New HP 17-by something laptop I bought from Sam's Club (Jan 25, 2020) that was unserviceable and non-upgradeable with a non-removeable battery. Photo by: Eric Hepperle
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I Bought A New Windows 10 Laptop Today … and You Can’t Upgrade It!

I decided to treat myself today and buy a new laptop. My wife and I agreed that it would be a good purchase since I need a laptop for my blogging and side hustle projects, and everything else including doing our taxes. Unfortunately, my trusty HP Pavilion 17 inch laptop finally died yesterday after 7 years of loyal service.

Well, technically the screen died. I bought a new (to me) HP 17 Core i3 something for around $550 which was probably last year’s model.

I didn’t care. It was perfect for what I was looking for!

A graphic design laptop that could run Adobe CS5 well (and hopefully better than the Pavillion). Only, once I got it home I discovered something very disturbing: this HP laptop computer can’t be upgraded! I’m talking about the hardware. There appears to be no way to upgrade the hardware in this Windows 10 computer without voiding the warranty. WTF??

New HP 17″ Laptop Is Not Upgradeable

There appears to be no way to upgrade the hardware in this Windows 10 computer without voiding the warranty. WTF??

HP, why would you design a laptop computer where you can’t upgrade the laptop hardware???

I’m not one of those who is falling for the “oh everything will be safe in the cloud so you don’t storage space anyway” line. I want to be able to upgrade my laptop and have control over what I can do with it. This is ridiculous.

“These [cloud storage] services aren’t perfect – there’s still a possibility that their own apps might be compromised or hacked, allowing an intruder to read your files either before they’re encrypted for uploading or after being downloaded and decrypted. An encrypted cloud service provider could even embed functions in its specific app that could leave data vulnerable. And, of course, if a user loses the password, the data is irretrievable.” — The Conversation

To give you some context, I used to work for Hewlett Packard (HP) from 2005-2009 as a field service technician. That is the common name for my job. The internal “cutesy” title was “customer engineer“. Every day I troubleshot and repaired a variety of HP laptops and other hardware and peripherals. One common model was the NC6120.

The point is, I knew the ins and outs of where HP hid the stuff to be upgraded. The hard drive, RAM and wifi card each located behind some kind of panel that either unscrewed off or slid of with a little pressure, or both.

Batteries are Non-Removable

Well, this new laptop, to my dismay seems to have NO ACCESS PANELS and therefore, no easy way to access hardware components for replacement, service or removal. I dug around online and found only two videos that even address this gross injustice. In the one that seemed most helpful, the guy said that this model and apparently many models from the last year or so have “non-removable batteries” — Double WTF?? Who thought that was good idea?

Needless to say, I’m very frustrated by this discovery. I’m confused on what the logic behind it is because it only serves to hurt the customer, especially those who are technically inclined and want to do some upgrading and customizing.

Maybe this means that HP is no longer the great company it was 15 years ago. Maybe I have to look at buying something more user-friendly to the technically savvy, like an Asus, Alienware or possibly MSI.

And the function keys don’t work.

It’s too bad. I really liked HP and hoped I could continue to be a happy customer.

If you work for HP and are reading this blog, would love to know your thoughts. Leave a comment below!

PS: When Windows was installing on this laptop earlier today it said that it was connected to my phone somehow (wirelessly) and now I could access all my photos and text messages. If I can figure out how, I’ll post some of the photos of my unboxing.

UPDATE: It turns out you need to download the My Phone app on Windows and the My Phone Helper app on your Android phone. The part about downloading on Windows was not made clear in the instructions given by Cortana and my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone. Even so, it still doesn’t work. My Phone is stuck at this error message:

We can’t connect to your phone

Make sure your PC and phone are connected to the internet

Windows Your Phone error message: "We Can't connect to your phone (Screenshot: Eric Hepperle, 2020)
Windows Your Phone error message: “We Can’t connect to your phone (Screenshot: Eric Hepperle, 2020)

But, I’ve never used the app, except for opening it about 30 minutes ago and it must have connected at some point, because otherwise how would it know my phone is a Galaxy S7 Edge?

If anyone knows how I can upgrade the hardware on my new laptop, or can explain the rationale around why they deliberately made it non-upgradable, please leave a comment below. That would help tremendously!

Just found this:

Probably a near majority or possibly an actual majority of HP laptops now on the market use enclosed, completely internal non-customer replaceable batteries. —HP Community user Huffer

Resources:

Web Pages:

Here are some links that I used in my research. Some of these posts have troubleshooting steps — apparently Microsoft knows this is a problem already — but I don’t have time to test them tonight. Help yourself:

Videos:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=unremovable+battery+in+laptop

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I have been reading your posts regularly. I need to say that you are doing a fantastic job. Please keep up the great work.