07-15-2014 10:42 AM - last edited on 07-16-2014 06:09 AM by zoltanthegypsy
My Yoga 13 physically fell apart after just 18 months of quiet, academic use. I'm trying to have it repaired with the extended credit card company policy -- but I'm afraid Lenovo will block my attempt based on what appears to be a not uncommon response to these complaints: the warranty does not cover abuse. A warranty claim must imply a measure of culpability on the manufacturer.
So, I will try to document here why the Lenovo Yoga hinge design is a case of corporate hubris that have allowed some basic engineering principles to be violated. These are strong words but I believe I can back them up.
I'll hope that this will get the attention of others who have run into this problem so that, hopefully, Lenovo will coorporate in its resolution. Customers tend to become irate when their product literally falls apart after just a year or two of gentle use -- to be told its their own fault.
As for my factual findings, the hubris is easy to document. For the growing "legend of our IdeaPad Yoga" and its "boundary-busting PC" design see The 360 Degrees (and 25,000 Hinge Tests) of Yoga Design, where the hinge is presented more or less as a miracle.
Nemesis is of course what happens in real life:
(The laptop looks beaten up here because I tried to apply epoxy glue after disintegration. Only with this experiment did I realize how inherently faulty the design is.)
What you see here is a catastrophic failure of the whole sandwich of mechanical support: the brittle magnalium (the grey layer at the bottom) and the black plastic framing are by design receiving the torque of lid manuevers along the line of the fracture. The zinc alloy that's part of the hinge embedded in the frame is strong, but it is bizarrely only about 8mm long (measured along side of laptop). I would have expected it to be about 30-40 mms long, sticking well into the base along the area of the rubber pad. That's the first of a series of problems:
Problem #1. The zinc alloy plate is underdimensioned.
Problem #2. The integrity of the design relies on a screw of miniscule size (shown next to pencil). If this screw is the slightest loose, then the sandwich looses all of its stiffness. A catastrophic break will occur because of #1.
Problem #3. There is no duplication of this critical component (this tiny screw). Your $1000 depends on it being there and very tightly in place.
Problem #4. But the screw is not safely secured. It is held in place with a locking compound (seen as blue on the picture). Obviously, this locking compound fails with heat and mechanical stresses. There is no lock washer.
Problem #5. Lenovo has not acknowledged these flaws. Customer laptops will continue to suffer from loosening screws and then hinge or case failure that then will be attributed to "customer abuse".
I'd also be curious to know whether newer Yoga versions are made as prone to break?
I like the concept of the Yoga but I feel I blew a $1000 on it. (The wifi and trackpad problems are minor in comparision to the mechanical design, which can best be characterized by the name of yellow fruit, at least for this Yoga 13.)
For others whose Yoga hasn't broken yet, you might want to buy a bit set with the Torx T-5 that allows to tighten your hinge screws (other case screws loosen, too).
If your hinge becomes the slightest loose, you must check your screw!!!!!!
But that by itself is a temporary solution: the screws need to be fixated.
I don't know how to do that. Perhaps Lenovo should do a recall on the whole series? Otherwise, customers will get quite unhinged as well....
Moderator note: large image(s) converted to link(s): About Posting Pictures In The Forums
09-03-2014 12:00 PM - edited 09-03-2014 12:01 PM
Indeed, I received the message from Lenovo: "After further diagnosis, our repair engineers found damages on your computer that is not covered by the Lenovo limited warranty."
Yet, I had very clearly explained that the mechanical damage was the result of a missing screw.
Thus my extended warranty claim was easily denied, because this warranty extends the original warranty!! More wasted work.
So, I have my Yoga back, though, for almost three hundred dollars. The repair was fine. Nightmare is over. But I won't hide my feelings: I'm profoundly unhappy this treatment. Also, I'm abstaining from using the Yoga in tablet mode: it's simply not sturdy enough, the flexing of the case will lead to the same problem again.
Luckily, as a laptop it works quite well!
04-07-2016 05:04 PM
I'm having a similar probelm with my Yoga 2 (13 inch). The left-hand corner hinge suddenly warped and broke with no extra stress or dropping or anything similar. Then the top lid started to detach from back of the screen. The computer is only about a year old and has spent several months in storage because another repair wasnt completed in time for me to take it on an overseas assignment. I will try tightening the small screws if I can find a screwdriver small enough. Has anyone found a way to reattach the lid to the back of the screen so that it doesnt fall off?
05-03-2016 09:19 AM
I had enough of the "loose screws" threads all over this forum. So, here is a summary of everything we know so far in the forums about the "loose screws" problem on Yoga laptops (definitely Yoga 2 Pro, possibly others): There IS a problem; Lenovo denies it and will refuse warranty claims of damage RESULTING from screws falling out; prior to any damage, Lenovo WILL replace the screws in-warranty but you have to mail in the laptop; Lenovo WON'T mail you screws unless you escalate and get someone nice, in which case it's been known to happen; YES you can just buy replacement screws and screw them in.
Here is the exact screw you want:
It is a "wafer head" torx M2 screw, with a 4.5mm length. In one thread, a guy got an M2 screw with 5mm length at a hardware store and said it worked, and another got a 5mm at laptopscrews.com, and the hardware manual specifies 5mm, but the 5mm ones have a different screwhead, and I measured mine and if you want to be 100% precise it is in fact 4.5mm long. (You measure from the base of the head down to the end.)
Here is the exact screwdriver you need:
It is a torx T5. It usually comes in a kit of several, like in the above link. Search if you want to find other brands and options; this was just the cheapest one I found.
If you want to add locking compound to keep the screws in a little longer, this is the cheapest I found:
You want Loctite 242 or 222, or some other brand equivalent. Some folks recommend 222 because it has slightly less locking strength, but a) it's twice as expensive, and b) haven't we already established we need MORE locking strength?
Here are all the forum threads I found after a quick search:
User complains of the screws falling out and finds a list of screws in a manual, which isn't that helpful since it doesn't say which is which:
User has screws all out, gives up and sends it in for warranty repair. When it happens again, he escalates case and gets screws sent to him:
User discovers laptopscrews.com and orders replacements:
User's entire laptop case splits due to loose screw, Lenovo makes him pay for it anyway:
User complains about loose screws:
Hope that helps!
05-07-2016 08:04 AM
Addendum to my previous post: my screw arrived and I have pictures.