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OESF Portables Forum _ Gemini PDA - Hardware _ Hairline crack in display case

Posted by: a1astair Dec 19 2018, 11:22 PM

Just noticed my Gemini has developed a small hairline crack on the top edge of the display/lid plastic housing. Will try and post a photo.

No idea how this could occur, as I am very careful with my Gemini (always stored in a case and never dropped).

Has anybody else's Gemini suffered a similar fault?




Posted by: Varti Dec 20 2018, 12:21 AM

Sorry to hear that; I have checked on mine and I haven't noticed any crack on the housing. I always keep my Gemini in its Planet leather case when I don't use it. Out of curiosity, do you own a Planet's case or a third party one?

Varti

Posted by: a1astair Dec 20 2018, 09:37 PM

QUOTE(Varti @ Dec 20 2018, 06:21 PM) *
Sorry to hear that; I have checked on mine and I haven't noticed any crack on the housing. I always keep my Gemini in its Planet leather case when I don't use it. Out of curiosity, do you own a Planet's case or a third party one?

Varti


Planet leather case.

Also don't slam my lid shut like they show in the interviews/demos. I gently close it with two hands always. Very strange....

Posted by: Dixit Dec 22 2018, 06:37 AM

Right. That's worrying.

Last week I tried to close my Gemini (gently, just like you) and it would not close.
The keys need to "sink" into the case before it closes. And they did not sink.

So the machine was somewhat half closed, with the lid partially tilted.
Somehow that solved itself.

But I am rather nervous about the build quality (and their illegal one-year-only warranty).

Posted by: Eldkatten Dec 23 2018, 02:05 AM

Hello,

do you have a photo yet?

Kind regards

Posted by: Calamityspice Dec 30 2018, 06:39 PM

I have dropped mine from my pocket when getting out of my car many times. On to asphalt.

It has a few scratches, but no significant damage.

Why is the 1 year guarantee illigal?





Posted by: Murple2 Dec 31 2018, 07:02 AM

I too have dropped mine for more than I would like, often onto the pavement (or sidewalk if you are so inclined). It has some decent scratches but remains completely operational. I'm sure it's not bullet proof but I've had far more fragile devices

QUOTE(Dixit @ Dec 22 2018, 02:37 PM) *
Last week I tried to close my Gemini (gently, just like you) and it would not close.
The keys need to "sink" into the case before it closes. And they did not sink.

So the machine was somewhat half closed, with the lid partially tilted.
Somehow that solved itself.


I'm guessing you had some detritus fouling up the hinge

Posted by: Dixit Dec 31 2018, 11:38 AM

QUOTE(Calamityspice @ Dec 31 2018, 03:39 AM) *
I have dropped mine from my pocket when getting out of my car many times. On to asphalt.

It has a few scratches, but no significant damage.

Why is the 1 year guarantee illigal?


EU-suppliers selling goods to EU-customers need to deliver at least 2 years warranty.


Posted by: Eldkatten Jan 1 2019, 05:20 AM

QUOTE(Dixit @ Dec 22 2018, 04:37 PM) *
(...)Last week I tried to close my Gemini (gently, just like you) and it would not close.
The keys need to "sink" into the case before it closes. And they did not sink.
(...)

That happens when you close the Gemini too carefully. Then the force of the magnets trying to close the remaining gap is just not strong enough to overcome the collected force applied by the key springs (provided by the rubber mat underneath). I can do that if I want, leaving the lid "just not closed". I did this on purpose one or two times, because I wanted to check whether the device is off before the lid starts to press all those keys. I know, this is just like wondering whether the light really goes off when you close the refridgerator door laugh.gif And yes, the Gemini does shut off before the first row of keys is pressed down by the lid wink.gif

So, this is no issue of poor build quality. Actually for me it is a sign of high precission.
And you might notice a "click" when you close the lid. That's not "slamming" (where is it shown to do that ? ohmy.gif ), but just the final stage of the closing procedure, when the magnets are close enough to kick in.

Kind regards

Posted by: Daniel W Jan 2 2019, 10:20 AM

QUOTE(Dixit @ Dec 31 2018, 08:38 PM) *
EU-suppliers selling goods to EU-customers need to deliver at least 2 years warranty.
The devil may be in the details. When backing a crowdfundig project, you aren't strictly buying something. You are funding a project in the hope that they will give you something in return at a later date, which may feel like buying, but should Planet Computers fold, they probably wouldn't legally owe their backers anything. They would legally owe money to those who bought things in their web shop, but didn't get it delivered (though it probably wouldn't matter in practice, as a folded company typically doesn't HAVE any money left to cover such debts anyway).

Also, the two year EU rules are kind of weak. If a problem develops within the six first months, it is assumed the problem existed when you received the goods, unless the trader can prove otherwise. After six months, however, YOU must prove that you didn't somehow cause the fault yourself, which for anything beyond obvious cases, may be impossible. As a "one year warranty" sometimes extends the period during which the trader assumes you didn't break the thing yourself from six to twelve months, it may still improve your rights during month seven to twelve, after which regular EU rules continues to apply for another twelve months.


Posted by: andrewl Jan 21 2019, 09:28 AM

QUOTE(Daniel W @ Jan 2 2019, 10:20 AM) *
QUOTE(Dixit @ Dec 31 2018, 08:38 PM) *
EU-suppliers selling goods to EU-customers need to deliver at least 2 years warranty.
The devil may be in the details. When backing a crowdfundig project, you aren't strictly buying something. You are funding a project in the hope that they will give you something in return at a later date, which may feel like buying, but should Planet Computers fold, they probably wouldn't legally owe their backers anything. They would legally owe money to those who bought things in their web shop, but didn't get it delivered (though it probably wouldn't matter in practice, as a folded company typically doesn't HAVE any money left to cover such debts anyway).

Also, the two year EU rules are kind of weak. If a problem develops within the six first months, it is assumed the problem existed when you received the goods, unless the trader can prove otherwise. After six months, however, YOU must prove that you didn't somehow cause the fault yourself, which for anything beyond obvious cases, may be impossible. As a "one year warranty" sometimes extends the period during which the trader assumes you didn't break the thing yourself from six to twelve months, it may still improve your rights during month seven to twelve, after which regular EU rules continues to apply for another twelve months.


Yes, the 1 year warranty is a goodwill extension of the statutory 6 months you get under EU law. The two years is for defects that the buyer can prove existed at time of manufacture. This two years in the UK is 6 years. Not illegal at all.

Posted by: a1astair Feb 2 2019, 01:47 PM

QUOTE(Eldkatten @ Dec 23 2018, 09:05 PM) *
Hello,

do you have a photo yet?

Kind regards


Finally got round to taking a photo of the crack. Used my trusty Nokia 1520's camera! Makes you realise how crap the Gemini camera is.....



Posted by: Eldkatten Feb 3 2019, 03:24 AM

Hello,

QUOTE(a1astair @ Feb 2 2019, 11:47 PM) *
Finally got round to taking a photo of the crack. Used my trusty Nokia 1520's camera! Makes you realise how crap the Gemini camera is.....

It's not so easy to see where exactly this crack is located, but after I finally understood, I found out that my Gemini has four of those cracks! Though rectangular to the edge. Suspiciously evenly spaced: First crack 14mm from the corner of the case, next crack 52mm form the first, next 40mm form the second, next 52mm from the third, this one (the forth) also 14mm form the other corner of the case.

I didn't notice these cracks until now when I looked for them. I get the impression that there are four groups of magnets to hold down the lid when closed, and that the cracks are related to the positions of those groups of magnets. Not exactly at the edge or the middle of each group, but somehow related.
Assuming this, the cracks could be caused by some thermal "work", when the material of the magnets expands sligthly more than the plastic of the lid/case, or by the force applied to the magnets when opening the lid, so that the magnets move within their imbedded space within the case.

Anyhow, I don't worry to much about them. I think once those cracks have formed, the structure is load-relieved and the cracks won't get any larger.

Kind regards

P.S.: Oh, and I also handle my Gemini very gently, as I did with my Psion 5mx. So the cracks can't be the result of rough treatment.

Posted by: Eldkatten Feb 3 2019, 03:39 AM

Hello,

here is a picture of where the cracks are located. Arrows point to the cracks.


Posted by: Daniel W Feb 3 2019, 02:11 PM

For what it's worth, after close inspection and careful (neighbor) cat hair removal, I seem to have three. If I start measuring from the side that has the charging port, mine appears at 33, 57.5 and 139mm. Here's a closeup of one of them:


Apologies for the weird angle, it was quite hard to get the light just right, to, at all, make the crack visible. We're looking at the front edge of the Gemini lid, with the top cover removed. The white hazy part to the left is the serial number sticker.

While they are very thin, I can feel them with a fingernail, and with the top cover removed, prying gently with a fingernail, I can make the one on the picture above flex ever so slightly, so they are indeed real. I notice that all three of mine are near (but not exactly at) ends of the four magnets keeping the lid closed. I would presume the magnets are press-fit into place and that the cavities receiving them are supposed to be really tight to ensure a snug fit. Molding plastic to very exact dimensions is tricky, so maybe some cavities got a fraction of a millimeter too small, or, possibly, some of the magnets were a hair thicker than specified.

In either case, I agree with Eldkatten, the affected material likely won't see any further stress. Given there's plenty of plastic behind the magnets, I don't think the cracks will affect the structural integrity of the lid in any relevant way, so, at least in my case, I'd write them off as manufacturing blemishes. While naturally undesirable, I'm neither surprised nor upset. I've seen worse from far more experienced brands.

Posted by: a1astair Feb 7 2019, 12:36 PM

QUOTE(Daniel W @ Feb 4 2019, 09:11 AM) *
For what it's worth, after close inspection and careful (neighbor) cat hair removal, I seem to have three. If I start measuring from the side that has the charging port, mine appears at 33, 57.5 and 139mm. Here's a closeup of one of them:


Apologies for the weird angle, it was quite hard to get the light just right, to, at all, make the crack visible. We're looking at the front edge of the Gemini lid, with the top cover removed. The white hazy part to the left is the serial number sticker.

While they are very thin, I can feel them with a fingernail, and with the top cover removed, prying gently with a fingernail, I can make the one on the picture above flex ever so slightly, so they are indeed real. I notice that all three of mine are near (but not exactly at) ends of the four magnets keeping the lid closed. I would presume the magnets are press-fit into place and that the cavities receiving them are supposed to be really tight to ensure a snug fit. Molding plastic to very exact dimensions is tricky, so maybe some cavities got a fraction of a millimeter too small, or, possibly, some of the magnets were a hair thicker than specified.

In either case, I agree with Eldkatten, the affected material likely won't see any further stress. Given there's plenty of plastic behind the magnets, I don't think the cracks will affect the structural integrity of the lid in any relevant way, so, at least in my case, I'd write them off as manufacturing blemishes. While naturally undesirable, I'm neither surprised nor upset. I've seen worse from far more experienced brands.


I took another look at my Gemini and in addition to the obvious crack I photographed, there are another three cracks!

Prior to this, I wrote to Planet and they offered to investigate, but I can't do without my Gemini and don't want to risk further damage shipping from here in Australia.

FYI - reply from Planet Support included the following statement:

"From my own experience at the warranty service side, this is not something we have replicated at a large scale, or our own personal devices. Nevertheless, we are happy to have a look at the affected devices for investigation and potential resolution of the fault."

Posted by: Dixit Feb 10 2019, 04:20 AM

Autsj...

I have two, but I needed this forum to actually find them.

Not worried enough (yet) to send the Gemini back. Also, what can they do about it ?

Contrary to the others, I am worried. This might be a psionesque design flaw. Remember the 5mx screen cable, the loose netBook connector and the 3a battery lid rupture ?
They all started with hairline cracks that we all had.

Posted by: Eldkatten Feb 10 2019, 05:05 AM

Hello,

QUOTE(Dixit @ Feb 10 2019, 02:20 PM) *
(...)
Contrary to the others, I am worried. This might be a psionesque design flaw. (...)

Yes, you're right, it might. Or it might not.
It may sound a bit (too) biblical, but all your worrying won't change what finally will happen. Or won't happen. So why not just relax and wait and see?

Kind regards

Posted by: gidds Feb 11 2019, 01:09 AM

The Psion cases varied, though.

In the Series 3 and variants: yes, harline cracks would start around the hinge linking screen to keyboard; that would lead to progressive failure of the hinge, eventually rendering the device almost unusable.

In the Series 5 and variants: harline cracks would sometimes start around the hinge linking screen to keyboard -- but in my extensive experience, those don't tend to lead to adverse effects. The real problem is hairline cracks in the ribbon cable linking screen to base; and that's not the same sort of problem (and is invisible).

With the Gemini, it's hard to be sure, but my guess is that these cracks may not turn out to be as serious as some of the Psion problems. (OTOH, we don't know what other problems Geminis might develop after several years of use...)

(I'm less worried for now, as my Cosmo is already on order smile.gif )

Posted by: bloblo Feb 11 2019, 01:13 AM

Just to add in, I have these cracks as well (the two center ones for me) in the same positions indicated on the posted images with the arrows. So given the amount of responses it does seem to affect a larger amount of people, but similar to other responses I'm not convinced these cracks will actually be a problem. We'll see in a year or two I suppose

Posted by: 1668880 May 21 2019, 08:10 PM

QUOTE(bloblo @ Feb 11 2019, 01:13 AM) *
Just to add in, I have these cracks as well (the two center ones for me) in the same positions indicated on the posted images with the arrows. So given the amount of responses it does seem to affect a larger amount of people, but similar to other responses I'm not convinced these cracks will actually be a problem. We'll see in a year or two I suppose


The cracks on mine has cased the screen to separate from the keyboard. The metal pins used to hold the screen to the keyboard was able to break through the plastic causing the metal pins to no longer hold the screen to the keyboard.

Posted by: Calamityspice May 26 2019, 02:57 PM

After inspection, I have found 4 hairline cracks in the case. They don't affect normal operation.

I have checked my "bothered pocket". It's empty.

Posted by: abliss Oct 21 2019, 02:06 PM

I have the same hairline cracks on the screen case, but never noticed them before reading this post.

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