Ivor O’Connor

May 10, 2009

Ubuntu Dell Inspiron 1425 Lasts Less Than A Year

Filed under: dell, laptop — Tags: , — ioconnor @ 5:04 pm

So when I discovered Dell selling laptops with Ubuntu I immediately bought one. I figured I should reward Dell’s good behavior. Paying more for the exact same hardware with Ubuntu installed rather than M$ seemed strange but not unheard of. Look at the legions of loyal Apple purchasers. So once the laptop with Ubuntu arrived I correctly reformatted the hard drive and installed the latest version of Ubuntu. (It’s impossible for large companies like Dell to keep up with Ubuntu’s six month release cycle of a new OS.) Everything has worked wonderfully since then.

Now however there is an intermittent short and the battery pack will die in 3 to 30 minutes. It will be working fine, unplugged, for 15 minutes and wham. The battery capacity drops by 50 or more percent giving me seconds to save my work or plug in. Often it won’t even boot from a freshly charged pack unless I also have the power cord attached. So I’m going to have to send it in for repair.

My year long warranty is almost up. Fortunately Dell sent an email offering to extend the warranty for 3 or so years. No matter what the cost it is worth the price. Past Dell laptops have all fallen apart well before three years. Regular wear and tear is too much for them. The hinges on the displays become loose. The screws made of pot metal break. The wires hidden in the hinges of the screen short due to metal fatigue. The fans die and the boards burns. Normal dainty users don’t see these problems so companies can get away with shoddy quality and still make a profit.

It is time to migrate everything to a new laptop, upgrade the warranty, and send this one in for repair. Experience tells me after a year of hard use a laptop is best made into a low powered desktop. It’s all about adjusting expectations properly. I did not make the World but I do have to live in it…

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