HP Mini 1000 Webcam Fix Requires a Little Elbow Grease
When I won the HP Mini 1000 at CntrStg during CES 2009 I was excited and knew my wife was going to claim this Netbook the minute I got home, which she did. While I’ve worked with it a bit, I haven’t had my hands on it very much, so I never noticed this webcam problem. My wife doesn’t use the webcam either, but I checked it out this morning after seeing this post on SlashGear and sure enough the webcam issue does exist.
The problem? Apparently HP shipped the Mini 1000’s with a black film over the webcam (probably to protect it during the assembly process) without adding a step to remove it along the way. This results in any image from the webcam being, well, very dark and unusable. HP hasn’t officially acknowledged the issue as a defect yet, but according to SlashGear an HP employee filmed a video showing how to pop open the case and remove the film. I guess that’s a way of unofficially acknowledging the issue.
My bad for not checking this out sooner, but I guess I’ll have to give this fix a try.
UPDATE: Thanks to Chris Davies for pointing out that credit should be given to Judie at GearDiary who got the lady from HP to do the video.
UPDATE 2: The video has been removed from YouTube. Hopefully HP will be coming out with an official statement on this.
UPDATE 3: In the meantime here’s another video of the same experience featuring Amisha from Notebooks.com interviewing Sarah HP on the same issue.
UPDATE 4: This video has also been removed as HP reminds us that opening up your device to do this fix can void your warranty. HP also promises a statement on a fix soon.
02/26/2009 at 9:30 am
Thanks for the link, Warner. Credit must go to the lovely Judie at GearDiary.com, who sat the HP lady down to shoot the video :)
02/26/2009 at 9:44 am
Thanks for pointing that out Chris. Credit where credit is due.
02/26/2009 at 11:44 am
Yes, and now HP corporate has asked SlashGear to take down the video, saying that they would issue an official statement about the issue — probably that it will void the warranty. Maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll make the removal of the film a warranty repair, but I’m crossing my fingers on that one.
02/26/2009 at 4:15 pm
I’m eager to see the tradeoffs here. Is the cover to reduce blooming or the influence of IR? To me, the webcam is all but useless as it ships now. This has been a known problem for quite awhile and hopefully HP will come out with a fix that’s better than me prying apart my display lid than for no other reason than encouraging me to take the whole thing apart and seeing what’s inside :-).
02/26/2009 at 8:10 pm
There are no trade offs. I removed the film from my Mini 1000 and it just works as it should. Improves contrast, detail, clarity. It’s like taking off a pair of sunglasses you’ve been wearing indoors.
02/26/2009 at 10:16 pm
Do you know what the film was intended for?
02/27/2009 at 6:31 am
they can try to take my video down ;)