Byte Me Article 273 – Craptops #2

Some Laptops Are Simply Just Duds

Two weeks ago I wrote about my experience with a new customers’ laptop which was running so slow that it was near unusable.  It had been purchased for $600 from a large chain store but only had 2GB of ram and lots of junk software.  We upgraded it to 8GB of ram and got rid of all the junk which resulted in it taking 40 seconds to start up instead of 9 minutes!  At least it could be fixed.

This week’s article centres on a similar experience, with a new customer this time spending $550 on a convertible laptop, again from a major retailer, however in this case it could not be fixed.  The laptop was an Acer Aspire Switch 10 which had been purchased only 6 months ago.  It had all of a sudden slowed to a point that it could not be used and it was taking an eternity to simply start.

Inspection revealed that it had two internal hard drives with one of them (the primary C drive) having a capacity of only 32GB which was full and a secondary drive which had a capacity of 500GB which was totally empty.  This laptop is supposed to offer the user the ‘ground breaking’ advantage of being able to remove the screen section from the base section that houses the keyboard, so that the screen can be used like a tablet.

2016-05-21 Byte Me Article 273 - Craptops #2

The major design flaw here is that when you separate the two halves you are also separating the two hard drives and leaving the larger 500GB drive with the base.  Because it is not encompassed in the ‘main’ screen section of the laptop, you can’t put any Windows files or program files onto it.  In effect this renders the 500GB drive no more useful than an external hard drive.

So the user is left with only 32GB of space for their entire Windows operating system and program files as well as their user library (Pictures, Documents, Downloads, Music, Videos, Contacts & Favourites).  This is simply not even close to adequate and our recommendation for a primary drive is a minimum of 120GB.

So what can we do to fix this situation?  Unfortunately absolutely nothing.  The 32GB drive is not upgradable and the 500GB is not able to help.  In this case the customer has wasted $550 and was none too pleased.  I hate having to be the bearer of bad news like this but our industry often boxes people into a corner due to bad advice regardless of what moneys they have previously spent.

I just had a look on a local major retailer’s web site and a similar Acer model to the above one, in this case an Acer Switch SW5-012 10.1” Touchscreen Convertible Laptop is still available on “clearance” at the (bargain?) price of $450.  Personally I do not know how a product as flawed as this is allowed to be sold in this country as it is simply a waste of an unsuspecting consumers $450.

Consumers in this country are sometimes too complacent.  If I sold a piece of junk like this to a customer then I would expect them to come back and want to throw it at me.  We thoroughly test and evaluate all of the products that we sell as we care about our reputation and our personal safety! 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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