By John Dodge
A couple of posts ago, fellow blogger Dana Blankenhorn asked if 2010 would be the year of the tablet computer. Maybe so, but for me, the past three months made 2009 the year of low ball laptop for me.
Yes, I am an open box and closeout fanatic. I pass all the shiny new units and head right for the locked cage at Best Buy where they’re kept. And that’s what I did on Nov. 23, picking up a Toshiba M505-S4945 for a mere $415 or close to a third off the original price. Yes, it came with the older Microsoft Vista operating with a free upgrade for Windows 7 through the mail, but the deal was too good to pass up.
Two weeks after my purchase, the display failed and for the life of me I could not think how I could have damaged it. I took it back to Best Buy in early December where a Geek Squader told me there was nothing he could do. He summoned his boss who immediately pointed the finger at me and claimed the display had suffered an impact although I could not recall any such incident.
Best Buy also told me it would be expensive to fix and that I was out of luck. Fortunately my wife was with me said she would take her business elsewhere, which prompted the manager to offer an open box HP Pavilion dv4 2045dx for $290 or about half the price it is going for now. I bought the HP machine and it has performed well.
Well, there’s an even happier ending to this story. Toshiba Repair just sent back the M505 with a brand new display free of charge. And here’s the truth of the matter: while I was haggling with the Best Buy manager, I recalled stepping ever so lightly on the M505 when it closed on the floor – but not hard enough to damage it. After all, the unit worked properly for a day or more after that. If a display gets banged up and damaged, I suspect it would stop working then and there.