Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Toshiba Laptops – Do I Hate Them?

It’s been a long ride with this laptop.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that the customer service and effort I’ve from Toshiba is sub-standard. I think that many larger companies have pretty crappy service, and this isn’t unusual. I’ve seen too many reviews, and I’ve ready hundreds in the last month, from all brands. There are plenty of horror stories about every manufacturer, and I see them in other areas as well. I think that my laptop has failed miserably in a way that isn’t as simple as replacing a part. So I’m caught in a bad spot.

I’ve had this laptop for 2 years, and here’s my impression of this Qosmio machine. This was the F40, which upgraded to the F45 fairly soon after I got this one. It then became the X505 now, which is a nice quad core, 18” beast. More than I want.

My impressions of this laptop were that it was of pretty good quality. I like the keyboard, the touch pad isn’t too sensitive, there isn’t a lot of flex in the machine. I’ve traveled to the UK and back, Seattle 4 or 5 times, Orlando, Pensacola, Washington DC, Indianapolis, and a few other places in 2 years with this machine, not to mention numerous trips around Colorado. It’s help up well, and I haven’t had any issues. The battery doesn’t have a great charge after nearly 2 years, but it still works for a couple hours.

The laptop ran Vista, which isn’t Toshiba’s fault. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either. There were a few flaky things, like a 6GB interview video I did with Buck Woody that I couldn’t delete. However that was a likely a Windows problem, not hardware related. On the hardware side, things haven’t been as smooth.

About a year after I got this laptop I went to reboot it at one point the the POST screen froze. I know this because there’s a status bar that runs across the screen as it starts. I rebooted 4 or 5 times and finally it completed, but it had me nervous. I ran the laptop for a few months, ignoring Microsoft patches, afraid to reboot it. That has continued to the present day and I rarely reboot the machine if I don’t have to. About half the time the POST will freeze and I’ll spent 10-20 minutes rebooting over and over to try and clear it up. 

Last summer, about  18 months into ownership, the internal hard drive died. It sucked because it was on a trip, but I had a decent backup of stuff and managed to stick a new 320GB drive in there. The old one was about 160GB or so. Drives fail, no big deal, and I’m not sure it’s a failing for Toshiba.

Other than that, no memory issues, the CPU has been fine. The fan appeared to be dying at times, rattling around in the case, but it worked OK. The keyboard has been nice, and the trackpad working fine. Overall, everything is great.

As far as the hardware, other than the POST issue, Toshiba has done well. Customer service, however, leaves a lot to be desired.

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