why you should never buy an HP laptop of any kind ever

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Once upon a time I bought a laptop.

[I know that start is not as great as ‘Many many years ago, on a galaxy far far away..‘ but you can pretend those words appear on the line above if they mean that much to you.]

Anyway. A laptop. An HP dv2500t. Yes, the very same laptop that died on me a few days after my warranty expired.

We are getting ahead of ourselves. Let us return to the beginning of time when the laptop landed in my hands a second time. Yes, I know it is counter-intuitive to think of a ‘beginning of time’ and a ‘second time’ simultaneously, but still. In short, HP screwed up the order the first time it shipped to me. So begins the tale of them screwing up. With a screw up.

Flashback to last year. A year of heating problems and over-heating…and my graphics card is shot. I am in the middle of a conference. I need it fixed ASAP. HP charges me $300 (which I now realize I could have invested in a nice efficient little netbook), and ships it back to me pretty quickly. Everything seems fine. A month later, the edge of the panel facing me comes loose from its fastening. Repeat call to HP. They blame it on me. I think it may be possible. I don’t want to spend on it. I live with it. Over-heating still exists. Oh well. Jinxed laptop and all that.

On this trip to India, I find another good laptop engineer. Who is cheap. Amazing how everything in the US costs 10 times as much compared to India. Said engineer tries his best to open the laptop, because I think a cleaning of my laptop is overdue due to the overheating problem yada yada yada. Eventually he decides to try it in his lab. Back at the lab, and an hour later, I get a call.

[E] “Boss, they’ve applied super-glue.”

[Me] “What? HP Support? No..no..not possible. International organization, quality standards, etc etc.”

[E] “Boss, these panels are welded shut to the base. Super-glue. I’ve put in a solvent. Its coming unstuck. I’m telling you. Super-glue.”

[Me] “Ok.. great.. whatever. Open it up, clean and get it back to me. I’ll take care of it.”

So, let me get this straight. HP did not respond to my complaints (apparently, “high-end graphics cards can get pretty hot, sir”) when I said my laptop was over-heating until… my warranty expired and my video card blew. Then they replaced the entire f*cking motherboard (‘coz of their god-awesome architecture), couldn’t fix the panels back on correctly, and so used SUPERGLUE to fix it? (My engineer managed to do it just fine without superglue, btw). When it went back to overheating and the panel came loose.. somehow I am to blame. Now, why did the panel really come loose? Well, sometimes superglue doesn’t hold everything in place. Why does it still overheat? Lets see:

  1. One tiny laptop fan.
  2. One Core 2 Due CPU.
  3. One NVidia 8400M GS graphics card.
  4. One tiny f*ckin’ air vent on one corner.

Putting (2) & (3) results in a crapload of heat. Adding (1) to the mix means very little is being cooled down. Adding (4) to the mix means the heat goes nowhere. Bravo for neglecting every single rule about computer architecture and heat dissipation, HP. Now for the rhetoric. Why does HP suck so? Don’t get me started.

Never buy an HP laptop ever again. That’s what I tell everyone. Even the random guy in the store who I see taking a slight interest in HP products. Every salesman I meet at an electronics store in any country. Please don’t buy HP. For the love of manufacturers that make products that actually work.

Please.

Sample crappy HP laptops: Link 1.Link 2

Update (11 Dec 2009): The damn thing has pretty much died. Information gleaned from various sources tells me (1) this nVidia chipset sucks ass, (2) HP does not know shit about heat design for high-end laptops. Having ripped mine apart, I can tell you that the GPU has some kind of rubber between it and the heatsink – instead of thermal paste. I’m just shocked it didn’t die on me earlier. Since this post is hit up a lot:

I will attempt to find out more about the copper-mod, and see what I can do. Keep updating as and when I know more.

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20 thoughts on “why you should never buy an HP laptop of any kind ever

  1. I dont think its an issue with architecture as much as it is about the ugly Ndvidia 8400 chipset. They probably replaced the motherboard because HP uses nvidia chipset board rather than intel.

    This is the same problem with second generation macbook pros that came out in 2007, and the one that I have. They get freaking hot. But then, Apple refuses to call laptops as laptops – they are portable workstations – yeah, really lame I know ;). Anyways, one day my Mac wouldn’t boot – took it to apple store, they replaced the chipset in a day – and wonders of wonders its been working great!

    But I still have heat issues, though not unbearable though. And yes, putting the laptop on lap is out of the question 🙂

    S

  2. SEV

    @Supremus: I agree about the point about the motherboard, but the 8400M did great on the XPS – to my knowledge. I have read of this issue with the Macs though. My specific comment about the motherboard is based on 2 articles I have read about this “new” architecture of HP that they started in 2007 – when I bought my laptop.

    @Sailesh: Will update with links that mean that I’m not basing my conclusion on one data point. I’m currently basing it on 4 from personal experience 🙂 That aside, I recommend XPSes, Thinkpads, or if you are so inclined, Macs. Oh, as far as the architecture goes, I got it confirmed with my own and 2 other laptops the engineer had.

    • Very easy answer a Mac – Apple i-book or Powerbook notebook and not the new one that offers windows capability. The Mac is so great for four reasons and they are as follows: graphics, they live a long time, never break, and do not get viruses or rarely. If you add the windows portion you run the risk of getting a virus. Never ever buy an HP it is like shopping in a trash can.

      Mona

  3. Vati

    Satish

    This blog shows your disappointment to all your blog-readers. Have you tried positing it in detail in some HP forums, complaint sites, tech2 etc? Why don’t you send this to the top man in HP may be you will get a brand new HP!!

    • They will do absolutely nothing. The retailer or HP they will give you some high up executive who will work together with each other to lose all your facts. In fact, I am currently working on a HP website because my computer is refurbished and it was sold to me as new and they will not give me a refund. Both companies HP and OfficeMax are extremely shitty.

      Mona

  4. R B

    I have had a v. different experience with HP laptops. I on my 2nd HP laptop (and a 3rd purchase, got one for a relative in India), and the experience has been overall v. good. I agree it gets v. hot, but cleaning the fans regularly, keeps it under control. I think they are a v. good value for money. For the same set of features, the IBMs and the Macs cost a fortune. They are generous with the power cord lengths (yes, I like a long chord), the ports , the reader, and lastly the speakers are great. Yes, I know these are accessories, but they enhance the overall experience.

  5. SEV

    @Rekha: Currently, I think most laptops are pretty cost-effective, including IBMs and Macs. The speakers, I grant you, are pretty great. Ports, not so much (I have only 2 USB ports). Design, I stick with my POV. Not seen an HP laptop different recently. Are all yours post 2007?

  6. Alok

    Hmm… This is not the first HP laptop that has over heating problem. A friend of mine had the same problem. What is more interesting is that his lappy used to HANG on ANY USB device 🙂

    As a side thought why do you need an high end graphics card on a laptop ? Get a PS3 dude 🙂

    I have a cheapo Acer which keeps running 24×7 and worked perfectly well for 2.5 years (Except for a blown power cord which I replaced for Rs. 80) It is only since last two weeks that its display seemed to have finally given up 😦

  7. Danny

    Just to say that I had an HP, 2 months old it was, but the fan was always on, never wnet off. the thing was always boiling to touch. One day the machine just weeks old, I rebooted and the machine wouldnt come back to life. SO i called tech support, 3 hours later, machine still wouldnt come back to life. I was told I musnt use my system dvd’s but I should wait for new dvd’s to come (the dvds i had were unopened). A week later still no new dvd’s so i tried the ones that came with. they didnt work. tech support put me thru the same procseeses. I called back, they tild me to do the same things again. I took the bloody thing, threw it on the floor, jumped on it, and it ended up being thrown away. and i;m delighted. i emailed the head of customer servises, recieved a phone call within 5 mins where i was told theyd be delighted to pick up the laptop to fix it, i said its thrown away, and fixing it would just mean i would have to go thru the process again in another 2 months, so thanks but no thanks. bloody hp’s.

    • SEV

      @Danny, I completely commiserate.. and am currently counting the days before I do something similar with my own. Nearly did it last year, though.

  8. zebra

    My experience with my HP pavilion Entertainments system in the past months has left me with one word of advice:”NEVER TO BUY HP  PRODUCTS AGAIN”.I thought that I should share my experience with the prospective buyers out there that they should be ready to face such mean and unreasonable service if their product is faulty.
     
    I purchased my notebook  last year and after 6 months the notebook started by restating even on safe mode. I conducted HP, and for your information if you don’t tell them that your machine is in warranty, you will have to purchase every since repair part. that is what I did the first time, I had to purchase a recovery Cd, because HP unlike dell and other products , do not give you a recovery CD when you  are purchasing the product, so you have to purchase it separately. This didn’t work for me, and after convincing them that the notebook was in warranty, providing receipt, they were able to send me a replacement hard drive. I replaced the hard drive but the problem was not solved, so again I had to go back to them. This time we agreed that I send the notebook to them for repair.
     
    I got the notebook back, but after two days another problem started, it became, VERY slow, memory reset, and BIOS updates were the actives of the day. Again, I communicated to them. And the trick they use is the delaying tactic. Every time you call you have to explain your  problem and you are told the same thing every time: reset battery, memory and Bios update. Even if you tell them that you have done this  before you call them.
     
    After several chats and calls, I was allowed to talk to this case manager, who told me that a senior technician is going to check my laptop. So confident about this I sent the laptop for the second time to HP. When i got it back, I was surprised the same problem is there. When I called and talked to the same case manager the answer that she gave me , was so disappointing. After all this problems and the delaying tactics, she boldly said that the laptop cannot be replaced because i am remaining with a few days in my warranty .
     
     
    I am sure they also have a record indicating the problem started long time ago. But they just cannot replace it.I have just called it a loss.And have to buy another laptop. The technical support stuff in most cases have been helpful(although as I said they always ask you to do the same thing 100 times), but wait until you speak to the case manager , that is the time you will get a very hash treatment.

     

  9. SEV

    @Zebra: It is amazing just how bad it can get, isn’t it? They have pretty much every single thing screwed up for the consumer, and yet they are popularized.
    @Sailesh: I guess the last few comments prove my problem is not unique. The graph is being populated faster.

  10. Domnick Cork

    Please help me to sort out of here, there are too many laptops in the market, please suggest me whcih one is good for me.

  11. Apoorva M Sheth

    Hello There! I too am a victim HP customer being very badly hurt due to my Laptop LCD screen not working fine and I being stuck in the middle of all these issues.

    Here’s the link to my painful story and experience overall to understand what I am talking about:

    http://www.consumercomplaints.in/complaints/hewlett-packard-c254920.html

    I will never ever in my life buy an HP Product! Enough of “Cheating, Dishonesty and Negligence and being taken for Granted” ! ! !

    And I will also make sure that I can convey to as many people as I could about my bad experience with Hewlett Packard India.

    Regards,
    Apoorva.

  12. I have had the exact same experience with HP except for the hard drive formatting. I bought mine for around 60k in April 2007 and the motherboard failed in exactly 14 months ! From June 2008, the motherboard has failed thrice – and each time the service center took 2-3 months to repair the laptop spares. So since June last year, I have used my laptop for just 4 months or so. The reason given is first that they have to verify if the warranty is valid and then delay in ordering parts.
    I have tried shouting, threatening, pleading and finally resignation. Now the warranty has expired and if it fails one more time, I will go out and buy a Dell. Please NEVER EVER consider a HP product. It may seem like a good deal at that time, but there will be hell to pay later.

  13. well friends,
    i have heard alot about how much Hp laptops suck. the only problem is that i have bought one already, pavilion Dv7-3164cl. its still in good condition though i suspect overhearting in a short time to come. i wish i had bought a dell inspiron 15r with 4gb ddr3, 500gb.

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