Caveat Emptor When Buying a Notebook Computer

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Date: Friday, July 8th, 2005, 05:54
Category: Archive

An article by Rob Pegoraro for The Washington Post, Buyer be wise when looking for a laptop, discusses the practice of some Windows notebook vendors shipping a “starter” battery with their laptops and the tactic of low-balling laptop weights.

The biggest area of compromise is the battery. It’s bad enough that many laptop vendors act as if battery life is either a state secret or a mystery; there is no EPA estimate or Energy Star certification for this sort of thing.
But several of these companies seem to have also adopted one of the worst habits of the digital-camera business.
Just as some digicam manufacturers bundle “starter” memory cards that accommodate only a handful of photos, some laptop makers ? including Dell, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard ? ship computers with batteries that will expire before you can finish watching a movie.
If you want a longer run time, you’ll have to upgrade to a heavier, sometimes larger replacement battery. If you don’t think to do this as you order the machine online, you wind up paying for two batteries, one of which will be doomed to collect dust in a closet.


An article by Rob Pegoraro for The Washington Post, Buyer be wise when looking for a laptop, discusses the practice of some Windows notebook vendors shipping a “starter” battery with their laptops and the tactic of low-balling laptop weights.

The biggest area of compromise is the battery. It’s bad enough that many laptop vendors act as if battery life is either a state secret or a mystery; there is no EPA estimate or Energy Star certification for this sort of thing.
But several of these companies seem to have also adopted one of the worst habits of the digital-camera business.
Just as some digicam manufacturers bundle “starter” memory cards that accommodate only a handful of photos, some laptop makers ? including Dell, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard ? ship computers with batteries that will expire before you can finish watching a movie.
If you want a longer run time, you’ll have to upgrade to a heavier, sometimes larger replacement battery. If you don’t think to do this as you order the machine online, you wind up paying for two batteries, one of which will be doomed to collect dust in a closet.

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