Lenovo gets schooled in laptop case

Parents told they could be liable for damage to their child's new laptops despite some cases issues not closing properly

Parents of NSW school children have been advised that they could be liable for damage to their child’s laptop computers issued under the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution program, despite evidence that the protective cases issued with the laptops do not close properly.

In a letter issued to parents, one Sydney school said the protective case issued to students for their personal laptop could not be closed as the lid placed stress on the laptop’s screen.

“Any damage to the laptop attributed to the plastic case being closed will not be covered by warranty,” the letter from the school’s principal advised parents.

“New cases are at least two months away from being delivered. Your child should ensure that the laptop is securely protected in their bag. It is important to note that students should care well for their laptop as any damage including scratches and dents, will void the warranty.”

The school is now advising parents to cough up around $25 for an interim protective case in order to meet the laptops’ warranty requirements.

Lenovo A/NZ director, SMB and Consumer Business, Chris Kelly, said the model of laptop issued this year, the ThinkPad Mini10, was indeed larger than last year’s model, the IdeaPad S10e, but denied that the new model did not fit the cases currently being issued to students with their new laptops.

“The ThinkPad Mini10 is slightly larger as it had a wider keyboard and supports a higher resolution screen,” he said. “As this is an entirely different product, the ThinkPad Mini10s were distributed with a case designed especially for their shape and size. These products are not being distributed with the same cases given out with the IdeaPad S10e.”

Kelly claimed that less than one per cent of the 60,000 new notebooks due to be issued in NSW this year would be affected by the case mis-match.

“Lenovo has commenced a pre-emptive redesign of the cases and has brought in two production engineers and two design engineers to examine the cases, the laptops, the environment of use and the process of deployment to enable complete understanding and root cause analysis,” he said by way of explanation.

According to Kelly, Lenovo did not have a confirmed date as to when the new cases would be made available to students, but was prepared to offer a warranty on the new Thinkpad laptops in the meantime.

“As long as the machines do not show signs of deliberate mistreatment then the standard warranty will be honoured,” he said.

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