Further hardware problems for the OQO

Oqo_model_01_3Last month I reported a rash of hardware problems with the OQO that were being reported by the first group of consumers who took delivery of the ground-breaking ultra-portable.  I reported those problems because it appeared the first units were flawed and while early adopters always take some risks when they jump on a new device’s bandwagon the types of problems users have encountered coupled with the number of users reporting problems set off alarms.  I have been an early adopter of many new gadgets but I have never seen so many complaints about any new device like I have the OQO.

Several weeks ago a number of new OQO owners reported that the A/C adapters were making loud buzzing noises and this again set off an alarm with me.  These same owners are now having these adapters burn out completely after just a few weeks.  In some instances the power problems are also resulting in dead batteries that must also be replaced.  OQO is giving owners an RMA to return the device for service but in the case of a dead adapter they are making the owners return the adapter rather than just shipping out a good adapter for replacement.

All of these problems really makes me wonder why they released the units with these very obvious defects.  From poor WiFi performance that is observed by most OQO owners to common blue screen hang-ups it is obvious to me the OQO is not ready for prime time.  Let’s face it, if a device runs so hot that it leaves burn marks on the included plastic stand there is something inherently wrong with the design. 

Readers of this site know I am a big supporter of mobile technology and cool gadgets like the OQO but what I have seen since the release of the device has me very concerned.  In all the years I have been involved in mobile tech I have never seen such a buggy device, especially basic problems like power adapters and WiFi performance.  If OQO doesn’t clean up its act with the units it is shipping there will be big problems for this company that has only the one product.  It will be a shame because the OQO is a fantastic design that could pave the way for other mobile computers down the road.  I hope they resolve these problems before it is too late for the company.  In the meantime I would not recommend the OQO until all current problems have been addressed by the company.  Caveat emptor.

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