The PC hasn't had good profits for a decade
Consumer PC double so. One would think PC OEMs are looking at Michael Dell saying "You want this? It's yours! As is, where is. Haul it away yourself."
Scandal-hit Toshiba is slashing jobs across Europe as it beats a retreat from the region’s consumer PC market. Retailers are honouring existing orders for the first quarter of this year but are not placing any further ones, sources told us. Staff have been notified of the planned redundancies and a number put at risk. “We are …
My Asus laptop is becoming a little elderly. Certain keys misbehave, battery life (which never achieved the theoretical 3.5 hour maximum) is down under 2.5 hours and falling fast, and it's slowing down. I've already replaced the hard drive and maxed the RAM, the CPU's soldered on so there's no changing that, two of the three USB ports are occupied 100% of the time, the Ethernet port is on work-to-rule and belongs to a very Bolshy union indeed, and the display never was all that good. (1366x768. Nuff said.) I was looking for a new laptop, and had almost settled on a nice shiny Toshiba despite certain... problems... with Tosh's attitude. That's a no-go now, as I suspect that support for it will be a bit thin on the ground in a short while. And I won't be buying Dell or (shudder) HP, either. Sony's history, Lenovo is, well, Lenovo, and Acer is, well, not happening. Ever. Looks as thought it'll be Asus, again, or that I'll finally bite the bullet and buy a Mac Book Pro. The Asus will be cheaper by a significant margin, but the Apple keyboard will (probably) work without losing keycaps, and I won't need the two USB devices I have permanently installed on the Asus. And I'm pretty sure that I'll get at least 7 hours out of the battery so that I won't have to bloody well plug the bloody thing in every five seconds anymore.
Thank you, Toshiba, for ensuring that I'll end up spending more money than I'd planned for the next laptop, whether it be Apple or Asus. Sigh.
Just a couple of questions - why not Dell? I tried them after a long break and was very pleased with both sales and after sales. The laptop is great too. Also why not Lenovo? I have a 3 year old yoga 13 that's still going strong and we're all issued lenovos here at work and the last batch of 14 has been very good. I've just ordered SWMBO an E560 from lenovo and the only issue is that it's at the long end of the delivery window but still within what they said.
HP on the other hand - My dad ignored me and bought one - nothing but trouble!
Honestly bite the bullet and get the Macbook Pro, great battery life, best trackpad you will ever use (the gestures are great), magsafe power connector, nice keyboard. I wish i had done it years before i did instead of putting up with shabby laptops from HP, Acer, and Toshiba.
If you find after a few months the Macbook is not for you then they hold their value well and you should get at least 2/3rds of its value back if not more, and if you decide to keep it for many many years it will still hold a large chunk of its value 5 years on. For example a 2012 Macbook Air entry goes for £450ish on eBay now, you can get a brand new 2015 Macbook Air for £850, so its holding its value well. Even broken ones go for over £100 on eBay.
Apple do offer finance too if you wish to spread the payments.
Apple is to expensive and there isn't much software you can get or even Open Source software. Asus offers f. e. a 32 GB, 4K UHD Display, thunderbold included plus I7, plus 500 GB SSD plus 1 TB harddrive for less than 1200 USD (Costco) and yes if you want you can even install your favored Apple OS (the run on Intel). Apple has not much to offer and I prefer also a Linux phone, which comes with better hardware and security than the I-phone. I have Lenovos and the run everything I want - there is even a tweak for AMD processors so you can run OS/X. A Lenove with 8 GB memory, 750 GB HD and eSata interface was bought for 400 USD.
We're currently mainly Lenovo at work, with a few Dells (for laptops anyway, desktops are all HP). Main persuader has been the usability of the keyboards. The only failures among some fairly careless users have been outside influence, like giving the laptop a drink of Coke or having an airport security guard drop it.
Apple simply isn't a viable option on cost grounds, especially as we need Windows for our ERP system.
Ever heard of VM's? Apparently windows VM's run pretty well under OSX. Actually they do. I run two different one on my MBP under Fusion but you have other choices including Parallels and even Boot Camp.
If access to your ERP System is the only reason for running Windows then that seems to be a pretty good choice.
Think outside the box a bit and you might be surprised at what is there.
"We're currently mainly Lenovo at work...." Very interesting but completely irrellevant as Tosh is pulling out of the consumer market, not the commercial one. The commercial market usually has models with better reliability and quality, though they also usually don't look as flash as the commercial offerings. Whenever I recommend a laptop or desktop for friends or family I steer them towards the business models rather than the cheaper consumer ones and they soon realise why. The problem for Tosh is they are simply not selling in the consumer space, probably becasue they don't want to offer brand-damaging cheapies like other vendors are happy to.
I use a Dell xps13 dev edition and it has worked beautifully so far (12 months). My 5 year old Toshiba is a bit worse for wear but still working fine as well (I let the kids do their homework on it since I got the Dell one so it really is worse for wear :P). Most of the OEMs use 3rd parties to provide the warranty repairs anyway, so whether they have an office footprint in this country is not going to affect their ability to satisfy warranty issues.
+1 for Dells. Just not the cheap ones.
I have an Inspiron 15 7000 series from 2013 and it still works very well. I lug it around for school, work and my 4 year old abuses it to no end. It's starting to show but it's still working well.
I have Latitude 6000 series laptops at work. You couldn't nuke them if you wanted to. Best laptop keyboards I've ever used too.
used to be my first recommendation, but in the last, say 3-4 years, the quality seems to have plummeted, had no end of hardware issues with the lower spec ones. Dunno whether its just me but that's my opinion, YMMV.
Latest one was a totally dead one, just 14 months old. Had hell on getting them to accept liability, only after legal threats did they acquiesce. Too little to late.
The quality of the domestic models has been very poor for some years now. I always die a little inside when a customer hands over a Toshiba laptop. The quality of the plastics was particularly awful.
The worst was a Toshiba laptop from 2013/14 that had a AMD E1 CPU in it. The thing just struggled at 100% CPU the whole time. I had to put a SSD in it to get to it do anything in minutes rather than hours.
I won't mourn their passing.
I bought myself a Toshiba craptop in August 2013, naïvely believing that because it was a "top brand" it would be good. It seemed to be good at first (except for the fact that a 1366x768 resolution isn't all that high these days, especially not the vertical bit), but the keyboard started failing after only a month, and had totally failed after only 6 months — and not in the sense of "no keystrokes" either, but in the sense of "random keystrokes making the machine all-but-unusable". It took another month for the keyboard to finally die completely, so I could get the machine working again with an external keyboard.
Too much depends on the specific model. I've seen good ones and I've seen bad ones.
Part of the problem at Toshiba is that they won't admit the bad ones are bad. One Christmas my dad bought my mom a new one on sale at the local office supplies store. They shipped it back to the factory 4 times to fix a problem with the laptop. The time of day would just randomly advance 1d4 + 5d6 hours. Toshiba never did fix it. I bought her a Lenovo for a replacement, no problems with that one.
Heard their reliability is good. It's now 3 years old and runs. Though hardly any keyboard button works. High humidity can malfunction it's keyboard. They usually don't give driver support to consumer models well. They won't give you general driver updates. When new Windows comes, they might give you some updates but usually only for 1 Windows release after buying. "If it works, don't fix it"-they are a big believer of this policy. If you want a bit reliable notebook and don't care about drivers, you may have one.
There was a reliability survey carried out a few years ago (2012) I think based upon the number of warranty repairs for all the different makes of laptops. Toshiba and Asus came top as the most reliable machines (ie fewest warranty repairs in 2nd and 3rd year of laptop life). Apple came about fifth.
I live in Hong Kong which is well known for high humidity. My 2011, UK purchased Toshiba laptop hasn't suffered with keyboard failure, yet.
The hinge on the screen is beginning to wear and with a 1600x900 screen I should have returned it, but it was replacing a few desktops with VMs so I needed the 16GB.
The 2009 purchased NB 200 netbook works a treat though.
If they go, they go, I'll probably buy something else anyway next time!
Pick up a 2nd hand Lenovo for a fraction of the new cost. I got an i5 T420 with a 128GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and a 1600x900 panel for £299. An absolute steal. Build quality is great. I splashed out £30 for a new 65W battery plus £19 for a USB 3 ExpressCard and it runs Win10 and Ubuntu for over 6 hours like a champ.
You can pick up a newer i7 T440s with 12GB RAM, 240GB SSD for £500 that will run for a whole day.
I'll never buy new again!
I used to repair Toshiba (among others) laptops back in the mid-late '90s.
They were the ones that set the standard of quality, customer service and support back then. The build quality was supreme. Mind you, this was when a colour laptop was multiples of thousands of pounds.
They weren't short of having the odd bit of fun, either.
Pre-internet days, they sent out TNS bulletins to qualified repair engineers. One April we received one announcing the left handed laptop.
http://hoaxes.org/af_database/permalink/left_handed_toshiba is the best link I could find.
Agree - I've used their higher end Satellite Pro and Tecra series for a decade and they couldn't be beat for business/research (not gaming) and as a lower-end desktop substitute. I'm sorry to see them go, but then I haven't sampled their wares in the last couple of years, so as others say, maybe that was failing along with their corporate DNA for notebooks in general. Features aside, how a higher performance notebook/laptop dissipates heat is a major factor in longevity, and the better Toshibas did that well.
Is it me or do PC makers suck right now... I need a high end machine for game dev, my wife needs a mid range machine for teaching. Both machines should dual boot Windows / Linux, as not all apps run on both yet. Here are some obvious choices, but we're kind of lost, so any advice appreciated...
Toshiba... - As per Philips, becoming a rapidly disappearing brand name...
Asus... - Bought two Asus ROG top end boxes before, but both were returned and shipped back with same nvidia screen hanging / overheating issues. They work great when they work though, but I would buy them again. Very risky!... (There was also an unflattering Asus router story this week)
Lenovo... - Hard to forget the Superfish + UEFI fiasco. To think for 200k the company put their whole brand on the line. Have they cleaned up their act, or just moved onto something else that'll get exposed in a year or two... Just like the TV makers with their sneaky pop-up Ad deals with Yahoo, I just can't bring myself to trust Lenovo again... Superfish was too great an 'Overton Window' moment imo...
Dell... - Probably bought more Dells for work use than any other brand. But what do they offer anymore that's good? Alienware = far too pricey... Plus, similar to Lenovo, they introduced a sneaky unkillable root cert, but claimed it was for our benefit, namely 'tagging'. Do I believe them? When I see how Lenovo lied, and how TV makers still lie about their Ad deals with Yahoo etc, I've got to remain skeptical.
HP... - Wife has a rapidly dying HP Pavilion. Screen died after a year and half. Laptop always overheats. Its bulky. Its unspecial at best. HP's latest offerings have little more to offer than just a brand name. They don't even come with enough memory, or hard disk space for holiday photos! Talk about overpriced!
Acer... - Don't know them, except that they're cheap. Unfortunately a lot unwanted PC and Laptop models from North America end up getting sold in South America. That's hardly a big selling point. Anyone have thoughts about Acer?
Apple... - Desirable but damn expensive here. So probably not an option, but info appreciated anyway!
Others... - ???
"Alienware = far too pricey...",
I agree, however that's what I ended up with (17R3). So far (3 months), so good. The only problem so far is with their "vindicator" carry bag - a spring fell out of one of the shoulder strap clips - rendering the entire bag useless until I found a replacement spring. The bag is not worth the $80. Save your money and buy a better designed and less expensive carry bag (my 4-1/2 year old targus is still doing the job, but has lots of wear).
I think that due to the general overall downward trend of all PC sales (desktops and laptops), production volumes of all lines are down which results in generally higher prices, all else considered.
Most people would probably acknowledge that this trend will continue, there's not much I'm going to be able to do about it...
Frankly the entire PC laptop market has stagnated from a technology standpoint for several years now.. CPU upgrades are minor, at best. Screen resolution is a joke, (except for Alienware, HP Zbook will be available 3Q2016, but expensive). Everyone else is sticking with a max 1920 x 1080 because of the cheap availablility of screens (due to the TV market), let's them increase their profit margin tremendously. What else has changed on laptops within the last 5 years? USB 3.1 Gen2 / Thunderbolt3 is about the only thing that I can see.. IMO, the manufacturer's greed is causing their own lack of sales, it's self-perpetuating. Capitalism starts to fail when companies pull back on investment in innovation. Most aren't investing, they're just floating on a sinking tide of consumerism right now...
Also, FYI, re; Alienware's latest offerings, if the M.2 + NVMe SSD is selected, 1) Dell doesn't have a recovery disk option for it yet... probably because: 2) None of the major disk backup utilities know how to detect it at boot time (i.e. they need drivers), a couple of them are actively working on a solution. They'll probably have support within a couple of months or so.
I've been using Acer laptops for some years, and like them a lot. In 2010 I bought 4 Travelmate Timeline 8371 13" laptops, since they were going cheap after Acer overstocked. Once the noisy fan had been quietened with a custom BIOS, they were a joy to use with a good weight/power/battery life balance. I did a lot of software development with mine, and my daughter is still happily using hers at university, albeit with SDD + Windows 10 upgrade. The only unreliable element was a fault whereby the screen needed replacing a couple of times on one machine, not uncommon with this model.
Last year I bought an Acer TravelMate P645 which I upgraded with a Samsung 1TB SSD and 12GB RAM, and installed Windows 8.1. It's a similar footprint to the 8371 but they squeezed in a 14" display, and it's lighter, and about 2.5 times the speed of the 8371. I totally love this machine, and don't mind the business-like boringness of the design. Well, this is all anecdotal, but my own experience of Acer is good - and I'm fussy about things like fan noise, keyboard usability and battery life. My wife has a cheapo Acer 11" laptop which has occasional touchpad glitches but is otherwise fine.
"I've been using Acer laptops for some years, and like them a lot."
Its queer how different peoples experiences and perceptions vary.
OK, I've not done it for a couple of years, but when I was doing repairs of home-user kit you could almost be sure that any callout to a dead laptop would be for an Acer (or one of their subsidiaries). There appeared to be both problems with their chargers (undercapacity causing overheating/burnout on the power socket) and their motherboards (the later multilayer ones delaminating due to poor manufacture). The funny thing is the failures always seemed to be after 13-14 months - i.e. just after warranty expiry. It got so bad that my colleagues and I were convinced they had built-in timed self-destruction. Daft I know, but thats what it seemed like.
I presume your experience is with a newer generation of machines
I bought my father an Acer a year ago. He wanted a small, cheap laptop for email when travelling.
I bought him an Acer V5 something, 11 inch 1366x768 jobbie, I think it had 2 GB of RAM. I upgraded the RAM and Win 8.1 seemed happy enough. On his return to the UK he couldn't charge it and contacted Aced UK who although having no responsibility for the machine, took it for an under warranty repair and supplied a new power supply. The upgraded memory remained in place, but the hard drive was re-imaged, which about par for the course these days.
I have no interest in Acer other than this PC.
TravelMates aren't bad in my experience. I know of a 6 year old one still going strong.
The "consumer" ones - I've just come across a 3 year old one that won't upgrade to Win 10 though the owners are getting the Microsoft nagging.
If there's a general rule here it's "cheap laptops are a can of worms."
I've been using Acer laptops for some years, and like them a lot.
Same here. Currently typing this on an Aspire 5732Z. I replaced the HDD with an SSD. The webcam has stopped working but then I never used it anyway. It's just that now I get random USB warnings from it. But at nigh-on five years old the laptop is going well. Only other issue is sourcing replacement batteries (I think most have now been sat on a shelf for a while by the time they ship) but I mostly use it on the mains anyway so I can live with that.
My previous Acer developed a dicky power switch but it was easy enough to replace.
Yes they do.
I think it comes down to the death of the screwdriver shops. While it may have looked fairly similar from a distance they kept the hardware vendors honest about performance. If you made an inferior MB, they'd toss you like a lit piece of TNT. Same thing applied to all the rest of the components. And if you fixed your problem on the next release, they'd pick you right back up again.
But we started expecting PCs to keep getting cheaper and more powerful at the same rate they did in the past. When I did that sort of work, the standard price for a finished PC with monitor was around $1200, a significant improvement over the $10K you would have paid when I first saw one. These days people expect to pick up good performers for $500. And they expect it to weigh no more than 3 pounds. So there's been a rush to the bottom in terms of quality. And consolidation because you can't make money on small quantity product runs. The result is a market that really sucks.
It's been all too obvious that only sworn Apple church goers will pay the
tax premium (though some argue that at least they get their money worth of). The "dark side" of PC market goes by price/reliability/function. Nobody willingly overpays knowing that the vendor label may be the only difference. With equipment that lasts longer than ever (and hardware race that seemingly came to standstill, at least from consumer point of view) and new Windows despised by majority of users it's little surprise that few parts their hard earned cash just for the sake of change.
I'd used to buy (desktop PC) hardware more often but it's just pointless now to do any refresh only to end up dealing with activations or forced upgrade to "customer experience telemetry". And laptops are just useless - overpriced , underspecced paperweight with shiny, worthless touchscreen (that commands premium). Don't get me started about 2in1.
I see a lot of comments regarding how poor the various manufacturers are, and how its impossible to find a decent high spec machine
Can I suggest you look at getting a Clevo? These are bullet-proof chassis, made by a major ODM (Clevo) for final configuration by local specialists. For instance three UK assemblers (there are others)
http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Laptop_PCs.html (specialise in video editing suites)
If you need something for video editing, or game development one of these should be able to help.
... ditto this thread. I bought a Sager P370M back in 2012, took it to Afghanistan and used it there for 3.5 years... then back home and it's still ticking along quite nicely. Yes, it was quite an investment (4k+) but I've yet to find something it can't do.
It was "bleeding edge" in terms of hardware at the time, so I'm sure there's better specs available now. What I also very much like is that I can change up hard drives/SSD's as I need... I went from a 128gb SSD boot drive to a 512gb SSD with absolutely no issues...
The PC market is a mature market with most sales being for replacement kit. Eventually the sales will reach a sort-of steady state of units. There will be a few mass market sellers (Dell, HP, ?) and several niche markets (Acer, Lenovo, ?). The PC market will resemble the automobile market, a few very large international players who sell to the mass market (Ford, VW, Toyota, etc) and several niche players (BMW, Mercedes, etc). Properly managed they all can make money but the heady boom days are long gone.
Don't buy preconfigured off the shelf, take the time to spec your laptop yourself, TBH any of the major manufacturers will be fine. Do you need a 17" screen, do you need a HiRes screen, do you need a quad core, do you need an SSD boot drive? All questions that are easily answered and will steer you towards the machine that will do what you need. I got the machine I needed for about $700 18 months ago, 15", 1366 x 768 (all I need), quad core, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB secondary, 802.11ac. No problems since purchase, because it wasn't off the shelf it took about 3 weeks to build and get here but it was worth the wait. Oh and when it arrives, wipe the sucker and put a clean install on there, Toshiba's bloatware was among the worst and their driver organization in terms of locating them on their website used to be a frigging nightmare.
After Lenovo bought ibms business. Have been with toshiba for over 10 years now. Current laptop is a almost 6 year old tecra A11($2200 new with 4 year on site support and extra batteries). Works well still though battery life is down to under 30 minutes(it spends 99%of the time plugged in). Have had the keyboard replaced twice due to wear(4 year on site support expired a while ago). I had a toshiba M5 before that(2006?)
I was hoping to get a new toshiba with 6th gen i7 and nvidia graphics. Gave up waiting(even though it works fine am worried at it's age and now no more onsite support) and caved in to lenovo. Had my company buy me a P50 which just came out (hasn't arrived yet. Well maybe its at the office waiting for me now not sure).
6th gen i7 with 4k and 2gig nvidia card 16gb ram (upgradable to 64 i rarely use more than 5gig on my 8 gig toshiba even with 1 or 2 VMs running). 4k display and will have 1TB of NVMe ssd and 1TB of SATA SSD. Samsung 950 pro(2x) and 850 pro respectively. Total about $3600.
I have no idea what I will use all the horsepower for yet but hope it lasts me another 5 years. Only thing i fear is the keyboard. Hoping i can get used to it.
Planning on running mint and windows 7 dual boot(99% in linux). It has official linux support though am half expecting i need to wait a bit for drivers to stabilize. I don't bother with sleep or suspend or hibernate on linux. Never worked reliability (maybe nvidia's fault i am not sure but I'd rather have nvidia without hibernate than no nvidia).
I got a very old Toshiba Satellite (SA60) which originally ran Windows XP Home edition. Never had any issues with it, could even enjoy playing DVD's (onboard dvd writer). The only issue which I should have done different is the wlan; it doesn't have an embedded adapter but needs a pcmcia.
In the mean time I replaced Windows XP with FreeBSD and my laptop, though slow in comparison, just keeps going. It's a perfect network problem solver and office workstation (OpenOffice). No screen issues, no keyboard issues... The only issue, as we all have, is that the battery could have lasted longer for my liking.
So yeah, sorry to see Toshiba go, I always favoured the brand :(
I went the other way, and finally decided to switch to an ARM. I'm glad I did. I got an Acer Chromebook 13, popped in an SDCard and put Ubuntu on it. It has a Tegra K1, so a 2.2ghz* quad-core ARM (+ 1 low power core that the kernel automatically switches to when it's running 1 CPU at lower speed.), and the 192-core CUDA video card appears to be roughly comparable to a GT720 in terms of CUDA units and speed. Supposed 13 hour battery life -- I measured about 15 hours battery life in ChromeOS (I think it would have gotten over 20 under lighter usage), and in Ubuntu about 12-13 hours under lighter usage down to maybe 8 hours under heavy use (maxing out all 4 cores compiling or H.264 encoding some videos or the like.) It kills my previous Dell speed-wise (admittedly elderly, a Core Duo), is much lighter, nice keyboard, no fan and no noticeable heat production (under full load one spot on the bottom seems to warm up like 5 degrees), seems well put-together and surprisingly has pretty good speakers.
*I think it's supposed to be able to do 2.4ghz, but probably has the speed disabled for thermal reasons. Maybe? The CPU temp never seems to get particuarly high, so it may be for battery life or some other reason.
The problem of the moment is, if you replace "Toshiba" in that sentence with the name of any other big computer name from the last decade, can you prove the statement is false?
No, I can't make that claim even for Dell, even with Michael back in charge.
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