Friday, June 12, 2015

Gah! Stupid HP Design Flaws

Earlier in the week, I randomly started getting some nasty creaking/snapping noises everytime I opened or closed the lid on my laptop. Last night, I finally discovered the cause: the plastic base-plate was coming away from the rest of the case in the top left corner (below the power button)! Basically, every time the lid opens and closes, it looks like the left hinge is forcing open the casing (currently by 1 - 1.5mm, along a 2-3 cm stretch from the top-left corner). For now, I can still nudge/snap it back into place after each open/close cycle; there's also a bit of a rattling sound inside (like some plastic bits have snapped off). Apparently, this design flaw with the hinges+base-plate has caused quite a few people grief.

If the rumors are true that this is because they freaking glued that part of the case together, then that would really suck, as AFAIK, all the heat-producing processors are located there along with some fans. Along with some of the other annoyances I had when setting up this machine (i.e. RSI-causing keyboard, oversized and hard to deliberately-click (yet easy to accidentally bump) touchpad, out of kilter out-of-box monitor colour calibration, and the high pitched eee...errr...eeee....errr whining when it's on standby, to name the most egregious examples), this just further reaffirms my decision to never buy an HP product again. I would also strongly discourage anyone else from doing so in the future as well.

(Considering that this machine is now definitely off warranty, and the fact that I've done quite a bit of software customisation on this along with having quite a bit of data on here, I'm not that keen on sending it in for repair, since they'll likely end up performing a bunch of updates on it that end up reverting stuff I'd done to get it back into the "factory" state which sucked big time, while taking 3 months to do anything about it as they're "waiting for spare parts"

After reading more about the potential issues that can come up with this issue, it looks like it I'll need to bring forward my data backups just in case...!)

In the meantime, it's probably time to start hunting for some good competent backup machines before the rest of the base gives way (or something else suddenly has a catastrophic failure). Some possibilities of new setups that I've been pondering include:
  • Looking for a new Toshiba - My old Toshiba was an absolute joy to work with. If someone just gave me a copy of that with a faster modern processor, oodles of ram, tons of disk space, a newer graphics card, and 1/2-1/3 the weight while retaining the rest of the package, that would be the best outcome. Sadly, they don't make hardware like that anymore!     (If anyone is interested in starting up such a manufacturer, you've got an interested customer here)
  • Getting a Surface Pro 3 for "portable" usage, and combining that with a proper 27 inch monitor at home, possibly with a desktop tower again for the first time in years (for serious Blender dev/rendering). This combo would be less convenient in the sense that I'd be back to the whole problem of needing to sync workspace state (i.e. open windows + tabs + prefs between machines). However, I'd gain several things: 1) A pressure sensitive screen/tablet thing for doing dev work on Grease Pencil (and the ideas for animation tools I haven't had time to play with yet),   2) A nice big monitor (which, as I've found in the office, really beats trying to use two screens, and is also nicer when working on stuff in general),   3) Finally a machine that will be fine to run cycles on without worrying that it's going to set either itself or the surrounding furniture on fire (or at least to a premature overheated end). Since I already use an external keyboard + mouse (in both locales), this setup is not going to affect very much else of how I use my setup...
  • Look more into Dells or other brands. TBH, I don't think very much of Acer or Asus (though they're everywhere these days - an unexplained power death on a netbook one of those kindof put me off the idea). Lenovo, being a Chinese brand/maker and only recently found to be shipping malware/MITM backdoored stuff is definitely off the table! (Macs - There are enough things about those from both hardware and software perspectives which are IMO backwards/idiotic that I'm not still considering going there in the near future).  Anyone know how well Dells stack up in terms of reliability, weight, and general flexibility of performance/specs choices?

1 comment:

  1. Get a new macbook 12 inch. It's amazing man.