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Laptop Build Quality / Reliability / Support

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Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
March 29, 2016 9:37:35 AM

I wanted to get everyone's advice on buying a new laptop, specifically in relation to the build quality, reliability and support from different manufacturers.

I've been looking at Dell, Lenovo and MSI with a lot of power. All three offer gaming configurations with i7 / GTX specs or workstation configurations with Xeon / Quadro specs. The price is about the same between the three.

So far I've looked at the:
• Dell XPS 15 InfinityEdge
• Dell Precision 5000 & 7000 series
• Lenovo P50 & P70 series
• MSI WS Series & GS series

Anyone have any experience with the build quality, reliability and support with these three?
I've done a ton of research on the web but can't seem to nail it down.
Thanks!

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a b D Laptop
March 29, 2016 9:55:19 AM

Avoid Lenovo at all costs. They repeatedly feature massive security vulnerabilities, privacy violations, and other problems that you just don't want to deal with. Lenovo is ONLY useful as a cheap student PC when you consciously avoid entering personal information.

Between MSI and Dell, I would go with MSI. They tend to have less bloatware, and improved customer service. MSI does tend to over-engineer their laptops, ending up with very large and heavy machines.
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a c 1641 D Laptop
March 30, 2016 4:37:45 PM

AdviserKulikov said:
Avoid Lenovo at all costs. They repeatedly feature massive security vulnerabilities, privacy violations, and other problems that you just don't want to deal with. Lenovo is ONLY useful as a cheap student PC when you consciously avoid entering personal information.


That only applies to Lenovo's consumer laptops, not their business ThinkPad laptops.
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a b D Laptop
March 31, 2016 6:00:00 AM

jaguarskx said:
AdviserKulikov said:
Avoid Lenovo at all costs. They repeatedly feature massive security vulnerabilities, privacy violations, and other problems that you just don't want to deal with. Lenovo is ONLY useful as a cheap student PC when you consciously avoid entering personal information.


That only applies to Lenovo's consumer laptops, not their business ThinkPad laptops.


Lenovo's security and assistance programs that come with ThinkPads also have security issues. It's not just the consumer models. The consumer models were just the most flagrant offender.
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a c 1641 D Laptop
April 1, 2016 7:59:22 AM

Ah, yes... the was one incident last year for Thinkpad and consumer laptops. A 3rd party security researcher identified that the Lenovo Solution Center (LSC) application had potential security issues. It was found that certain websites with malicious coding could execute certain commands.

No such attacks have been confirmed, but the researcher did publish a report regarding a proof-of-concept attack. That does not mean ThinkPad laptops are in immediate danger of executing malicious code. Lenovo did recommend Thinkpad users to uninstall the program though.


Last year Lenovo consumer laptops also had to deal with the Superfish incident (Lenovo publicly apologized I think) and the Lenovo Service Engine. Lenovo provided tools to uninstall both programs.



Superfish - The purpose of Superfish was to provide custom advertisement to consumer laptop users based on sites that they visit. Sounds great (well... maybe) superficially speaking, but in actuality far from ideal. Your internet traffic was re-directed to a 3rd party company who's servers would send you custom ads based on whatever you are doing on the web.

First, this is considered an invasion of privacy since potentially all of your activity could be tracked. Secondly this make consumers vulnerable to something called "man-in-the-middle" attacks / frauds. The man-in-the-middle in this case is the 3rd party company providing you with custom ads. Even if all employees in that company are saints with no intentions of committing fraud against consumers, it is considered to be a severe vulnerability.

Lenovo Service Engine (LSE) - The purpose of this program was to simply send non-personal information to Lenovo's servers the first time you connect to the internet. Meaning only information about the hardware was sent to Lenovo as well as the time and date and which region the laptop was located (based on the time). The information was sent once and only once.

It was discovered that there was a potential vulnerability that a remote user could take control of a laptop through the LSE. No actual incident was ever documented. But Lenovo did provide a removal utility just in case...

The LSE had a real annoying hidden feature... if you uninstall it without using Lenovo's removal utility, the laptop would simply download and install the most recent version of the LSE.
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a c 1641 D Laptop
April 1, 2016 3:46:05 PM

orlbuckeye said:
Well laptop magazine ranked Dell number 2 for 2015.

http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-brand-ratings


And the Dell is a really nice looking 15.6" laptop that is about the size of a typically 14" laptop and weighs 3.9lbs.

I would like to get one for myself but I owe Uncle Sam some money... Unfortunately my tax bill is higher then the cost of the Dell XPS with the Core i7 CPU, 4k screen and 512GB SSD.
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