School HP Chromebook 11 G6 Woes

As you may know I am I.T. Help desk and office personnel at my local school district. Over the summer we got a shipment of the new AMD HP Chromebook 11A G6 laptops (Specifically the EE Education Edition). So far I have had to ship about 20 of them back to HP, most for the same issues. And it is my understanding that my coworkers from other buildings have done the same.

The issues:

  • Overheating:
    • The devices get very hot and hang.
    • The devices get almost too hot to touch (Especially when plugged in)
  • Crashing:
    • The devices randomly reboot
    • The devices randomly lose their configuration data
      • Enrollment
      • User data
    • The devices hang
  • Physical issues:
  • Dead on arrival
    • We had several of these devices be dead out of the box.
      • Some missing their OS, two of which we could not flash.
      • Some that would not power on (Even after charging)
      • Some that made weird noises
      • Some with bad keyboards...

My experience with HP Support:

HP So far has been Decent about getting these devices repaired and returned to us. However, I did encounter an issue in which they tried to blame me for having opened the device and damaged the battery connector. AS A WARNING TO YOU: There are NO tamper seals on these devices, and as a result of that, if HP does this to you, you will likely have to fight them on it. When I was communicating with them myself, I indicated that because the devices are under warranty, we have no reason to open them. Luckily I won this time. When school was just starting up, the chat and phone services were also very hard to get working. When I called their phone number I got a fax machine (Not sure what happened there, maybe their switching crashed?) and their chat just would sit spinning and never successfully load.

On The Battery Connector

As previously mentioned, they tried to accuse me of damaging the battery connector. This was a device that I had never opened.

Because I had not opened the device, I requested that they send me pictures of the damage. What I saw was scary and I will post the image here if I can find the email. One of the pins for the battery connector was bent over... The first question in my mind was if this was related to the fire. I'm sure you can understand why that was my first question. I asked. The response that I got was "I'm sorry, but I am not allowed to disclose that information at this time." I got the same response today when I asked if there is an active recall or if there are plans to recall them...

My opinion of these devices

If it were up to me I would have returned all 600 by now.

I have safety concerns about the devices, even without the fire. They overheat, they malfunction in concerning ways, they appear to have factory caused damage to the battery connectors, they have multiple different versions of chargers that they come with (Might indicate there were issues with the old ones) and I am also concerned about the onboard flash storage and its reliability (The ones that came DOA and the ones that lose their data).

I do not believe that these devices are safe, I do not believe they should be used and I believe that HP should release the current failure rate and should recall affected devices. This is ridiculous.

Fixes

These are temporary fixes, if the problem happens again, submit a ticket with HP. Submit a ticket

  • Device frozen, not booting or making a loud noise: Press REFRESH + POWER
  • Device has lost its data or OS: Use the Chromebook Recovery Utility.

Previous Post