TechSpot

Laptop Brands?

By bj00uk
Oct 10, 2009
  1. Hi,
    I want to know what brand of laptops people feel/find are the best priced, reliable and maybe good customer after support?

    Also over the threads I have read many post's people have said.
    "Avoid Sony, Compaq, Alienware if you want reliability."
    "and buy only HP,lenovo,Toshiba,Asus,MSI. Avoid acer and vaios at all costs".


    I have pretty much always liked Vaio's, maybe I am wrong? I also thought Acer was good. Could anyone who feels Sony and Acer are not good brand please explain?

    I am asking as I am in the process of either repairing my 5 year old Vaio or buying a new laptop
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Depends upon your intended use.
    All laptops will fail sooner or later. It is difficult to know when, and sometimes it is difficult to pay for the parts that are needed...
    Lenovo's are generally the most reliable found in our shop...
    But if your intended use is as a gamer, you do not want a Lenovo.
    I would buy almost any laptop that met my specs, and had at least a three year warranty available.
    In our repair shops, Sony VAIO and Alienware are the most difficult and expensive for replacing parts. Alienware has a very poor record.
    With HP, Compaq, Gateway, and Toshiba, the warranty says it all.
    I would not buy a laptop that is not in the upper third of the price range... but I know that is difficult for most users.
    I would not want a laptop that has only a one year warranty with no upgrade, as the monitor is likely to fail early.
    On most laptops. the hard drive and memory are good and all are about the same for long life. But those other components can be problems... costly ones.
    We own Dell inspirons, Dell Latitudes, Gateway, HP, Compaq, and Lenovo. We need them for our rental business and as temporary replacements while we are repairing failed laptops. But we have learned from long and bitter experience to avoid Sony, Alienware, Asus, and no-name brands...
    Of course, many other users have mileage that differs.
     
  3. bj00uk

    bj00uk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    You are right the Sony VAIO's are difficult and expensive to repair, I have experience but because I have never actually repaired tried to repair another brand of laptop apart from a no-name one so I thought it was the same for all brands.

    What do you mean "I would not buy a laptop that is not in the upper third of the price range"?
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Low cost computers have low cost parts. They wear out more frequently, and can sometimes crash at those critical times when you cannot afford a failure.
    Often, but not always, the better the build, the more reliable the computer...

    Ever sit down and try to figger out what are the differences between a $500 laptop, $1200 laptop $1800 laptop, and a $3000 laptop.

    Often the keyboards, touchpads, cooling systems, monitors, and motherboards result in a much longer and more trouble-free life...

    Not necessariy true of some HP and Sony Vaio computers, but usually...
     
  5. bj00uk

    bj00uk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    Yeah I understand what you mean it makes alot of sense
     
  6. argueta789

    argueta789 TS Member Posts: 47

    May i recommend HP , they have very good customer service , and overall what ever you want in a Laptop , they have a laptop for every pupose that suits you the best. and they last very long time , i have had my hp G60 for over 3 years now and i have not have a problem
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    But made in Panama, Mexico, Chili, Hungary, Czech Republic, Taiwan, and China... with not enough quality control on parts and assembly.
    The HP laptop should not be considered trouble free... they have had massive problems in the past 26 months with very specific total failures that occur not too long after the 1 year warranty has expired. They are working on it... But no cigar yet.
     
  8. bj00uk

    bj00uk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    Hi, What do you think about Dell XPS M1330? Do Dells tend me be any good?
     
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    A lot of people on this forum hate Dell Laptops, but we have kept pretty good records of a lot of computers over the past 26 years... and Dells hold up better than any other brand except for IBM, now known as Lenovo.
    There are some bad Dells, to be sure. The secret is to get one with a three year warranty... and take good care of it.
    All laptops need maintenance and updates and parts replacements. There haven't been too many good ones. But Dell Latitudes, in general, IBM Thinkpads, Lenovo Thinkpads, and some of the high end HP units are pretty good.
    Another secret is to not buy too cheap, or you will get the laptop equivalent of the Yugo...
     
  10. steveo52

    steveo52 TS Rookie

    Interesting I would have never thought about buying an Asus. I have had good experience with Dell and Lenovo. Today after visiting a Best Buy I was really sold on an Asus. The Best Buy sales guy held it up about 5 inches and dropped it purposely on the hard display counter to show how durable Asus is. He also claimed he owned an ASUS and was very happy with it. He seemed honest enough to me in his comments because I was willing to spend much more than the Asus's $629 price tag.

    I'd like to hear any comments regading Asus, Thank you.
     
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Did it have a solid state drive? I cannot imagine anyone dropping a laptop from afar, as the hard drive is still at risk, memory can pop out, cpu coolers tip out of balance...

    I would not want to own an Asus, after the many repairs our shop has done on the Asus machines used by traveling field sales teams. However, a fast (and I haven't seen a fast one) solid state drive would probably change my mind.

    Two years from now they will all be solid state drives, I am sure.
     
     
  12. steveo52

    steveo52 TS Rookie

    Ray, good thoughts. I've purchased Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and HP laptops in the past. I've had great service from them. I asked the sales guy at Best Buy what would he buy with all the brands shown under $1000. He was very enthusiastic about the Asus. When a sales guy does that I have a question in my mind, is it really that good or is there a $$ incentive for him to be pushing that brand. Your comments addressing service issues with Asus seems to confrim maybe there's a $$ incentive for selling the Asus.
     
  13. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    ASUS is a great company that makes quality products, and generally makes them very well.

    They make excellent desktop motherboards, but are quite arrogant about it.

    I suspect their laptops are as good, for the price, as anybody out there.

    The problem we see so often it that the laptop company files, then there is no support, no parts, etc. But ASUS is one of the biggest computer component manufacturers in the world...

    They like growth. I suspect that will support their laptops as well as anybody. They are just not perfect. Yet
     
  14. bj00uk

    bj00uk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    Hi, everyone I ended up buying a HP. I bought the HP DV3505ea in Bronze from eBay for approx 400 GBP (660 USD). What do you think about the spec of that laptop

    HP DV3505ea
     
  15. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    There are only a few specs that matter to me:
    Is the VISTA upgradeable to Windows 7?
    Is the warranty at least a year, and can it be upgraded to three years?
    Is service provided by HP for at least the first year?
    Did you get a set of recovery/reinstall discs with the computer?
    Do you have a warranty that is good in England? And are such things as replacement CD's available from England?
     
  16. bj00uk

    bj00uk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    Hi,
    Upgradeable as allowed by HP no, but I can fresh install it.
    I bought it second hand warranty already ended (was 1 year warranty), but I might try and extend it if possible once I get some money together
    No recover discs, as HP includes it built into the machine
    I have looked in the Parts store some parts are there and others are not.
     
  17. bj00uk

    bj00uk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 146

    This is scaring me to be honest, as I mentioned previously the warranty of the laptop I bought of ebay just ended, one day after I received it.

    You may have seen the thread I started about the laptop not being able to handle low powered games which worked on my old Vaio. (maybe the seller knew it was going to go wrong soon as sold it, sending it to arrive the day before warranty end, just so he doesn't lose out?)
     
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