Who Is The Best Retailer Of Laptop Computers And Why? | All About Money Online

  • (a) My first laptop was a Toshiba, many years ago, running MS DOS 6.0. It has lasted to this very day, although I absolutely would not attribute such survivability to modern Toshibas, which have a reputation for melting. My latest laptop however, and most of my previous laptops for the last seven years or so, are from Dell, and I see no reason not to buy from them again in the future. (b) I’d give them 8 out of 10. (c) Dell’s laptops are sturdy and reliable (IN MY EXPERIENCE! Your mileage may vary!), and do not seem to incorporate quite so much bloatware as other manufacturers do these days. I have also had difficulty finding equivalent specced laptops at similarly low prices. Their customer service of late, however, leaves much to be desired. Ever since they moved towards outsourcing their call centres to India, I have found difficulty with customer services operatives having a poor command of the English language, little knowledge about the product itself, and long response times. For a short time I even ended up being charged twice on my last purchase, which as you can imagine I frantically made sure was reversed! I now have no choice but to deal with them over e-mail, as telephone calls frustrated me to the point of insanity.

    As I mentioned though, your mileage may vary. Practically speaking most well-known manufacturers should be OK, and it comes down to a matter of personal choice in the end.

    Comment by Matt L — December 25, 2009 @ 6:32 am

    • Ive had my laptop for three years now. and its a Toshiba Satellite pro,Ive had

      very little trouble with it.

      Comment by shirley m — December 25, 2009 @ 6:32 am

    • I buy all my Laptops at swap-meet and most of the time they are broken so i know what i am getting, if i can fix it cheap great, if not i have more spare parts…..The Toshiba i am using now cost me $40, it’s only problem was a broken back light, cost $10 to replace it, so i have a $400 Laptop for $50…..

      Comment by dave_swa — December 25, 2009 @ 6:32 am

    • Better way to put it may be, what do you want in a laptop? PC or Mac? Processor (AMD or Intel and single CPU or Dual)? Video card (nVidia or Radeon)? Screen Resolution? RAM? Hard Disk size? Hard Disk Speed? Bluetooth? WiFi? Ports? CD/DVD?

      Price comparison at https://www.pricewatch.com. I keep on saying this in all my posts but I don’t own any stock in them

      I have a PC since I need it to be compatible with work. I go for the fastest CPU. Currently, that title goes back to Intel. But you have to know your part numbers. I have an Intel Core2 Duo T7200. You want the minimum of the T7200 because it has a bigger L2 cache that the other models. T7400 is better but its a higher premium, etc. I personally do not like Radeon. Radeon device drivers are always poorly written. Nvidia has better drivers. But, this is usually based on experience, so either is fine, I just prefer NVidia.

      Resolution – I think all of the big box retailers think we are all stupid. A standard screen is 1280×1024 if you get an LCD monitor. To make the laptop have a “widescreen”, they make the resolution on the laptops 1280×900, 1280x 800 or even worse! Don’t fall for traps. I like 1650×1050 screens for my laptops. You can get these at pricewatch.com, my favs are Acer and Asus. If you are not a hardware guru and are afraid of non-US name brand stuff, my favorite is https://www.hp.com. The HP stuff in the stores have the stupid screens. You can specify and order higher resolution screens on their site. If you have good credit, you can even apply for their credit and pay no interest for 3 months-6months (depending on their promo).

      RAM – Vista is a poor product, it takes up huge disk space, it eats up RAM (Which makes your system run slower than laptops from 5 years ago). Get one with XP loaded instead. Minimum 1GRAM. Optimal 2G RAM. (If you are stuck with Vista, get 3G RAM, don’t get 4G, the last Gig can’t be used by the laptop because it’s mapped with the video drivers and shawdow RAM). WARNING! Laptops only have two slots, so if you get a laptop with 512M RAM, it has two 256M RAM cards in it. So if you want to go to 1G you need to get two 512M sticks and toss the ones in your laptop. You can get RAM cheap at https://www.pricewatch.com so I recommend that you get two 1G sticks… Hard Disk Size – 80G minimum, my favorite is 100G Hard Disk Speed – 4200, 5400, 7200

      Big box store sell 4200rpm and 5400rpm drives. Too slow. I go to newegg.com and get a 100G 7200rpm drive and replace whatever is in there. If you go to a pricewatch merchant, you can specify speed. WARNING: For store bought laptops, if you swap the hard drive out, it will VOID your warantee. So if you are not a hardware guru, don’t swap the hard drives out! What I do is keep the old drive and if it needs to go back for repair, re-swap it back in. But you didn’t hear that from me

      Bluetooth – I have an “air modem” through my cell phone to connect to the internet. Other uses, bluethooth mp3 players so yopu don’t need to wire up devices that way… WiFi – this is a must. Don’t even consider a laptop without Wifi. Even if you don’t have Internet at home, you can go to Panera (in the US) and get free Wifi access to get onto the Internet. Also, this is really good if you travel because most hotels have Wifi now for free*. (* Cheaper hotels have free Wifi but the expensive hotels charge you for it, go figure that logic out). Ports – make sure it is USB2 and I also always want a Firewire port on the laptop. CD/DVD – make sure it comes with a DVD burner! Sorry for the long answer, but if you consider all of these points, you would be a lot happier! Of course, the more you want the more it costs…

      My laptop is an Asus G1 Intel DuoCore with a 100G 7200rpm (I swapped it out) hard drive running Windows XP (I deleted Vista) and boosted the RAM to 2G.

      Comment by Car rentals Tenerife — December 25, 2009 @ 6:32 am

    • Apple, with educational discount Price is okay. customer service very good. You have to remember that processor speed is not the only thing. The quality of the operating system, the bundled software, hardware design and build, and customer service has been very good. I’ve experience of a number of hardware failures over the years, some Apple, some windows. Apple: One motherboard failed in an iBook after about three months. Into the store, they checked and diagnosed, removed the hard drive and put it into a new machine – job done. Toshiba: A new laptop needed the following over three years: a new power supply, display, sound board, mother board, hard drive, comms board; and it had all the usual windows problems. In all cases it had to be returned to base. Compaq:

      problems with a CD drive, and a hard drive. Return to base and wait.

      Comment by philipsc — December 25, 2009 @ 6:32 am

    • I brought my last laptop at best buy. I would give it 8 out of ten. There service is great and people are helpful. I got an Toshiba and it is still working fine.

      Comment by smartguy — December 25, 2009 @ 6:32 am