Sony Laptop:Warranty repair or take the cash?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by ahigham, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. ahigham

    ahigham
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    I have Sony VGN T1XP that I bought from John Lewis 2 years ago.

    After 22 months it started to develop a problem whereby it shut itself down as though the power was cut. I thought it might be a loose battery connection and thereafter used it on the mains for a week and it was fine mostly, but then started to do the same. It then started to have problems booting up until it just died and would not start up. It was under warranty.

    After sending it to Sony, JL say it can be repaired or else I can have just under £600 cash. It will be out of warranty by the time it comes back to me.

    There don't seem to be any decent small laptops like it on the market for less than £1000. I really don't want anything bigger than 11" screen.

    I'm thinking of getting it repaired or else taking the cash and buying a second hand one.

    I know that computer specs have moved on and I can get a better spec machine for about £900 with a 13" screen. If could find a small screen model that was decent for around £700 or less then, that would do.

    Any views gratefully received.

    thanks
     
  2. Uridium

    Uridium
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    The fault you have described will more than likely involve a system board swap. If it was my machine i'd just take the cash.

    I repair Laptop's on a daily basis (full strip down repairs/LCD's/Sys boards etc..) and can say hand on heart that once a laptop's been taken apart it's never quite as good as the day it came out of the factory. Generally speaking they really aren't designed to be taken apart again once they leave the factory.
     
  3. ahigham

    ahigham
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    Thanks for that. It was my suspicion that the machine post repair won't quite be up to scratch. I have asked JL to get a complete explanation from sony as to the faults they have found and what they propose to do to fix them before making my mind up.

    Would it make any difference to your view if the the fault was different to the issue you suspect?
     
  4. Uridium

    Uridium
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    Personally unless it only needed ram or a hard disk (maybe an LCD on some better designed models) i wouldn't have it back; especially with warranty out. In my experience though the fault you have described would probably be resolved with a system board swap.
     
  5. ahigham

    ahigham
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    I will get 3 months warranty on the specific fault and I have been able to negotiate today 1 months general warranty as it had 2 months left when I sent it in.

    When you say you would have the cash, is that because you would buy a new PC?

    I do want to keep the same machine so I probably would use the cash to buy a 2nd hand one. The question then is the repaired one a better bet than the lottery of a 2nd hand machine?
     
  6. sinizterguy

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    The Dell XPS M1210 is available for around £750-800 and price can be negotiated with Dell ... They seem to give out 10% discounts quite readily on the phone.

    I am currently using the M1210, and its really great. 4.5+ hours battery life, Core2 Duo processor - More than fast enough for anything.
     
  7. ahigham

    ahigham
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    Thanks for pointing this out. I too like the look of this machine and have seen it has had good reviews. I wasn't aware that you could get it for the price you say as Dell have it at 990 on their website.

    I daressay they will reuce their standard spec to reduce the price, is that what happened to get the price down or did you source it from somewhere else?
     
  8. sinizterguy

    sinizterguy
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    I actually paid £1700 for all the bells and whistles

    Core 2 Duo - 2 Ghz (4MB L2)
    2 GB RAM
    12.1 screen with TrueLife + Built in camera
    120 GB HDD
    8x DVD+/-RW
    NVidia GeforceGo 7400
    Full 3 year warranty
    Dell 5505 WLAN (3G + HSDPA) Card
    Audigy HD sound card etc.

    But when I bought they had the lower option with the integrated graphics etc for £795. If you call them up they are usually quite flexible from what I have heard.

    I ordered straight from their site (using Quidco to get 5% cashback) and didnt bother negotiating discounts as I was too busy with other stuff. I do regret not trying to get some money off - but this laptop is worth it. I use it everyday and have not found any problems with it.

    I was actually suggesting that you get something lower specced than the one listed above. Something in between the £850-990 range. But what you go for depends on what you feel you need balanced with the budget available.
     
  9. Uridium

    Uridium
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    Think I'd go for a Lenovo/IBM X-Series or a Toshiba Portege R200 but they are both stetching your budget.

    Both twice the build quality of the Dell's (although the newer D series Dell's are much improved)

    As for the repaired machine over a secondhand one i think i'd do some googling to find out if the fault you have had is very common and it would also depend on who does the repair ;-)

    If it's Sony then I'd take the repaired machine, if it's JL outsource repair firm (don't know who they use) i'd take the cash i think.
     
  10. sinizterguy

    sinizterguy
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    I have seen the Toshiba and 1210 is definitely as good as if not better. The screen does not flex like some other models. I accidentally stepped on the laptop on the top of it the other day (luckily didnt put my full weight down) and nothing happened to it.

    90% of the laptops I have seen out there would have cracked the screen if something similar happened.

    Cant say the same about the budget Dell models.

    XPS is their flagship and they have taken the time to make it a very good laptop.
     
  11. ahigham

    ahigham
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    Thanks for some useful info.

    JL have sent it to Sony in France who will do the repair. From what I can glean, JL will be paying Sony around £800 in total to fix this. I will find out the fault and remedy before deciding.

    As to the new machine, portability is my main priority and I'll look over the Tosh and IBM model suggested - thanks.

    Dell are currently working out what spec they can give me on the 1210 for less than 800.

    cheers for the advice
     
  12. sinizterguy

    sinizterguy
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    Dont settle for what they offer you. Write down details, compare with other ultrportables or similar sized ones and compare prices, bargain with Dell and they will give you a fair bit better spec than their initial offer.
     
  13. ahigham

    ahigham
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    JL have said that it is the 'main board and cover' that is to be replaced by Sony.

    I presume this is likely to be the same thing as the system board?
     
  14. Stuzo

    Stuzo
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    Yes, that is the same as the system board.

    If you're willing to put about £200 in the pot to add to the £600 that JL are offering then I would take the money and get somthing for about £800 as that is the kind of price you can get somthing decent at.

    If you arn't willing to do that then I'd be fairly happy getting it repaired. As it is going back to sony you are going to get a reasonabley good quality job done on it which should be much better than if it were sent to a third party.

    Just to throw another option in your possibilities hat, I quite like the HP NC2400 Series - although prices for them look a bit high this looks like a very good deal compaired with the same (nearly) machine on the HP Website. No idea who morecomputers.co.uk are though, just found them through searching froogle.

    Edit: the other advantage of getting it repaired is that you are getting a machine that you are happy with (aside from its problems) and providing they don't reimage the hard drive you are avoiding the hassle of moving all your data to a new machine and reinstalling all your software.

    Also, what is the process for getting a laptop bought from john lewis repiared? I have a sony that I got from them about 18 months ago which has a faulty DVD drive, I don't realy use it so hadn't bothered to try and have it fixed, but if it is fairly stright forward I may as well get it sorted.
     
  15. ahigham

    ahigham
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    I simply returned the laptop to JL's store. They kept it for about 9 days whilst they looked at it in store and then it was sent to Sony in France. It then took a month to find out the fault and identify tthat it was just about economical to repair it. JL say repairs take 4-6 weeks but at least they are done by Sony.

    They can sometimes be persuaded to lend you a laptop whilst they are repairing yours.
     
  16. ahigham

    ahigham
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    Folks may be interested in the outcome.

    I am taking the money from JL who are also giving me back my laptop.

    Looking at new laptops, I did like the Dell that was suggested and it probably is the best machine for that money. The only reason that I am not going for it is service quality. Dell's customer service in my experience has been nothing short of lousy on dealing with customers and dangerously incompetent on the technical side. I read the latest Which survey on customer service and only 25% of Dell's customers were happy with the service.

    JL are clearing out their Sony Vaio VGN C1SG at £800. The spec is pretty similar to the Dell M1210. It may be that the Dell is built better but it comes with 1 year warranty versus 2 with JL. JL can be relied upon to treat you fairly and sensibly - they deserve the business.

    I'd just like to thanks all those who looked at this thread and particularly those who gave me some good advice.
     
  17. Uridium

    Uridium
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    Good choice JL are reknowned for good after sales, after they have shown you here.
     

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