It’s been a while. Here’s why (warning: the majority of this article is off topic).
I am writing this on a brand new Lenovo W520 mobile workstation. It’s a beautiful machine. It’s fast, quiet, has an amazing full HD screen, it’s loaded with ram, and the battery life is downright incredible for such a powerful laptop.
But this is not the laptop I ordered.
I ordered a W510, and I ordered it back in February of this year. I think I got a grand total of two months a commutative usage out of that machine in the entire time I had it in my possession. Actually, it is technically still in my possession until UPS comes to pick it up.
I had only had the laptop for just over a month when, while I was writing a blog post very much like this one, the screen suddenly went berserk. When I mean berserk, I mean it looked as though Richard Simmons had seized control of my monitor and was conducting a dancer-cise routine within its pixels. Had I been epileptic, I would be dead now.
A quick call to tech support and I was given a claim number and instructed to take it to a local authorized repair centre to have the LCD panel replaced. I chose to take it to Express Computers of White Rock, BC, as they seemed reputable, and they were conveniently close to home.
That turned out to be a huge mistake. Express Computers told me that I should have my computer fixed within 3 days. when 3 days had passed and I still had not heard from them, I called to inquire on the status of my laptop. I was told they were unable to fix it because they found physical damage on the screen, and Lenovo did not want to honour the warranty. Upon hearing this, my jaw nearly hit the floor. Apart from the Technicolor light show I was seeing on my screen, that computer was in mint condition, and was treated like a baby. They claimed they had evidence that the LCD had been pried open, and the metal around it was bent. I told them that was insane, and they relented, and told me they would go ahead and replace it. Later on they would insist that Lenovo never paid them for the screen replacement, and that they did it at their own expense. I have my doubts.
Actually I have my doubts that they even replaced it at all because after taking it home on a Friday evening, I was able to use it for now more than an hour before the screen returned to it’s Technicolor state of crazy. Once again I found myself on the phone with tech support, and I was instructed to take it back to Express Computers. I had to wait until the following Monday to do so.
Long story short, Express had the computer for the entirety of that week as well, failed to make any of their promised phone calls to me to notify of the status of my machine, and when they finally did return it to me, they returned it to me in such disgraceful condition I can still hardly believe it. It had been determined that what the system had really needed after all was a motherboard replacement, and apparently this is what Express did during this second week they had my computer. Apparently during the motherboard replacement they decided to also smear something all over the new screen, not bother to actually connect the RAM to the new motherboard, and lose a bunch of screws from inside the unit, as well as leaving some wires unprotected and unsecured inside the case (I would find out about the latter two issues from the technician would ultimately send to my home.
Despite these issues, the computer did appear to be working, so I took it home, once again on a Friday evening.
And, once again, I was able to use the computer without any apparent issues. That is until I decided to plug it in and charge the battery. Upon plugging it in, the machine began to emit a loud ticking noise, not unlike a time bomb. Also, the battery would not charge, and the SD card reader no longer read SD cards.
I considered crying at this point, but instead I called Lenovo tech support again, and after expressing my complete frustration, they agreed to elevate my case to a manager. It took several days of waiting, but finally a manager called me and offered to do me a one time “favour” and have an on-site technician come to fix my computer even though I only had mail in service on my warranty.
The technician who came was well and truly awesome, he replaced the motherboard for the second time, and replaced all of the missing screws and other various pieces that Express Computers had lost. Unfortunately, in replacing those screws, he accidentally used one that was too long and shortly after he left my house I discovered the screw had come straight up through the palm rest of my laptop. I called him and told him, and he went out of his way to return to my home the next morning and replace the palm rest (which, incidentally, meant replacing the touchpad, colour sensor, fingerprint reader, and SD card reader too.)