Hardware build quality

Our recent tablet purchases included two Lenovo ThinkPad Tablets (1838-2BG).  First impressions were excellent – we liked the pen/stylus functionality particularly and the build quality seemed quite robust. We have used the tablets for only 1 week so far.

Unfortunately, a serious problem was identified when setting one of the tablets to charge one night.  I plugged the USB Micro B power supply into the port when the tablet was still powered on and noted the battery symbol did not switch to the “AC Charging” symbol.  So I powered down the tablet just in case the battery was so depleted that it needed some quality charging time.

I checked on the tablet later and noticed it hadn’t charged at all and the AC adapter plug was cold instead of warm, indicating the power supply was not working.  Fearing a faulty cable I checked it for damage, kinks or other physical abnormalities but it all seemed fine.  I then checked the USB port itself because it felt unusually ‘loose’.

It was quite difficult to see what could be wrong but I compared the port with my Android smartphone which also uses a USB Micro B port.  I could then see that the pins had lost their mount and were still attached to the inside, but loose.     😯

A little Googling uncovered a 15 page thread on the Lenovo Forums entitled: Warranty refused : broken USB port    😯

Some quotes:

Ok, this is the final straw for our company’s rollout of these tablets.

After 3 days use, the internal USB pins broke on the tablet.  Lenovo have said this is a consumer issue and not warranty and will effectively charge the full cost of a new tablet to “repair”.  – by justguy

I got my 18382BG five weeks ago. From the start the charger only worked when tilted slightly upwards. Now the black pice inside the micro usb broke off and came out with the charger. I am used to chargers like these from other tablets and cell phones and never had an issue and never misused any of them. – by knochentrocken

I don’t want to be alarmed, but we’ve just received an order of 700 of these after a too short trial period. We are in education after all. About 30 teachers have used them for a week, and four report charging issues. I have only looked at one so far. The one has broken USB pins. I’ll check the others shortly. These are adults. Can’t wait for students to get them next week. – by tcarter0

Lenovo support staff have also contributed to this thread, helping those who initially had warranty refused on this issue.  Apparently the Lenovo warranty repair centres have been notified to treat USB issues as in-warranty.  We shall soon see for ourselves!

A telephone conversation with Steve Gordon at our closest Lenovo Warranty Service Provider – Computerworld Wales in Cardiff – directed me to Lenovo UK Tech Support. We are awaiting the label and packaging to be sent so we can call the courier for collection.

Looking up the warranty for the device has also highlighted a separate issue.  Even though we have only owned the tablets for a week, the 12 month warranty expires in October 2012 (only 8 months left)!

Lenovo Warranty

A quick call to LaptopsDirect Customer Service confirmed that the warranty commences from the manufacture date unless proof of purchase is provided.

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3 thoughts on “Hardware build quality

  1. Stella,

    Sorry that you experienced this issue with USB. Noted your posting of this in our forum and that you have contacted UK service. I would expect service to address this issue within the normal warranty terms of the system. Apologies again that you have had a problem. Please contact me if you need help during this process.

    Best regards,

    Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      Many thanks for responding on this issue. We really appreciate the support we have received from yourself and Andy on the Lenovo forums. Thank you. Any initial worries are now ebbing due to the reassurance you have given.

      The tablet was picked up by the courier today, so we will update when we receive any more news.

      Thanks again,

      Stella

  2. Pingback: Is an SLA a requirement? | GWELLA

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