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Laptops ??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok so I need some help, my last laptop was a school computer that they had provided and sadly I had to give it back but now my mom is thinking of buying me my own because I am so darn good on it as she puts it


I have never bought a laptop, and well I dont know whats good or bad, and about the batteries whats good I have seen 4-cell, 6-cell, and 9 cell! Now I seen one that I really liked and it is reasonable in price (on sale too ) but it says its a 4 cell battery It is this one here


Now I would buy the best ($549, and add some things on) But I am just worried about the battery..I have no clue what to look for when shopping for a laptop

So can someone please help..and give me your opinions?
post #2 of 6
I just bought 2 laptops for my kids. My daughter has certain minimum requirements for her Master's program as they use the computer in class and the clinics. So I just ordered a second one like it for my older son, who working on his MBA. (We are going to give the third child money equal to what we spent on his siblings - the laptop he wants runs around 5,000 and he will have to kick in the rest).

I am using a Dell laptop at the moment - and I love it. However, I advise you to get the extended service pan - Dell lost big bucks on my old laptop and finally replaced it with this one. Service is excellent however.

We ordered 9 cell batteries (1 for each computer and a backup for each) because they will be using them from the battery daily. We are hoping to get 4 hours from each battery. The more you have running, the faster the battery runs down. I have a 12 cell battery. Be sure to google for Dell computer discounts and check their weekly offers (they seem to run in 3 week cycles). Also, if you apply to finance the computer, you can often get a bigger discount - then pay it off immediately.

Good luck and have fun. My kids computers should be shipped on Monday!
post #3 of 6
well, question, why a laptop, i much perfer a desktop over a laptop.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
well, question, why a laptop, i much perfer a desktop over a laptop.
well I have a desktop which is downstairs, but idk I guess i like the mobility with a labtop! I am not one to like to sit in the same place or chair forever and with me going to school it would be alot easier for me to keep track of things on my own computer and such rather than the one thats in the dining room
post #5 of 6
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-7602_7-...1.html?tag=dir here you may want to look for some information there.

the first and most important thing you need to do, is think about what your main use for the computer will be, and plain from there.
post #6 of 6

I recommend that you stay far and away from them!!! Seriously!

While this post is long, I really, really, really hope that you take the time to read it. It could save you a whole bunch of headaches in the future!


I bought an Inspiron 8200 laptop from them in November 2002.

Stupid me used their financing option over a period of 4 years. My laptop base price was $4,508.72 with taxes (free delivery). I bought a second battery and a nylon carrying case too. I intended to pay it off at the 2 year mark but ended up sick and off work and had to continue to make monthly payments on it for the full 4 years. The total cost of my laptop with financing was $6,469.92. That was with me earning a really good yearly salary and having A+ credit. If you finance be prepared to pay loan shark rates! I can produce a scanned copy of the invoice to prove this!

The reason I wanted a laptop was because I was doing web design at the time and I was working twelve and a half hour shifts at work, many of them nights. I found that when I was home I either had too much to do or was too tired to work on the web pages, so I wanted a laptop that I could take to work with me and use on my breaks or on nights when the ward was slow. However, a few weeks after getting the laptop I switched to 8 hour shifts of days and evenings and no longer had time to use my computer at work, and when I was home I used my desktop.

Also, I couldn't get used to the keyboard or the very high resolution and miniscule text on the screen, so for the first 20 months that I owned the computer I used it about 12 times for maybe 1 hour or 90 minutes at a time. The rest of the time it sat in it's sturdy nylon carrying case.

In July 2004 I got sick and was unable to sit up for extended periods at my desktop. I eventually got used to the resolution and keyboard and soon found that my laptop had become my staple computer and I quite enjoyed the comfort of my sofa to the straight backed office chair.

I used the computer daily with it plugged into a power outlet and never on battery power for a period of 17 months from August 2004 to mid April 2006. In April 2006 I logged off in the early afternoon and that was the last time the computer would turn on.

I called Dell and they had me taking my computer apart with a screw driver and digging around inside and hooking it up to my desktop etc. They concluded that the motherboard had failed. At which time the guy informs me that my warranty expired in November 2005 and that my computer is no longer covered under warranty! That means that the motherboard failed 5 months after the warranty expired. However I also still had 8 months still remaining on my financing agreement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so not happy!! But I was too sick to fight about it at the time. Not to mention too mad to even try and write a coherent letter!

At the end of May 2006, I decided to contact Michael Dell directly about this situation. I strongly felt, and still do, that the computer repair should have been covered under warranty because for all sense and purposes it had only been used 17 months before the motherboard failed, even though the computer was 37 months old at the time. A computer should be good for more than 17 months of regular use!!

Over the next several months I sent 3 faxes and snail mails to Michael Dell and didn't get a single response back to even indicate my correspondence had been received. Not one!

Then my health was getting to me so I put this issue on the back burner for a while. In November 2006 I took up my cause again.

I called their tech support and explained my situation:

1. Computer purchased in November 2002;
2. Computer sat in case unused save for about 12 times for the first 20 months;
3. Computer was removed from case in August 2004 and used as a primary computer from that date to April 2006 when the motherboard failed;
4. I had a 3 year hardware warranty that expired in November 2005.
5. The motherboard failed after 18 months of use and only 5 months after the warranty expired.

In my quest to get to someone who could help me, I had to go through a bunch of really stupid people who basically laughed at me and changed their tone to condescending when they heard what my issue was. I finally gave up being nice and literally steam rolled my way through people!

I spoke to people who kept insisting they didn't have a manager or supervisor and I told them that unless their name was "Michael Dell", that they had a manager and that I would find out who that person was!

One girl said she would leave a message for some department to call me, and went on to add "but don't hold your breath" and then literally laughed in the telephone!!! Talk about ignorant!

I finally called the main office and spoke to someone in their sales area who actually agreed with me and what I was saying. He connected me to the department that looked after issues such as mine. He told me that there were a number of levels to go through, but he was bypassing all of the others and putting me right to the top.

I left my information and problem and someone contacted me the next day.

After almost 2 weeks of correspondence between me and Dell, with him asking me all kinds of questions, and me providing answers, the guy contacts me and says that they won't cover the repair under warranty because the computer's warranty had expired! Like DUH!!!! That's why I was contacting them to begin with! I already knew that the warranty was expired!

Anyway, he did indicate that Dell would cover 1/2 of the cost of replacing the motherboard after the repair invoice was paid. Meaning that after they fixed it and I paid the full price they would refund me 1/2 the cost. Offer was valid for about 5 weeks and expired December 25, 2006 at midnight!!!!

I sunk $4,500.00 plus finance fees into that laptop. I sure wasn't going to sink another $600.00 (after refund) of my own money into it.


In January, 2007 my 7 year old desktop finally died, literally died! That left with without a working computer of any kind.

I vowed I wasn't going to deal with Dell ever again after the laptop experience. I called around for prices on parts so that I could build one. But then decided that because I don't know much about computers I really need 24/7 tech support if something goes wrong, something I wouldn't have if I tried to build one. So......

I ordered a Dell duo core desktop with huge reservations! And I should have listened to my gut.

The hard drive I was ordering was a 320 gig but I wanted it partitioned so that I had 60 gigs on on partition and the rest of the volume on another so that I could use it for storage and to save data that I didn't want to lose in the event of a system reformat.

Apparently Dell doesn't do that in the factory, but the sales guy said that I could get help partitioning my drive by calling tech support.

Upon receipt of my computer I called tech support only to be told that they don't help with partitioning of drives because of their "PC Restore" feature. After an hour of me arguing with them and fighting with them and inisting that I was promised that it would be done, the supervisor made an exception.

The tech was helping me but I kept getting some error message about not being able to boot from the disk due to drive configuration problems.

Based on that and 4 hours of troubleshooting the tech figured that it was a bad CD ROM so they reshipped my system. So I was without a computer for yet another 10 business days.

I got the reship and discovered they had the wrong OS on it... Vista instead of the XP Pro that I had ordered initially and which was on my first shipment from them.

I called Dell to get help with the partitioning and to have my XP Pro OS installed (Dell customer service told me to keep my disks from the original computer when I sent it back). Again the same song and dance about not supporting partitioning. After 90 minutes of arguing with the tech and a "policy and procedure supervisor"..... yes, they have a whole department dedicated to just policy and procedures! .... I was left with "I'll try and send a message to the tech from last week and his supervisor and let them know you are still waiting on a resolution of your issue". Now wasn't that a huge amount of help! And if they couldn't send a message, what then?!!!

I called the next day and talked to Dell again and this time I got someone who actually couldn't understand what the issue was with helping me the day before because it was already approved and would have been done had the computer the previous week worked. Anyway he managed to get my XP Pro on the system but ran into problems with the partitioning because it kept going in circles instead of partitioning, so I ended up with XP Pro on the whole hard drive on a working computer which is more than what I had last week.

I called to get help with my DSL Connection only to find out that the Dell guy forgot to help me install the drivers!

I called Dell customer support to tell them to just send me out a new system with XP Pro on it like I asked for. I asked to speak to a supervisor. The girl refused to put me through to one and kept telling me that I'll never get another computer shipped to me from Dell with XP Pro on it. I tried to explain to her that it was what I ordered and what I originally got, but she wouldn't hear me. She quickly put me on hold without giving me a chance to say anything and never came back. I hung up after about 15 minutes and called back. Any bets that she put me on hold and just sat there waiting for me to go away?!

The next guy I spoke with was super dim. I swear his IQ was 10!!!! He refused to put me through to a supervisor until I told him what this was about. I was pee'd off by this time and I'm sure I was yelling by now. He went to make his notes and came back and again asked me to go through it again because he missed some of it. I was livid!!! I told him that I was tired of being "screwed around" by Dell and he replied "Let's keep this civil!" He put me on hold to finish his notes and came back and said "Can you tell me what it is that you are upset about?" Like OMG!!!!!!

I finally got put through to a supervisor who said that they don't ship with XP Pro anymore and that they only have Vista as of January 31st. It didn't seem to matter to them that I ordered my system in January with XP Pro and that was what I got initially and the reorder was done on January 30th. According to her their policy is that effective January 31st no computers are being shipped from Dell with anything but Vista with NO exceptions even if my system was ordered previously!

I was so sick of hearing about policy and procedures that I was ready to shove their policy and procedure binder down their throats!

I got put through to tech support again!

I was on the verge of tears by this time. I had a huge lump in my throat and I was choking back tears and had tears welling up in my eyes and when the tech asked me "can I have your service tag number?" I sighed and nearly broke down crying....actually I did break down crying, but I didn't think it was adudible over the phone but it must have been.

Anyway, he took the time to read through everything and he couldn't believe all that I've been put through and he said he would help me with the drivers and if I wanted he could also help me with the partitioning of the drive.

I agreed to let him. 1 hour later I had a partitioned drive with XP Pro on it and he even helped me with my DSL connection. He told me to not bother calling the regular tech support number anymore and to just call him or one of his team directly and he gave me the direct line to him. I was so happy to have a working computer with the specs that I ordered.

I spent the next 7 or 8 hours installing software stuff and then I powered down my system at 2:50am on Saturday only to find that when I turned it back on the computer screen was black.

Another call to Dell and and a trial of a different monitor and I am told my graphic card is gone and needs to be replaced. He suggested a new CPU be sent. I told him to forget it and that I wasn't going to go through all of that "we don't support partitioning" etc etc etc etc again.

He put me on hold and came back and told me that he will have a new graphic card dispatched to me and either they can help me install it or have someone come in and do it. I told him that I'm sick of paying for do it yourself tech support and that someone can come in and fix it. He then tells me that I'm running a pirated version of my OS!!!! and that my warranty is void because of it and anyone at Dell who helps me will be breaking the law and will hang up on me as soon as they hear that I have XP on a system that was shipped with Vista.

I asked him if that was the case how was he going to have someone come out and install a graphic card for me? He said "What OS? I know from your symptoms that it's the graphic card and I didn't have to go into your system so I don't know what OS you are running." LMAO

Anyway, I finally have the system that I ordered with the OS I wanted and I'm being called a thief!!! All Dell had to do was transfer over the License for XP Pro to me which they apparently refused to do, so now according to Dell I'm a thief even though they told me to keep the disks and 11 people at Dell never once said anything about this license stuff to me despite my having gone on and on about XP Pro, and Dell even helped me put the OS on the computer!

That was the real straw that broke the camel's back. I decided to return the whole blasted thing to Dell and buy something locally.

I called Dell on on the next working day (Monday) to tell them to come pick up their computer because I was returning it for a refund. They tried to give me $300.00 back if I would keep the system. I told them "NO THANKS!"

The desktop computer I was going to buy from Dell was $3,600.00 with taxes (free delivery). The one I got locally is a far better computer, has a Pentium duo core, XP Pro, a 5 year parts and labour warranty vs Dell's 4 year (3 year from a promotion of 1 additional year free), and the people are much nicer to deal with and it only cost me $1,700.00 with tax, delivery and setup.

I told them my experience with Dell and the desktop I had intended to buy. They shook their heads and said that is one in a long line of horror stories that they have heard about Dell....and they should know...they do out of warranty work on Dell computers, so they talk to a lot of Dell owners.



Dell Sued Over Bait and Switch Advertising

I recommend you don't get a laptop. You get a way better desktop computer for a better price than a laptop, and laptops aren't easy to upgrade either, and many can't be upgraded at all.

I also recommend that you go and look at your local computer store, or Best Buy and buy yourself a gaming computer. You can get a more than decent one for probably under $800.00 and that's with a wide screen.

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