Laptop warranty question

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Kamal

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Apr 19, 2004, 2:59:29 PM4/19/04
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I have finally figured out that I want to buy a Toshiba- still in the
process of figuring out the exact model. I can buy the warranty from
Toshiba as well as the store from which I will buy the machine
(Circuit City, Best Buy, CompUSA etc.)

A questions for the laptop veterans out there- what should I look for
in terms of the warranty ? Is extended warranty really helpful ? With
the little kids running in and out of the house, do you think screen
coverage is needed ? Any specific thing(s) that I should definitely
check for ?

Kamal

mi-oldradios

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Apr 19, 2004, 3:28:30 PM4/19/04
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Buy the extended from the manufacturer not the retailer.

--

Please reply to:
mi_oldradios at yahoo dot com
"Kamal" <kamal...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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HillBillyBuddhist

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Apr 19, 2004, 5:11:45 PM4/19/04
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"mi-oldradios" <wa...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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Considering the initial cost and the potential cost of repairs I bought an
extended warranty on mine from the manufacturer. (Dell) I also have little
ones (4 & 6) and towards that end purchased the additional "accidental"
damage warranty. If I never need them I'll say "Oh Well." If I do boy I'll
feel so smart.

--
D

I'm not an MVP a VIP nor do I have ESP.
I was just trying to help.
Please use your own best judgment before implementing any suggestions or
advice herein.
No warranty is expressed or implied.
Your mileage may vary.
See store for details. :)

Remove shoes to E-mail.


Lewin A.R.W. Edwards

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Apr 19, 2004, 9:16:32 PM4/19/04
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> in terms of the warranty ? Is extended warranty really helpful ? With
> the little kids running in and out of the house, do you think screen
> coverage is needed ? Any specific thing(s) that I should definitely

Extended warranties aren't worth the paper they are printed on - they
are sucker bait and a pure profit center for the companies that sell
them.

You really need an _insurance_ policy against loss, theft or
accidental damage. Your homeowners' or renters' policy may already
cover you for damage that occurs in the home, check it out before
spending one penny on third-party services.

HillBillyBuddhist

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Apr 20, 2004, 5:37:05 AM4/20/04
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"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" <la...@larwe.com> wrote in message
news:608b6569.04041...@posting.google.com...

Interesting POV. Please explain further.

Just about any repair to a laptop is going to be expensive. Just having it
looked at out of warranty is likely going to cost more than the extended
warranty.

If one buys an extended warranty for $150.00 which goes on to cover an
$800.00 repair after the initial warranty expires that seems like a decent
investment. Home owners or renters insurance is not going to cover a failed
LCD or system board.

You *may* never need it but by that logic why buy health or auto insurance.
You *may* never need those either. If you do however they sure are nice to
have.

--
D

Remove shoes to E-mail.


Ian S.

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Apr 20, 2004, 12:53:46 PM4/20/04
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"Kamal" <kamal...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:63f50435.04041...@posting.google.com...

Some of the platinum credit cards double the manufacturer's warranty up to
an additional year of coverage at no cost to you.


Lewin A.R.W. Edwards

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Apr 20, 2004, 5:22:33 PM4/20/04
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> Interesting POV. Please explain further.

Simple: The majority of electronic failures will be so-called infant
mortality, which will practically by definition occur within the
warranty period. Outside the infant mortality period, the most likely
cause of failure is far and away user abuse, which isn't covered by
extended warranties.

The three parts in a laptop that have a definite finite lifespan due
to mechanical factors are the hard drive, optical drive (if fitted),
and the LCD backlight. Any one of these can be replaced TODAY for less
than your $150 price, and the prices of these components are
constantly falling. By the time you need them - if you ever do - they
will be cheaper still.

You are looking at the gamble the way the seller wants you to, instead
of the way THEY look at it. You are not spending $150 fersure against
the maybe of a $800 repair. You are spending $150 fersure against the
likelihood of needing a $50 repair, and the outside chance of needing
a more expensive repair. Rest assured that you can never beat the
house.

> Just about any repair to a laptop is going to be expensive. Just having it

Any professional repair to a low-margin modern appliance that's out of
warranty - computer, TV set (excluding very high-end HDTV equipment),
Walkman, etc, is prohibitively expensive. This is particularly true of
computers, because nobody - including manufacturers - is willing to
repair them. They simply swap out subassemblies. These appliances are
disposable.

I repeat: Extended warranties on consumer electronics are sucker bait
and a pure profit center for the companies that offer them. Why do you
think retailers like Best Buy have their clerks hound you to buy
extended warranty for every single purchase they ring up?

Post your comments again in a NG that deals primarily with electronic
engineering - you'll find me regularly in comp.arch.embedded and
sci.electronics.components, if you want to try those - and see what
other people in the industry tell you about extended warranties.

HillBillyBuddhist

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Apr 21, 2004, 8:33:05 AM4/21/04
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"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" <la...@larwe.com> wrote in message
news:608b6569.04042...@posting.google.com...

| > Interesting POV. Please explain further.
|
| Simple: The majority of electronic failures will be so-called infant
| mortality, which will practically by definition occur within the
| warranty period. Outside the infant mortality period, the most likely
| cause of failure is far and away user abuse, which isn't covered by
| extended warranties.
|
| The three parts in a laptop that have a definite finite lifespan due
| to mechanical factors are the hard drive, optical drive (if fitted),
| and the LCD backlight. Any one of these can be replaced TODAY for less
| than your $150 price, and the prices of these components are
| constantly falling. By the time you need them - if you ever do - they
| will be cheaper still.
|
| You are looking at the gamble the way the seller wants you to, instead
| of the way THEY look at it. You are not spending $150 fersure against
| the maybe of a $800 repair. You are spending $150 fersure against the
| likelihood of needing a $50 repair, and the outside chance of needing
| a more expensive repair. Rest assured that you can never beat the
| house.

Then we'll agree to disagree.

I agree with you that extended warranties are not umm warranted with the
majority consumer electronics. Laptop computers are a definite exception.

I would add that your notion of a $50.00 laptop repair is extraordinarily
optimistic. Even a component which you concede as having a "definite finite
lifespan" such as a backlight will run several hundred dollars after parts
and labor unless you obtain the parts and do the repair yourself. With a
very few exceptions people simply *do not* repair their own laptops. The
cost of returning the computer to the manufacturer (the repair route most
consumers will take) for repair of something as simple as a power button
will almost certainly outweigh the cost of an extended warranty.

"Infant mortality" statistics sound fancy however, on an individual basis,
that nothing will break after the initial warranty is a 50/50 gamble. It's
one I prefer to take.

Working from your theory of a "low-margin modern appliance that's out of
warranty" I've "Beat the House" on several non-computer extended warranties.
One example, the $60.00 extended warranty on a treadmill for saved me a
$500.00+ belt and deck replacement. Just having them come out to look at it
even if no repairs were maid was $96.00.

At the risk of redundancy, people *do not* repair their laptops computers
themselves they send them out. If you have to factor in the cost of labor on
practically any item the cost of an extended warranty usually "beats the
house."

Bruce Markowitz

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Apr 21, 2004, 11:15:52 PM4/21/04
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I TOTALLY DISAGREE
A laptop component can fail ANY time. I have had bad motherboards,
keyboards, LCD's. In the first two years of the laptops life, those
components will be very expensive and hard to get.
Extended manufacturers warranty (up to at least three years) is well
worth it. Aftermarket warranties are worthless, in my experience.

On 20 Apr 2004 14:22:33 -0700, la...@larwe.com (Lewin A.R.W. Edwards)
wrote:

Michael Rainey

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Apr 22, 2004, 7:35:27 AM4/22/04
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I have a Dell Inspiron 8100. It worked flawlessly for the first year. Over
the next six months, I saw failure of the LCD, video card, and AC adapter.
Without the $119 Dell warranty extension, I would have been out a grand to
get everything fixed.

"Bruce Markowitz" <sco...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:40873887...@news-server.optonline.net...

Lewin A.R.W. Edwards

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Apr 22, 2004, 7:19:33 AM4/22/04
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> I would add that your notion of a $50.00 laptop repair is extraordinarily
> optimistic. Even a component which you concede as having a "definite finite
> lifespan" such as a backlight will run several hundred dollars after parts

Rubbish. A backlight CCFL costs between $5 and $20 depending on the
type and how you purchase it.

> At the risk of redundancy, people *do not* repair their laptops computers
> themselves they send them out.

I think you're underestimating the average man on the street. I'm
probably something of an atypical case, but I have never sent one of
my own appliances out for third-party repair (excluding automobiles).
Appliance repairs fall into two categories: I can do it myself, or
it's not cost-effective.

Lewin A.R.W. Edwards

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Apr 22, 2004, 7:38:17 AM4/22/04
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> A laptop component can fail ANY time. I have had bad motherboards,

But statistically, they usually don't fail "ANY" time. Let me give you
a quick lesson in electronic product warranties (and pardon me for
sounding condescending, but you're speaking the irritating foolishness
of a gambler who claims he's on a "winning streak", so it's
justified): The failure rate for electronic appliances follows a curve
that looks something like an inverse bell. There is a high rate of
failure in the initial [days/months] due to infant mortality issues.
The failure rate then drops to a low noise level for some period of
time, and then begins to climb again as components begin to physically
wear out.

The manufacturer's task is twofold:

a) to perform enough in-house testing (burn in) that a significant
proportion of infant mortality cases don't get out of the factory,
because it's much cheaper to fix a dead baby in the factory than have
a user ship it back after going through distribution.

b) to calculate how much warranty to offer on the product as a whole
so that the warranty expires before too many units have reached the
"wear-out" stage of their life. This calculation is based, in part, on
estimated "typical usage" scenarios. For instance, one of the biggest
stresses on a system is power-up, partly due to large current inrush
charging all those bypass caps on the board, and partly due to thermal
cycling effects which flex all the joints on the board, and I'm
particularly thinking here of the joints under BGA devices. The
manufacturer assumes a certain usage pattern when calculating MTBF. If
you happen to use your computer atypically, you might become an early
failure and /that/ will make you a frequent warranty-claimant.

Engineering realities mean that, barring design flaws or unusual
circumstances, the parts of a portable computer that start climbing
that lifespan-related right-hand edge of the failure curve first are
the hard drive, optical drive and LCD backlight. As a rule, the
manufacturer does not offer separate warranties on these components
(exceptions exist: for example, a product I was responsible for
designing offered a 5-year parts & labor warranty on the appliance as
a whole, but only a 1-year warranty on the LCD backlight - after the
first year, you have to pay parts costs for replacing the CCFL. This
product was designed to run 24/7 and the CCFL was rated for 10,000
hours, which is only slightly more than a year).

Yes, if you play the slots in Vegas, occasionally you will walk away
with a $10,000 jackpot, but the odds are very good that you'll walk
away at the end of a day's gambling with slightly less money than you
started out with.

Extended warranties are a profit center for the company that offers
them, much like (say) health insurance. The prices are calculated
statistically with a certain anticipated profit level. They are not an
altruistic service offered for the good of the impoverished working
man.

Buy all the lottery tickets you like - we need compulsive gamblers to
fund our school system - but at least understand that it's a
compulsion, and not scientifically justifiable.

HillBillyBuddhist

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Apr 22, 2004, 9:20:32 AM4/22/04
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"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" <la...@larwe.com> wrote in message
news:608b6569.04042...@posting.google.com...
| > I would add that your notion of a $50.00 laptop repair is
extraordinarily
| > optimistic. Even a component which you concede as having a "definite
finite
| > lifespan" such as a backlight will run several hundred dollars after
parts
|
| Rubbish. A backlight CCFL costs between $5 and $20 depending on the
| type and how you purchase it.
|

Interesting how you snipped my post right before the words "and labor" see
previous post/next paragraph.


| > At the risk of redundancy, people *do not* repair their laptops
computers
| > themselves they send them out.
|
| I think you're underestimating the average man on the street.


Am I?

My Wife works at a law firm. My Brother is a Physician in a family practice.
I take care of a good number of their and their associates computer needs.
These "average men (and women) on the street" (many of them with Law and
Medical degrees mind you) frequently pay me to install RAM and to install
and configure software. Most of them are lucky to find the power button and
call someone if anything other than the expected happens when they do. They
have no clue what's inside a laptop and would laugh at the notion of opening
one up. They are not computer hobbyists, or technology enthusiast they are
"average" users.

HillBillyBuddhist

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Apr 22, 2004, 10:46:35 AM4/22/04
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"Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" <la...@larwe.com> wrote in message
news:608b6569.04042...@posting.google.com...

>
> you're speaking the irritating foolishness

> of a gambler .

It's a shame you had to waste all that time typing out such an elaborate and
lengthy post. I stopped reading as soon as the insults started.

Your "voice" would carry better if you talked across to people and not down
to them.

While you're certainty entitled to your opinion, I stand by my original
post.

You have a real nice day now. ;-)

P.T. Breuer

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Apr 22, 2004, 11:12:08 AM4/22/04
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HillBillyBuddhist <hillbillybu...@columbus.rr.com> wrote:
> "Lewin A.R.W. Edwards" <la...@larwe.com> wrote in message
> news:608b6569.04042...@posting.google.com...

> >
> > you're speaking the irritating foolishness
> > of a gambler .

> It's a shame you had to waste all that time typing out such an elaborate and
> lengthy post. I stopped reading as soon as the insults started.

Then start again. Where do you perceive an insult!

> Your "voice" would carry better if you talked across to people and not down
> to them.

Stop perceiving things bassackwards and you will do better. His
reasning was excellent - if you have anything agaisnt the REASONING,
speak to it, otherwise pipe down.

> While you're certainty entitled to your opinion, I stand by my original
> post.

No you don't - you FAIL to stand by it. That's what cutting and running
from an argument means.

> You have a real nice day now. ;-)

You have a bad one. What an irritating fellow.

Peter

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