Just Labradors banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Almost 2 years ago I purchased a new Dell laptop from QVC. Within one month of having the computer I had to re-format my hard drive twice and ultimately had to have it replaced. I should have sent it back when I had the chance!

Lately the computer has been shutting itself off or randomly restarting so I decided to call Dell (actually I'm on hold right now) and they had me run a system diagnostic test and have now decided that I need a new motherboard! Seriously?! 2 major components replaced in under 2 years seems like a bit much to me!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Laura, I think it's possible that I have as well :(

The tech support people are quite helpful in diagnosing my issues, and replacing the parts. I just think it sucks that the computer isn't even 2 years old yet and I've had this many problems! The guy assured me that they problems aren't connected, but I'm still pissed. What happens next July when my warranty runs out and some other expensive part breaks?! I'm trying to find out who to call to let them know that Dell sucks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,457 Posts
When I worked at my old company, they decided to try some Toshibas for our techs and salesmen. They went back to Dell, because the Toshibas were crap. Are there any good, reliable laptops out there besides Sony?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jackie, I'm starting to think that there aren't. I never had issues with my previous Dell (it was almost 7 years old when I replaced it), but this one has been problem, after problem.

I went on the Dell website for the list of their head honchos and I'm going to either place a call or write a letter to someone! I'm just not sure who yet. My dad suggested the Chief Marketing Officer, but we're not sure if that's the right person to contact.

I need to learn how to build my own laptop!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,573 Posts
I've had a Dell laptop for 4 years and the only problem is the fan is noisy some of the time. I would not have chosen it but got it through the company I use to work for.

My Sister-in-law bought a Dell desktop and had the screen of death within the first week. Had to send it back. They haven't had any problems with the new one though.

My next laptop will be HP or Apple if I make the switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,330 Posts
We've had this Dell for almost 8 years with no problems. We bought one for Kole 4 or 5 years ago, and Ken's got one upstairs. We've bought all our Dells right from the company. This may sound odd, but I'm wondering if the problems have anything to do with getting it through QVC (cheaper "workmanship")?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,211 Posts
I'll never buy another Dell.

I'm on my second laptop and each one I have had the same problem with the plug going into the back of the computer. It breaks. It's in there so loosely. And my battery is dead.dead.dead. I have to have it plugged in constantly. The minute it disconnects, it dies. This is a battery that is less than 3years old. Yes, I could order another one, but they cost $170 and it just is not a priority.

I have to wait another year before buying another one. I'm not sure what I'll go with. Maybe an Acer of all things. We bought the kids acer netbooks for Christmas and they are good little machines. We'll have to see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sue, I'm not sure. I know it shipped directly from Dell, and when it was being built I could track the progress on the Dell website. The only thing unique that I got from QVC was the 2 year extended warranty at no additional cost.

Amy, that's the other issue. My battery is almost shot, they say "oh well you need a new battery or you could risk damage to the computer or AC adapter" I'm working on seeing what they can do for me about a new battery since I've had so much trouble. I probably won't get anywhere though. I can still get about an hour out of it when it's not plugged in and I'm usually at my desk or in my bed where a plug is readily accessible so it doesn't bother me too much at the moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,129 Posts
Motherboard replacement is pretty common. I've had mine replaced on my dell laptop. Most components are manufactured by 4 or 5 Asian firms, so switching brands really doesn't solve reliability issues unless you move to Apple, but even then, they share a lot of hardware with PCs. Batteries going bad is fairly common, too. Mine died after about 2 years. I bought a new one on ebay for $50 rather than going through Dell and it has worked like a charm. The only really annoying issue I had with my laptop is AC adapter replacement...I had it replaced 3 different times. I like my 2006 Inspiron model because it doesn't have that breakaway AC adapter...nowadays they make them all so they pull out easily (rather than pulling your laptop to the floor). We have the Lojack warranty on Denny's pc because he is hard on lappies...he has dropped his several times and they've come to our house to replace parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,425 Posts
laptop parts are pretty delicate.. you squishing a bunch of moveable parts into a small space.. then add sloshing a laptop around wherever you go.. tossing your backpack on the ground, moving it all over the place.. and they're not going to be as stable as a tower that doesn't move.. some laptops are going to be duds (i'll never buy toshiba.. ew..) and i've had my motherboard replaced on my dell 3 times and i'd still buy a dell over a toshiba.. but that laptop lasted 5 years and that's a good lifespan for a portable machine.. no matter what it is..

what i hated most about dell is calling india for support.. omg.. i wanted to kill myself by the time the call was done.

I think i'll stick with Apple.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Surprisingly I could actually almost understand the guy who helped me today. When I spoke to the supervisor though I had to ask him to repeat himself several times.

I hope whoever comes out next week to replace the motherboard and keyboard is somebody I can understand!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,129 Posts
Usually the guys that come out to do in home service are local. I do think that once Dell outsourced their customer service customer satisfaction dropped significantly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
I have a Panasonic CF-52 Toughbook for my work Laptop. It goes in and out of my backpack 3 times a day and gets banged around constantly. I've had it two years and the only problem I have to re-image it as it lost the internal WI-Fi. I'm in no big hurry as I have an aircard.

Now this thing weighs as much as a VW. and it is not pretty. If you really use your laptop as a true portable(and are in to weight lifting), I would recommend it. If you are gentle laptop user then get whatever. I don't think any one brand is signicantly better than the other. They all buy from the same component sources don't they? Laptops that are promotional like Best Buys deal of the week are produced quickly and with lower grade components to keep the price down and the profit margins up. So sometimes you get a good one and sometimes not.

BTW I'm using an old Dell inspiron 5100 that I bought in 2004 (I think). This old dell probably has at least 500,000 air miles and has seen 35 states and 5 countries. No problems other than I replaced the keyboard....it wore out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,307 Posts
A lot of issues have been raised here, and I thought it might be worth separating some of them and putting some facts on the table.

Batteries: If you get more than two years out of them, consider it a bonus. Not specifically a fault of Dell, HP, Apple, Toshiba, Panasonic, Acer (although ACER is focused on the cheapest of the cheap in everything). It is the battery technology. The battery will only function reliabily for x number of recharges. Changing laptop brands will not help here. Better to spend more up front for 6 or 9 cell battery, rather than 3 cell battery, and reduce the frequency of recharging as well as extending the time available on battery.

Hard drive issues: Probably the least reliable item in your laptop or desktop. It is still mechanical (for most). Laptops get dropped, banged around, abused. If these things happen when the laptop is functioning, problems are unavoidable. The tolerances and spaceing inside these devices are critical. Now, gettinga military hardened laptop improves this situation, but I do not think anyone here can afford the price, or wants to carry the weight.

Motherboards: The designs here vary by brand and by model. The electronics (the chips themselves) are pretty robust and shoold last forever. Ooops! Ignoring what is called infant mortality. But these failures occur very early, definitiely in the first couple months of usage and should be covered under warranty. The real devil here, for long like is the motherboard itself, and the solder connections. Quality control and physical design are critical for long life. All, 100%, of these boards are assembled offshore. Some in factories owned by the brand, most contracted out to other copanies that do just this. This is where board or solder contaminated with sulfur for example, will grow crystals that will short between traces on the board. This is a quality control issue as is the temparatures and time when the vairous layers are bonded together. Now, if we can't keep contaminated food for our dogs, and our people, from coming out of China, how the hell can we expect tham to pay attention to electronics produced there? How can we expect them not to take every shortcut and cheaper material they can find?

The Dell product is reasonably reliablle and durable product. As is HP, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, and others. I would not purchase an Acer, eMachines, or several others. In general, you will get what you pay for. Apple is unique. Its a good product, but priced way to high for what you get with one exception. If your work is graphics oriented and something other than casual or home photos, it is probably one of the best solutions out there. For anything else, it is just a place to spend more than you need to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
At the risk of sounding elitist, most of the cheap PCs advertised in newspapers and on TV (Dell, HP, Acer, etc.) for $399-$599--the ones that sound too cheap to be true--are exactly that. If you think of them as disposable appliances its not too bad--you just dump them when they crap out and get a new one. But that gets expensive fast.

I've been using a Mac laptop (currently a MacBook Pro, 15") for 10+ years, and love them. To be fair, my employer replaces my laptop every 2-3 years at their expense, but I'd gladly purchase it out of my own pocket if need be--and did before starting this job. The laptops are extremely well made, run beautifully, have an intuitive interface and operating system that "just makes sense" right out of the box, and seem much more stable and reliable than my friends' PCs--of any brand. I'm pretty hard on my machines, using them 12+ hours per day most days--for teaching, research, administrative tasks, recreational browsing, etc. I truck my laptop from home to work and back every day, and its built like a truck--and looks good.

I know its more expensive initially, but a Mac laptop is going to last you far longer than an equivalent PC machine, and with less user stress. Add an Apple Airport base station and you're all set for wireless browsing, painlessly. The setup on my wireless stuff took 5 minutes out of box--piece of cake.

Just my 2 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,425 Posts
Okay.. i think it's weird people use the "easy to use" thing as a reason why to buy a Mac.. that's stupid.. it's not more easier or more difficult than a PC.. and i'm sorry, but Wifi setup is easy on both. That's dumb. Stop saying that, it's not true..

As for longevity.. i don't know.. so i won't comment on that.

I use a Mac because I do graphic design and video editing and it by far out preforms the PCs.. in fact i bought my own to use at work because our desktops couldn't handle the video editing.. and i drag my MacBook Pro to and from work every day.. now my co-workers are whining because they want one too.

For me, it made sense to buy a Mac.. i actually got a great deal on a refurb and spent about the same i would have for a comparable PC.. the price on the Mac seems to be higher because some of the software you'd have to buy for photos and video editing is actually included.. so..

Anyway.. i'd never recommend my parents spend 2x the money on a mac so they can surf the web and use email and online banking.. that's dumb. But for me.. it's crucial for my work.

Do i like the look and feel of OSX better than windows? Yes. Would i spend that much more to have it if i were a normal, home user? No.

That being said.. i LOVE my Mac.. and not because wifi was easy to set up..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,307 Posts
At the risk of sounding elitist, most of the cheap PCs advertised in newspapers and on TV (Dell, HP, Acer, etc.) for $399-$599--the ones that sound too cheap to be true--are exactly that. If you think of them as disposable appliances its not too bad--you just dump them when they crap out and get a new one. But that gets expensive fast.

I've been using a Mac laptop (currently a MacBook Pro, 15") for 10+ years, and love them. To be fair, my employer replaces my laptop every 2-3 years at their expense, but I'd gladly purchase it out of my own pocket if need be--and did before starting this job. The laptops are extremely well made, run beautifully, have an intuitive interface and operating system that "just makes sense" right out of the box, and seem much more stable and reliable than my friends' PCs--of any brand. I'm pretty hard on my machines, using them 12+ hours per day most days--for teaching, research, administrative tasks, recreational browsing, etc. I truck my laptop from home to work and back every day, and its built like a truck--and looks good.

I know its more expensive initially, but a Mac laptop is going to last you far longer than an equivalent PC machine, and with less user stress. Add an Apple Airport base station and you're all set for wireless browsing, painlessly. The setup on my wireless stuff took 5 minutes out of box--piece of cake.

Just my 2 cents.
You are not elitist at all. You are simply a typical Apple customer. Apple products cost more for one reason, and one reason only. They locked their architecture way back in the days of the original Mac. They will not licenese the interface. The result is, they have kept competition out of the hardware and maintain their price. It is that simple. They have a decent machine, not better nor worse than any average to high end PC, just more espensive for what you get. Their reliability numbers are also comparable. Their customer service is better, IF you buy their AppleCare Warranty.

The Acer and lower end whatevers are just that. Cheap machines, disposable, and not meant for serious work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Okay.. i think it's weird people use the "easy to use" thing as a reason why to buy a Mac.. that's stupid.. it's not more easier or more difficult than a PC.. and i'm sorry, but Wifi setup is easy on both. That's dumb. Stop saying that, it's not true..

As for longevity.. i don't know.. so i won't comment on that.

I use a Mac because I do graphic design and video editing and it by far out preforms the PCs.. in fact i bought my own to use at work because our desktops couldn't handle the video editing.. and i drag my MacBook Pro to and from work every day.. now my co-workers are whining because they want one too.

For me, it made sense to buy a Mac.. i actually got a great deal on a refurb and spent about the same i would have for a comparable PC.. the price on the Mac seems to be higher because some of the software you'd have to buy for photos and video editing is actually included.. so..

Anyway.. i'd never recommend my parents spend 2x the money on a mac so they can surf the web and use email and online banking.. that's dumb. But for me.. it's crucial for my work.

Do i like the look and feel of OSX better than windows? Yes. Would i spend that much more to have it if i were a normal, home user? No.

That being said.. i LOVE my Mac.. and not because wifi was easy to set up..
My mom just got a used Mac after years of struggling with PCs--tons of hassles getting her Internet connections arranged in the house, no wireless without hassles, endless viruses, arcane storage structures so she couldn't find her files, etc.

2 weeks with the Mac and she can't believe how much more time and effort she had been spending on the PCs--its just easier with the Mac. Sorry, but its true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,211 Posts
Okay.. i think it's weird people use the "easy to use" thing as a reason why to buy a Mac.. that's stupid.. it's not more easier or more difficult than a PC.. and i'm sorry, but Wifi setup is easy on both. That's dumb. Stop saying that, it's not true..

As for longevity.. i don't know.. so i won't comment on that.

I use a Mac because I do graphic design and video editing and it by far out preforms the PCs.. in fact i bought my own to use at work because our desktops couldn't handle the video editing.. and i drag my MacBook Pro to and from work every day.. now my co-workers are whining because they want one too.

For me, it made sense to buy a Mac.. i actually got a great deal on a refurb and spent about the same i would have for a comparable PC.. the price on the Mac seems to be higher because some of the software you'd have to buy for photos and video editing is actually included.. so..

Anyway.. i'd never recommend my parents spend 2x the money on a mac so they can surf the web and use email and online banking.. that's dumb. But for me.. it's crucial for my work.

Do i like the look and feel of OSX better than windows? Yes. Would i spend that much more to have it if i were a normal, home user? No.

That being said.. i LOVE my Mac.. and not because wifi was easy to set up..
Exactly Kelli.

And up until fairly recently, someone who worked on pc specific things couldn't run a Mac. My husband is an IT Consultant. He needs PC run software. His laptop is not a cheapy. Mine is- well if you consider $800 cheap, which I don't, but whatev.

But for me- a Mac would be silly. My husband is going Mac when he current laptop dies though- now that he can run what he needs on a mac.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top