to see if something could be done about it. I thought that perhaps a little oil would do the trick, but i’m not confident about opening up the thing myself so I went to Itaewon.
I left it with him for a couple of hours. When I came back he said there wasn’t much he could do because all the components are modular and the whole fan assemly would have to be replaced by Sony people. But he had done something to make the fan ever-so-slightly less noisy, and promptly charged me 50 000 won for it. (It returned to full-noisy about two weeks later … money well spent.) He then lamely tried to sell me some sort of cooling base that the laptop sits on to keep the internals cool. This is because the top part where your right hand rests gets pretty warm – this is regular – it’s just the way that Sony make they’re shit.
All up – I prefer the kind of tradesman who will take a look at something and say, “sorry mate, there’s nothing I can do”, and not charge you for it — rather than the kind who know there’s nothing they can do, but who pretend they can so they can extract some money out of you.
It’s kind of short-sighted considering he has no web presence and blogs among the ex-pat community are a good chunk of word of mouth.
My advice is if you need something repaired – take it to a run of the mill computer shop, and take a friend who can speak Korean (if you can’t).