Her old Dell Inspiron died, again. First it was a motherboard. Then a hard disk. And a cracked bezel. Now it looks like its a motherboard again.
The power supply bits are, IMO, completely unforgivable. Until Dell lets us use a replacement supply that is not manufactured by Dell, we won’t be buying Dell laptops. I suspect this will be a while.
But this laptop, and my wife’s version, have lots of problems. Never mind the proliferation of crapware that you have to pull off to make it work. No, these things have interesting random failures on the Wifi, the power supplies, the screens, and the construction is crap. Cheap plastic everywhere. Plastic that easily breaks in normal usage (opening and closing the screen).
We got these for them about 2 years ago, while I still had my 4100 workstation as a laptop. I liked the 4100. It was pretty good at the time, and I thought Dell wasn’t a half bad maker of laptops.
Fast forward 2 years, and problem after problem after problem. My wife asks me regularly what people without computer types do. I suggest that they likely are suffering with crappy product that they have no way of dealing with.
So on the latest problem, the unit doesn’t want to start up. Looks like the motherboard is shot, takes 5-10 cycles of bios to start to bios to start … before it gets fully up. The hard disk may be shot as well, not sure.
So I went out and bought a replacement laptop for my daughter. She needs one for school.
The problem is, all laptops these days come pre-taxed with the Microsoft Windows 8 … “OS”. And all of her old apps won’t work with it (older Office for students, etc.). So I had to “downgrade” it to Windows 7. Curiously, while the manufacturer notes that there are steps one can take to do this, they don’t support it (of course!), and they provide absolutely no drivers. Not even for Windows 8.
So I spent the weekend working on the project and now its done apart from 1 driver that reports that it is not loaded. I asked Samsung about it (its an NP520u4c), and their response to me was basically, “oh well”.
But the laptop works very well in Windows 7. Its just unsupported by Samsung.
A better idea would be, I dunno, allowing end users to choose their OS? Imagine that.
Daughter is primarily windows (as is wife). Might be able to get them to Linux or Mac in a few years. Fewer headaches, stuff will just work. And no more crapware on “OSes”.