What are the odds?

Two hardware problems on two devices

By Ian Darwin on 2016-10-27 21:57

I was travelling last week with *two* laptop-like devices, a standard MacBook Pro and a new ASUS Chromebook Flip, and they both died due to power-related hardware problems! The MBP's power brick got dropped by yours truly - only a few inches, but with the two-prong plug pointing down and landing on a hard surface. Result - a bit of cheap plastic inside snapped, and the two prongs are forever pranged in different directions. You can buy new "duckhead" plugs for a few bucks on Amazon/Ebay, but when you're on the road and your only laptop goes off, it's a bit of a rush job. Fortunately I found a fairly cheap open-box charger at a computer store, and pulled the duckhead plug off that - thankfully, the plugs are all the same size, whether the charger is 45W, 60W or 90W. The Chromebook, on the other hand, seems to have died of its own accord, what we call "infant mortality" when a new device (2 weeks old) dies without a cause. Electronic components tend (Samsung Note 7 excepted) to fail either in the first week or two, or after years of service. Being turned on is one of the more stressful times in a computer's life, so that's when things often fail, and the ASUS was no exception. Sadly, I had bought it from Amazon, who then ran out of stock and don't expect to have this exact model back in stock anytime soon. So I went to ASUS's warrranty site to get an RMA to return it, and let them fix it. Suffice it to say that that felt a bit like a visit to the proctologist - I wound up having to type the serial number three times, my credentials three times, and even the description of the problem three times - and now I am asked to include the description of the problem when sending the unit in! Yeesh! Hopefully they will fix the problem and I'll have it back soon. I'll do a detailed writeup when and if it comes back working.
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