hp isn't what it used to be.
Jul 31, 2008 at 4:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7


Jul 10, 2008
I bought my first laptop, an hp Pavilion zt3200, almost 6 years ago and am still using it. The power adapter port is screwed up where a small jiggle of the connector makes it stop charging and the only way to get the computer to restart charging is to cycle it off then on. The keyboard no longer produces the correct symbols...like "U" produces the number 4 and so forth...but with an external keyboard and leaving the laptop on a solid surface where it won't move around, preventing the power port connector from jiggling, I can still get good use out it.

I've done a heck of lot with the old laptop over the last 6 years and it has help up marvelously. It is still using the same Lithium/Ion battery, too, which lasts about 2 hours on a full charge now. The OS on that old laptop is WinXP Home and I've upgraded the memory to the full 2GB capacity and installed a 250GB HDD. Quite an outstanding laptop I received custom ordered from hp Online. These new laptops are breaking down right and left.

I decided about 5 months ago I would get another, more powerful, faster laptop for media program work so I went to the store and saw a Toshiba that suited me feature/price wise and bought it. It had a Core 2 Duo T5550 CPU with 3GB of DDR2-667 and a 250GB HDD. The graphics were Intel 3100 integrated and this little laptop, a 15.4 in...same as my old hp...had a lot of bells and whistles and was running Vista Premium.

I use external portable USB 2.5 in HDDs for media file storage and such because I need all of the space can get. The Toshiba didn't like the USB HDDs and was giving me fits with not working and such so I finally took the Toshiba back and decided to get another hp...I should have done so from the start. I chose one with an AMD CPU this time around, the TL-62, and the laptop was outfitted, for the same price...they happened to have a sale going on that wasn't in effect when I bought the Toshiba...with 64 bit Vista Premium, 4GB memory and an nVidia 7100 video adapter. Plus it came in a Special Edition chassis with cool artwork and such, a dv2845 I think it was, and had a lot of media programs and also a small remote control which could be stored in the Express card slot.

About 3 or 4 weeks ago it wouldn't start. It worked fine the day before and when I attempted to start it the next morning, it wouldn't start. I couldn't get it to do anything. So I took it back to the store for warranty work. They said they would need to ship it to hp for repairs and it would be about 2 weeks before I saw it again. Fine, I happily agreed and went back to my old hp for surfing and such.

I checked on the status of repairs for my new hp about one week ago and they said hp was waiting for a part to arrive but didn't have indication of the kind of part. Today I decided to recheck the status and now they say hp has approved the replacement of the defective laptop with a new one. Cool! I had my eyes on a newer model that had some features I feel are neat. I was thinking about one of their new, chromy models outfitted almost the same as the defective one but with a faster CPU. However, I got to play around with the little convertible 12 in model that the screen rotates to become a tablet. It has touch screen and all!

It has a better CPU, the RM70, 3GB of memory, ATi HD 3200 video adapter, a 250GB HDD and is running a 64 bit Vista Ultimate, the expensive version.

This is a super nice little laptop but it has a feature installed that, the hardware for, I can't seem to locate, a fingerprint reader. The device manager and a power on pop-up screen show this device and the pop-up screen want to know if I want to configure some fingerprints for security. I cannot locate the bugger, though. Nevertheless, with all these features and wireless "N" which the others didn't have, just $50 higher cost is outstanding. The day before when I was at the same store, cost was $150 higher but this particular day they dropped it $100.

I'm just wondering when this one will go belly up. These newer laptops are increasingly less reliable than the older ones...for me, anyway.
Jul 31, 2008 at 6:49 AM Post #2 of 7
Lower reliability and durability are the unfortunate consequence of price decreases. Laptops are half the price a similarly positioned one would have cost 6 years ago. If you want reliability, ThinkPad/IdeaPads and MacBooks are the way to go. Ditching Vista for XP (Vista Ultimate comes with "downgrade rights") would also help you get some performance back.
Jul 31, 2008 at 2:43 PM Post #3 of 7
I remember prices from 6 yaers ago and they weren't too much different from the prices of the laptops nowadays. I suppose, if inflation were to factor into the thinking, yes, these new ones would be about, probably, half the cost as those 6 years ago. If I paid $1000 for a laptop 6 years ago. A $1000 laptop today would be somewhere near half the cost.

However, I don't think it would be in hp's interest to allow breakdowns like this to continue. hp has always been a quality company and currently one of the foremost laptop producers in the world. The company takes stride to resolve its issues and, to me, it's very noticeable. I know nothing of the newer Thinkpads/Ideapads since Lenovo took over from IBM. However, IBM had a good reputation for quality. Their laptops were half the features and performance of the others for the same price. That would be in line with quality/cost.

I'd love to have a Macbook.
Jul 31, 2008 at 3:49 PM Post #4 of 7
It's not really anything new for HP. I had one of the $4000 workstation laptops 4.5 years ago and it couldn't go more than 6 months without some hardware malfunction. It seems like their cheaper laptops are the ore robust ones.
Jul 31, 2008 at 3:55 PM Post #5 of 7
My dv6000 has already lost the use of the speakers, been told the problem is on the motherboard. Make me use my headphones a lot more buy wifey used to enjoy my music from my laptop.
Jul 31, 2008 at 5:40 PM Post #7 of 7
I finally discovered the fingerprint reader...lol. If it had been a snake, it would have bit me. It was right in front of me all the time, on the left edge of the display frame. For some reason I just associated that indention with the emboss on the surface of the laptop next to the keyboard. I figured the brass looking deal on the frame was some kind of switch for the tablet/laptop configuration. LOL

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