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  •  Dell is one of the best, the retailer sucks (1+ / 0-)
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    FarWestGirl

    She didn't contact Dell until now. So all the bashing of Dell is probably due to the idiots that work at the retailer, not Dell.

    The fact is that most consumer computers and computer-like devices, including Apple products, are assembled in China in the FoxConn sweatshops. The componnents and the subassemblies are supplied by a handful of nationally subsidized manufacturers. Most are located in the Asia/Pacific region.

    Essentially, most computers are made by the same people and contain parts made by the same factories.

    Brand makes little or no difference.

    My experience with service for this crap just gets me pissed off. It's a miracle if you stumble across someone who has even a beginner level understanding of their products.

    So if you're expecting good service, you'll be disappointed.

    Right now, I'm using a 13 yo IBM Thinkpad. On the table near me is a Dell laptop and an HP laptop. The Dell is the newest one, and it was delivered to me by a client who just wanted to write the thing off. It was used to drive a projection device for a presentation at a trade show. I didn't want it.

    This particular Dell has a low-res crappy-looking cheap 1024x768 screen with a poorly-designed hinge that seem to be designed to slam shut at the slightest breeze. But it has a fairly fast pentium duo processor with faster than normal memory in it. So I use it more as a network server. No need to open the lid and look at that sucky screen.

    The HP is old, too. I bought this one when I was out of town and needed something. I try to find one with an AMD processor since the Intel brand is always priced at a premium. The reality is that the AMD is just as reliable and often a little faster. This HP has one of the early wide-screen displays. It's shiny as a mirror and sucks the fingerprints right into the coating. The format is rather nice. The shiny screen sucks. The processor is fast enough for general use.

    The IBM I'm using now has the best of the best little features. IBM laptop screens are bright, non-reflective, and are tolerant of fingerprints. It has a Centrino slowed-down Intel processor, but it's adequate for general use. Service for IBM products is always excellent and will exceed your expectations. But you pay extra for that. IBM computers are definitely more expensive than equivalent performace, but the service, quality, ease of use, and reliability is superior to all the others. By far. I have only had two problems with IBM machines, both were my fault. An old laptop got dropped and the LCD display was damaged. Also, the kittens had chewed up the power cable. One phone call and a cradled shipping box showed up next day. I slipped the laptop into the cradle and sent it, prepaid, to their service center located adjacent to the FedEx HQ at the Mempis airport. It showed up two days later, again all prepaid. They had replaced the LCD with an improved engineering level, they updated the disk controller chip on the motherboard (only because of a component reliability issue), and they tossed in a brand new power supply, including a spare power cable. The warranty specifically states that a consumer-damaged power cable isn't covered. But they did anyway.

    The other IBM box that had a problem was caused by a lightning strike that somehow mad it through all the filters and the UPS I had on that line. This box is almost 20 years old now and is still running in the basement as my primary web server for several different non-profits. I picked this one up from an IBM dealer. It had been in use for several years. The warranty and service support was included as if this was a new machine since I bought it from a dealer. When it got zapped, it was almost ten years old. I looked it over and saw that one of the voltage regulators on the motherboard got toasted. So I called IBM one morning a week later. That afternoon, a real live IBM service rep (who I knew personally from other contract work) showed up at my front door carrying an exact replacement motherboard. The fact that IBM stocked a 10-year-old motherboard for this old beast was amazing in itself. The same day express delivery and in-home repair was far and beyond awesome. No charge. No hassle. And they were concerned about a component that got burned. It's a fire hazard. The IBM engineers care about all this stuff.

    Yeah. I used to work for IBM. I know all about the effort that goes into providing superior service. But a 10-yo obsolete 30 pound high availability super redundant server boat anchor that isn't critical to my business gets same-day in-home high-priority repair service? Wow. But it costs a little more for that. And overall, that isn't all that important to me. I've got plenty of alternatives and everything is backed up.

    Kinda long.

    Too much coffee this am.

    "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:03:03 AM PST

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