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Thinking About A New Laptop


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#1 arphot

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:34 PM

I have a home made pc that my friend built me. Until recently I've had no problems with it. I just had Windows installed a few months back. 1 gig of ram. Blah, blah, blah. Well, lately, it's been freezing and sometimes doesn't even get to send signal to the monitor during bootup, so I have to shut it down and reboot. Well, at this point, my question isn't, "What's wrong with my computer?" It's, I'm thinking about purchasing a new laptop as it will benefit me with my new job. In the meantime I can work out my current pc problems without losing work. My question is, Out of the bunch of you (I'm sure) that use a laptop/notebook, what would you say the drawbacks are? The sales rep at Staples was trying to tell me that the screen could go just like that or a board inside the laptop as well. I think he was just trying to push the extended warranty. Besides the battery needing replacing every now and again, can anyone give me something postive to go on for spending $500+. Thanks, Kirk

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#2 BlackSpyder

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 07:22 PM

The biggest downside to a laptop:
Batteries where out with time.
I wouldnt worry too much about the screen just going out. If you drop it you can mess it up but it wont just stop working all at once.

As for the Motherboard/CPU there is some wear issues if your like me and leave your Laptop on 24/7 but they can be fixed using a Laptop Cooler.

The guy was trying to scare tactic you into getting the extended warrenty.

I would suggest looking into Dell Online, Acer Online sales, Local Computer stores/repair shops, and finally large retail electronics chain stores like Best Buy and Circuit City before going to Office Supply stores like Staples or Department stores like Walmart.
The more the salesmen know about the product they are selling the less likely they are to use such tactics.

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#3 arphot

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 07:25 PM

Thanks BS. I was thinking about some further research myself. Thanks again for your input. Kirk

#4 oldf@rt

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:12 PM

Just a few further comments:

Look at HP/Compaq online also.

Circuit City just let all thier knowledgeable experienced employees go, as the employees were being "paid to much".

True failure rates are about 5% (one in twenty) in the first year. Software issues such as malware are not covered by any warranty. The retailers overcharge for the extended warranties, and flat out refuse to fix over half of the hardware problems. Whatever any sales person says, they will bend, and in some cases, break the truth to sell you the extended warranty
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#5 Ryan 3000

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 09:05 PM

If you're really so worried about a breaking laptop, get one of those steel-plated monsters that are made for roughness, water and so on. Not so sure about the price range.
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#6 arphot

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 06:33 AM

If you're really so worried about a breaking laptop, get one of those steel-plated monsters that are made for roughness, water and so on. Not so sure about the price range.


I'm not really worried about it. It's just that the salesperson seemed to be pushing a warranty and the reason was that laptops seem to have these problems. I asked myself, "why would I buy it in the first place if it is prone to breaking?". I could really use the portablility and backup of another computer if my pc is going to be just getting worse.

#7 usasma

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:51 AM

The warranty is there for you in case the laptop breaks - it's just like insurance. You're betting that the laptop will break and the store is betting that it won't - guess who wins in the long run? But that doesn't help if you're one of the 5% that gets a bad one. But, overall, warranties are money in the pocket for the stores that sell them.

If you can get one of the accidental damage warranties, then you're golden even if you use the laptop as a boat anchor!

Next, the manufacturer's warranties are generally for a year - so hardware problems can be fixed within that period. Interpretation of the "hardware" thing is a bone of contention within the industry. If your hard drive dies, replacement is free - but what about reinstalling the OS, drivers and programs? Where I work, we'll reinstall that for free - but other places may not be as nice as we are! :thumbsup:

Now, don't forget that you'll lose the laptop for repairs if it dies. For simple repairs locally it may only be a day or two - but for more complicated repairs that have to be sent out, it'll be 2 or 3 weeks! No warranty will cover that!

If you do opt for a laptop, be sure and make the recovery disks immediately! And put them in a safe place so that they're there if you need them. Also, it's essential to backup everything that you can, you may not get a chance to recover it (and data recovery at a PC shop is expensive).

The most common failure on a laptop (that I've seen) is a hard drive failure. The actual repair (assuming that they have a hard drive in stock) takes about 3 minutes. The diagnosis will take a bit longer (an hour or two if it's just the hard drive being diagnosed) and the reinstallation will take a couple of hours. Shops can't afford to have a tech sit over the computer to reinstall and test everything, so they work on many systems at a time - this increases the time the repair will take for you. Doing some of this will save you time, but will increase the workload on you. Specifically, reinstalling the OS is a piece of cake, but updating the drivers and installing the Windows Updates is a real time consuming PITA. You can pay for them to do it, or you can "spend" your own time doing it. The restore CD's will make it a lot less painful - but there's still the Windows Updates to sit through.

Warranty plans generally come in 2 flavors - Repair or Replacement. To mess things up, some of the Repair plans that are sold actually cover systems that aren't economically feasible to repair. So the plan will give you a replacement rather than fixing your system - but that doesn't cover your hard drive's data - so it's up to you to make sure that you've backed up everything that you need.
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#8 oldf@rt

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 11:05 AM

My shop is also a manfacturer authorized service center for hp, compaq toshiba and a couple others. The manfacturers warranty will put a laptop back to original specs, as it was shipped from the factory: NOTHING ELSE . That includes restore from the original recovery disks. No updates, etc.
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