06-16-2011 07:27 AM
Oldest desktop---2004 Dell 4700, multiple upgrades, has never needed repairs.
Newest desktop--2008 Dell 530, multiple upgrades, has never needed repairs of any type.
Oldest laptop--2005 Toshiba M35X, memory upgrade, still has OEM battery, never needed repairs.
Newest laptop--2008 Toshiba L-355, memory upgrade, has never needed repairs.
The desktops have both received upgraded power supplies, are maxed out on RAM, equipped with gaming video cards and larger than standard hard drives. Neither OEM P/S or HD on either was failing before replacement.
I don't know if I am simply lucky but to me, to have four computers this reliable, despite intensive use, seems unique.
06-16-2011 07:44 AM
2000 Sony Vaio- Desktop - Mother board shorted out in 2007
2003 Sony Vaio Laptop - no issues, no upgrades (about to replace with new one though)-battery is crap but is original
Custom Desktop (2007) - upgraded RAM and video card since construction (x2-built 2 one for me one for wife)
06-16-2011 09:40 AM
I guess it depends on what you mean by reliable. Some I've donated or orphaned off, or straight sold.
My family owns computers by Apple, HP, and Sony.
Speaking purely in terms of customer service, we've had great service from Apple and HP. The Sony we still have is more than four years old, we've never had to call them about it. We did buy a new Sony Y series about a year ago and returned it for a Mac because the Y series required an external DVD/RW. We spent over $120 on a Sony-branded one at the Sony Style store, and returned it a few days later with everything because it would not burn a simple data DVD without Nero. The version of Nero packaged in the box was not compatible with Windows 7, and Sony customer service would not send us the upgraded version for Windows 7. To troubleshoot, I plugged the Sony DVD/RW into my wife's Mac to see if it could burn, and it did.
This was more of a Windows limitation but bad on Sony for selling it as an accessory without the proper software. Any issues we have had with Apple or HP products have all been resolved by those respective companies, can't say anything but nice things about either of them.
As for hardware reliablity, it's a mixed bag. My wife had a white Macbook (2007) that has nearly constant issues with cracking plastic. The machine was always reliable and turned on, though. Apple replaced the computer a little over a year ago and it hasn't had an issue. We even bought the Apple warranty on it.
I'm typing this on a Macbook Pro at the moment. My last notebook was an HP Pavilion DV7 that I am in the process of selling. My graduate program requires me to use a Mac so it wasn't a stretch. However, I confess that while I like(d) Windows 7, there were some things about it I really, really hated. Notably, Windows 7's Backup and Restore (WBR) was unreliable at best, and would not back up anything that wasn't in the default libraries (Docs, Music, Video, etc.) but was in my profile folder. Windows Media Player 12, while lightweight and a great video player, was notoriously slow and buggy for me. I finally put iTunes on the notebook and it resolved a lot of my issues with ripping CDs and burning them. My wife had suggested I get the Macbook Pro after my last go-around with Windows and so far I'm really enjoying it.
HP has been really good to us for repairs, usually they just send you the bad part to replace yourself and you're up and ready to go. With Apple, I can take it to the genius bar or call Apple customer service. Were I to say buy a PC, I'd go with an HP; otherwise, a Mac is preferable if Windows isn't needed.
As an anecdote, I gave my stepdad a Mac Mini last year as an x-mas gift. Even though he says he loves it, I can tell he does because he doesn't call me anymore for help. That whole "it just works" thing really helps with seniors.
06-16-2011 09:44 AM
2002ish Dell Inspiron 8200 - Still worked last time I used it 2 years or so ago.
2006ish Dell E1705 - First one was defective on arrival with a bad core. Second one had one core go bad (but was reliable in single-core operation) last year. Power supply just died, but that was likely due to surge damage - it happened after extremely severe thunderstorms.
2009 Asus G51vx - Nice and solid so far, other than one RAM stick failing. It was cheaper and easier to purchase a replacement than to go through warranty support. (30-40 bucks to not have to ship the unit, ever have it out of my possession, etc.) so I can't speak as to the quality of warranty support - I didn't even try.
Original Acer Aspire One 9" - still works rock-solid
Asus Eee 1000HE 10" - Still rock solid
I always build from components and pick premium components when I shop. I've never had a system die on me. I don't put dates on my desktops since they tend to go through constant refresh/upgrade cycles.
06-16-2011 03:07 PM
06-16-2011 04:32 PM
Nothing old here at home, but at work we do have some Dell Optiplex systems that are pushing 7-8 years old.
All the newer Dell Optiplex systems from the past 3-4 years fail within 2-3 years due to bad capacitors.
06-16-2011 04:49 PM
06-16-2011 06:12 PM
Most computer problems are the direct cause of the user....most computers sold, regardless of brand, are stable, decent platforms. It is the user who, without any understanding of what they are doing, installs and uninstalls software, visits malicious websites, downloads links from emails, not running anit-virus or not keeping it updated, blindly plugging in thumb drives that they do not know the history of, etc.
Eliminate the clueless users, and 99% of the "reliability" issues go away.
06-16-2011 06:23 PM
Well, perhaps I should have been more clear about my post, I was wondering about hardware reliability and such, but you make a good point, many computer problems are caused by user software issues. I have done a lot of software installations for antivirus suites with no real problems and know better that to trust certain links or use thumb drives that I do not know the origin of.
06-16-2011 06:32 PM