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The 10 Worst Tech Products of 2010

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the end-of-the-year-cliche dept.

Hardware 203

Barence writes "PC Pro has a count down of the ten worst tech gadgets of the year. Included in its hall of shame are: iPad Made Simple, 'a book containing 704 pages of advice on how to use a device that's universally acknowledged as being ridiculously easy to use'; the Dell Inspiron Duo, 'a tablet that leaves you longing to return to a keyboard and a touchpad'; and the £99 Next Tablet, the highlight of which was the 'eight-page Quick Start Guide.'"

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FPFPFPPFPFP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711482)

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FIRST

i hereby nominate (5, Interesting)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711494)

the Dell E6xxx series laptops. In my 16 years in the computing industry, i have never seen such a high failure/random wierd issue rate - before the machines even leave the bench (takes 25 minutes to network build with SOE) in many cases.

cheers Dell, for convincing me to move to HP Elitebooks.

Re:i hereby nominate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711606)

Reliability aside, the E6xxx series is a huge step up from the previous D6xx series, which easily had the worst keyboard and screen of any laptop I've had the misfortune of having inflicted upon me.

Re:i hereby nominate (2)

acoustix (123925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711780)

I actually loved my D620 and D630 Latitudes. They were very solid and I loved the keyboard - especially with the 9-cell battery that acts as a palm rest. Plus they had a serial port - which I use quite a bit for initial router and switch configurations.

My new E6510, while loaded to the gills, has a keyboard that's more difficult for me to use. Although I love the screen. I also had issues with some of the Dell provided drivers. Specifically the video driver for my nVidia NVS 3100M which would cause one of my cores to run at 100% under Win XP. Using the manufacturer's driver fixed that issue.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712014)

My Latitude D600, i received 2nd hand. One of the best portable computers i have ever used in my life, second only to the Sony VAIO C1XS. Number 3 is my old Dell Inspiron 3500. I hate Dell, but make those two exceptions. New machines just suck. Acer is your only hope these days, IMHO.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712124)

True, but we got 8540p elitebooks of higher spec than the E6510s we were ordering for $150 cheaper. They feel solid, and have thus far been 100% reliable. Its a no brainer.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

stox (131684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711638)

I second your nomination!

Re:i hereby nominate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711742)

Even the E6410? Oh no, I was just about to get one of these :|

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711952)

If you must have a Dell E series, get the E4310. We've only had 1 of the 6 we have of these die in the first 12 months. The E6400, E6410, E6500 and E6510 i reckon we've had anywhere between a 15 and 30% failure rate in the first 12 months. DOA rate (as in, failed before even deployed) of around 10 percent. We ordered about 150 machines last year.

If only I had mod points... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711744)

No, seriously, you couldn't be more right. The Dell E6700 I had to limp along with when I first began working at my present position was a right pain in the ass. It was a driving force (along with the endless RAM troubles we saw in our PE 2950 servers) that had us going to HP here where I work, both at the user and server level (we're using HP DL 360's for servers now).

I'm typing this missive on an HP EliteBook 8440p (which runs Ubuntu 10.10 very nicely, I must say :) ).

Re:If only I had mod points... (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711972)

We've switched to 8540p and 2540p elitebooks. I had an 8540p (nice machine) but wanted something more portable (as a network admin i'm often carrying it around to plug into switches/routers/etc and don't do a any heavy graphics stuff on it). Battery life on the 2540p is great, too.

Oh, and the only dead machine we've had in 6 months and 20 machines so far has been a hard drive failure. Could have happened to anything...

Much happier :)

Re:If only I had mod points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34712626)

We've been happy with our 8440 and 8540 elitebooks. I don't think we've had any problems with them.

Re:i hereby nominate (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711794)

I'm not sure how you could be so mean...

Expecting a company to make what is damn near an Intel reference design work properly after only 27 BIOS updates(and counting, it was 24 only weeks ago) is cruel and unrealistic. Some people just aren't satisfied with anything(or, like our network manager, satisfied with anything related to his E6400, which he deep-sixed for his prior laptop, despite the significant spec bump...)

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711986)

Lolz... 27 now? I gave up count and binned mine (E6500) around A20. The E6510 i replaced it with briefly wasn't a lot more reliable either. Compared to the elitebooks they just feel so damn flimsy as well. The HPs are a solid machine and I'm sure having the entire chassis of the machine flex on the E series when you even pick it up to move it can't help the reliability of the internals...

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711876)

Holy crap, I am so glad I am not alone here. I had an E6500 and that is far and away the worst laptop I have ever used. Cheap materials, the keyboard sucks, the display is dim even on full brightness. Also the trackpad is freaking TINY, the buttons are shit, and the area on the trackpad for scrolling is far too small to be anywhere near useful. It's heavy and awkward to carry: the docking connector in the back adds another inch to the dimensions of the thing, and makes it so it won't fit in most backpacks.

I had it for a contract I was on for most of this year, and it was the first Dell I've used in probably three years. I was hoping their quality had improved, but it most assuredly has not.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

JonStewartMill (1463117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712050)

Interesting. I have an E6500 and don't really have any complaints about it. I suppose it could be because I absolutely loathed the D820 it replaced, and the D610 that the D820 replaced was even worse. Low expectations prevent dissatisfaction.

Now that you mention it though, I did notice that the video was noticeably brighter on an external display. There's also a weird 'tearing' effect whenever I try to watch a video with lots of motion in it. Unfortunately, it's a work PC; I can't very well take it back to the depot and tell them "this laptop is shit because I can't watch movies on it."

Re:i hereby nominate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711942)

I have a E6400 and have never had a single issue with it, ever. Nice try though.

Re:i hereby nominate (4, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712006)

If an AC endorsing a product doesn't give you pause then you are a brave soul indeed.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712008)

Your sample size of 1 has totally convinced me. I'll go see if i can find a remaining working E6400 in my stash of about 10 back at the office.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712386)

Well, according to the posts here you'll probably be safe, you have about a 70% chance of getting one that works.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

GlennC (96879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713348)

Not that I'm doubting you, but I have an E6400 that I was given, and it's been working pretty well for me.

Of course, if you have 10 broken ones, it sounds like there was either a bad production run and you got unlucky, or a good run which left me the lucky one.

Either way, I probably wouldn't get one of these for myself.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

wiggles (30088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712596)

Ditto with my E6500. No problems, except for the crap that gets caught in the little grill things on either side of the keyboard...

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

BassMan449 (1356143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711958)

They have to be better than the Dell D6xx series. We have had the laptops for 1.5 years and so far have a failure rate of about 90%. We had about 20 of them and only 1 is still in use. We have another that is technically functional but has something failing and is to slow to use.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712028)

Dude. I was giving out secondhand D520s and D530s recently to end users who were going to be out of range of phone+dell tech next day repair because they have proven to be far more reliable, even after 2-3 years of use. I even have D510s still going, running Win7 just fine.

If you think the D series is bad, please don't pre-judge the E series. They're FAR worse. We were a dell shop since 2003 until this year when we ditched them, primarily because of the E series.

Re:i hereby nominate (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712016)

We bought several E6510's for my firm and they were spotty out of the box, but I attribute that to the load of Windows that came installed. I wiped one, installed a fresh copy and Ghosted for the rest. Haven't had a single problem since.

Re:i hereby nominate (2)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712096)

All ours were rebuilt with an E series based Win7 SOE build (pretty simple SOE - Win7 + Dell drivers + office 2007). Troublesome machines were re-imaged if necessary, but generally it wasn't random software unreliability. We had one machine go through 3 motherboards, failed displays, chronic overheating problems (google throttlegate), etc. The E6500s got better just before the E6510 came out as there was a motherboard rev that seemed to cure a lot of the issues. E6510 has been better but still have had a disturbing number of DOAs out of the box.

Re:i hereby nominate (2)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712160)

Now that you mention it, we did have one machine come out of sleep mode whilst in someone's backpack. It burned up the screen and left a 1cm-squared white spot in the middle of the LCD. The tech came out to replace it and insisted that it was due to crush damage because of the burn being the same size of a keyboard button. We had to pay Dell for the new screen because our IT manager felt it was in the company's best interest not to get the accidental coverage. A decision that I'm sure he's regretting (but won't admit).

Re:i hereby nominate (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712018)

I nominate "3D" TV.

Windows XP drivers basically broken (2)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712806)

I have an E6500 and several customers have E65xx models.

I've had mine for 18 months and it's been flawless with Windows 7 x64 as have the others running Windows 7 x86.

Two people are running XP on them and have had all manor of problems and what I've tracked down is that Dell's "official" Windows 7 wifi and network drivers are broken -- the devices don't work well with these drivers, cause odd problems unrelated to the drivers (ie, domain logins away from the domain basically hang forever).

I replaced the drivers with Intel-supplied drivers from Intel's web site and they work perfectly. My guess is Dell just didn't care about XP support.

Re:Windows XP drivers basically broken (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713050)

My E6500 is awful. The thing is, I use solely laptops and always the touchpad. I don't like external keyboard or mouse a bit. Now E6500 has this "little" problem that its touchpad freezes every now and then. But sometimes it gets overly sensitive and seems to have a life of its own. IIRC I read from Dell forums that this is a common problem, something to do with the touchpad itself and not a driver problem since some people have experienced this even on Linux while I use Windows 7. The laptop works quite fine when I'm doing something which doesn't need my involvement, like building a project, but that is a very rare situation.

So I'm rather dissapointed since every other product form Dell has worked 100% for me. For example I loved Inspiron 9400. I'd gladly change E6500 to any other Dell laptop but it's not actully my laptop but my employer's so I have to stick with it at least two and half year.

Don't forget... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711520)

Don't forget the penispump that cmdrtaco bought in vain hours of making his micro penis larger

Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711562)

I'm not inclined to cut Apple any slack and even I would not have put the Mini on that list.

Overall, this list seems pretty lame and mostly filled with stuff that doesn't really belong there.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711764)

Agreed, the Mini would be on my list of one of the 10 best products of 2010.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711776)

...I wouldn't go that far.

It's a price escalated hash of last years model (quite literally).

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711838)

Not quite:

HDMI out standard makes TV integration much easier (not all TVs have an audio in jack along with a DVI/HDMI input), and Mac Minis are great under TVs.

The video is vastly VASTLY improved. And you can now actually take the thing apart without going crazy! The reason why Apple has stuck with the Core 2 is that

a) Its a really good processor
b) They could get a GOOD all-in-one chipset/video solution. No such solution exists for the i5/i7 line.

And thus the improvements are easily worth the extra $100 price bump.

My desktop at work is a 3+ year old Mac Mini. It will probably be replaced shortly by another Mac Mini...

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712164)

You need to stop mindlessly regurgitating other people's propaganda.

The Mac Mini as an HTPC is old news. Been there. Did that. Moved on already.

The older minis were fine for TV integration. If you push this idea that the new Mini is "much easier" then you have to equally trash Apple in general for constantly changing it's video ports and using the most obscure things they can find. THAT makes things "hard".

I have 3 Mini and each one needs a separate video dongle.

The rest is incremental upgrades including the ION vs ION2. Certainly not worth being on anyone's "10 best list".

"best" lists should be for the really remarkable stuff and the Mini just isn't it anymore.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712308)

Obscure things?

They used a standard 15 pin video port on the early ones, accessed via the standard DVI port (adapter included), then switched to a mini-DVI and mini-Displayport side by side, then the current version swapped to HDMI and mini-Displayport side by side.

Hardly "obscure" by video connection standards.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712636)

Yes. They are obscure.

That's why you need all those stupid video dongles and why you fanboys crow about how the new Mini finally has something more standard.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712854)

"All those"? Since the first ones used DVI, there's no dongle. The later ones used Mini-DVI and Mini-Displayport, if you were smart and got a Mini-Displayport adapter, you can still use that same adapter on the new one. 'All those dongles' indeed. Maybe two. You can attack Apple on a lot of different things, but here you're just trying too hard to create a problem that's not even there.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713042)

There are four different ports over the lifetime of the device, one of which is shared across two generations.

Those are:

* DVI (not obscure by any stretch of the chalk)
* mini-DVI (slightly obscure, but cheap to convert to full size DVI with an adapter)
*mini-displayport (not obscure really - all current Macs ship with this port, as well as some laptops). This port is shared across the most recent generations of Minis, so if you bought the dongle once, you don;t need to replace it if you replace the mini (or move to any other modern Mac).
* HDMI (oh yes, so obscure my mind is melting).

You are just trying to invent problems and controversy where none exists, purely to bait "fanboys" (shouldn't that be 'fanbois').

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712800)

Video dongles? You mean the adapters that never screw in securely, so my screen turns red when the cat steps on it?

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711954)

When the mac mini was less than $600, it would have been something I could see myself buying just to get some experience on a mac. Now? No, it is way over priced.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711960)

If only it were priced more sensibly. Even taking in account the "Apple tax", $699 is way too much for those specs.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34712418)

The price for the specs is terrible. The price for slightly better specs is offensive. Want to upgrade from 2GB to 4GB of RAM? $100. Upgrade the 320GB HD to a $500? $100. Want a freaking keyboard and mouse? $100. Unless you want wireless, then it's a $150.

Give them some credit though (2)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711790)

It's a lame list designed to be click-bait, so if they put something disagreeable on it it'll get linked to be people crying foul, but at least it's not spread across ten different pages.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711804)

I'm not inclined to cut Apple any slack and even I would not have put the Mini on that list.

Overall, this list seems pretty lame and mostly filled with stuff that doesn't really belong there.

Yeah, I'm usually first in line for an Apple product bashing, but a high price alone doesn't justify a slot on this top 10 list. If it did, it would be Apple's top 10 most overpriced products.

At least the BeBook reader was overpriced and failed epically on features & useability.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711856)

Most of the stuff on the list seems to be the ultra-cheap low budget stuff, and it seems like a bit of a cheap shot to include them. Obviously a 99 pound tablet isn't going to be that great compared to, say, the iPad. What did they expect?

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (2)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712442)

It wasn't just that it was underpowered, it's that it was so underpowered that it was unfit for its intended use. Loading a news website in 55 seconds while on wifi is not reasonable.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711860)

I wouldn't say that the Mini is " Worst Tech Product of 2010"(particularly as the list seems to flit between being "Worst tech products from companies you've heard of" and "Oh, hey, a bottom-of-the-barrel-no-brand-android-tablet, wow does it suck!").

Spec-wise, the Mini is a complete screwjob, as Minis have been for ages now; but it occupies a niche practically of its own: all the rough PC equivalents are either atom based and a quarter of the cost or something-vaguely-modern-from-intel based and twice the size.

Unless cute 'n tiny is a feature, you shouldn't touch the thing; but that has always been the deal with minis, except for the earliest ones, which were genuinely substantially cheaper than just getting a low end macbook.

If you want to keep the list to "10 worst from companies who should know better", then you might have cause to put the mini in. Once you drag in "random dregs of the chinese android cloneshops", though, I could dig up dozens of worse products in 15 minutes on ebay.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (2)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712118)

Spec wise the mini isn't impressive. But lack of noise, lack of heat, and OS X makes it a pretty nifty little box. I've got a 2007 spec mini and it has been the machine to convert me.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712654)

Just put a disc in the drive or try to push that CPU.

You will break the silence.

Minis are silent only so long as you treat them with kid gloves.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712186)

The mini has always been a victim to the "Road Apple" disease, where Apple is terrified of undercutting one of the other business units, so they intentionally cripple a piece of hardware somehow or just plain overprice it (sometimes both!). While it's true that the hardware in the currenty Mini is rather nice, the proper price point for it ($500, or $600 at the most) would undercut their hilariously overpriced 2.4 Ghz C2D with 2GB of memory for $1000 in 2011 white iBook too much.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712702)

I suppose that the mini can count itself lucky that it isn't a single-socket mini-tower with internal expansion; but at the price point you hit by not using Xeons. Those have such a bad case of "Road Apple" that they don't even survive infancy...

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (4, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711888)

TFA agrees with you, and points out that they're being a little unfair. But what they really wanted to do was bitch and moan about £650 for something specced the same as an Acer Aspire Revo; and worse, ripping you off on "optional upgrades" by charging "triple the price difference".

All of which, if true, is pretty shitty. They could probably have found better "worst products of 2010" if they'd wanted to, but their criticisms of the Mac Mini seem valid enough.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712416)

It's not specced the same as a Revo though, is it?

While it does the same job in the same footprint it is a more powerful machine. Whether it is worth the extra money for the extra power and the ability to natively boot into OS X is another matter entirely. The two machines can't really stand toe to toe though.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712678)

I suspect the only people that would notice the performance differences in a side by side Revo versus Mini comparison would be the "geeks".

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712512)

TFA agrees with you, and points out that they're being a little unfair. But what they really wanted to do was bitch and moan about £650 for something specced the same as an Acer Aspire Revo; and worse, ripping you off on "optional upgrades" by charging "triple the price difference".

All of which, if true, is pretty shitty. They could probably have found better "worst products of 2010" if they'd wanted to, but their criticisms of the Mac Mini seem valid enough.

When I bought my macbook, the default harddisk was only 160GB. Upgrading to 250GB would cost €100, while a separate new 320GB disk was €105 back then (in a different shop of course). In effect they say: you buy a new harddisk, we keep the old one (oh no it's not "old", it's brand new!), and we charge you for replacing it. It's a complete rip off.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (3, Interesting)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713120)

I've played with the Apple store Mac configuration tool any number of times, and the upgrade prices are preposterous. They are utterly divorced from reality, and it makes them look very bad - if you're charging five times the cost differential between hard drive A and hard drive B, you get the sneaking suspicion—probably accurate—that their initial prices for peripherals are similarly rapacious.

Take the $700 Mac mini. Set aside that it is overpriced, for the moment, since some people will pay more for the fact that it is designed well, and that they want to use MacOS.

Processor
Included: 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Upgrade: 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo [Add $150.00]

Newegg: Difficult to give a precise comparison, but consider that the price difference between the 2.4GHz (P8600) and 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo (P9600) is $120. This is retail pricing, and not what an OEM like Apple would be paying.

-----

RAM:
Included: 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB
Upgrade: 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB [Add $100.00]
Upgrade: 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB [Add $500.00]

Newegg:
2x 1GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM: Starting at $27.98
2x 2GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM: Starting at $49.98 [Add $22]
2x 4GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM: Starting at $139.98 [Add $112]

-----

Hard drive:
Included: 320GB Serial ATA Drive
Upgrade: 500GB Serial ATA Drive [Add $100.00]

Newegg:
HITACHI Travelstar 7K500 HTE725032A9A364 320GB 7200 RPM 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive $59.99 (this is the exact drive in the default setup, which I feel is the fairest way to go as I don't want to compare it to a drive whose vertical clearance might be slightly different)
HITACHI Travelstar 5K500.B HTS545050B9A300 (0A57915) 500GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive $59.99 [Add $0.00]

I'm told this faster drive also works:
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9500420AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive $64.99 [Add $5.00]

As well as this larger, faster drive:
Seagate Momentus ST9750420AS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive $109.99 [Add $50]

-----

I don't mean to be "that guy", because I appreciate why some people prefer Apple, and they make some hardware that, if prices were less insane, I would be interested in, but their prices on upgrades is punitive to say the least.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (2)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712792)

If we're just talking about things being overpriced they could have given the spot to those bladeless fans from Dyson. £650 is too expensive, but the US price ($650-$700) is actually a pretty good deal, and the new aluminum unibody system is easier to self-upgrade than the old "stick a pizza slicer in the back until it pops" ones were.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

eeyoredragon (674402) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713274)

It is true. I just bought myself one of these simply because I like OS X. I'm using it as an extra machine. (I just have my laptop atm as a general computer.) It's also plugged into my entertainment center, so I'm using Plex and am liking it so far. Other than the entertainment center functionality, I'll use it for business to run some small databases on to test my code changes locally. Things like that.

Anyway, all that to say, I wanted the most RAM I could get in it just as a general rule. Apple charges $500 to put 8GB of RAM in the mini. You can do the same for $100 from newegg. People can bicker on whether OS X is worth the extra hardware cost, but they're reaming people on upgrade costs. You can't really argue about that sadly. Considering how incredibly easy it is to swap out RAM, it makes it even more bizarre. Every Mac I buy leaves me with unused RAM modules. It's annoying

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713278)

Well, it pretty much is true. Apple doesn't offer a cheap Mac, never have and probably never will. Particularly their cheapest models - the Mac Mini being the very cheapest - have very crappy hardware value. The reason you buy this is simple, it's the only way to get a genuine Mac that runs OS X and Mac software, unless you're in the very small technical minority who'd be comfortable with a hackintosh. Just to give you an idea, at my favorite price comparison site they now list 262 laptop models. The cheapest Mac - and I mean the cheapest, non-upgraded laptop Apple sells according to the Apple store would rank 155th. The lower half Apple just doesn't want to compete in. Same with the Mac Mini, there are tons of cheap Windows mini-pcs that Apple doesn't compete with at all. If you want to go Mac, the entry price is the Mac Mini. Personally I think it's part of Apple's way of upselling, if you've already decided you want a Mac it's pretty easy to sell you up to a mid range Mac because the low end is really poor bang for the buck and a little more gets you a lot more hardware - of course pushing you up into an even higher price range. As for the optional upgrades, they charge more than IBM did in its day and they were pretty damn pricey.

I'm not running Apple but if I was I'd seriously consider taking a rematch with Microsoft on the mainstream market. Where today the cheapest laptop I can find is 2195,- NOK and Apple's lowest is 8490,- NOK, at least offer a 4-5000 NOK version. Same with the Mini, the cheapest nettop I can find is 2105,- NOK, make say a 4000 NOK version instead of the 5990,- NOK Mac Mini to get people hooked. Make a normal tower with a stylish design for all the people that don't fit the Mini/iMac/Pro niches. Move to take a 15% desktop share instead of 5% making up for the lower margins. Don't go for corporations - they'll always be penny pinchers but go for the home users. Apple has done some great moves to get Apple products into many people's homes, but they've not really leveraged it to increase their Mac sales. The Macs are still staying safely within the niches they escaped to during the 1990s, they've peeked out and regained a little but Apple still doesn't dare bet on them as a volume product, only a high margin niche product. It's a safe strategy - it's much harder to raise prices back up if the numbers don't work out - but it lacks ambition. Then again, they seem to have plenty ambition in other areas...

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711938)

I would. "Delve inside, though, and the Mac Mini disappoints. A Core 2 processor released in 2008, stingy 320GB hard disk and 2GB of RAM. What killed it for us, though, was the price. The base model was expensive at £650, but if you want to upgrade to a larger hard disk or faster processor Apple was charging double or sometimes triple the "real" price difference. Great design, but what a rip-off."

I bought the same thing, albeit a Win7 PC, for $200. What's that in pounds? 130? No wonder PCpro call the Mini overpriced...... uh oh here comes the apple brigade. (-1 mod)

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712200)

Apple products being overpriced is hardly news or noteworthy.

If they are going to whine about this sort of thing then they should target the Mac Pro. It's a much more expensive proposition for basic expandability features that you can get in a $300 PC. It's the perfect example of "in for a penny,in for a pound".

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713222)

I will say that the Mac Pro is a workstation (dual Xeon sockets don't come cheap from anyone) and not a 'consumer desktop' and all dual socket workstations are way expensive regardless of vendor (only a niche market really 'needs' them). Frankly I wonder if those and the 'server' branding of those machines will go the way of the Xserve sooner rather than later.

They simply have nothing in the expandable desktop market. They simply are not interested in serviceable products. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next year they drop support for anything not installed via an app store even in their desktops. They are that sort of company, and most people who would be interested in that flexibility justifiably avoid anything with Apple's name on it like the plague.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712404)

Was your Win 7 PC the size of a couple of CDs stacked on top of each other?

Didn't think so.

It's not expensive because of the components it has inside it - they are pretty standard laptop hardware; it's expensive because they have been shoehorned into a very tiny space, even by laptop standards.

It's expensive for sure (perhaps even too expensive - the newest model was quite a jump compared to the earlier ones), but you must be able to see that price comparisons with a whitebox Win 7 PC are just nonsensical, and bordering on wilfully ignorant trolling.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712708)

The size aspect of the Mini is a wasted superficial detail for most people. The marginal value for being a little bit smaller is rather dubious.

This is true even if you are comparing a Mini to a much more powerful tower PC of the same price. Nevermind the fact that PCs come in all shapes and sizes and you aren't just restricted to monster towers. There are much smaller machines that use standard desktop components and don't have to make any compromises. Even in the AV space, there's plenty of room to work with and a lot of lost potential if you only fixate on size.

The Mini could have stood to be larger. Nevermind smaller.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713124)

Oh I agree entirely - the recent decision to put the PSU inside the case was something of a strange one. The lack of an external brick is nice, but given that it lives behind the TV or under the desk for its entire life it wasn't really a pressing concern and it then gives you more room inside the Mini itself for better hardware or a cheaper manufacturing.

The point I was addressing there, though is that a $200 Win 7 PC can't really be anything but a big, compromised tower/mini-tower - just made from the cheapest possible parts. The OEM price for the mobile 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo in the Mini is £52 on its own (take off about 18% for VAT for US price) which doesn't leave a lot left over from your $200 budget for other components).

The desktop-version Core 2 Duo at 2.0Ghz is £32, so less, but not by much (and slower).

I have looked at the Revo as a potential HTPC and I am happy with the size - if the Mini was that size, it would be cheaper to build, no doubt.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713200)

>>>Was your Win 7 PC the size of a couple of CDs stacked on top of each other?

No.
Do I care if it is the size of a couple records stacked on top of each other?
Didn't think so.
My priority was and is saving money, so I don't need to work so damn much overtime.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34713434)

uh oh here comes the apple brigade. (-1 mod)

*sigh*

You just had to put that last line in. You realize that any downmods you now get will be justified, right? I'm not saying to censor yourself, but the only thing that line added was "dur, I'm a troll".

You're a self-fulfilling prophecy, C64.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712594)

I am the biggest mac fanboy you will ever find.

But their reasoning was solid. The Mini is too damn expensive for it's specs. Either give us a Core i3/i5, or price back at 499.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713342)

If you cant find 10 products from the last year that belong on the "worst" list more than the mac mini then you aren't looking very hard.

Re:Time to put PC Pro on a list like this... (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713116)

I bought one to replace my wife's, guess what? shitty Dell laptop that kept bluescreening even after repeated clean installs of windows. I plugged the mini in back in September installed some software and turned it on. In 3 months I've rebooted it one time, and that's because I had to because of a weird microsoft office install problem. Expensive? yes. Reliable as hell and trouble free. yes. Worth the extra couple hundred bucks. Also, it runs very cool even with the internal power supply. We're going to replace it with an iMac at come point and I'm going to swap out the HD with a SSD and plug it into the TV. In my personal experience the only hardware as or more reliable than the Macs I've had are the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad and comparable desktop machines. Reliable is not a word I'd use to describe Dells overall. I have had numerous dells over the years, and I currently have 4 in my possession. The 2 laptops are highly unreliable, but the 2 older desktops seem to be solid. I just purchased a poweredge server that I had to RMA because it had some weird problem where the network card would disconnect from the network randomly. It did this under both Windows 2008 R2 and RedHat...

10 worst slashdot articles of 2010 (2)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711632)

aah forget it.

Re:10 worst slashdot articles of 2010 (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711676)

Too many to choose from?

Re:10 worst slashdot articles of 2010 (1)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711720)

maybe, but importantly listing them will only trigger 10 worst comments on slashdot.

Re:10 worst slashdot articles of 2010 (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711836)

Waiting for the links to slide shows to start appearing.

Re:10 worst slashdot articles of 2010 (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712640)

It doesn't help when one shows up three or four times.

Re:10 worst slashdot articles of 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711984)

It would be harder to select 10 good articles of 2010

I nominate the Platystation Move (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34711758)

Good job ripping off Nintendo. Who the hell came up the glowing ping-pong ball idea?

I would nominate Kinect, but at least there are other uses for it.

Re:I nominate the Platystation Move (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712918)

I agree the Move is a rip off of the Wii controller, but it is a big improvement on it.

I picked up a move controller to play party games. After completing Resident Evil 5 (control schemes for that game suck horribly btw) a friend invited me to come over and play Goldeneye. I find the controls were sluggish, inaccurate and because of how they worked it made 4 player goldeneye very difficult (people sitting at angles had major problems).

I thought the Wii controllers were fine but the Move has really raised the bar. I want to hate the connect but the few goes I've had on it had been pretty awesome.

Re:I nominate the Platystation Move (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713358)

Ive been very disappointed with Goldeneye, but I'm not sure its the Wii's fault. The Link crossbow training game controls worked pretty well, I cant figure out why aiming in Goldeneye is so much more difficult.

The list was lamer than the products (2)

Dr_Ken (1163339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711818)

A lame article really. The products may not be your cup of tea but they ain't all half bad either. Except for the "iPad made simple" one. That choice was more funny than lame.

Re:The list was lamer than the products (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712234)

The funny part is how everyone just accepts the Apple PR. I'm not saying that an iPad is rocket science, but there are configuration setting in the thing that many people just wouldn't know what they mean. In fact, there are just as many setting to configure to use an iPad as there are to use a new Windows PC. And speaking of a PC, you have to have one and use it to get full use of the iPad. So, if a Windows/OSX mand simple book makes any sense at all, so does an iPad made simple book.

Re:The list was lamer than the products (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713340)

In fact, there are just as many setting to configure to use an iPad as there are to use a new Windows PC.

I don't have an iPad, but I find this statement in particular to be quite absurd. Having recently set up a new Windows 7 Lenovo laptop for my father, I can only assume you've forgotten how many things there are that need to be configured to get a Windows PC ready for daily use, the least of which include: Uninstall all the bloatware. Install anti-virus software. Set up a non-admin user account with password. Find and install all the required software, clicking through all the multi-page installers and UAC warnings (continues to be a big PITA since Windows still doesn't have a package manager). Switch the default browser to something secure, and configure said browser. Change the desktop background to something that isn't hideous. Set the screensaver to not activate after every 60 seconds of idle. Yes, I could go on.

Now, I've never set up an iPad (or used one for more than 3 consecutive minutes), but I'm fairly confident that it would take several hours less time than it took me to set up my old man's new computer. If you thought about it a little more, I'm sure you'd agree. So don't be silly.

Re:The list was lamer than the products (4, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712496)

People overestimate how easy the iPad is to use. My first introduction to the iAnything was watching other people struggling to use their new devices. Without watching the screen, I could tell it was not the intuitive interface that everybody claimed.

When I finally got an iPhone I discovered the problem for myself. The interface is littered with hidden features that have no visual indication that they exist, let alone how to use them. Then there is the problem of the inconsistent user interface.

The great example that I always use is to ask how you delete things in iOS. It seems that every app has its own way to do it. Some of them rely on the user just having to know that they have to strike through an item or click and holding on an icon until a little red X appears. The only way to find out how to do it is to try out all the possibilities. I still can't say for sure that you can't delete a song from the iPod app, because maybe there is some method that I haven't tried. Either way it is a rubbish interface.

So I think that there is definitely a use for an iPad how-to book.

Just from reading the summary (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34711970)

So we have 3 tablets listed in the summary. I haven't looked at the full article, but are we to conclude that tablets just suck?

Every few years we remember how much tablets suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34712094)

Yes, they do suck.

Every few years since laptops were introduced in the 1980s we've seen the tablet hype build up, some models are released, anyone who buys them finds out that they're somewhere between useless and shitty, and then the hype dies down for a few years until it's resurrected again by a new batch of fools.

Just from reading your title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34712590)

You mentioned the summary. I haven't read your post, but are we to conclude that you didn't read the article?

Re:Just from reading your title (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713224)

Yes, reading the article would take away valuable time that could be devoted to trying to sound smart on the internet.

BlackBerry Torch? (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712106)

I'm surprised the BlackBerry Torch didn't make it onto a list like this. It should have been their latest and greatest, but their first large touchscreen device offered a resolution at least a generation behind the competition from Apple, HTC, and friends and poor touch responsiveness as well.

Also, when I asked the Orange store about it and they told me the price, my immediate reaction was that I would be getting it with a 24-month plan, not just off the shelf. They told me the price they were quoting was with the 24-month lock-in. I actually laughed out loud.

Top 10 lists are obnoxious (1)

BenFenner (981342) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712134)

A couple more of these articles today and I could put together a list of the Top 10 Worst Slashdot Articles of 2010.

Not the Best List (1)

Pherlin (1131333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712168)

The Duo is a Niche product, and while sure not to be anyone's cup of tea there are a number of people who enjoy the netbook-tablet concept.

Unfortunately, what the netbook-tablet isn't good at yet is what most people expect out of it. People want something that is "An iPad but a computer." Well an iPad is an iPad for a reason, at least for now. We've had lots of touchscreen computers for years and they're all niche devices.

What makes the Duo (And it's lenovo & Gigabyte sisters, and arguably the ASUS half-sisters [I say half due to the resistive touchscreens]) so appealing to a small set of people is the fact it IS a notebook, but if you want to do light browsing or curl up somewhere for a reading/youtube session you have a slightly improved level of portability.

Anyone that expects Dell or Lenovo to in 6 months make an inside-Windows interface even CLOSE to the iPad in terms of usability may be an idiot. It would be GREAT, don't get me wrong, but these mini-tablets are all going to be 'mee-too' devices with a half-assed interface for a while. They -do- still have some dang good uses however.

(Note I left out the HP Slate, which takes everything bad about the iPad and mixes it with everything bad about the Netbook-tablet class. Where the hell is -that- on this list?)

Re:Not the Best List (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712392)

Yeah. But. When, according to the TFA, one of the included applications complains that the current resolution is unsupported, you have problems.

Yes, the iPad got a lot of love from Apple. It's all shiny. But come on - it looks like Dell doesn't even test things once before they drop kick it out the door. Kinda like those no-name Chinese Android junk makers....

Re:Not the Best List (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712916)

I think that Dell's problem is that they have fuck all software expertise(I dare anyone to spend a few days with "Dell Controlpoint" and disagree with me here...)

With the exception of some notable fuckups(the E6XXXs as mentioned by various people above), they are pretty good at coming up with hardware that doesn't totally suck at very aggressive price points. However, the moment you want to produce something that isn't a bog-standard PC, laptop, or exactly-what-MS-had-in-mind-for-the-tablet-PC, you need some custom software.

And there is the point at which Dell promptly falls flat. They licenced some shovelware to make their PC more tablety; but didn't manage to either pay the vendor, or do it themselves, to noop out the resolution warnings for the device that it was going to be running on.

As long as you are prepared to run only third party software, suitable to any old PC a dell is a perfectly adequate way of doing it. Dell itself, though, can't be trusted to get the simplest software stuff right...

Isn't this a free market? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34712268)

This is a private company. This is capitalism. Let's keep that straight (no pun intended).

It is not censorship. What would truly be censorship would be the govt or any other entity forcing amazon to carry thing the don't want to. In fact, they should be able to stop carrying things with any basis (religious, political, etc), or even a whim (they don't like the author's shirt).

What happens then? Competition. This isn't that hard folks...

Re:Isn't this a free market? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712600)

Let's keep that straight (no pun intended).

I don't get it.

Re:Isn't this a free market? (1)

Aluvus (691449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713270)

The GP probably meant to comment on the story about Amazon "censoring" certain gay fiction.

Re:Isn't this a free market? (1)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34713344)

You're ranting in the wrong article.

I nominate... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34712566)

Every goddamned laptop vendor who ships godawful synaptics touchpads.

Yes, synaptics makes good touchpads, they also make shitty ones. Like the one on my T410, which supposedly has multitouch but never wants to recognize multitouch gestures.

Are you kidding me ..... where is the MS KIN ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34713390)

That list is just a list of products the author didn't like. Some are definitely stinkers but others are thriving in real life.

The the author completely ignores the worst product of this century (so far) .... the MS KIN. The second biggest epic failure in MS history (the top spot still belongs to MS Bob).

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