Review of hardware durability and repair (1.5 years)

Maybe this should be FWs next project, a ruggedised laptop. Use proper double injection keycaps, latching lid, maybe even protective covers over the USB connections. They may find the Armed Forces come calling … there goes the first 25 batches before anyone else gets a look in …

Just release the case cad and let the community make it.

Pretty sure they already are, but not having to be backlit makes durability a lot easier there.

Not enough proprietary special sauce XD

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I thought I was bad. My laptop gets lugged through rainforests, banged up in cities, dropped, and abused, but you definitely beat up your laptop.

I started with a FW 11th gen batch 5. Have since done the following:

  • Replaced defective hinges (under warranty)
  • Replaced the microphone/camera unit (microphone stopped working)
  • Replaced the power button. (That one was on me. I messed up the wire while replacing the hinges)
  • Upgraded to the CNC cover
  • Upgraded to AMD 7840 (turned the 11th gen into a standalone machine with the CoolerMaster case).

Overall, I’m pretty much in line with @TJ1. My Thinkpad X1 Carbons have been much more durable. But the ability to upgrade and evolve the FW is hard to beat: with the AMD upgrade/CoolerMaster, my one FW has now replaced two X1 Carbons.

And the FW has been far more robust than my XPS13s.


Ha, I thought you had done more to yours than I did! Hmmm…since you upgraded to the CNC cover, I probably should do that, too.

I don’t think it would really take more than a couple of mm and some engineering around the corner areas to make it much closer to indestructible. It would also allow more battery life and even the thinkpad keyboard that half the lurkers have been waiting for.

Yes, perhaps the backlighting is the problem that causes the weardown. If this one wears out, then the next replacement I’ll get blank ansi. So this test will take about 5 more years…

I agree. The corners tend to take brunt of the (numerous) falls. Mine are still in good shape, but I put that down to luck more than anything else.

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My definition is “droppage is a regular part of the life of my electronics. That isn’t harsh.” Accidentally sitting or stepping on it might be a bit over the top.

Mine’s definitely been banged up and rained on. My laptop bag isn’t cushioned–I have a cushioned sleeve, but then I have to worry about getting it in our out of the sleeve, and I’m basically lazy about that sort of activity.

Crumbs and ingredients on the keyboard are a thing. I do chocolate for a living, so that’s just part of the game. I usually flip the laptop over and gently tap it a few times, but occasionally the compressed air comes into play.

My FW is in surprisingly good condition. Keyboard is completely readable and everything’s working properly. I have Dbrand skins on to protect the beast–especially the input cover. You wouldn’t be able to guess the amount of abuse it takes by looking at it.


You abuse it by looking at it ??? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Are those costs just the sum of costs or have you applied some kind of discount rate (e.g. inflation or interest rates)?

How is the battery doing after almost 3 years?

Sum of costs with no adjustments.

From upowerd --dump, it looks like 83%. I’m surprised the cycle count is so low. I did reset the motherboard roughly a year ago, so the count might be double? Or perhaps it only counts full discharges.

    energy-full:         45.4916 Wh
    energy-full-design:  55.0088 Wh
    energy-rate:         8.8704 W
    voltage:             16.102 V
    charge-cycles:       108

Edit: Just recently changed the firmware to limit the charging to 85%. Not sure if that really makes a difference as the battery is already around 80%.

No it does count partial charges but it’s not very accurate. For two years I kept a daily record.
The battery reading was around 3% wear, went up to 7 very quickly. Spend a year or more going down to a short time 2% and is now above 6%, yet only 99 cycles.

if it went up significantly I would do a full discharge and recharge it to 100 for a day or so.

Then set the max charge to 78%.

Most of those efforts seemed effect the way the value was assesed and most often shown a reduction in wear, but just lately that has change. i.e. from Dec 23 wear has increased


You’d best believe it.

I can only say….yikes


If it’s only done so few cycles it sounds like it’s used mostly plugged in. If it hasn’t seen a full discharge-charge cycle, it’s more of a wild guess at the capacity than what it actually is.

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My FW’s currently spending the day under a tornado warning in the Florida panhandle. I thought it needed a little breeze and humidity to help clean the keyboard.