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Fragile hardware can turn a great deal into a future expense

Started by Redaktion, December 23, 2019, 22:37:05

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Find a great deal on an expensive piece of tech can make a purchase especially tempting. However, such deals can come at an added cost. If you hold onto your tech for more than a year, internal repairability is something you should consider.


Sadly nothings designed for repaiability. Except thinkpads and expensive pro models.
Manufacturers are pushing us into extended warranty more and more


I don't buy ANY laptop without in-home warranty. Not gonna waste my time if things end up breaking, let them come to me. Well worth it.

Unfortunately that becomes a bit harder with gaming laptops (as many of the brands don't have that option), so I just use a credit card that extends purchase warranty.


Many low-cost gaming laptops have fragile hinges. The ones on my old Acer also gave up after a little more than a year.
Partly it's the materials, but I think there's also something about certain types of hinge designs that make them less likely to last.


"Sadly nothings designed for repaiability. Except thinkpads and expensive pro models.
Manufacturers are pushing us into extended warranty more and more".

Largely true. There are a few other exceptions out there. This makes them all the more interesting. I discovered Pine64 recently. You're expected to deal with problems yourself rather than return devices for repair though. On the smartphone front there's the recently reviewed Gigaset. Glued shut but 2 year warranty. Or one could just make one's own computer. You could even make it somewhat portable. Including a battery could be trikey though. Especially if you use an embedded processor. Most x86 boards require 19V input and all ARM boards I've come across require 5V input. A 12V 150W DC converter was covered  on this site about 3 months ago. All you need then is a portable external monitor and Bob's your uncle.


This is why I like to look for "enthusiast" / niche brands, like Clevo / Sager, or more recently TongFang.  Nothing is ever soldered on or glued down, and if something breaks you can go to your dealer and have them order a replacement.

My dogs knocked my Clevo W230ST off a nightstand and shattered one corner of the housing, including one hinge mechanism.  I was able to ask the vendor for an exploded parts diagram, identify the 3-4 that had been damaged, and order them all directly for about 80 bucks.  Since the motherboard had to be moved over, I had the local repair shop do the work for me, but it was pretty quick so he only charged me 40 bucks extra -- and even today, it still works like new.  I can't imagine that kind of service from a modern Dell or Lenovo, let alone Apple.

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