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Author Topic: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop  (Read 5543 times)

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Offline perknh

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2014, 11:46:19 am »
Here's a portion of my chat today with Toshiba.  I highlighted some of Toshiba's response -- who was represented by an operator -- in the color red.

Operator: And you prefer Windows 7 with 14" screen size, right?

You: Yes, 6-8 GBs of memory, and the ability to replace the battery -- preferably in the color black....

Operator: The L50D-BBT2N22 doesn't have the option to have Windows 7. And Satellite models have non-user replaceable battery.
Operator: It means the battery is built-in and not removable. You will need to go to a service center to have it replaced.


My conclusion:

I think emega is right about Toshiba wanting to follow Apple.  My wife's and my Satellite computers both have removable and replaceable batteries.  And I bought our computers about a year ago.  This is a significant change -- for the worse -- in about a year's time.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 09:36:41 am by perknh »
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Offline iamesperambient

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2014, 01:30:01 pm »
i suppose i should call dell and see if their doing the same thing.
btw its hard to find a windows 7 computer these days its all 8.1 now (yuck)
not that id keep either but from 8.1 to peppermint may cause a problem...maybe not though.
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Offline perknh

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2014, 02:06:23 pm »
I was able to put Peppermint on that little Dell laptop I bought, but it was quite a challenge.  I had to install Debian's Crunchbang first, before I could install Ubuntu and Peppermint.

But, the catch was, I had no Wi-Fi after I installed Peppermint.  And the whole point of the purchase  was to have a small Linux computer that had Wi-Fi.  So, I guess you could say I had bad luck with that particular model of Dell.  Anyway I've decided not to try Dell again this time around.
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Offline 10i

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2014, 02:54:45 pm »
I also prefer when you are able to replace stuff yourself.

At the pc shop where I am a salesman, I have seen a certain Acer laptop (OK, it's entry level, but hear me out):

1. the battery seems to be built in
2. there is no little panel to unscrew to add / remove RAM. the technicians have a blasted difficult time nearly taking the entire machine apart when it comes to adding more RAM.

http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/NX.MMLAA.001

Unlike the other laptops we sell, the battery is not lose in the box.

These 2 things I feel are very important - I don't want to have to dissect a laptop to add RAM and I surely want the OPTION of replacing the battery (even though I probably won't).  Maybe there is an easy way and our technicians don't know how to open the machine properly, but there is no RAM panel to unscrew. 
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Online PCNetSpec

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2014, 04:39:58 pm »
btw its hard to find a windows 7 computer these days its all 8.1 now (yuck)

Here's another con I seem to be seeing a lot....

Manufacturers are offering their PC with both 8.1 and 8.1 Pro .. "Pro" comes with Microsofts free Windows 7 downgrade option:
http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en-gb/licensing/sblicensing/pages/downgrade_rights.aspx
(to get Win7 you have to pay the higher price of Win8.1 Pro)

So the manufacturers are taking advantage of Microsofts "free" downgrade offer to get you to pay an inflated price for Win7 .. that's why they're not offering Win7 PC's any more.



The good news here though is that if a PC is being advertised by the manufacturer with a free Win7 downgrade (if you buy it with Win 8.1 Pro) .. you can be fairly certain ithe UEFI BIOS shouldn't cause any surprises.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 04:47:45 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline AndyInMokum

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2014, 05:08:59 pm »
......come the revolution brothers and sisters.  You know who will be the first with their backs up against the wall  >:D!!
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Offline perknh

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2014, 09:31:26 pm »

The good news here though is that if a PC is being advertised by the manufacturer with a free Win7 downgrade (if you buy it with Win 8.1 Pro) .. you can be fairly certain ithe UEFI BIOS shouldn't cause any surprises.

Thank you PCNetSpec, that is news I hope to use.  I've had a devil of a time being able to find both a decent and affordable computer this year --  just smoke and mirrors, no solid finds yet.  And Windows 7 -- forget about it!

I also heard, for those interested in Chromebooks, that HP has the only Chromebooks with removable and replaceable batteries.  I  haven't confirmed this with HP yet, but my source (who owns a Samsung Chromebook himself) suggested, that if I decide to buy a Chromebook, to buy an HP -- the battery being one of the reasons, and a 14" screen the other.  (Funny thing is the HP Chromebooks with 14" screens are marketed with, of all things, a white keyboard!  Sounds like nothing until you have to start cleaning the darn keys all of the time.)

This is proving to be a tough year to make a simple laptop purchase that is Linux friendly.

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Offline iamesperambient

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2014, 01:19:33 am »
i have come to the conclusion i will buy a USED older desktop that one of you recommends that will run peppermint 5 on with out issues.
any recommendations would be great. i just want a desktop with at least 500 gigs hard drive that will run peppermint even if its 8-10 years old
im cool with it and it seems peppermint will run better on something like that anyway. id be really upset if i bought something new and was stuck with
crappy windows 8.1
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Offline perknh

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2014, 08:48:06 am »
Good morning, iamesperambient.

Well we learned a few tricks here.  If we must buy a Windows 8.1 computer, we must make sure it has an Windows 8 or 8.1 professional OS installed, and not just plain 8 or 8.1. (Remember 8 Professional can always be upgraded to 8.1 in Window store -- might take all day though.)

With an old desktop computer, you will have options, but some old desktop computer only have 100 GB hard drives installed.  Maybe you can find an old eMachine.  Here's an example from eBay:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/eMachines-ET1810-Intel-Dual-2-2Ghz-3GB-RAM-320GB-HDD-Windows-7-Office-Warranty-/371191999471?pt=Desktop_PCs&hash=item566cc46bef

A 320 hard drive is not that bad either.  In fact, I'm using a 320 external hard drive right now as I write you this post. 

I've had one, but only one, bad experience with eBay, but the guy I talked with there at the complaint department was judge and jury -- and a hanging judge at that.  Just read well what is being sold.  In my case the purchase did NOT reflect the picture of what was being sold and it was clearly very deceptive advertising.  eBay refunded my $60 back to me.  Most sellers are extremely honest, but every now and then a con man will trying to make a quick buck.  Most sellers will allow questions about the item being sold. 

On the item I posted here, there are no returns, and the shipping is about as much as the computer costs right now.  Still, for a little less than $100 it sounds pretty good, recognizing, as far as I know, that eMachines are no longer manufactured.  (Then again you may have some old friend or relative who has a perfectly fine old computer sitting somewhere in their attic.)

You're a rascal, iamesperambient.  Now you got thinking about an old refurbished laptop myself.  ;D

Hey, good luck to both of us!  ;)

We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2014, 09:23:58 am »
Well we learned a few tricks here.  If we must buy a Windows 8.1 computer, we must make sure it has an Windows 8 or 8.1 professional OS installed, and not just plain 8 or 8.1.

That's not what I meant .. you DON'T need to buy it with 8/8.1 Pro .. the model just needs to be OFFERED by the manufacturer with 8.1 Pro AND the option to free downgrade to Wsin7.
(it must be advertised as downgradeable to Win7 BY THE MANUFACTURER)

If they offer that, then you'd be fairly safe buying the same model with non-pro Win8/8.1 .. just the fact that it *can* be downgraded to Win7 means the UEFI BIOS should be tweakable to work with Linux

This says nothing about driver availability, you'd still need to do your homework there .. it just means the UEFI BIOS isn't locked with SecureBoot enabled (or Win7 wouldn't work on it either).
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 12:00:08 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline perknh

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2014, 11:30:58 am »
Hello, PCNetSpec. 

That is very important information to be aware of.

Thank you.

Who knows what the big retailers will try springing on us on Brown Thursday, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday this year?

Right now, with the exception of eBay's refurbished desktop computers, every price I've seen on laptop computers appears inflated.

  :(
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Offline spence

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2014, 01:16:01 pm »
I have 3 laptops:
... a 2003 Compaq M2000 has zero battery life, so it sits on my desk as back up storage...

... my 2005 Qosmio has maybe 15 minutes of battery life but the thing puts off so much heat, everything quickly slows to a crawl...

... my 2011 HP Pavilion G6 also has zero battery life, so it stays on the couch plugged in for me to do my daily work... I don't think I'll ever buy another laptop...

Meanwhile, my Hubby is setting up his new Windows8 computer today, as his trading software will not work in linux... So I'll soon be converting his cast off 2005 Compaq Presario WinXP desktop to linux for my use. Since everything is all plugged in anyway, I can't quite see why I'd ever buy another....

As for buying new replacement batteries, I'd guess that the replacement batteries for any of these models were last manufactured the same year the laptops were.... which is what I discovered when I last tried to purchase fresh batteries for a beloved cell phone... no new ones were being made any longer, so some of the batteries i purchased were older than the phone... and a never charged battery, never does charge...  >:(
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 01:51:27 pm by spence »
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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2014, 02:03:27 pm »
Million and one places doing aftermarket batteries Spence:
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Compaq+M2000+battery
;)

BTW, welcome back .. aint seen you around for a while :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 02:05:02 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline spence

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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2014, 04:05:01 pm »
yep lots of places selling "new batteries" ... same as for my old cell phone... but none of the "new" ones would charge, they were "new in box" ... i don't really have any interest in carting the laptops around anymore.... nor any money to spare.... C'est La Vie
 8)
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Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2014, 04:07:23 pm »
:)
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root' .. logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.

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