Last week, I sent my eo in for the recall service intended to improve the battery life. Although TabletKiosk had initially stated that they simply would be replacing a defective part, by the time they actually started performing the recall service they had decided to simply transfer the hard drive, memory (if expanded), and back panel (with the serial number and Windows activation number), to an otherwise completely new unit.
I was very pleased with TabletKiosk’s flexibility and efficiency handling the recall. After getting the initial return authorization, I exchanged periodic emails with them until they confirmed that they had everything in stock for performing the recall work. This let me avoid sending it back before they were ready to quickly turn it around. Once they were ready, my desktop PC had gone in for repairs and I didn’t really want to be without my eo. TabletKiosk was very accommodating, immediately agreeing to hold the replacement unit until my other system was repaired.
Once I did send it back, the turn-around was about as fast as it possibly could be. I sent it back via UPS next-day delivery on Tuesday. On Wednesday afternoon, I got an email with the tracking number for the return shipment even before the tracking showed my shipment as delivered. TabletKiosk was so fast that they were able to complete the transfer and ship the unit back to me before UPS could update the tracking data on their website. I had my replacement eo by 1pm on Thursday.
The new eo works pretty much as expected. The battery life is definitely improved, with about 2 hours of use now readily achievable under normal use. This still isn’t stellar, and is still less than the 2.5 hours originally advertised, but it is a definite improvement and it absolutely improves the usability of the eo. Once the extended battery becomes available in a couple weeks, I honestly think that the battery life will be sufficient for pretty much all my needs.
Otherwise, the new eo seems pretty much identical to the previous one. I have seen some reports that the heat dissipation has been improved in the replacements, but I can’t really say that I have noticed much improvement. The device still gets pretty warm, mainly over the vent on the left side. It never had been overly bad on my eo, though, so it is definitely possible that mine simply was not as bad as some of the others from the first shipped batch.
While any recall is inconvenient, now that this one has been completed I can honestly say that it was a pretty painless experience. By transferring the hard drive from the old unit to the new one, no data was lost and there was no need to re-install anything or to do any restoration from backups. TabletKiosk’s efficiency resulted in me only being without my eo for almost exactly 48-hours, which is an exceptionally short time for a mail-in recall.
Of course, TabletKiosk certainly should have been aware of the battery life issues prior to shipping the first batch of devices and should have at least notified buyers ahead of time with the option to complete the order at that time or not. Even with the battery life issues, I have gotten nearly 2-months of good use out of my eo, thus I am glad that they didn’t delay shipping the product for this issue. I simply feel that being more up-front about the issue might have given them better publicity and, possibly, reduced the overall cost of the recall.
Based on the relatively few people reporting on the recall online, I suspect that they ended up with a lot of returns for refunds. The only other blogger that I have seen reporting experiences with the recall is CTitanic from Ultra Mobile PCs Tips. While I’m sure there were some other eo buyers that kept their unit but don’t participate in the online UMPC community, I do think this suggests that the percentage that didn’t return their systems was likely pretty low. I still think the eo is an excellent device and, after the recall, it now is very competitive with the Samsung Q1 and other similar devices in this class. I really hope that the recall hasn’t tainted the overall reputation of TabletKiosk or the eo and that it ends up selling well.