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  • When it works it's great, but when it doesn't...

    I purchased a W520 after researching quite a few laptops. On paper, this laptop has it all...powerful processor, 4 dimm slots and support for 32gb memory, good discrete graphics options, excellent display, great battery. You name it, this laptop has it. That said, I believe Lenovo is skimping on parts, QA, or engineering (perhaps all of the above). I have owned this laptop for little over a month and already run into two nasty defects: - First, the speakers on the laptop work intermittently. It turns out the speaker wires are routed directly over the cpu/gpu heatsink and have no heat shrink protecting them. When the proc and gpu are going full tilt, the heatsink melts the coating on the wires and they short-out. Thankfully someone posted excellent info on the matter at http://www.samlin.com/david/W520SpeakerFailure/. What I find annoying is this problem was first reported in May 2011 (http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/W520-No-sound-via-speakers-just-one-click/td-p/444297) and W520s are still being shipped without heat shrink protecting the speaker wires. My laptop was assembled in February 2012. Eight months after the problem was reported, my laptop shipped with a known and easily addressable defect. - Second, my W520 suffers from the 'sudden shutdown syndrome'. This is a problem in which the laptop will shutdown and reboot sporadically once or twice a day...no BSOD or any other diagnostics. It behaves as if someone yanks the power suddenly. This problem was first reported in June 2011 and has gone unresolved since. There are over 100 pages of forum posts dedicated to it on the Lenovo Support forums: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/W-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/W520-shuts-off-intermittently-no-BSOD-or-shut-down/td-p/459785. Certainly both of these problems may be addressed by replacement hardware. What irks me is that this is Lenovo's top-of-the-line, flagship laptop, and it seems they don't care if they are shipped with defects. I would be less upset if they put genuine effort into identifying the design flaws, replacing existing flawed parts, *and shipping updated/fixed laptops*. Instead, they are still shipping flawed laptops and are putting minimal effort into isolating the design flaws. Yes, a Lenovo staffer pops onto the forum every now and again and says they are working on it, but it wreaks of minimal PR / damage control. If they were genuinely serious about addressing the defects, they would ship a tested, functioning replacement laptop to those affected, and send all of the faulty laptops directly to engineering for analysis. Instead they have cherry-picked one laptop at a time, and often these have been the laptops that shutdown sporadically once every week or so. My own laptop shuts down once or twice a day. I coordinated with a Lenovo employee, offering to send it directly to their engineering team for diagnosis. I made the offer two weeks ago, have followed-up multiple times, and still they have not taken the laptop. Simply put, they hardly care about addressing the issue. I know this likely comes down to a business decision on Lenovo's end. If design flaws only affect 1-2% of their shipped laptops, perhaps they feel it isn't worth the effort to diagnose. Personally, I prefer companies that prioritize their customers' satisfaction. For that reason, this will be my last Lenovo purchase. I would advise others to stay away as well.

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    bobziuchkovski April 6, 2012
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