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timchang
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Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-26-2013
Location: TW
Views: 520
Message 1 of 8

X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

I decided to venture purchasing a backup X230 from an ebay seller based in the US who claimed to be a Lenovo business partner.

 

The X230 was factory sealed with the security seal. 

 

I ended up finding cosmetic defects on the connector of the right side USB 3.0 port near the wifi switch. It looks like some sort of chipping. I did test this USB port with a USB 3.0 hard drive, and there doesn't seem to be functionally any problems. Still, it's unnerving to see it because I don't know what this means from a reliability standpoint. The left side USB 3.0 port near the VGA connector doesn't seem to have this chipping problem.

 

Has anyone else have a USB 3.0 port on their X230 that looks like this?

 

Link to picture

 

Moderator note; picture(s) converted to link(s) About Posting Pictures In The Forums

lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 512
Message 2 of 8

Re: X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

no chipping on my X230 or X230t. It could be just some scratches left over when they were polishing the usb port to shape.
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
timchang
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Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-26-2013
Location: TW
Views: 508
Message 3 of 8

Re: X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

So this wouldn't be an electrical short/bridge risk? (I'm not familiar with what the cross section of a USB 3.0 connector is supposed to look like).

lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 504
Message 4 of 8

Re: X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

the contacts for the USB port is just thin strip of coppers. It won't be a short circuit risk unless the copper is touching. As long as your USB port plastic doesn't break, then it should be fine.
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
timchang
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Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-26-2013
Location: TW
Views: 503
Message 5 of 8

Re: X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

I guess my concern is that I do know that I didn't cause that chipping, but what if that further deteriorates and the service people say that I cause it?

lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 497
Message 6 of 8

Re: X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

well you have recorded this on picture (and posted it online), which shows you having this chip when you first got the laptop from USA.

I mean if the worse comes to the worst, you can dispute the claim of user damage using the evidence you have.

Obviously, you should contact your seller, and speak to them.

I haven't heard of the USB ports on the X220 and X230 breaking through normal use, like the T400, T500, W500, R400 and R500. So you should be fine.

Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
timchang
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Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-26-2013
Location: TW
Views: 445
Message 7 of 8

Re: X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

I suppose on can make an analogy of purchasing a brand new (NOT refurbished) thinkpad with a slightly chipped usb port with the purchasing of bamboo flutes and shakuhachis. While bamboo flutes and shakuhachis often develop cracks after some time of use, these cracks ultimately do not affect the functionality of of such flutes. But would you want to purchase brand new bamboo flutes and shakuhachis that have cracks from day one? Instinctively you wouldn't even if one shouldn't base one's first impression on appearances.

Bamboo flutes and shakuhachis are organics materials with quality control intrinsically difficult to maintain. Finding the proper bamboo with proper diameters and node spacing is a challenge in itself. Properly curing a bamboo to minimize chances of cracking is not an exact science.

Thinkpads are not organic materials and their quality control should be easy to maintain through proper statistical process controls. I guess I'm one of those unfortunate persons who stumbled on an outlier regarding that USB connector slight chipping. Yet the USB connector should be one of the cheapest components within the computer. Why did they get away with not scrapping that not so ideal looking usb connector before soldering on to an expensive motherboard? Would scrapping that be so expensive?

The Germans and Japanese do care about the appearances of the manufactured product. You can of course make the case that that's the reason German and Japanese products are much more expensive, but at the same time this usb connector gives one the unnecessary impression that perhaps Chinese manufactured products are shoddy in quality. And what's distressing is that it is more convenient and easier to penalize the customer (and in some cases, even blame the customer) for this than to rebuke the supplier. If frequent occurrence of cosmetic defects is the norm to keep price down, then the chance of not getting a laptop without cosmetic defects is like winning the lottery or hitting the jackpot (and many gamblers become broke because they keep on gambling in hopes of winning). Why not create a new Thinkpad product line where prices may be considerably more hefty, but quality and post-purchasing support is truly superb?

In any case, it's inconvenient for me to return it to the seller, especially when the seller no longer has any stock to exchange and there's a restocking fee that doesn't take account of international shipping and paying customs fees the opposite direction.

Thought about making a comparison with thinkpad and designer purses (ie you wouldn't want to have designer purses that have cosmetic issues from day one even if they don't affect the functionality of the purse), but ultimately I felt that perhaps bamboo flutes would provide a better analogy and perspective.
lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 435
Message 8 of 8

Re: X230 USB 3.0 port connector chipping

While, i understand what you are trying to say with your analogy, but i don't think it is relevant to what it is happening here. The amount of tiny parts that goes into a laptop is mind boggling, and most of the soldering process is done by robots. That 'tiny' chip on your USB 3.0 port isn't going to affect your usage.
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft

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