I just got back from an interesting week at SharePoint Fest DC. The event and the city were great. The interesting part came from some issues that I experienced with the tablet that I use as my main presentation machine. About a year ago I purchased a Lenovo X1 Tablet after having used my Surface Pro 2 for over 2 years. I loved my Surface but it was getting old, so I needed a new machine. In the research I did, I came across the X1 Tablet. Comparing with the price and features of the new Surface Pro tablets, including the Surface Book, the X1 Tablet was cheaper while providing similar specs. The X1 Tablet was also in Lenovo’s Thinkpad line, their line of products sold to companies. So, I decided to purchase the X1 Tablet. For the most part, the tablet has worked really until last week.
I was using this tablet Saturday evening and everything was working just fine. I packed everything up to head out for the trip the next morning. After an uneventful plane flight, other than a few bumps, I arrived in DC.
Sunday evening before my first workshop the next morning I figured I would double check my slides and demos to make sure everything was ready. I pulled my X1 Tablet out of the bag and the neoprene sleeve that I keep it in. I pushed the power button and nothing happened. It was acting like the battery was completely drained, which was odd since I charged it the night before, so I plugged it in and still nothing. Normally this would work to power on the tablet. I then tried to track down a paper clip to use the reset button on the tablet. I finally found one and tried the reset button. Still no change. At that point, I decided it was time to call support. After working with support, they said I would have to send it in to Lenovo to get fixed. This didn’t help me for the workshops and sessions I was doing that week. So I ended up using my PC on a stick that I carry for emergencies. I once had Office switch to unlicensed mode during a conference, so since then I don’t travel without the backup machine. This worked for Monday’s workshop but the rest of the time I needed a screen in front of me. Monday evening I walked to the closest electronics store, 2 miles, to buy a computer since I had to have one. My old tablet was still under warranty when this all happened, I had 19 days left. Which is what makes all that follows extra suspicious. After a snafu with the return box I finally was able to send the tablet to Lenovo. They received the tablet the next morning and they started working on repairing the tablet. The status then shows that the repair was canceled. No message in the system about what was going on. When I finally received the tablet back a couple days later, included was the following letter.
The part I find interesting is that somehow overnight my tablet developed several failures in key components overnight. In Lenovo’s exact words, “4 major parts and other plastics damaged.” They then go on to list out the problem components. System board W/Integrated CPU, HDD, LCD, Finger print reader, LCD touch cable, Camera cable, Camera board, Audio cable, back cover. With all these problems, you would think the tablet would have had to have sustained some major trauma. If you look at the included pictures of the tablet there is not a scratch on any off it let alone stress points where there was a large enough impact to cause the problems that Lenovo is “claiming.”
I find it suspicious that within the last few weeks Lenovo has completely removed all references to the X1 Tablet from their web site and store. If you happen to find a cached link somewhere you will be taken to the home page of their store. Apparently, Lenovo has had enough problems with this tablet that they decided to stop selling it. But not only that they expunged it from their web site. So, the problems people were having were severe enough that fixing the issue(s) was not possible.
In order for all these systems to fail would require that the tablet has literally no reinforcement or protection for key components.
The removal from their site and my tablets sudden onset of complete failure leads me to believe that Lenovo doesn’t want to fix this tablet and leave me with an expensive paper weight. All because they couldn’t test their product before releasing it.
Needless to say, I am not happy with Lenovo at the moment. If this is how Lenovo treats their business tier products, I hate to see how they treat normal customers. At the current point in time I cannot suggest any Lenovo product to anybody. Which is sad because my first laptop many years ago was a ThinkPad and that thing was a tank.