Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quote Blast

Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose.

- Agent Smith, Matrix Revolutions

-> SJ

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Do NOT purchase a Hewlett-Packard (HP) laptop.

"The laptop is personal again"

This was the jingle which was very effective. The ad impressed me a lot when they ran it 3 years back. Also my brother had been using an HP laptop for quite sometime and I enjoyed its feel and the HP proprietory software was excellent and made using the laptop and its features very easy. So when I researched laptops before purchasing one for myself I was already biased ever so slightly towards an HP laptop.

At that time HP was being praised about its quality. Many reviews said good things about HP laptops and plus its proprietory software was way better than other laptop manufacturers'. What I overlooked and did not see was the hardware problems that HP laptops had.

1) The lightscribe optical disc drive (CD/DVD Roms) manufactured by Matsushita and used by HP in its laptops is probably one of the worst parts. Mine got spoilt in 11 months from purchase. This had occured in my brother's laptop also, but at that time I had simply waved it off as a one time occurance which normally doesn't happen, giving HP the benefit of the doubt and HP decently called for the part and replaced it. 

But this happened again with my laptop and I couldn't go personally, as I had exams, so my brother took it to the service centre for me to get it replaced (before the warranty period ran out). The HP service centre conveniently said that I would have to leave my laptop for 2 weeks. Can you imagine their audacity? How can a person part with their laptop for such a long time? A laptop is a very important possession and specially so for me as all my work was on it and i used it extensively to prepare for my studies.

My brother asked them to call for the part and he'd get the laptop when the part arrived but the service centre conveniently refused to do that stressing on the fact that the laptop would have to lie in their office for 2 weeks till the part arrived. Does that make any sense to you? For god's sake its a CD/DVD drive. All one has to do it unscrew a few bolts slide out the old one and put in the new one. So for that the laptop has to be in the office for 2 weeks?!!? .. doesn't make any sense. IS HP TRYING TO GET OUT OF ITS CONTRACT?? Bunch of thieves!

As a result I couldn't use DVDs and CDs for months. I found an HP employee on Linked In and emailed him but he replied about 10 months late by that time I had purchased an external DVD drive for INR. 5000/-.

2) The battery on the HP Laptop is also probably the worst in the industry. My laptop's battery gave out soon after 1 year got over. I spoke to some HP sellers who told me that the battery got spoilt as the laptop was plugged in all the time. I accepted the fact and before joining my MBA institute I purchased a new battery for INR. 5000/- which worked very well giving me a 2.5hr battery backup. By about the time 1 year got completed it gave me a backup of approximately 2hrs which was very good and I was happy. But about 1 year 2-3 weeks after the purchase of the new battery the battery backup dropped suddenly from 2 hrs to 20 mins.

I was stymied.. how can any company so blatantly produce or supply such bad quality products and parts.

This was not the only thing. All my friends in my mba institute who have purchased HP laptops have had similar problems with their batteries. The batteries get spoilt very very fast. Faster than other manufacturers. Dell's last a little longer, while Acer and Lenovo batteries have had the longest life span.

Now I was sure that HP was a crooked company. It produced inferior quality products. All my friends here who own HP laptops have already vowed not to purchase HP again. so HP has already lost about 200 customers out of 300-400 and more as they advice their friends and relatives to not purchase HP.

3) This is not all, along with these all HP laptops on campus (including mine) have a heating problem. When playing a game or after long continuous usage the laptops become extremely hot. For example, as I write this post, i have the OS running with some small softwares like messenger, dictionary, firewall access, synaptics, winamp, anti-virus minimized to system tray and a Rockmelt browser sporting one gmail tab open, the bottom of my laptop has become hot. If I play a game like NFS or Command and Conquer or call of duty, I can be sure that my laptop will become so hot that I would not be able to keep it on my lap at all. And to note this is a problem with all HP laptops (atleast on campus).

How is that Dell laptops or apple macbook (pros) can have such tiny vents and not heat up so much while HP laptops get so hot that they singe your legs?!?!?

4) HP doens't give a windows dvd when you buy their laptop, instead they have a recovery manager software and drive. The recovery drive is today present on all laptops, but i do not understand why they do not give dvds. I have legally purchased the OS with my laptop and I am entitled to get the DVD or CD or whatever it is but HP instead charges about INR. 2500 to send "Recovery Discs" instead.

Dell gives the dvd, then why can't HP? What are they hiding?

This is another problem, because the Recovery Manager does not really reformat the hard disc. All it does is remove programs installed externally after a certain date and deletes other files and folders. It does not format or clean the hard disc/partition and re-install windows.

5) HP proprietory softwares and games take up a hell of a lot of space. After using recovery manager and resetting my c-drive I have about 15GB of free-space out of 40GB on my c-drive.

6) My laptop is coming apart and I mean literally. 4 screws have fallen out and disappeared. The body has come loose near the bottom edges of the screen and the speakers. The USB ports have become loose and the USBs keep getting loose and disconnected if they even shake a little. If my screen moves an inch, the laptop stops recognising the in-built mic and camera and then re-recognises them.

Let me explain the last part a little better. So whenever you insert a pen drive or a peripheral Windows makes a sound to acknowledge that something has been inserted and when you remove the said pen-drive or perpheral windows makes a sound to achnowledge that the said device has been removed. So if my screen moves a litte windows makes the said sounds as if something which was plugged in was removed and then put back in. Funny thing is that the USB ports are empty and the only thing that could get affected are the in-built camera and mics.

7) A friend had a 1 year and a couple of months old HP DV4 laptop. Her laptop's screen got spoilt. When she took it to HP they wanted to charge her INR. 14000/- to change the screen! WOW! i can buy a whole new laptop in that amount and these thieves want to charge that for a screen. She later got it repaired from a local repairman for just INR. 4000/-

I have now used my laptop for 3.5 years. To keep it functioning properly I have had to reformat my c-drive atleast once a year and I still like the HP proprietory softwares. But software does not a laptop make. Hardware plays as much of a role in making a good laptop as software does and HP hardware sucks to the core.

I know my laptop is old and as any machine it will have problems, if my battery and cd/dvd drive had given out after 2-3 yrs of usage I would have perfectly understood that wear and tear got to them and thus got spoilt. But 2 batteries gave out nearly exactly after a year or purchase?!!? bolts fell out after a few months of purchase?? oh and btw when I asked HP service centre to put in new bolts where they were missing they said that I'd have to purchase a set of bolts for about INR. 1100/- ... ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  1100 BUCKS FOR BOLTS!! what would normally cost them about 100 bucks to acquire and should give free of cost, they charge 10x the amount!! GOOD GOD what a BUNCH OF THIEVES!

Whatever said and done, i'm terribly unhappy about my laptop and am sure not gonna buy or recommend anyone to buy an HP laptop. HP is good for printers and thats it! Period!

Everyone I know is suffering after purchasing an HP laptop, no matter what the reviews say, HP is a company of thieves. They use inferior quality products which get spoilt immidiately after the completion of the warranty period and then they charge a bomb to repair the product and that too depends on whether you can leave your laptop behind for extended periods of time!!

If anyone is even thinking of purchasing a new HP laptop then please DO NOT. You will end up suffering. It'll be better if you go for a Sony, Dell, or Levnovo. Their proprietory software might be different but they are better and more hardy products.

-> SJ