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Hardware Thread, Laptop Manufacturer Choice in Technical; In the past I've always purchased Toshiba laptops. I'm really happy with the support we get from XMA regarding warranty ...
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    mortstar's Avatar
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    Laptop Manufacturer Choice

    In the past I've always purchased Toshiba laptops. I'm really happy with the support we get from XMA regarding warranty repairs, pricing etc. I'm more annoyed at Toshiba who have ridiculously short product-life (I just cannot order identical model if the order is more than 3 months apart) and the build quality of the laptops certainly seems to be going down with recent models.

    I'm looking at other manufacturers and was wondering what EduGeekers' thoughts were on the matter. I've had quotes for HP and Dell laptops. I've always had good support from Dell on our servers, I've had no experience with HP. I also see Lenovo mentioned on the board, what are there benefits over the other manufacturers? These are laptops for teachers and so, in theory(!), don't need to be student proof (though as we have had a laptop run-over here in the recent past, perhaps the students would take better care of them...)

    Thanks as always

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    broc's Avatar
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    All our staff laptops (& most student ones too) are DELL, approx 300 in total. We tend to buy DELL Latitude systems with 3 year onsite NBD warranty.

    DELL support for their 'business' class kit (ie Latitude) is generally very good; we have to jump through hoops when reporting a problem... is it plugged in, switched on, have you tried this/that/other but once you convince them it's broken they send an engineer out next day to fix. Occasionally for something like a duff HDD they will just send the parts.

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    Batman's Avatar
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    Woo a chance to express my opinion

    I'll echo that Dell laptops are excellent value for money and are usually pretty sturdy too.

    Our favourites are HP and Toshiba. We have a large number of HP 6710b laptops (which sadly you can't buy any more) and they have been rock solid, very reliable. I'm sure their current equivalent will be just as good. It's funny to hear you say you're looking to move away from Toshiba because we've just started buying them instead of Samsung. I agree that Toshiba do have a variable build quality depending on what model you buy (based on previous experience) but personally I think they've improved recently. I'd not have bought one for myself two years ago, but I'd be happy to now.

    We've had quite a lot of Samsung laptops which seemed great to begin with but 6 months on staff seem to be a little less happy with them. We've had a few strange problems with the VGA ports. Overall, I wouldn't recommend them, they're nice but there are plenty of better choices. Fujitsu Siemens are another to avoid, cheap and nasty.

    For durability IBM were always unbeatable in the past, but it's a bit hit and miss with Lenovo.

    Sony would be great if they weren't so fiddly to service (and expensive). If you have to remove much more than three screws to change the hard drive on a laptop then it gets a black mark from me! That said, we have some that are at least 4 years old and are still going strong despite much student punishment which is more than can be said for the Fujitsu Siemens models we have!

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    We buy nothing but Lenovo, and had no major problems with them, support is great but stick with the Thinkpad business class not the series aimed at home market. We are using R60's, R61's, T60 and T61's we must be near 150 now. We really like them for the build quality they are just so solid.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We switched from Toshiba and Fujitsu-Siemens laptops to HP about a year ago. They have been solid as a rock, and support has been first class when one has had a glitch (even the cheap ones we bought) - ie. go to their support site, fill in the form, they send confirmation and a bloke comes out with a box. They whisk it away, and in a couple of days it is back again.

    Compared with 8 weeks for one Fujitsu-Siemens laptop...

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    Netman's Avatar
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    Lenovo or HP here... we've tried everything but always come back to those two.

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    Dell & HP. I agree with what people say about Dell there systems are A+ all of our 900 clients are Dell and we are very happy with them.

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    Dell here, really good support plus they are really easy to get o/s images working properly, plus they keep the product line going for ages so you can keep buying the same model.
    Have some oldish Lenovo R60's which have been reliable but are now starting to fail. Did try a couple of Lenovos recently but had real problems with imaging them.
    On our permanent blacklist are Acer and HP.
    Most here have had good dealings with HP, we didn't and the unhelpfullness when our complaint was taken further up the food chain was unbelievable, so no more being purchased.

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    Batman's Avatar
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    My experience of "permenant blacklists" is that they often result in one's eating of humble pie. I would cite Sony Vaio as an example, in the early days of Vista they were the worst to downgrade, no XP drivers available for any new models. I went round telling everyone how rubbish they were and then suddenly they changed their policy and started offering all drivers for each machine in a single download, a policy better than any other manufacturer!

    Similarly, NTL customer service used to be awful but their broadband was the best you could get so it was worth some pain to get the product.

    I think you should take HP off your blacklist, although I agree with you on Acer, they're not world beaters they're designed to be cheap and cheerful on the whole. Who knows though, they might improve one day

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    teejay's Avatar
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    @Batman
    The HP on permanent blacklist is from SLT. Can't really go into details why but they won't be coming off, to be honest quite deservedly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    All our staff laptops (& most student ones too) are DELL, approx 300 in total. We tend to buy DELL Latitude systems with 3 year onsite NBD warranty.

    DELL support for their 'business' class kit (ie Latitude) is generally very good; we have to jump through hoops when reporting a problem... is it plugged in, switched on, have you tried this/that/other but once you convince them it's broken they send an engineer out next day to fix. Occasionally for something like a duff HDD they will just send the parts.
    Had to do that when I was working at a school and in the end I just got them to email me with all the possible hardware diagnostic key things so that I could get into the diagnostic mode myself and do all of that before hand ( obviously depending on the issue ) and did all the possible stuff I could before calling them that way when I call them I would just explain everything I did including there diagnostic bootup mode they have and letting them know what error code it gives you as well as the other things I have tried and that way they cant come back and say

    have you tried x, y or z and the answer / reply you get is either the one you want or they arrange for an engineer out.

    I also only dealt with one person at dell that way once I got to the relevant department ie there is one person who asks for an asset tag and then they pass you through to the laptop department for latitudes or w/e laptop you have and then I request an email address from that person because I can normally contact that person via email and its a lot easier and faster.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    @Batman
    The HP on permanent blacklist is from SLT. Can't really go into details why but they won't be coming off, to be honest quite deservedly.
    We have a simmilar ban in place for Dell.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    We have a simmilar ban in place for Dell.
    If you dont mind me asking - why dell ? what happened ?

    As long as its not apple it cant be that bad lol j/k not trying to start a flame war or nothing

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    HP for me, but am very temped by Lenovo and Sony, with Sony being VERY well priced for us in schools now tbh so much so they are exceptionally competitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    If you dont mind me asking - why dell ? what happened ?
    Aweful sales depatment when the specific school attempted to get quotes. Forty minutes on hold to get a we're not interested reply is not endearing. Vast and comprehensive issues when they brought and ruined Alienware in one hit along with the hardware performance.

    I'm sure that they do fast machines but my personal experience with every Dell that I have dealt with is that given the hardware they are way slower than they should be. I'm not sure whether it is just a case of bad motherboard hardware on the systems I have had the misfortune of dealing with but performance wise I have only ever found dells to be rubbish.

    We go for hp stuff in general, we have tried Lenvos ( workstations ) but again their hardware does not seem to be as robust as the hp offering.

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