When Dell had lost my prior laptop and replaced it with the XPS m1210 I purchased a warranty extension. I had spent a fair bit of change on that laptop and I was expecting to keep it around a while. However, that extended warranty lapsed a little over a year ago.3 I explained my problem with the bad nVidia video card. He responded telling me that I would be getting a call from someone soon.
Sure enough, less than a day later I received a call from Dell’s corporate customer service program. They told me that as a “gesture of good will” they were going to replace my computer’s motherboard – by sending a technician to me to do the repair.
Replacing a motherboard is so expensive its almost always cheaper to buy a new computer. Offering to repair an out-of-warranty laptop by sending a tech to me to replace the motherboard???
All I can say is WOW.
Two of which were under Paramount Technology’s repair warranty. [↩]
This is a number on a little sticker underneath the laptop. The service tag code is essentially a serial number they use to track your computer when its being repaired or you call for technical support. [↩]
Although, less than a year from when I first started having this problem [↩]
I’m undecided what kind of laptop I want/need. A netbook? A basic laptop? A high-end laptop?2
Figure out what you need, then figure out what you want
Its all about what you want and what you need. I need a laptop that will let me program, surf the web, listen to music, and send e-mail. This accounts for roughly 98% of my computer usage.
The last 2% of computer usage is comprised of processor intensive activities such as watching DVD’s, video games, video editing, DVD and CD burning, and manipulating large amounts of programming code. For instance, the WCAB legacy number to EAMS number converter involved more than 4.6 million lines of code. 3 My previous laptop struggled with that one. I probably only do these things once every six months or so.
For what I need, a netbook would actually work very well for me.
As any computer user knows, its very frustrating to have a computer that will not do what you want or takes to long to do it. My wants are a super slim, light-weight, battery efficient, computer that has the processing power to deal with large amounts of data and the ability to burn DVD’s and CD’s.
A netbook fulfills the wants of a slim, light-weight, and battery efficient computer. A basic laptop would suffice for the processing power and CD/DVD burning capabilities.
Having it all
When it comes to laptops, sometimes you can have it all – it just depends how you’re going to compromise.
If money were no object, this would be a no-brainer: buy a high-end light and powerful laptop. These cost $1500 and start climbing steeply after that.
The other compromise is not so intuitive. A very decent external CD/DVD burner combo drive would probably only cost $75 or so. If I’m only burning discs 2% of the time, this is a very reasonable solution. The bigger problem is the underpowered processors in netbooks. They simply do not have the ability to play new games, handle large amounts of data, or deal with too many simultaneous tasks. The only possible work around here is where you use your underpowered laptop to remotely control a more powerful computer and use that more powerful computer to crunch numbers.4 However, this won’t help with video games. ;)
What am I going to get? I’m going to run down the pro’s and con’s of netbooks, basic laptops, and high-end laptops next time. Stay tuned!
A little over a month ago my laptop died. I took it to a shop in Contra Costa County named, “Paramount Technologies” who were able to fix up my laptop in record time. 1 Apparently, the problem was the video chip which had loosened from the motherboard over time (probably through overuse).
Friday evening my laptop died all over again. At least it was peaceful. I put my laptop to sleep and it didn’t wake up again.