September 08, 2006

Deck Heck

I was greatly concerned when I heard about the major recall of brand name laptop computers (the corporate brand, not the addictive one) because I spend up to eight hours a day with one on my lap. Given how uncomfortably hot they get, I very much want to believe the client's IT guy when he tells me that the particular model we are using is not at risk of catching fire.

The fact is that the so-called laptop computer is not really intended for laptop use. In the years I've worked with them I have encountered several display failures resultant from the flexing which results from the screen swinging back and forth, and more than one hard drive failure which had to be cumulative because they never took serious shocks. On this job the biggest problem I've had, other than continuous discomfort, is printer port failure. After ten weeks, I am on my third computer because the test hardware with which the computer communicates gives the port more of a workout than an occasional spreadsheet would, and it simply can't take it. The manufacturer of the test gear reports that they hear of this often with these top-name laptops. I'm not sure what the solution is. Industrially hardened portable computers would be overkill, both in cost and in load on my knees, and it will take more complaints than blue-collar users such as myself can generate to get the manufacturers to toughen up the mainstream product.

Posted by triticale at September 8, 2006 02:06 PM | TrackBack
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