Don’t buy Dell laptops, really

This comes from someone who bought a Dell laptop (Inspiron 14R N4010) about two years ago. I totally regret buying Dell laptop right now. The hardware starts sucking once you pass the first year mark. The battery got spoilt more than a year ago and recently, the laptop started overheating once I start using the laptop for more than 10 minutes.

The only part that I am relatively satisfactory about Dell is that most components work out of the box with Ubuntu. Initially, I had problems with WiFi drivers in 10.04 and 10.10, but luckily those were sorted once in 11.04 onwards.

However, I still have not gotten my Bluetooth working. Actually, I don’t even remember being able to use Bluetooth in Ubuntu. I am not sure whether it is Dell hardware to be blamed or the Linux kernels but I’ll blame both of them just to be safe. ­čśë

Anyway, I have developed an immense dislike towards Dell hardware. Add to the fact that I broke my laptop screen last year and it took more than three weeks to get it replaced thanks to the awesome customer support at Dell. And one other thing: One of my friends b0rked his laptop because it ended up overheating to such an extent that BIOS did not even let the computer boot up and I totally don’t want to end up like him.

I know Linux kernels in Ubuntu took a drastic hit in power management since 10.10 onwards, but it still doesn’t mean the batteries can get spoilt to such an extent that it can barely hold power for more than 5 minutes or so. Because of this, my laptop has been effectively reduced to being a mere portable desktop, having to plug in to a power socket if I ever intend to do anything useful or productive.

And, as if the spoilt battery is not enough, now the cooling fans are blazing at full speed for most part of the time. It barely slows down and has been very annoying and worrying at the same time. I even got myself an laptop cooling pad but it doesn’t really help the case. And, don’t tell me it was Unity’s fault for this overheating. The same happens when I am using Unity, GNOME or even Unity-2D. Lubuntu has been somewhat gentler compared to the rest but I don’t like the bluish feel of Lubuntu. ­čśŽ KDE has been somewhat of a compromise between looks and hardware constraints and I have been using it for quite some time now. Though I don’t really like the looks of Qt apps in KDE and I would really like the looks of Gtk apps in GNOME or Unity.

What were we talking about again? Ah, yes. Dell hardware is pathetic. I am looking forward to getting myself a new laptop as soon as possible. Looking at the alternatives, it looks like I’ll get myself a Thinkpad.

Broken screen: Mystery solved

Why my blog has been relatively quiet around a while ago can possibly be explained by this rather interesting development. I hope you will have a good read and like the incident or would I have to say accident.

One great event in the month of May other than the trip to Nepal, which was covered in an earlier blog post, is the wrecking of my laptop screen. The string of events leading to this disaster might not be very eventful. Nevertheless, it is amusing. At least to me. Let me narrate the events on that dreadful night:

I had my laptop in the study room, which is two floors below my room. I went to collect my clothes from the laundry, which is in the same level as the study room and I would say it is a quite huge pile of clothes. I am sure by now, most of you would have a mild idea of what would have possibly happened after this. Anyway, I was pretty lazy that night and I decided to carry both the mount of clothes and the laptop in a single go. That is not the best part. Something very crucial and important did not strike me that night. That I am going to break the laptop screen. I put my mouse on the keyboard and partially closed the lid. So, that means the mouse is in between the keyboard and the screen. Over which I am going to place the huge pile of clothes and carry it to my room which is two floors above. During which I heard a slight cracking sound and I thought it was the mouse getting crushed by the heavy clothes mount.

So, I took my time to remove the mouse from in between the lid and the keyboard thinking the mouse probably got cracked somewhere. Just when I reached my room and flipped open the lid did I realize the calamity that has just struck me. I realized what a stupid blunder I have just committed. I knew it is going to cost me a couple of hundreds of dollars to fix the broken screen and I really needed a laptop to finish off all my homeworks and assignments for the next week. It was a crucial week in school curriculum actually. Somehow, I managed to last that whole week. I am still not sure how it actually went. Borrowing laptops from friends and using public computers. It was rather tedious but I didn’t have any choice.

The all famous broken screen

It is not like the laptop is totally useless after the screen was broken. I could still use a quarter of the screen albeit in inverted colours. Though the colour-bleached screen was very hard on my eyes. Eventually I got my laptop screen replaced, but only after shelling out a good lump of money. That too only after almost an entire month.

The working quarter filled with Google Chrome browser.


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