I finally settled on a HP dv2000t for replacing my old laptop and ordered it with a $200 discount coupon. For just over $800, I got a Core2Duo, 14″ widescreen brightview display, dvd+rw, 1.5 gig ram, 120gig hd, nvidia 7200 graphics card, and Vista Home Premium. I got it a week earlier than planned (it was FedEx’ed from their China manufacturing site). They are super-sleek and nice looking laptops. I really liked the 14″ displays and their bright glossy finish. The wireless remote that hides in the PCIe slot is a nice touch and the fact you can watch DVD’s using the surface touch buttons without actually having to boot the machine is super cool.
Alas, after a week of use, it would randomly and instantly power off in the middle of watching videos or playing games. I figured out that anything that got the system hot would cause it to happen, not unlike what some MacBook users were experiencing (http://macbookrandomshutdown.com). I called support and they graciously offered to fix it. They paid for next-day shipping both ways – and I only lost my machine for a total of 5 days. When I got the machine back, it did some weird driver reloading at startup. I checked the device list and the nVidia 7200 was gone and the cheaper/slower Intel 945 was in its place. Sigh, they’d put the wrong motherboard in it.
Worse still, I couldn’t use the system re-install disks in it since ‘the hardware didn’t match’. Stupid locked OS install disks. I call support and back it goes again. Sigh. I certainly hope they fix it this time. The case got escalated (not by me even), and I was promised that if it wasn’t fixed this time, I’d get a new machine. I will hand it to HP’s customer service – they are good at not stonewalling you and do the right thing for the customer but I just want my working machine back. Can’t wait to get to really using it.