• Dave Kennedy

I had to look into an exceptionally poor (ongoing) warranty experience today. It made me run through a little self assessment of whether they are worth while or good value.

The case I looked at today was for a laptop from a major brand with a Next Business Day Warranty.

  • The brand new laptop started crashing after less than 40 days of ownership.

  • Basic diagnostics lead to raising case with HP who wanted the laptop reset.

  • After being reset and the issue remained

  • It took 4 business days to get the initial site visit.

  • Engineer arrived intending to replace a motherboard but determined the issue was an SSD problem and a replacement would need ordered.

  • Replacement SSD arrived 2 days later.

  • Operating System reinstalled by customer (not covered by warranty)

  • Laptop found to still have the same issue after testing

  • Warranty ticket re-raised and 3 business days later no call back from HP warranty support despite being chased.

Has next business day been of value under these circumstances? Its difficult to argue its not.

What should businesses and IT Managers be doing to get the best protection for their staff right now and should they still be buying warranties especially with people working from home? - Yes warranties are still important but here are some considerations.

Choose machines from a brand you trust

  • Get feedback from peers, colleagues and suppliers as to their experience.

Choose established product lines

  • Devices which have rigorous testing and quality standards and known lengthy support periods

Search online forums and reviews related to the machine of interest.

  • Look for positive and negative feedback on devices you might choose.

Look on social media for other customers support experience.

  • Again look for positive and negative feedback and how it is handled.

  • Remember most people don't shout about good experiences so weight the opinions carefully.

Machines will break, through wear, over use or by accident and whether that is covered or repairable in a timely manner under warranty will depend on the type of warranty and the nature of the issue.

The alternatives to having warranties:

  • Users are unable to work for days until repair is made or machine is replaced.

  • Keeping a stock pile of replacement laptops which will age and depreciate while not in use.

Do I think Next Business Day Warranties are worthwhile for businesses and business users? Yes I do. As long as they are from a reliable source and especially so if the machines are a solid work horse.

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  • Dave Kennedy

A coincidence of two events today led me to appreciating the Lenovo #ThinkPad P15 Mobile Workstation.

Lisa Gade of Mobile Tech Review released one of her excellent reviews on the the P15 Mobile workstation. Watching the video its easy to appreciate the quality and benefits of one of these extremely powerful laptops.

These laptops can be built up with hardware specifications that might almost seem impossible to fully utilize to their full potential.

Earlier today I was asked to assist a customer identify a machine to fulfill a requirement a little out of the ordinary. The customer wants to embark on a project of cataloging some unique and historic masonry using photogrammetry.

Photogrammetry is an excellent example of when a machine with extreme performance is required. Photogrammetry is the process of producing 3D Models of objects, buildings or landscapes from tens or hundreds of photographs taken of an object form many angles.

In this customers case they were considering Agisoft Metashape and its system requirements are high. The requirement this customer has with this software would be able to fully utilise the performance capabilities of a P15 with 8 Core Xeon CPU, 128GB RAM, NVidia Quadro Graphics card.

I am interested to see the results once they get underway.

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  • Dave Kennedy

COVID19 has changed the world, and how we communicate, educate, work, and generally live day to day. Conference events sensibly are one of the aspects that have certainly changed (at least in the short term).

About this time of year for the last few years I've been arriving in Las Vegas to attend CES. CES is by far the largest annual technology event in the world and for someone who loves tech in all its forms its a dream come true with new and upcoming devices and wizardry at every turn for you to look at, touch and try out.

I believe last years attendance at the 4 day event was over 170,000 people. Unfortunately that number of humans descending on Las Vegas from all over the world, to wander around the conference centre halls and hotels during a global pandemic was seen as a risk to far and the organisers the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) joined forces with Microsoft to make this years event virtual. I am genuinely excited to see how this works and tomorrow the vail will be lifted.

I am going to very much miss getting up close and personal with the devices, to photograph them and try them out in person. But it also means I don't have to venture on up to two wintery flights and travelling away from home during a pretty busy part of the year.

I'll be trading the sparkling lights of Vegas for my home desk on a mountain in British Columbia. But aside from saving my legs from walking thousands of steps, this year might provide a means of consuming more information. I'll be setup with three screens to consume content, one to conference and one to take notes. My desk is going to feel like mission control.

I hope when CES 2022 comes around it has some physical and onsite elements of CES return so we can physically interact with the new tech, but till then lets look forward to making the most of the media we are able to get exposed to.

Happy CES!

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