IT Update – The Lenovo Story

So our workforce ordered 12 Lenovo P51s laptops.
It turned out that HI-DPI (older posts herein) woes weren’t the only issue we’d be facing.

First we’d be facing the ‘unacknowledged manufacturing defect’ of display/screen cracking. Of the 12 units we received, within the first 6 months of use, 6 of them developed a crack in the LCD screen from one hinge to an edge, often more than just one border. So about 20% from the left edge of the screen (hinge area) all the way to the right perimeter, and sometimes all the way UP to the left top border area, would be a crack. Display area from the center of the screen to the crack remained readable, but beyond the crack, either random “noise” or junk data, or black was seen. About 1″ to 1-3/4″ of lost screen area.

That’s a 50% failure rate under normal use conditions (laptop not leaving the desk).

Lenovo refused to acknowledge an issue. Lenovo refused to honor under warranty. We needed to purchase ‘soup to nuts’ coverage or something, for an extra $400-and-something per unit, in order to have this repaired and other “incidentals” covered.

We were able to work with our sales person to get retroactive coverage and execute this option, but at a huge cost to the company.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been disappointed with Lenovo as a company, and it wouldn’t be the last. When I got my laptop back from repair (it was the first of 6 sent out, but the last to return) it had a wiped disk and bitlocker was triggered and enforcing. Not sure what the point was of sending them a baseline-formatted unit with the administrator credentials on a post-it note as per the instructions. Not sure how you mess that up. But, hey, they managed to. Good on ’em.

It’s the only core i7 windows 10 pro machine with a clean install that I can literally turn on and within a few hours be annoyed with the fan noise of it *doing nothing at all*. Just wait until you use it, though! It’ll sound like it’s about to take off. I now run it underneath my desk so that:
1) i can’t hear it venting lukewarm air like a turbine
2) there’s no chance of breaking the screen with it tucked away on the shelf
3) It can only support 3 video outputs with the onboard graphics card and I have 3 monitors, so the internal display is useless to me (shitty HI-DPI anyway. Also, Bonus WTF?: my 4 year old macbook pro has 2x Mini-DVI outputs, 1x HDMI output, and all of those work while the built-in screen works, and MacOS doesn’t suck at HiDPI or “Retina” like windows does, so I enjoy 4 screens with the older mac. It’s an i7 that I almost never notice fan noise on, and can do far more with. )

So what gives, Lenovo? Why does this thing that ended up costing as much as my 4yr old mac suck so much more? both mechanically, technically, and in the software realm? you’re not making it any easier for me to get back to a windows toolset as Apple obviously positions itself to exit the desktop computer game.

Next time around I am going to check out what HP offers and keep an eye on how QubesOS supports the P51s. Maybe I can actually start using it as a laptop again? not holding my breath. It’s a delicate, non-upgradeable, somewhat crunchy desktop pc to me right now. Talk about wasted potential.

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