The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

My Photo
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How to Shop for a Core Duo Laptop, Part 2

There has to be a reason for the $800 price difference between Dell and the second cheapest Core Duo laptop (from Toshiba).

We must remember a key principle of economics: TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch).

Having read through the user opinions of Dell laptops at CNET, I learned that a common complaint was the quality of the LCD display. "Light leakage" at the bottom of the display was a frequent complaint. Apparently the flat panels that Dell sources for their laptops are subpar.

C'mon, we all KNOW how Dell can sell their Inspiron 6400 for $800 less than anybody else! THEY CUT CORNERS. Lots of them. It may not be apparent to us when we take it out of the box and turn it on for the first time. But eventually we will understand why the laptop is so cheap.

I saw a story once about why Dell was so successful. They've fine-tuned their business model to be as efficient as possible. They've cut costs to the bone. The story posited that Dell may not be able to sustain their growth because there is NO MORE ROOM for efficiency. Like all the other players in the market, their profit margins are already razor-thin.

So how do you s'pose they can undercut all their competitors by $800? STAY AWAY FROM DELL LAPTOPS!

We can learn a lot about the quality of laptops from last year’s PC Magazine Reader Satisfaction Survey (visit here). You can download the survey results for notebook computers (in PDF format) from here.

In terms of Reliability, Apple, Fujitsu and Lenovo/IBM rank at the top. Gateway is at the bottom.

In terms of Tech Support, Apple and Lenovo/IBM score top marks. Sony and HP/Compaq are at the bottom.

Across the board, Toshiba is pretty much average. Gateway, HP/Compaq and Sony generally suck.

Fujitsu looks promising, though. Maybe I should give these guys a serious look.

Supposedly Dell has pretty decent Tech Support and Repairs but I still don’t trust them.


Post a Comment

<< Home