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Why I Use an IBM Lenovo Laptop

July 11th, 2005 · No Comments

So, it’s been a while since my last update. The reason – my laptop died recently. Literally, within the blink of an eye, and without any prior warning, my laptop crashed and refused to boot. Occasionally, I’d see a boot screen, and other times, there would simple be no response. Once in a while it would even stop itself during its power on self test, emitting only a diagnostic beep code. The code was a long beep followed by two short beeps. So, according to the T40/T41/T42 POST Beep Code Chart, that meant that either my memory or my system board was fried.

First, I tried to replace the memory, figuring that if it was that simple, I’d just use the memory I bought as a loaner until IBM (er, Levono, er, Lenovo) sent my replacement memory. It turns out that it wasn’t that simple, because replacing the memory didn’t do the trick. I ended up keeping the memory that I had bought though, because I ended up getting a pretty good deal from Best Buy, rather surprisingly. A 512MB stick of RAM cost me $75 in the store, but I ended up getting an unexpected $20 mail-in-rebate, which delighted me greatly. Now that I’ve received my laptop again, I can say that adding the additional RAM, for a total of 1GB of memory, has definitely improved the computer’s performance, especially when performing intense operations.

But back to the story at hand – my laptop was reduced to a door stop, and it was a holiday weekend when the failure occurred. “First thing Tuesday morning,” I said, “I’m calling IBM!” I mean Lenovo. As a quick aside, I’m making reference to the fact that although I’m using an “IBM Thinkpad” it’s really a “Levono Thinkpad“, since IBM essentially sold its laptop manufacturing arm to Lenovo. When Tuesday morning rolled around, I did indeed call for assistance. My laptop is provided by and protected by the RPI laptop program. As the old saying goes, you break it, you buy it. With an RPI laptop, if you break it, you just get a brand new one with virtually no questions asked. I jokingly asked a technician once – if I shot my laptop out of frustration and it broke as a result of that, would my warranty replace it? “If it was an accident, sure,” he said.

Well, true to form, IBM took less than six days to replace my laptop. Those six days, mind you, includes a total of three overnight shipments and a holiday weekend. Here’s the timeline: I called IBM on Tuesday, initiating the warranty claim. By Wednesday, I’d received my laptop mailer so that I could send it back. On Thursday, DHL picked the laptop up from my house. By Friday, the laptop was repaired and mailed back, but because it happened in the evening, the parcel sat idle somewhere. Saturday and Sunday, DHL offers no service. But alas, this morning, delivery of my laptop was attempted this morning at 11:20AM. Literally, less than six full days later, I got my laptop back without ever having to do more than make a phone call.

As for the service they provided? The only parts on my laptop that were not replaced were my LCD and my hard drive, both of which required no repair anyway. Literally every other piece of my laptop was replaced – from the system board, to the CD-RW, to the keyboard & keyboard bezel. I’m even getting a new battery out of the deal, although that has to be handled through a separate warranty bureau because batteries are protected by a different warranty.

The moral of the story here is two-fold. First, if you have a chance to buy an RPI laptop, buy it – I’m an IT professional, and although I could easily get a laptop with similar specs for a lot cheaper, the service they provide at the times you need it most are absolutely superior. IBM not only met my expectations, they far exceeded them. Actually, what I meant was, Lenovo met and exceeded my expectations. Sure, I’ve never heard of them before, but damn, was I impressed. Second, DHL absolutely rules. When I used to work at RPI’s student mail center, we would always encourage customers to use DHL for all overnight shipping. This was because DHL had a bulk agreement with RPI that provided reduced prices on their services. Overnight shipping, however, was so cheap that it beat even the US Postal Service’s Express Mail prices. DHL also was able to schedule a same-day delivery re-attempt when the first attempt failed. Not even the nicest postmaster could arrange that.

The above article, in summary: IBM/Lenovo laptops and warranties rule. DHL rules. I’m back on the Internet.

Tags: Computers · Technology

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