Tuesday 12 August 2008

Lenovo x61 Tablet and other problems ...

This has been a pretty tough week already. And, Lenovo is definitely not contributing to the happiness factor right now. :(

Our one client is continuing to have nothing but grief with their Lenovo X61 tablet (previous blog post). After a number of on-site visits by the warranty contractor that included a number of motherboard and hard drive changes, Lenovo will not stand by their product and supply our client with a new unit.

They have lost untold hours of productivity across over a month now. Relatively, those costs have translated into the ability to have purchased a new unit several times over by now.

So, ultimately, what value have they received for the purchase of the extra on-site warranty and time extension? -$$$$.$$

We have another client where one of the managing partners has picked up a Trojan on their Lenovo laptop. The unit is around a year old now.

The security setup in the Lenovo software does not allow us to provide Remote Assistance, or even connect to the laptop via RDP. Now, there may be a setting in the security software setup to allow for these services, but it has not been found yet.

The partner has moved to an identical laptop where that machine's user is now on vacation.

Caveat: Once the Lenovo user has initiated and secured the laptop to their fingerprint, no one else can sign into that laptop. Again, this may be a software setting in the Lenovo security software, but we have not found it yet.

So, we need to change the vacationing user's password so that the partner can gain access to the network, then connect to their Outlook profile via OWA as a temporary measure. This means that we will be getting a phone call from the vacationing user as soon as they try and RWW or OWA into the system.

Tie these experiences into our recovery struggles on the Lenovo laptops here, and here, and we are definitely none too pleased with Lenovo's products and their (lack of) product support.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

While your points are valid, it's hard to say it's the manufacturer's fault for a lot of these issues. The Thinkvantage software is meant to be strong and complicated. It's best deployed in an environment with central security in larger organizations. In smaller companies, like the ones we deal with, we typically remove the Thinkvantage security software.

Keep in mind that even though they smack a Lenovo sticker on them, these are still really IBM Thinkpad machines and have been top ranked for many years.

You may want to look at their partner program as well, if you're going to sell them. Sell the T series (T61, etc...) and sell through a distributor and you'll rarely have an issue. We recently had an issue with a T61, called our Lenovo rep, and he sent out an immediate RMA. We were able to pre-order the system so that we could bring it out and simply swap hard drives and leave. Took about 10 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I don,nt know this help but if get bios you can clear the tpm module asume they no password to enter cmos

I have my x61 it is great I just wonder if when change mainboard hence tpm chip now diffent

I am little surprised thinkvantage software shound,nt cause any issue with rdp I think maybe client secuirty soltion might

Maybe my preload from ibm was diffent I did,nt find it that locked down

My stock load vista buiness did have 90 + process runing

Hi Also Craig What parnter Program does Ibm have can you send me website on it?

Andy Asselin

Anonymous said...

We are just part of the standard Lenovo Partner Program. You can find it on their site, or through your distributor.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


I do understand how the software can be configured.

In one case, where our client has a number of these laptops, they absolutely insist that the ThinkVantage software be configured with the safety features and the finger scan.

Since this one particular client has 95% laptop saturation, and they are all Lenovos, we are unable to provide very much in the way of remote user support. We cannot even remote into the laptop when there is no one logged in. It is very frustrating.

Yes, Lenovo offers enterprise class software management, but our clients are not enterprise and do not need nor want the extra expense for the ThinkVantage management software.

Given our all around experiences with Lenovo, they just do not fit with our business model. In the grand scheme of things, they are too painful to work with.

We will work with them where our clients have decided to purchase them, but we will not sell them out of principle.