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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: perknh on November 18, 2014, 06:59:39 pm

Title: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh on November 18, 2014, 06:59:39 pm
Hello my friends at Peppermint,

I've been in the market to buy myself a new laptop this holiday season.  What I'm discovering is that there are some laptops that now do not have an easy way to replace the battery.  I chatted online today and confirmed that this is indeed the case.

Here's an example from Toshiba.  I verified the customer's review, and was told by the Toshiba representative that the computer is to be sent back to Toshiba for a battery replacement when a replacement becomes necessary.  This is something I had never seen before, and something new to be aware of when purchasing a new computer.

http://www.toshiba.com/us/computers/laptops/satellite/S50/S50-BBT2N22?src=ECEB&cm_mmc=Email-_-broadcast-_-ecbscsp111814-_-ECEB&RMID=RSYS_111814_DoD_S70i78GB1TBAMD_849_SP_499&RRID=309190790 (http://www.toshiba.com/us/computers/laptops/satellite/S50/S50-BBT2N22?src=ECEB&cm_mmc=Email-_-broadcast-_-ecbscsp111814-_-ECEB&RMID=RSYS_111814_DoD_S70i78GB1TBAMD_849_SP_499&RRID=309190790)

Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: AndyInMokum on November 18, 2014, 07:12:04 pm
Wow, that is outrageous  >:(!!
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: PCNetSpec on November 18, 2014, 07:51:49 pm
+1 What Andy said  ::)

Thanks for the heads up, I'll have to keep an eye out for this con (which is what it is).

Did the Toshiba rep say how much it would cost to send it back for a battery replacement .. and how your data would be guaranteed against loss/theft during transit ? .. and will they cover any losses if your data is stolen and used fraudulently ?

Or are you expected to wipe it clean to get a new battery ?

Or do they suggest you disassemble it and remove the hard drive before returning it to them ? .. in which case, why can't they just sell you a ****ing  battery whilst you already have it in bits ::)

What's next, a car you have to send back to the manufacturer for a fill up .. but you also have to leave the keys to your house,your bank details and photos of your kids in the glove box.

http://www.electronicstakeback.com/wp-content/uploads/Ultrabook-report-Aug-2012.pdf

--
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: rjm65 on November 18, 2014, 07:57:00 pm
for how thin that laptop is they should just run it on some AAA NIMH batteries...   LOL   :P  I'd be afraid to hold that laptop in my hands its so thin I might get paper cuts...  LOL    ;)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh on November 18, 2014, 09:11:10 pm
It is a con.  That's exactly what it is.  They have found a way to turn a $500 laptop into a disposable computer after one battery cycle.  Few people are going to go through all of this effort of wiping their drive clean, or, in our case, re-installing Windows, in order to get another battery. 

This is a dirty trick done to unsuspecting customers.  >:(
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: rjm65 on November 19, 2014, 09:08:11 am
You know I have owned a few Panasonic phone systems in my lifetime, and I must say they got away from the battery packs you had to replace after 3 years of use, because they would just not hold a charge longer then 10 minutes... The new panasonic system I bought now uses regular rechargeable AAA batteries you can buy at any store in town or online...  I would like to see laptops do something like this, especially the ones that have hundred dollar batteries on ebay and such, would be nice to be able to replace with regular batteries....    ;)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh on November 19, 2014, 10:15:54 am
The new panasonic system I bought now uses regular rechargeable AAA batteries you can buy at any store in town or online...  I would like to see laptops do something like this, especially the ones that have hundred dollar batteries on ebay and such, would be nice to be able to replace with regular batteries....    ;)

That would be very helpful.  That would be a much saner direction to go than what we're seeing with some of these newer laptop models on the market today.  Now, unfortunately, we have something new to worry about when we go out to buy a laptop computer -- battery replacement, an issue that would have never even crossed our minds before.

Good idea, rjm65.  ;)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: iamesperambient on November 19, 2014, 10:33:46 am
thanks for the heads up im planning on getting a desktop anyhow and keeping my laptop as a mobile set up and for school work.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh on November 19, 2014, 02:01:15 pm
You're welcome, iamesperambient.

This is new concern to be aware of, but, thankfully, this is not occurring on all laptops yet.

I am having a devil of a time this year finding a decent laptop on which to run Linux.  Windows 7 computers tend to be both rare and costly, and I'm finding a lot more of these newer computers have a touch-enabled screens for Window 8.1 -- something I have no need or interest in.

Also, I'm finding many laptop computers with 4 GBs of memory, and, from what I have read online, 6 GBs help make things considerably better for the internal hard drive of a computer.  (I don't know exactly why this is so, but I have read that it is.  Something about the added memory taking strain off of the hard drive, I believe.)   

iamesperambient, good luck finding a desktop computer that will suit your academic needs.  If we both make good purchases, I would think we ought to be in good shape with our converted to Linux OS computers for quite a while.  ;)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: iamesperambient on November 19, 2014, 09:28:44 pm
def i think the best choice really is buying an older refurbished laptop or desktop :/
ya i also have NO INTEREST in a touch screen laptop or desktop leave that stuff for smart phones.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh on November 19, 2014, 10:17:10 pm
...i also have NO INTEREST in a touch screen laptop or desktop leave that stuff for smart phones.

Exactly!  That's precisely how I feel about a touch screen laptop.  The last thing I want to do is extend my arm to touch the screen of a computer.  So what if I can touch the screen of my computer.  Who cares? ::)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: iamesperambient on November 20, 2014, 01:03:43 am
i see it as a step back not a step forward especially for desktop use who wants to be shove directly in front of a monitor pushing on the screen
i don't get it. for a laptop i still don't get, i dont understand why an over sized smart phone is a choice someone would want to have
but to each their own. I was watching a video about windows 10 it actually (sorry to say here) looks pretty decent. The interface (i think)
is really simple and clean/pretty and will have the classic windows 7 look but flat and clean and many of the new features seem pretty cool
and i like how they are keeping DESKTOP users in mind. Windows 8 is awful i really don't understand what they were thiking
when designing that interface.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: iamesperambient on November 20, 2014, 01:12:28 am
you just made me think....hmmm how easy would it be to find a brand new battery for my  6 year old laptop?
it only lasts about 45 mins, i  rarely ever use it becaus i keep my laptop plugged in at all times hooked up to a monitor and keyboard
but it would be a nice thing to have for bringing it to coffee shops (with out dealing with plugging in) or chilling out side my house on my porch
i just ook my battery out  but if i can find a new one that holds the fulll 5 hour charge its supposed to have that would be great and im sure
there is one somewhere again IT SHOULD ALWAYS been an option to be able to replace something like the battery yourself
with out having to send it back that is a con! apple is the same way they make it so hard to replace batteries yourself its all a con.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: emegra on November 20, 2014, 01:32:27 am
Apple have got away with selling hardware and software to their victims customers for years while retaining ownership, they're the envy of the corporate world so it's hardly surprising that other companies like Toshiba would want to follow their example.

If you can't open it you don't own it




Graeme
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: iamesperambient on November 20, 2014, 02:16:02 am
Apple have got away with selling hardware and software to their victims customers for years while retaining ownership, they're the envy of the corporate world so it's hardly surprising that other companies like Toshiba would want to follow their example.

If you can't open it you don't own it




Graeme

just like how you don't actually own your purchases from itunes either its all one big con.
nice looking interface, greedy company.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh 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.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: iamesperambient 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.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh 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.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: 10i 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 (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. 
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: PCNetSpec 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.
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: AndyInMokum 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!!
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh 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.

Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: iamesperambient 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
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh 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 (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!  ;)

Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: PCNetSpec 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).
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: perknh 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.

  :(
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: spence 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...  >:(
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: PCNetSpec 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 :)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: spence 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)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 12, 2014, 04:07:23 pm
:)
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: spence on December 12, 2014, 04:07:38 pm
haven't been around, as there haven't been any issues to triage... life is good in peppermint5  :).
Title: Re: Buyer Beware When Buying a New Laptop
Post by: PCNetSpec on December 12, 2014, 04:13:10 pm
Good to hear :)