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Old June 13 2013, 05:52 AM   #13
Gary7
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Re: Thinking of a new laptop? -- DON'T BUY HP (see why inside)

DonIago wrote: View Post
I just bought an HP laptop. So far I'm quite happy with it, though it's only been a month or so.
In all fairness, HP does make very good quality laptops. I've owned 3 of them now. Frankly, for the price it's hard to go wrong. They are also very well designed for serviceability. I've been able to perform upgrades and replace various parts on one of my older laptops using an HP provided service manual and never needed technical support.

You may be perfectly fine with yours, if you got a decent WiFi card with it. If you happened to get a lesser/lower-end WiFi card that basically "does the job" for now, you may find yourself handicapped down the road. But again, it all depends upon your needs. If your card is 300Mbps, you'll probably be just fine.

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Other than the white list, HP is a solid manufacturer. I would, however, recommend Acer over HP. Acer is just a terrific balance of budget and performance plus high quality.
HP is indeed a solid manufacturer. I have looked at Acer laptops but... somehow the designs have not appealed to me. I'm a sticker for solid casing and machining, and high quality keyboards.

Ar-Pharazon wrote: View Post
Any chance there's a BIOS update that has had this white-list removed? Or just a non-HP BIOS update that never had it?
The white list is machine specific, so a BIOS update provided is only for only a few machines with the same CPU/motherboard. Unfortunately, HP uses an RSA signed BIOS for most of their laptops, which would make a non-HP BIOS impossible.

Again, the only real problem with this white list is if you ever need to upgrade an internal accessory. If you have a great quality WiFi card, then by the time you're needing something faster you may already be primed for a new computer.

In my case, my laptop came with a sub par WiFi card to begin with. It's fine for close range, but in my living situation I'm just on the periphery of a strong wireless signal. My Intel cards have been fine with it, but the present one in my HP laptop (Ralink) has been problematic.

I was able to get a report on my whitelist using a 3rd party tool and from that I was able to learn about another WiFi card added in the latest BIOS update that handles 300Mbps (despite not being listed in the service manual). I'm hoping it'll be strong enough to handle a good signal at long range. If so, then I should be fine for the remainder of my ownership. Until then, I've submitted a petition (along with others) to HP for a repeal of this white list. They've "thanked" us for the concern but we need to be a "bee in their bonnet" in hopes of getting them to acquiesce.
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