Plainly wrote:A Pickle: What's bloatware?
All of that crappy, pre-installed software that comes on your machine. Stuff like... trial versions of Microsoft Office, CyberLink PowerDVD, MyWebSearch Toolbar... do you think you could give us a screenshot of your Add/Remove Programs list?
DVStudio wrote:No actually Dells are the best brand (other than alien ware) out there.
If you had any idea what you're talking about, you would never have said that. I genuinely miss my Dell. Don't get me wrong -- I love my Alienware laptop. It's a good piece of hardware... but it wasn't built nearly as well as my Dell, nor is it REMOTELY supported as well as my Dell. In my mind, the computer itself is only half of your purchase (ESPECIALLY when it comes to laptops) -- the other half is the company behind that laptop. If that company won't stand behind you when the feces hits the fan, you've been had.
Give you an example.
The other day, I decided I wanted to re-format my hard drive and re-install my operating system which happened to be Windows Vista Ultimate. I looked and looked and looked for the disks that came with my computer, but to no avail. I couldn't find them. Then I though, "Aha! I can just call Alienware, because they'll send me new disks free of charge like Dell! After all, after having paid nearly $4,000 for a new computer, I should be treated like a customer they'd want to keep, right?"
Well, an ordinarily logical person would think so. But no, replacing my disks from Alienware would... actually... be a $20 fee. Mind you, I asked the same thing of Dell perhaps three times in one month -- and they NEVER asked me for money and my CD's were on my doorstep the day after the phone call. Unparalleled service.
Then there was the time I spilled water on my Alienware. Needless to say, after this event, it didn't boot. So we called Alienware, and they said they'd fix it, free of charge -- as I had paid for a 2-year warranty. I must've done half the work, though, because they had me check each and every component in my Alienware. Yes, they had me remove EVERYTHING from my Alienware, by myself.
...do they EXPECT all of their customers to just so happen to call Alienware while standing on a grounding pad with an anti-static wrist strap on?
Anyways. After fully disassembling and then re-assembling my laptop (probably about an hour of my time), they had ME find a box to package it in (fortunately, I still had the original packaging) and then they had ME... leave the battery and hard drives in. I was like, "What? But Dell has me take the hard drives out -- that way I won't lose any data. Why the hell do you need MY hard drives for anyways? You don't have any 2.5-inch hard drives at the repair center?"
"No sir, we don't." Yes. He actually said that. On the phone. Then he said, "Please remove the password protection from your operating system, and backup any data you need, there is a 50% chance we may format the hard drives." I was appalled. Had he not been listening the ENTIRE time? I HAD SPILLED WATER ON MY LAPTOP. IT NO LONGER TURNED ON. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO REMOVE THE OS PASSWORD AND BACKUP DATA?
Fortunately, three weeks later, I had my laptop back and my data hadn't been formatted. Of course, I checked my Alienware account, and there was a little charge of $206.51 for a "m5750 Motherboard Replacement." Interesting indeed, considering... they said that I wouldn't be charged.
I love how they treat their customers, especially customers who've made a fairly large first-time purchase. To date, Alienware has yet to update their drivers for my Mobility Radeon X1900 graphics card. I have since found a way to do it myself (and those of you with ATI mobility graphics in their laptops, who want to know how to use the latest desktop drivers in their laptops, feel free to ask)
Of course, the Dell side of that experience was twice as good. I'm sorry -- my mistake. The Dell side of that experience was four-hundred and eleven times as good. My grandmother spilled a martini in my then-former E1705 (which I had sold to my parents prior to Basic Training). Despite this, the computer still worked -- so my parents COULD have removed the OS password and backed up their data -- had they needed to
Apparently Dell, unlike Alienware, has a stock of diagnosis hard drives in the repair facility, and so they asked my mother to remove the hard drive and the battery from her laptop -- and that was it. The next day, a DHL pre-paid shipping box was at our doorstep -- and the laptop was off to Dell. Eight days later, a brand new, totally replaced and fully-functioning Inspiron E1705 running Windows Vista Home Premium was sitting on our doorstep.
Wait a minute, though. My mom had removed the battery and hard drive as per Dell's instructions... so... this laptop... had it's own... hard drive and battery... which means Dell, not only replaced the laptop free-of-charge, but also gave us a free battery AND 80 GB 7200 RPM laptop hard drive (which now, thanks to a Vantec 2.5" enclosure, serves as a portable external hard drive).
I'm sorry. Alienware does not begin to compare to the quality that you get from Dell. Nowhere even close.
Mequellios wrote:Crapola, I was a tad late.
But for anyone else, heres a good place to buy PCs. They're pretty dern cheap and I've been recommended this website quite frequently.
On second thought, if Alienware is at least a TAD better than anyone, it's them. Sorry, IBuyPower is a terrible company.
Where do I go to get drivers? Maybe it's on that tiny-as-hell, gray "Service" link at the very bottom of the page against a slightly lighter-grey background... but I can't find it, because when I click that link, it takes me to a paragraph that tells me just how great IBuyPower's customer service is.
Wait, wait... I found it. It's under the "Technical Support" link to the right of the self-praising paragraph. I just select whether or not it's a desktop or a laptop... select the model... and... I can download the "driver" for my laptop!
Wow. That's awesome. IBuyPower offers ONE driver for an ENTIRE SYSTEM. That makes sense. Especially since I definitely won't upgrade. Hmm. I'm gonna click that "Download Driver" button...
...now I'm at Compal's website. Hmm. I'm going to dissuade any thoughts in my mind that IBuyPower just linked me to the ACTUAL manufacturer of the laptop and... so I'll just click this folder.... whup. Subfolders. Okay... now I'll click "Driver"...
That was just one model of notebook I tried searching for drivers for. I randomly tried searching for drivers for the "G600" notebook, whatever that is... and I got send to ECS's homepage. No... uh.... no drivers. Whatsoever. I've been taken to ECS's homepage. Where... uh... where do I go from there?
Yeah. No. IBuyPower is lame beyond all means of comprehension. It's just scary.
cdolsen wrote:A desktop is more flexible. You can upgrade all components as you get the cash without problems. ie You can't add additional internal hard disks, or upgrade a video card.
Uh... wrong. The only things you can't *traditionally* add to a laptop would be the video card or the LCD. To say that you flat-out can't upgrade them -- wrong.
Everything else? Cakewalk. Hard drives? Easy. All notebooks manufactured by companies expecting to be taken seriously, use industry standard 2.5" hard drives. I have two such drives in my notebook, and I can set them up as a RAID 0 striped volume, a JBOD array, or a RAID 1 mirrored volume. Given current technology, I could have a total of 640 GB in my notebook.
Optical drives? Cake. Again, industry standard slimline optical drives.
RAM? Duh. That's an easy one.
Anything else? Use the hot-swappable ExpressCard or PCMCIA slots. I know what you're thinking, "But no one uses ExpressCard! There's nothing out there for it!" And you're wrong. ExpressCard, using PCI-Express and having the bandwidth of a PCIe x1 slot provides us with a full-duplex, bidirectional 250 MB/sec bandwidth. CardBus/PCMCIA had a MAXIMUM throughput of 132 MB/sec, and that was only operating in something known as DWord mode.