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Before You Buy: Finding Service and Support for Your Laptop

4 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Buying a Laptop and Accessories

When you buy a laptop, service and support are part of the price tag. Please don't make the mistake of shopping for the cheapest laptop in the world. You'll find it, of course! The same laptop may also have multiple prices. The price you get when you’re buying directly from the manufacturer is different from the price of the same laptop you find in the Big Box store, and different still from the price in the back of the local computer flyer. Caveat emptor!

People who overlook service and support when they buy laptops are doomed to despair. Unlike desktop computers, laptops contain specific, tiny, and expensive hardware. Those items aren't easily swappable components, like similar items in desktop systems. Because of that, buying from an outfit that offers personal support is important.

Service is the art of fixing your laptop. The best service happens when the fix-it guy comes to your home or office. Otherwise, the laptop has to be returned, either directly to the dealer or to the manufacturer.

  • Support is best offered as a free telephone call for help when you need it.

  • There’s a difference between support for your laptop hardware and support for its software. The software is supported by the software developer, which isn’t the same company that makes the laptop hardware. Be aware of the differences before you make the call.

  • There’s nothing wrong with mail-in service. Just be aware that you'll be without your "baby" for a few days while it's being fixed.

  • Some manufacturers offer you a replacement laptop while yours is being fixed via mail-in service. That's a bonus.

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