Let me tell you a story. It starts in the summer of 2007, when the living was easy, credit hadn't crunched, and I had a spare Â£1,000 in my bank account. I decided I needed a laptop as I was travelling down to London regularly to be an awesome science punk. I could have got some ugly-ass brick for Â£300, but I fell in love with the HP Pavilion TX1000.
See the screen swivels around, turning the computer into a tablet. Added to that, it's small, light, has a touchscreen (obviously), dual headphone jacks, two remote controls(?!), webcam, more USB connections than I could ever need, tv digibox(!), and to login I use a fingerprint scanner! As someone pointed out to me, this was the goddamn Jack Bauer of laptops. And I loved this laptop. I took it everywhere. I rejected the wheezy old PC on the desk at my new job, preferring to carry in my beautiful Pavilion every day. Long train journeys were now spent watching awesome foreign films and episodes of Naruto. I downloaded emails in a field at the Secret Garden Party festival. Mike Bullivant ran his presentation off it. Holy shit, did I love my laptop. I was even willing to overlook the fact that when plugged in, the battery worked up hot enough to fry eggs. I didn't mind the way it got confused while on sleep mode and rebooted. Or that it only had a year's warranty. It was my little pal.
Then, two weeks ago, something terrible happened. I turned on my little HP, it beeped plaintively, then turned itself off again. What had happened? The media lights were on, but the screen stayed black as death and it wouldn't boot. I tried the spare battery, no luck. I consulted the HP website and followed instructions to reseat the memory. No joy. I carried the poor sickly body of my lappy to London and handed it to special doctors with degrees in mending lumps of circuit board and solder. "We tried everything we could", they said, "but gosh darn it, the motherboard is fried and it would cost as much to repair as it would to replace. I'm sorry". Fighting back the tears, I carried the corpse of my little laptop to Devon, determined to find a cure.
After hours trawling deserted forums and abandoned websites, I found something interesting. Apparently there were a lot of people who'd had Pavilions die prematurely on them. In fact, HP had offered to extend the warranty in these cases to 2 years. Could this be true?
I wrote to HP, expecting that, as is customary with helplines, my emails were being sent into a black hole never to return. But almost immediately, I received a reply. A few emails later (all replied to within hours and each apologising profusely for the delay), and HP promised to send someone to pick up my little electronic Jack Bauer and have the HP surgeons fix him up. Free of charge! Working time, 5 to 10 days. So imagine my surprise when just two days after my lappy was sent off for repair, it was back on my doorstep. TWO DAYS. REPLACED MOTHERBOARD. FREE OF CHARGE.
Holy shit, HP are f*****g awesome. As I said before, I'm no shill, but when a company acts awesome, they earn their dues. They could have stuck to their guns, told me it was out of warranty, refused to help. But they instead assisted me with expedience and enthusiasm, and sorted the problem out with startling speed. HP, I salute you.
PS: additional lesson learned - if you have an HP laptop, you can run it off the mains without a battery in place. Do it, if only for your sperm count.
Re: your last sentence-- http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2008/01/danger-warning.html
(Includes a TED video on the problem of "local warming", by Yossi Vardi.)
When bloggers write, with laptops, seated,
Bits of them get overheatedâ
Sitting in their rooms, retreated
To their hidden cloisters.
If I should hear âWell done! Well done!â
I hope they mean my writingâs fun
And not some cruel and heartless pun
About my mountain oysters.
The writers putting out these blogs,
Like robots built with well-oiled cogs,
Or samurai, or feral dogs,
Eviscerate their foolsâ
But now, it seems they face a danger,
Not from any foe or stranger,
Simply from a heat exchanger
Near their family jewels.
Though Yossi Vardi starts to warn
Itâs not time, yet, to be forlorn
(Though if your kids are not yet born
Youâre one unlucky putz.)
It is, however, time to plan,
And if you are a hopeful man,
To buy and use a cooling fan.
Oh, yesâ¦ and shave your nuts.
All I can say is that it's just as well BT don't make laptops.
Good to hear you got it sorted. Many people recommend running your laptop off the mains without the battery when you're at home, as it stops the battery from getting to the point of needing re-calibrating (or something).
Sounds like you got a very sweet deal with that one. I've not purchased a laptop yet (doing most of my work at home on the desktop), but I'll keep HP in mind, just as long as it's a model I can install Ubuntu on. The TX1000 series seem to work well with Ubuntu from what I've read.
I am not a fan of the big OEMs, normally preferring smaller companies like Rock for my laptops, due to bad past experiences with the big boys. However, some time before Xmas I needed another laptop and particularly a tablet, which limited the option somewhat. I eventually plumped on one of HP's consumer tablets, the TX2650, similar to the TX1000 just updated (AMDx2 2.2GHz,3GBRAM, 320GB HD though it doesn't have Firewire if that is important to anyone, oh, and two batteries as standard, a four and an eight cell), and I must admit it has rapidly become my favourite for just about anything. My only minor gripe, is the size of the left shift key which is so small that I am always hitting the \ key. But apart from that, it is a dream machine. I even got my Â£100 cash back within less than a month, even though I had made a mistake on the claim form of the type that I have seen other companies use to invalidate claims. HP instead immediately sent me an e-mail query so that I could correct the error. So overall, I have to adjust my attitude somewhat, at least as far as HP is concerned anyway.
@Dan J, FYI, I have run Ubuntu as well as played with a few other Linux distros on the TX2650 without any problems to date. Admittedly, I have only done so in Sun's Virtual Box so far, but will when I have time install it properly as part of my usual multi-boot setup. That's the nice thing about having a 320GB HD, lots and lots of space to play with :)
I think all laptops can run from the mains without a battery - our ancient Sony Vaio certainly does. Great blog btw, I just subscribed :)
You know mate, I have bought exactly the same model but its a newer version and man I love this Machine. I know there are other better options but I have noticed that now-days, HP is making really great PC hardware. I mean I work at IT and I have noticed more and more people buying HP products than before. No wonder they are number 1 now and Dell is 2nd, soon Acer will overtake Dell as number 2.
Im really impressed with HP considering few years before, all they used to make was boring HP printers and scanners and now whenever I go to a PC mega store, I get amazed on the variety of computers coming from HP.
HP is the new champ and I am happy with my HP TX 2030.
Do your laptops still work?
I don't use the Pavilion very often, but it still works fine.