Tuesday, May 11, 2010

HP 4410t Design Flaw

We've ended up with 28 thin client laptops, and for the most part they do what they are supposed to do. I had to uninstall a bunch of the default HP software we weren't using to free up a little more resources - otherwise an embedded WMV in a powerpoint would sometimes stutter. We also had quite a problem with Firefox's phishing filter halting keyboard input while it updated itself. It did cache the keystrokes and then display them, but it was sometimes 20-30 seconds later.

The model does have a hardware design flaw. When you flip it over so that the battery is at the top, there are two slider buttons on left and right that release the battery from the latch. On 9 of the 28 the right side latch is broken off. It is just a thin small piece of plastic, and why only the right side is breaking off I do not know. The batteries are a decent size and weight, with more of the weight on the right side.. The laptops are out on the road with sales reps, but they have bags and the laptops are not abused, just used.

The first time it happened I sent it in for warranty repair, but it was denied and we had to either pay a $90 (I think) eval fee or get it fixed for ~$200 (replace the entire bottom case). For the other 8 I'm just keeping them in the field as long as I can. The battery is a little loose and the contacts can separate, but I'm not paying to fix what appears to be a design flaw, when the units retail for < $600.

Interestingly, when I searched the HP Business Forums I found references to poor latch design on the 6730b and 6930p as well.

chris