On Sat, 4 Jul 2009 21:37:27 +0100, "dennis@home"
One to three years. Batteries one year. Because of the likelihood of
user damage proving (as you have to) that anything which happens after
the first 6 months is due to a latent defect present at the time of
sale is likely to be difficult.
Actually, it might not be depending on the problem.
nVidia GPU faults affect most laptops fitted with them at 1-2yr old.
This ranges from say cheap Inspiron to top Latitude & Precision, there
is no real fix & repairs are noted for being quite short lived. Dell
recently extended warranty on the GPU by 12 months IIRC.
ATI GPU faults affect Thinkpad, and a few others, in this instance it
is more difficult to pin down as a GPU, lead-free solder-ball, solder
pad or flow wave process problem. Whatever, as you go from about R40
thro T41 T42 T43 the flexion-failure of the GPU (requiring a sheet of
paper between keyboard & GPU) becomes less but does eventually occur.
Repairs even from the manufacturer do fail some time later. Intel GPU
supposedly do not suffer the same failure mode (but are not totally
I guess it comes down to what the failure is, other faults can be bad
DIMM soldering, component failures re metallurgy.
If it is Toshiba, Siemens, HP, they have their own quirks too - and
nVidia applies re HP etc. I recall nVidia agreed 0.2B$ payment re
faults, but what people do not realise is repairs are not corrective
instead merely "turning the clock back to repeat failure".
Currently got a dud "warranty repaired" laptop that is DOA from Dabs
(internal LCD "Whiteout" after a few mins, external image remains
state repair labels are not theirs which is illogical since their
warranty is by Type & Serial number and not the person (unlike most),
unauthorised repair invalidates their warranty so this could become a
dogs dinner. Dabs pre-sale enquiry re 7-day return on used items in
case of lemon received the reply "As such, anything you purchase from
us can be returned within 7 working days.". OFT intervention in May
2007 required the deletion of T&C 5 18(f) excluding used stock from
DSD. Their website returns process of course works to the *old* T&C
and refuses to provide an RMA. No reply to RMA or emails, registered
letter not signed for yet.
So laptops are a PITA, and the moral is to buy with 3yr warranty.
September is a good time re IT cycle & pricing.
Very much so - laptops are a tricky item in terms of most likely to
need service and whose parts can approach the cost of the laptop.
Indeed laptop life is a function of how they are used - a case of
"desk queen" vs "used to knock nails in & drop tested". Heavy use will
polish palmrests, never mind keyboards, but the stiffer the laptop the
better. Interesting to see how the magnesium 600X, Dell 420 620 820
last (subject to design faults) compared to the most budget models.
Re SoGA, the last time I spoke to T/S about a laptop (Inspiron 7000)
they said 3yrs is "a reasonable expectation", one issue is where a
manufacturer does specific "consumer with 1yr" and "business with 3yr"
warranty so you might battle to argue 3yrs on the cheapest budget
model. I would say 2yrs minimum, and if the laptop has a known design
fault "no question" (nVidia, ATI).
Batteries can be "9 months" or "several years" depending on quality re
generic vs branded, perhaps some charger designs are better than
others and software can be used to improve matters too.
On Sat, 04 Jul 2009 23:09:15 GMT, The Medway Handyman wrote:
Yup, me too. My three are vintage 1996, 1999 and 2003 - all different makes
and all still working except for the batteries which give up the ghost after
2 or 3 years of daily business usage. The next thing to go seem to be the
lid hinges - though I did drop one and the catch that holds the lid closed,
I'd love to know how hardware & software companies get away with peddling
stuff that hardly ever works properly. If I bought a power tool that was as
reliable as a PC it would be sent back. They get away with bloody murder
Dave - The Medway Handyman
Its a simple equation. The percentage of units that work satisfactorily,
plus the percentage of units you can simply fob off that don't, minus
the irreducible residue that bitch enough to get a refund, compared with
the cost of doing the job properly.
Basically these things are toys: Fashion accessories. They don't have to
WORK. Otherwise they wouldn't come loaded with Windows, would they?
The time between reboots and/or system crashes.
They have no meaning for most users as the users turn the computers on/off
to save power.
Linux users like to claim their machines run for months at a time..
presumably wasting loads of power for 99% of the time.
Windows/mac users with laptops just shut the lid and let it hibernate..
something linux tends to struggle with.
The systems I worked on had uptimes measured in years, but they were
telephone exchanges and lives depend on them.
Having had a sideline supplying/repairing laptops in previous employer,
I would say the number 1 factor is the user, and that overrides all
other considerations by an enormous amount. Some staff could keep a
laptop working for years, and others never got more than 6 months
out of their laptop, and it had nothing to do with the amount they
used them either.
Also, I far too often see a laptop being bought which then spends
its whole life in a docking bay on the desktop, when a desktop system
should have been bought.
Looking over all the employers I've had, I would say that a fixed
amount should be allocated per person per year. Those who break their
laptops frequently would have to buy cheap replacements, or switch
to desktops, or even use others' cast-offs. Those who keep laptops
working for a long time could benefit from buying a more expensive
one from time to time, and those who don't need portability could
buy a much better spec desktop.
[email address is not usable -- followup in the newsgroup]
My previous one lasted 8 years, perhaps that was eeking it out a little
too long, by then it was a bit like the proverbial grandfather's hammer,
but I was waiting for a specific model to be released to replace it.
There are plenty among the self employed who feel able to justify more
than one a year to retain membership of the trendy gadget brigade.
Agreed, see also the government backed "laptops for teachers" scheme.
I have had three old laptops through my hands recently, in an attempt to
get something cheap to run Linux.
All suffered in one way or another.
One had been dropped and the case split a bit, but a mate had done a
good job with epoxy..
Another one had been smashed, re-screened, but the keyboard was falling
apart. Fast, but would not run linux on its own screen. Screen wouldn't
Third one was dying the death. Took 15 minutes to boot XP and the
battery was shafted. Now boots Linux double quick.
All were > 3 years old, none seemed to offer much less than the latest
range of laptops screenwise.
All were 30% as good as an equivalent costing desktop.
- less RAM
- less screen
- less disk
All needed a separate mouse to really operate effectively. And the
keyboards were irritating and expensive to replace.
I used to have a laptop years ago that got nicked: Its spent it's life
being a serial terminal setting up routers.
The one I kept looks useful for setting up broadband routers. and, if
hooked up, being a portable TV in a caravan..;-)
Apart from that, more or less a waste of space..
So what goes?
Mainly the screen, keyboard case and battery.The hard disks seem to
survive, along with the motherboards..
The wife tells her 92 year old husband that another of his friends has died.
"When and how" he asks.
"Yesterday afternoon and they say it was just old age" replies the wife.
"Yep, that old age thing will get ya' everytime" says the hubby, drawing on
his cigarette and taking another swig from his glass of whiskey.
It's not the item that grows old and dies or wears out, it's the use and
abuse it gets when in service that determines its life expectancy. If any
machine is treated well, including the human machine, it seems to keep them
going for much longer than everyone would expect. A little maintenance and
TLC every so often, and you keep the thing going until old age gets you.
Cordless goods need replacement batteries at least every four to five years,
because the cells do become burnt with even the slightest use. A whirring,
screaming hard drive that goes on and on every day, all day, will also have
a life expectancy of about five to six at most. Where a hard drive that
gets used hard for only an hour every day may last fifty to sixty years.
Modern electronics are much more reliable than goods bought just ten years
ago, so the innards, the not moving or solid state parts, should go and go
and go in normal use. Even if they are run hard 24 / 7 / 365. They
shouldn't loose their quality at all, unless bashed about.
So. How long is a piece of string? The batteries, disks and hard drives
are the only things that should be looked at changing on a fairly regular
basis, but everything else should keep going for a whole lot longer.
Look after yourself. :-)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.