Gadget bad: the tablet that broke in a month

Riker shatters into A ZILLION PIECES.I’m pretty protective of my gadgetry, especially since I have more of it on my person at any given moment than the average bear does. Also, I’m not exactly loaded with money, so the gadgets I have are the gadgets I’ve got – I’m generally not in a position to replace stuff very quickly (see also: the Avid that’s been out of commission for most of 2010).

But this is beyond the pale. Not even a month after I bought the Sylvania wi-fi tablet, I grabbed it one night and saw… this.

Sylvania Wi-Fi Tablet

As visible as the crack is from certain angles, you can’t feel it from the surface, because it isn’t on the outer layer, nor does it affect the display itself. The crack is right across the touchscreen sensor. At its “epicenter”, you have absolutely no touchscreen function right on the crack. Starting about about half an inch our, the touchscreen does work, but its calibration is way off, and remains that way on the rest of the functioning portion of the screen.

At least that’s how it was at first when I started writing this blog entry. Now, a few days later, the touchscren doesn’t function at all. For a tablet, that’s death – the touchscreen is its function, and without that it’s just about useless.

And it gets even better.

The company listed in the back of the manual as the customer’s point of contact for technical issues is Digital Gadgets in Monroe, New Jersey. Now, granted, at the moment, New Jersey is (A) an iceberg, and (2) an iceberg that’s just come out of the Christmas holidays. I’m trying to be patient and understanding of that. But this problem began before Christmas, and my attempts to communicate with them were… spectacularly unsuccessful. Their 888 phone number directed me to their web site. Their web site directs me to a trouble ticket system. I open a ticket, describing the problem in great detail.

Within a few hours, I’m sent an e-mail that my ticket is closed, but I have to follow this link to their website to see it.

Problem: the link produces an “invalid login” result at their site. In other words, their trouble ticket system isn’t working.

Only half-jokingly, I submitted another trouble ticket for that. And that’s where things stand right now.

I know this thing was fairly cheap on the gadget price scale, but I expect it to last more than a month. This didn’t. And that’s incredibly disappointing.

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