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Old 13th March 2018, 10:35   #5041
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Thanks guys.


@vasudeva: was the vendor referring to build quality or after sales?

Did not check much since as I was not inclined much anyway and this happened some years back.
Sorry to disappoint.
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Old 13th March 2018, 11:42   #5042
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

Guys, requesting advice.

I'm using a Dell Latitude E6430 which is nearing the end of its 5-year warranty (31st March). Love Dell because - whatever fails in the laptop - they get it up and running on the same day. Have seen them send parts & a technician in 4 hours or less after lodging a complaint.

The laptop is currently working flawlessly and I've already upgraded to an SSD + new battery. In its 5 years, it's only had a single warranty replacement (cooling fan). Questions:

1. Should I replace it with a new one? Primary reason would be the uptime requirement. I cannot have a dead laptop on any working day (loss of productivity is too much).

2. What's the typical life of a laptop? By when should a business user replace it (warranty or no warranty)?

3. If the worst part fails, what's the max time we can have it up & running in? 1 day? Or more?

My laptop is to me what an Innova is to a tour operator. I cannot have it down from morning to evening (max 24 hours, but even that is too much).

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by GTO : 13th March 2018 at 11:43.
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Old 13th March 2018, 12:27   #5043
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Questions:

1. Should I replace it with a new one? Primary reason would be the uptime requirement. I cannot have a dead laptop on any working day (loss of productivity is too much).
Given your uptime requirement, you should. Parts availability will become scarcer, so repairs will take longer.

Quote:
2. What's the typical life of a laptop? By when should a business user replace it (warranty or no warranty)?
My organisation replaces business laptops every 3 years for critical staff. No repairs are done for anyone outside warranty support.

Quote:
3. If the worst part fails, what's the max time we can have it up & running in? 1 day? Or more?
Out-of-warranty repairs are usually best effort basis, even if you have a service contract. Reason same as point 1.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 13th March 2018 at 12:29.
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Old 13th March 2018, 12:28   #5044
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The laptop is currently working flawlessly and I've already upgraded to an SSD + new battery. In its 5 years, it's only had a single warranty replacement (cooling fan).
Glad to know this. SSD is probably the best thing you can do to your laptop.

Quote:
1. Should I replace it with a new one? Primary reason would be the uptime requirement. I cannot have a dead laptop on any working day (loss of productivity is too much).
Yes. Main reason being your requirement for 0 downtime. Dell promises a very low downtime for under warranty units with on-site service.

Quote:
2. What's the typical life of a laptop? By when should a business user replace it (warranty or no warranty)?
5-7 years is the typical life where you won't experience severe performance drops. Reason being, just for example consider the internet speeds, photo/file sizes, etc. 5 years ago. As you already have an SSD, not much can be done that will give you a better return on your investment. When the usage is critical, its best to stick replacing your laptops every 5 years. Generally it was understood that a Mac has longer life, however, these days the gap between PC and Macs is reducing. However, there is no question that for a business user, its best to buy from a company that offers the biggest warranty.

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3. If the worst part fails, what's the max time we can have it up & running in? 1 day? Or more?
In a city like Mumbai, unless its a public holiday, you can have it sorted out from shops on Lamington Road in about half a day. But yes, assume a 1 day downtime.
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Old 13th March 2018, 12:36   #5045
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

In a similar predicament as GTO.

Currently using a 2011 MacBook Pro (Core i7, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD) and evaluating my options.
My usage is primarily only at office (out of office I use my phone to do all my work), and the most used apps are Chrome / Firefox, Microsoft Office & Outlook.

The Mac has been working flawlessly, but given it's age I am in two minds whether to replace it or upgrade it.

1) Upgrade to a bigger RAM and an SSD and extend it's life for another 3 years.

2) Replace it with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 - I love the idea of a tablet and PC. Can hook it up to a monitor at office with a wireless keypad; and also carry it around like a tablet on trips or when the driver is driving.

3) Replace it with another Mac - not my preferred option as it's bloody expensive for what is really very basic usage.

4) Replace it with a basic Windows laptop - least preferred option.

Any suggestions?
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Old 13th March 2018, 12:42   #5046
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

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Guys, requesting advice.
I bought two laptops in 2011 when i was in USA, one was Dell XPS and other Macbook Air.
Macbook is the one I use for my office work. XPS sits at home. But I have everything backed up. One fine day in Nov'17, XPS refused to start (Have not got a chance to repair it due to excessive travel) but since I had everything backed up I didnt loose anything and my cousin was coming from USA so got myself an alienware for home.

In these 6.5 years nothing failed except I changed battery.
Macbook is still working well except now will have to change battery and also has become slightly slow so I may get a new one if it becomes terribly slow (not sure though)

I would suggest to get another Laptop just to be on safer side.

Last edited by sagpatel : 13th March 2018 at 12:44.
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Old 13th March 2018, 12:48   #5047
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If you are planning on a new laptop, strongly advise on 17 inch 2160p as it really to some extent overcome the shortcomings of a small screen and does to some extent enable split screen. Plus the text quality is much superior. In US, upgrading the screen costs around 100-120 $ (from 1080p) but could be more in India if 2160p is an option.
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Old 13th March 2018, 15:48   #5048
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1) Upgrade to a bigger RAM and an SSD and extend it's life for another 3 years.
I will suggest you to upgrade the HDD to SSD as well as plonk in 8/16 Gb ram. You are one of the lucky persons to have upgradeable Macs.

I have a mid-2011 iMac, in which I have plonked in a 256 Gb SSD and upgraded the ram to 20 Gb. (4+16). Refer to guides on ifixit. As long as you follow the guide, its's a maximum of half a day's DIY.
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Old 13th March 2018, 15:55   #5049
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

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Given your uptime requirement, you should. Parts availability will become scarcer, so repairs will take longer.

My organisation replaces business laptops every 3 years for critical staff. No repairs are done for anyone outside warranty support.
I think most spares are already not available, so you have to search and scout. Whether third party or Dell does no matter. If you have a reliable technician then you can get away with a lot.

I will say two to three years are fine for a Windows machine, though a Mac can see you through five years.
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Old 13th March 2018, 16:08   #5050
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I think most spares are already not available, so you have to search and scout. Whether third party or Dell does no matter. If you have a reliable technician then you can get away with a lot.
Business laptops usually maintain parts consistency over a model's production run to maintain service consistency at the expense of offering the latest gadgetry, while commercial laptops are more prone to part changes over a similar cycle but servicing often becomes a headache.

In-warranty repairs just shifts the scouting burden on the manufacturer, and Dell has a good reputation A.S.S. wise.

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I will say two to three years are fine for a Windows machine, though a Mac can see you through five years.
How long a machine lasts and how long it's reliably serviceable for someone who can't afford downtime are entirely different criteria. GTO's case is the latter, so it's better to change once out-of-warranty/service support. 5 years is a reasonable gadget life expectation though. I have a decade-old Dell that's doing fine except a dead battery that's no longer available anywhere

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 13th March 2018 at 16:12.
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Old 13th March 2018, 16:22   #5051
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Guys, requesting advice.
GTO, being the fact that the laptop is business critical for you, I definitely recommend buying a new one.

Quote:
1. Should I replace it with a new one? Primary reason would be the uptime requirement. I cannot have a dead laptop on any working day (loss of productivity is too much).
Yes. 5 years is a long time in the life of computer components, and they CAN be unreliable after that.

Quote:
2. What's the typical life of a laptop? By when should a business user replace it (warranty or no warranty)?
3-5 years is the benchmark for most companies.

Quote:
3. If the worst part fails, what's the max time we can have it up & running in? 1 day? Or more?
Depends on the service available in your city, but seeing as you have a good relationship with Dell already, I would quote 1 day as the maximum downtime, assuming that the part is readily available of course.

Cheers
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Old 13th March 2018, 17:02   #5052
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I will suggest you to upgrade the HDD to SSD as well as plonk in 8/16 Gb ram. You are one of the lucky persons to have upgradeable Macs.

I have a mid-2011 iMac, in which I have plonked in a 256 Gb SSD and upgraded the ram to 20 Gb. (4+16). Refer to guides on ifixit. As long as you follow the guide, its's a maximum of half a day's DIY.
Thank You! That's why the thought of upgrading this and using it for a little while more may make the most sense. I am quite happy with the laptop as is.
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Old 14th March 2018, 17:19   #5053
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Given your uptime requirement, you should.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Yes. Main reason being your requirement for 0 downtime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagpatel View Post
I would suggest to get another Laptop just to be on safer side.
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Originally Posted by Joxster View Post
GTO, being the fact that the laptop is business critical for you, I definitely recommend buying a new one.
Thanks guys! I'll go for a new one then.

Dell has thrown a spanner in the works though.

1. They don't have any Latitudes with Win7. It's a must for me. I don't want to move to Win10 just yet. Surprising as Dell USA is listing laptops with Win7.

2. They have no model compatible with my current dual-screen docking port.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
If you are planning on a new laptop, strongly advise on 17 inch 2160p as it really to some extent overcome the shortcomings of a small screen and does to some extent enable split screen.
Thanks! Screen size isn't a worry as I have a dual monitor setup on my desk. I just place the laptop on the docking port and use a full screen + keyboard + mouse all day.
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Old 15th March 2018, 16:58   #5054
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Default Re: The Laptop Thread: Configs, deals & questions

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Thanks guys! I'll go for a new one then.
If you do the math, and divide the laptop cost over 5 years... it's really worth it -- especially when it's your #1 productivity tool.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Surprising as Dell USA is listing laptops with Win7.
Can you share a link?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
2. They have no model compatible with my current dual-screen docking port.
You'll need a new docking station. It will probably connect to your laptop with just a single cable (which will take care of power, display & usb).
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Old 15th March 2018, 18:30   #5055
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...
Can you share a link?
Dell is currently offering Windows 7 Pro as an option on the entire Latitude range, necessary because one can't force a business to upgrade similar to a retail customer.

Doesn't make much sense now though, given extended support is scheduled to expire in Jan 2020.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 15th March 2018 at 18:32.
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