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Laptop Reliability

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by snowkiwi, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. snowkiwi
    • In Omnia Paratus

    snowkiwi EDC Junkiwi

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    Ok first off I wrote this by mistake in a tablet thread because I didn't read the OP, and didn't want to waste it

    Then I thought about what an old airforce buddy of mine said who now works in maintenance / return products at a big name laptop service centre:

    "All laptops are crap now a days. Buy the cheapest sub $400, and if it lasts past its warranty then bonus! - oh and back up to USB stick religiously. "



    What is your experience with laptop brand reliability?
    Do you bash it about, travel with it, leave it sitting on a desk?
    What component usually fails ?
    Is it a hard disk drive or solid state drive?

    ----------

    My laptops are all sub $1000, some sub $400.
    I use my laptops for work where they are moved from a padded bag to a hard bench maybe 10 to 50 times a week. On a combination of power or battery.
    I usually just close the lid (standby mode) and stuff it in my bag.
    Every few weeks I'll restart it if it's slow.
    I deem their life to be 3 to 5 years, work ones are then repurposed to home use after they are written off the books.

    Sent from my iThing
     
  2. snowkiwi
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    snowkiwi EDC Junkiwi

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    This is my reposted info :




    3 Acer Travelmates- 1995 to 2005 - no problems. But screen backlight failed after 7 years on one .
    Dell vostro- 1999 - CD drive lock failed after 9 yrs.
    Toshiba Satellite Pro - 2010 HD failed 3 times over 2 years!
    Apple MBP - 2012 for home use - DVD drive sometimes won't read.
    2 ASUS -ultra budget i3 win10 (<US$300) for kids - 2014 - still ok
    Acer Travelmate - for home - 2013 - still ok
    Toshiba - 2015. - first with SSD so the jury is still out on this one.





    Sent from my iThing
     
  3. enine

    enine Loaded Pockets

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    I always buy business machines. You figure big companies buy Dell Latitudes, etc and they run all day long, get carried around on airplanes, etc. The home machines (Dell inspiron) for example are designed for grandma to check her AOL account a couple times a month.

    I have a 15" Dell Latitude as my main box now, wife has a 12" Latitude, kids have a D620 and D630, I have a D430 as my other box and a Latitude C400 I bought in 2002, all still running strong.

    I used to work for a reseller, we would sell Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM all by the hundreds to government offices, schools, etc and would have 1-2 issues. Once you get away from those Tier 1 vendors the reliability goes down, same school tries to buy 10 Gateways, Acers, Apples and has 2-3 issues. So 1-2 issues out of 100 or 2-3 issues out of 10, big difference in %.
     
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  4. phatch

    phatch Loaded Pockets

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    Dell Latitudes are heavy and durable. Dell Inspirons are OK. Good value, not as tough. Running a few OLD Inspirons and Latitudes. 8 years plus running linux
    Asus has been good, going on 4 years now still on win7
    Sony, great screens, does well if babied. 6 years old, now on linux, optical drive is flaky.
    Acer netbook, 8 years plus, bulletproof on linux.
     
  5. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    Laptops should either be top end or bargain basement IME.

    I had a lot of mid-range thinkpads and Dells die from random things.

    Never had a serious issue with an Apple. At least a couple had doa or very early dying optical drives....but I can count on one hand the number of times I used one in a laptop. Mostly, they got chucked for a 2nd drive enclosure...at least once before I even tried to use it.

    The vast majority of the issues came from physical damage and mostly affected screens. Lenovo seems to have the best accidental damage warranty, which is good because they attract minor cosmetic damage like a magnet. But you need for it to not be your only computer, because they take FOREVER to do anything.

    I don't plan on buying anything but Apple for a while.
     
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  6. ran23
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    ran23 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm on my fourth laptop, 3 of them used Thinkpads. Still have a 2003 P-4 T-30, that I updated yesterday. I used ThinkPads for work, so they bounced around in my van all day.
     
  7. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    The interesting thing about warranty centers is that only the failures show up. Laptops tend to fail by the third year. Their prices also tend to drop by more than a third for older models. Apple is the most reliable brand but some Pc failures are due to software.

    Consumer Reports says:
    We estimate that only 10 percent of Apple laptops fail by the third year of ownership. The numbers for Windows laptop brands range from 16 percent to 19 percent. In addition, Apple laptops break down less often than laptops from other brands. Among laptops that fail, only 42 percent of Apples break down more than once, while more than half (55 percent) of non-Apple laptops break down on multiple occasions.
     
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  8. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Toughbooks and MacBooks are the only ones that I buy for myself anymore.

    I also do have a buch of Dell Latitudes and they are all going strong aside from batteries which are consumable really.

    I service machines in the field a lot and they all are susceptible to problems if not handled carefully…….and if they are handled carefully too.
     
  9. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    My experience with 'modern' laptops is quite simple... they fail. And if its within warranty you'll get a new one and thats great, if its out of warranty and you try to fix it yourself you'll quickly discover that there's only one 'real' part inside that can break and that's the motherboard....and 90% of the time its the motherboard that fails and fixing that is just too tricky to be worth it.

    10% of the time its the screen or cable to the screen thats broke and if thats the case then ill turn it into a very very mean and low power server and thats is awesome! I have way too many servers now :(
     
  10. Day Tripper

    Day Tripper Loaded Pockets

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    I have ran 2 Toshiba Satellites (work computers) through hell and back over the past 5 years, and they are both still kicking. I spilled a large bottle of water on the keyboard of one of them, to which it immediately shorted out and would not turn on. After a couple of hours in front of a box fan, it booted right up and has worked fine for the past 2 years since that mishap. I am so thankful as I had about a 150 page project report that I was working on at the time that I thought I lost! I also have a Lenovo Yoga that I use as a travel tablet/pc, and it has been beaten left and right and still works great. I accidentally stepped on a flash drive that was plugged into it and broke one of the USB inputs, but other than that, it boots up fast, and I have had no issues with it, and actually the broken USB still works if you prop up the device plugged into it.
     
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  11. MCPOWoller

    MCPOWoller Loaded Pockets

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    When I was with the Navy Combat Camera in San Diego we started with Toughbook's. They didn't last one deployment. So, some of my team mates started buying their own MacBook's and now that is all we use. I've taken a MacBook of some sort on every deployment since 2003 and only 1 failure and that was due to the power going out while it was doing a software update while in Iraq in 2010. I and my family all went MacBook's after that.
     
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  12. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    I have only good things to say about the MacBooks I have used...

    My current machine (a 13" Macbook Pro) is a hand me down I got when a family member upgraded (wanting the smaller air model) and is still working perfectly. It has been well cared for, but at the same time made regular long haul flights in hand luggage and bounced around a living room in normal use (unlike now where it is mainly desk based) and works perfectly.
    I think the only problems it has had have been a couple of missing rubber feet, and one failed power supply (which I figure was more user error than a problem with the hardware).
     
  13. thekapow

    thekapow EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Im done with laptops, after i went Ipad only everything has changed, its alot easyer to travel and work and take classes, (i still work as an architect while going to nursing school). It takes some time getting used to and it depends alot on what you do, its not for everyone but now that you can multitask and run 2 apps at the same time on screen I dont miss anything. Mostly do office stuff and drawing. And never had a problem with an Ipad. I have a large HP workstation at work. Most of my office has changed from laptops to Ipads in the field.
     
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  14. jag-engr
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    I have used Dells, HPs, and a Chromebook.
    I agree with what others have said about Dell Latitudes vs. Dell Inspirons - the Latitudes are much better!
    HPs are terrible.
    Chromebook isn't really a fully-functioning computer. It's more like a tablet. I haven't used it enough to have an opinion.

    I find myself either using a desktop or using my iPad. If I need a full-blown computer, the desktop is a more ergonomic and more user-friendly option. Occasionally, I will use a laptop when traveling, but I usually try to avoid it, especially on vacation (because then I can do work :banghead:) .
     
  15. FeeSimpleAbsolute

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    I used to use a desktop (for papers and games) and a tablet (for notes at school and other stuff). Now I have a laptop that is used for all of those things, a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro that I picked up at the blue store on sale. It's a great computer so far, but it's only about a year old. I'm picky about computers since I worked with them for a while, so I would hate to use a low-end one daily (I know from experience back when I had to - cheap netbooks should not have Windows 7 Ultimate. Or Vista). I carry it every day, though.

    In general, I have had good luck with Toshibas and Lenovos at both ends. But higher end laptops, in my experience, are more reliable.
     
  16. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I'm on my 2nd Apple MacBook Air. Daughter stole the 1st one. Never had any problems because we take great care of them.
     
  17. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    I've kind of gone desktop+phablet for personal uses. Honestly, I don't miss my laptops all that much. For personal things.
     
  18. chaosmagnet
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    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    In my house we have an ancient Asus that still runs good, an even older Asus with a bad touchpad button, and my work-issued Macbook Pro, two years old. Both Asus'es have had their batteries and power bricks replaced. The MBP is the best laptop I've ever had by a long way. My children have school-issued Chromebooks and use their laptop much less now; when I replace my wife's laptop it will be with an MBP or MBA.
     
  19. Gilatabar
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    Gilatabar Loaded Pockets

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    Can't comment on longevity, but I once had a water problem at my place when I was away for 30 days. Basically water everywhere on the floor, soaked carpet, and surprise, laptop was sitting on that carpet in a protective fabric case, that was soaked as well. I have no idea for how long it stayed that way, but when I took it out of the sleeve, it worked 100%. It's a Lenovo X230s. My company's been using them for years without many issues. I also have a very old Thinkpad T42 that was used as a work PC for years, then retired but it still works well (considering what it has in it, a old and slow processor).

    But brand isn't everything. For example I got the lowest of the low laptop 7 years ago. It was like 200€. I used it everyday for 4 or 5 years, dropping it, abusing it, overheating it (nothing permanent, it was just used a little harder than designed) and it still works well (battery's dead obviously) with a light Linux distribution on it.

    What you also have to take into account is the inevitable obsolescence of electronic devices. Sure, these days you can still buy latops that will last 10 years like business level laptops, but would you want to use a 10 years old computer everyday, while everything that's released and that you use is optimized for more modern equipment? For example I still have and old android phone I used for 2 years, but it was already an older model at that time. Result is that most apps were unusable because of the updates, mobile websites became super heavy...
     
  20. Chimay

    Chimay Loaded Pockets

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    When it comes to laptop reliability there are usually two things that commonly go wrong, 1 is the LCD and the other is the hard drive. LCD is very hit or miss. I've got a laptop that is about 10 years old that I've had no issues with. But I did replace the hard drive just for more space.

    Other laptops that I've owned personally have gone through several LCD screens due to lines of dead pixels. Another went through 2 hard drives before I finally bought a different brand (I don't trust Seagate any more).

    Earlier in my professional life I did helpdesk/desktop support at various places over the years. I personally saw more issues with Dell, had to have motherboards replaced due to issues with the docking station port (that was due to a particular model though, but out of 50 I think we had to have 15-20 replaced in less than a year). But that did get me on a first name basis with one of the Dell Gold tech support people. I got him 3 times I think with 2 different problems by chance (2 were docking station and one was bad ram on a desktop). He gave me his e-mail address and told me not to bother to call, just e-mail him the service tag, what I did to try and fix it, and what parts I wanted. Unfortunately I was only in that job another 3 months, but that really simplified my life. I never had many problems out of HP laptops, had to have a few batteries replaced under warranty within a few months they would no longer hold a charge and a keyboard or two if I recall. I've had the least problems from Lenovo. They are ugly as sin but they seem to work.
     
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