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Nonames. No good stories from me.

by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 2, 2007 1:31 AM PDT

A few members has been giving this forum what may be dozens of posts about noname laptops. In the nicest possible way I'm going to write this is not a good idea. The trail of broken dreams I've seen over the years starts with these nonames.

Let me name a few nonames and what I've seen over the years.

Sager for years had zero spare parts (can't say they ever corrected that.)
Sotec developed a bad rep and the principles appear to have closed that down and spun up Avertec.
Hyperdata (and other Hyper.names) have shipped units that were so-so with no spares in year 2. In one case an office picked up 24 units only to find 4 or more different variants in the batch. This lead to PCMCIA cards that worked in some but not all and more issues.
ProStar, Prostar. Same issues as above. Even simple items such as a CPU heat transfer pad common to all models were unavailable.

These nonames have caused far too much grief over the years for me to ever write that they are possible units for our members to pay for. There will be some that did find their units worked fine but my view is from an upper level that supported the repair counters.

A recent sad addition to the avoid list was Alienware. There is some hope here with Dell buying them up but the issues are still showing up with failing units in just 12 to 18 months.

-> There will be some posts noting that (a) Clevo or another name makes these laptops but that hasn't helped anyone get the needed parts for repair and (b) HP/Dell doesn't make laptops but that hasn't stopped those companies from repairing a laptop or in a recent case with HP, HP outright exchanged the model for another. The smaller nonames rarely if ever will go that far.

Buy these at risk levels higher than the names or big boys that are in the game to stay.


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2 good stories for me
by orlbuckeye / May 2, 2007 2:17 AM PDT

0 bad stories From Sager.

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by samkh / May 2, 2007 2:22 AM PDT

When a shopper comes to this forum for buying advice, chances are pretty good that they are not yet prepared to:

1. troubleshoot the failure down to the defective component
2. crack open a laptop to get to the failing part
3. telephone the ODM in Taiwan and converse in Mandarin to purchase the replacement component, if necessary

The big boys (girls?) in the IT business got big because they understand "it's the service, stupid".

On the other hand, if anyone is looking to chronicle their journey through ODM experiences in a novel, I'll sign up to buy the paperback!

Thanks Bob.

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I never had to
by orlbuckeye / May 2, 2007 2:29 AM PDT
In reply to: GOOD ADVICE

experience that either any part I ever got I got from Sager or Comp USA. Yes I had a bigger HD installed and you can buy them anywhere.

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No the biggies got big in the desktop market
by orlbuckeye / May 2, 2007 2:36 AM PDT
In reply to: I never had to

and grew with it and the laptops just spawned off that. They market their products to the masses. While the smaller companies market to computer magazines. If Sager is reliable enough advertise in Laptop magazine (The leading laptop magazine) that must be saying something.

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You are
by samkh / May 2, 2007 3:46 AM PDT

splitting hairs about the desktop/laptop growth.

You and I can buy unpopulated white box laptops from any number of online stores, fill them with CPUs, SODIMMs, HDDs, WLANs, screen our names on the cases and maybe even burden them with crapware just to be like the big companies. But does that make us viable OEM suppliers of laptops? Mike did it for desktops from his dorm room eons ago but that startup model is impossible for client PCs (and PC servers) in developed nations today.

You had good luck with the Sager brand, so bravo for you and Sager. Not everyone will have the same level of experience. Many have had less. The big companies built their reputation upon service, as Dell is re-learning that business lesson right now, whether their ODM is Clevo or Quanta or etc etc etc. The OEMs are the entities legally responsible for warranties, so why buy from a less reputable supplier? Lower purchase price? Maybe, but cost of ownership skyrockets when there are failures. More flexible customization? Maybe, but watch out because that differentiation is fatal when support is absent. Practically all OEMs don't stress-test all combinations of customizations and a corner case config would make the customer a guinea pig.

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Well I never had to talk to anyone in Support
by orlbuckeye / May 2, 2007 5:57 AM PDT
In reply to: You are

I just emailed my reseller and they gave me a contact at Sager and i emailed them they sent me a RMA number and instructions. I followed the instructions and sent it in. After 3 days (the guarantee) they called me and asked if I wanted to change the shipping and I said no send normal. They paid the shipping if I wanted overnight I would have had to pay. I got the computer back and has worked fine ever since. I just bought an Acer so hopefully I won't have to deal with their tech support. I got my girlfriend a HP for xmas and it's had no problems except i have to fix it when she messes up the Microsoft updates. The only problem I had with HP was the rebate they sent me some kind of email saying the UPC number wasn't right and I sent them a nasty email and I got the rebate check in the mail last week.

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Sager not one Battery recall or Explosion but look at who
by orlbuckeye / May 2, 2007 6:28 AM PDT
In reply to: You are
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"It's the service, Stupid" ?????
by john3347 / May 6, 2007 9:37 AM PDT
In reply to: GOOD ADVICE

I feel compelled to respond to the statement about "It's the service, Stupid". I have personally attempted to obtain some of this service from Gateway and from HP on more than one occassion. I have friends who have experienced the same lack-of-service from other "big companies". This "Stupid lack-of-service" from the big companies helps the small, no-name companies stay in business (my business anyway). Why should one spend the extra money that should warrant decent service for the kind of incompetence that you get from these "big companies" when the service techs don't understand either the computer or our language?

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Which ones then
by jamey5k / May 2, 2007 11:30 PM PDT

I used to be comfortable buying no-name desktops, since I could fix them, but with laptops I am a lot more iffy. So I wouldn't buy a no-name laptop. In your experience, what are the best name brands to buy? Are Lenovo are Sony really worth the extra price compared to Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc? I can get student discounts on Lenovo, but still they seem to be in a different price league to all the others similarly equipped.

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That's the lesson as we move to more laptops.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 2, 2007 11:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Which ones then

There are very few components we can replace. Hard disks, memory sticks, battery, power 'brick', connectors, LCD backlight but almost every other part costs as much as the entire laptop. Especially true if you take it to any service counter.

Some day I'm going to see a U-tube video with a service counter. Customer gently sets down their laptop and explains the problem. The person behind picks up the laptop, flings it against a wall, it falls into the dumpster and they pull out a new laptop complete with the bill to be paid.


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by orlbuckeye / May 3, 2007 12:50 AM PDT

It used to be the most common failure on laptops was the screen but that has been improved recently. Now it's probably the motherboard and/or graphics card which tend to be the most costly parts in the laptop and buying a new laptop is probably the best option. Another issue is the technology changes so fast that by the time the extended warranties run out the motherboards and processors are obsolete.

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Which ones then? NOT Toshiba
by Moonlight Gambler / May 4, 2007 10:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Which ones then

I have had four Toshibas in six years; only one has lasted longer than eighteen months.
What was once THE laptop is no longer; my preference would now be for Dell or HP.

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My reward
by Willy / May 4, 2007 1:12 PM PDT

My reward for working at a local computer sometime ago was a laptop. It was a Sharp and only a P120 cpu but heck it was free and the boss explained the problem(s). It just wouldn't finish the boot and hang or error out. No matter what attempts to resurrect it, it refused. Sharp offered the OS and some manuals, but none of it worked, so after 9-10mos. I finally had it. I did throw it and pitched the dang thing into the dump truck. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Willy Sad

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Good morning from Greece.......
by saci22004 / May 4, 2007 2:05 PM PDT

My name is John and recently (before 1 year) bought the laptop HP Pavilion zd 8460. At the time was I played the game STALKER making a curious noise it extinguished and it did not turn on again. Does not exist nothing that would suffer damage and however the laptop stay dead.
From the HP to me they say that the guarantee is for 1 year and me does not cover for 15 days. Now it will be supposed I pay 550 EUROS for the repair. The spares they come in one week and I will have the laptop in my hands in 10 days.
However I will always have the fear to such something and more specifically in the boat that I am (superior executive) and my laptop is my work for me.
I thank you for your time.

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