After so many bought gadgets, computers, cameras and technical stuff in general, I came into conclusion about the built quality of the brands. I have also work on maintaining various systems and I am in touch with hardware repairman, who have passed their experiences with various brands. The results are quite unfortunate for the buyers, since the situation is the same as with buying cars: it does not matter how expensive model you buy, it is the brand that affects its reliability. If you want a reliable car, you would buy Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, Volkswagen, Porsche… At the bottom of the TUV rating there is Romanian Dacia.
The same is with computers. You may buy some poor brand laptop with i7 CPU, and it will still have a poor chance of something not breaking after 2 years. There are exceptions, some models are well made, and some brands might do well in certain departments, so I will take out only my experiences, and you can share yours in the comments.
First I will state what computer hardware repairmen say, and then list my experiences with hardware manufacturers.
What repairmen says?
This is from repair service in Serbia. What might be different from the Western world is that some brands make low quality products for some markets. This is the case with Toshiba, for example. Let’s see what my friend repairman says:
- MSI is the worst. Almost every lid broke after little time.
- Fujitsu-Siemens is the second worst brand, the most returns to the service with various reasons. Fujitsu had broke with Siemens, and things are starting to look better, but it is too soon to say.
- Toshiba’s made for Eastern Europe are rubbish, it is unknown to them about what quality they make for the rest of the world.
- HP’s and Compaq are tie in this list with Acer and Asus. They are all average quality.
- Lenovo and Dell are at the top, in terms of reliability, they are the best brands.
Here are my experiences:
- Analogue Digital Camcorder, had hardware problems, and battery died quickly. Picture quality was high, but so was the price.
- Digital camera, problem with mechanism that makes zoom with the lenses. Some software quirks as well. Unstandard USB jack into camera, and used expensive SONY’s memory stick memory cards.
- Digital Camcorder, problems with software. SONY does not provide drivers on their website for the model, and support is awful.
- Faulty CCD that they sold to be used into many Canon cameras. They all went dead, including in mine Canon A60, Canon A70 and Canon S1IS. They were replaced for free by Canon’s service.
- Netbook Aspire One, built quality is fine (except of small plastic part that came out), it never made any hardware problem.
- Notebook, old 5-6 years, poor quality of plastics, screen and everything, but it did not break.
- Notebook, locked memory for integrated GPU, although laptop has also discrete graphics. Everything else is fine with this one.
- HP (Hewlett-Packard & Compaq):
- Compaq laptop, average build quality, did not work how it was supposed to, overheated often… I was not satisfied at all.
- HP laptop, one of the most expensive models, battery failed after less than a year and the closing lid broke.
- HP, three inkjet printers, all three with awful cartridges, and spare cartridges cost more than the whole printer. After they are 3x recycled, they get clogged.
- HP, two laser printers, everything was great.
- Another Compaq laptop, overheating is still the problem, and build quality is low.
- One more Compaq laptop, GPU went dead right after its warranty expired. It could not be repaired, even by changing the IC itself.
- Customer support was awful. Software for printers is made with Adobe Flash, and it required ActiveX from Internet Explorer.
- Compaq desktop pc, P2 inside, still works great.
- WD (Western Digital)
- Laptop HDD 500GB 2.5″ SATA, dead mechanics, right after its warranty expired.
- External HDD 1TB, dead electronics right after its warranty expired.
- Two HDDs, both work flawlessly for years.
- Two DSLR cameras and one compact prosumer camera. Everything is perfect but the software on the prosumer – auto mode was awful.
- IBM (Lenovo):
- Old Thinkpad R40, still works great.
- Lenovo notebook G550, I was satisfied with it, everything was as expected.
- Netvista brand desktop PC, great in everything, but they have limited memory for graphics card to be 1MB! and no AGP port is on MB.
- 3 laptops, all three are great, still work without any fault, built quality is great, and overall I am well satisfied.
- eee 701, battery is still good, lid is more firm than on larger laptops. No flaw at all, I still use it with my distribution.
- Three laptops, all were at a great price for the hardware, but they all brake in some way.
- 5 PCI Wireless cards, 8 AP/Routers. In my opinion the best for the money. The only problematic one was 501 which had some software issues. 551G PCI card and 5510 AP are the best out there.
- Great digital cameras, I had A60, A70 and S1IS, on all SONY’s CCD chip broke down.
- LBP3000 laser printer, perfect in almost every way, almost that is, because they did not provide good drivers for Linux.
- Awful service in Serbia, I cannot say in other countries. Canon is renting another agency to do repairs in Serbia, so that might be a reason.
- Tens of peripherals, mouses, keyboards… All of great quality and they worked even when dropped to a floor.
- Lots of stuff, but their quality dropped in time.
- Two graphic cards, both died.
- Laptop, lid got broken, and build quality is bad.
- Laptop, I was satisfied overall, but fan controler died.
- G550 model, everything was great with this laptop.
- Old P2 laptop, magnesium casing. It still works, but the fan broke down.
Overall, I will stick to Dell and Lenovo when buying laptops. I will continue buying Logitech when it comes to peripherals, Canon and Nikon for digital cameras, and TP-Link for network equipment.
What do You think?
On my laser printer HP1102 some sensor broke and it cannot use toners any more. Its only few months old.