Notebook PCs / Laptop

Questions to ask the retailer

Free leather carry bags, bundled software, extended warranty, accidental damage cover and the like are often nice value-added features. But if the machine isn't good value without them, think again.

Top 10 questions to ask regarding warranty

Even the most reliable machines may experience faults that cannot easily be rectified. Repairing a notebook can be extremely expensive -- unlike equivalent desktop machines, manufacturers are more likely to use non-standard components. Even if this is not the case, replacing many parts is too complex for the average user. The majority of manufacturers offer one-year return-to-base warranties. Some offer to collect your machine as part of the standard warranty, most will be willing to extend terms at a price, and a few manufacturers offer three years of support. It's also worth noting that it's common practice for notebook vendors to use professional third-party support contractors, especially where the vendor doesn't have a repair centre in your city or state.

  • Is there a guaranteed turnaround time on service or an option to pay to include this? This applies to return-to-base or courier pick-up warranties.
  • If you live in a regional area, does the "free courier pickup" warranty still apply to you?
  • Is the warranty International? If so, what countries and locations are included? This is one to keep in mind if you're a regular traveller.
  • Can you get a courtesy notebook if there are extended repair problems?
  • If you're a business, is there an option to sign a service agreement contract?
  • What are the warranty specifics concerning dead display pixels?
  • If the notebook is being shipped to you, is transit damage insurance included?
  • What is the warranty on the notebook's battery?
  • Are parts and labour included in the warranty?
  • Are any third-party support contractors sufficiently stocked with parts and sufficiently trained to support your particular notebook model?

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