Tag Archives: portablecomputers

LDLC-Pro has broken my computer and blames it on me #fail

I’ve been unlucky enough to start buying at LDLC-Pro my IT material. They had a good reputation and based on it I went ahead and bought a computer, plus an extra SSD disc for another computer, plus some other stuff. It took them a bit longer than expected to deliver, but I was in no hurry so no big deal.

Then my SSD disc failed, and you know how it is: catastrophic. No way of having access to your data so you have to reinstall everything again from scratch and pray that all the important data was synced to the cloud before it died. I sent it to them and could not get a replacement because they did not have it on stock, so they credited my account and I bought a new one. All OK, except that their system is rather complicated and manual instead of deducting your reimbursement automatically from your next buys.

OK, so I was unlucky with one product, it may happen… And then my computer started failing. After spending some time trying to find the source of the problem I discovered that there was a problem with the memory.

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I called their support and they told me to run the tests on each memory stick. I did and both were bad. This meant, in their own words, that there was something wrong with the computer and that I had to send it back to them for repair.

So I wrapped my computer in bubble wrap, added paper balls for extra protection and to keep it away from the cardboard and I sent it to them. And this is where things start to get weird.

They received the computer on Friday January 25, but they did not acknowledge receipt.

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I called on Thursday January 31 to check, it was weird not to have the receipt. So I talked with one of the agents that confirmed that it was weird that I did not get a receipt and that everything was in order. The computer had undergone some checking and was to go on more extensive testing.

And then on Friday February 1, one week after they received the computer, I finally get the confirmation as if the computer had arrived on February 1.

Immediately after this they sent another email with pictures of the damage that they had done and trying to blame it on me.

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They also sent me a picture of the open box.

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I may be poor sighted, but I don’t see anything wrong with it, just a box that has been opened. How come there are no pictures of the box before opening if it was battered?

Basically they refused to repair my computer and have sent it back (I don’t know how it will arrive) without honoring the warranty and, on top of it, having broken it while on repair.

So one of this days I will receive a computer with a broken case, probably a broken screen, the two bad memory sticks I already had, and the mother board with the defect that caused the problem in the memory sticks.

If it wasn’t for the call I made on Thursday to check they could have pulled it out, but I know my computer was received OK. I sent a detailed email to them, but they ignored it. I spoke with them today and they said that the box arrived in an awful condition, I don’t see that in any of the photos they’ve sent.

This is what really happened:

  1. They received the package without issues.
  2. One of their technicians dropped it.
  3. They decided to blame it on me and not honor the warranty. Easy way out.

What happens now? I will have to buy a new computer – somewhere else – and see if I can use some of the pieces left for projects at the Hacker Space Brussels, if there’s anything else that can be salvaged. Unfortunately there’s nothing I can realistically do to defend my rights. All that is left is to recommend everybody I know to beware and never buy anything from them. It has started with the people that recommended them: we trust each other because we give each other good advice, and if things are not good we just talk to update our knowledge.

TL; DR: Don’t ever buy anything from LDLC-Pro, they are not trustworthy and their products have a lot of defects.

Update 05/02/2013: Thanks to your support sharing this post in social media, I got the email of the CEO of LDLC and have already sent him a message explaining what happened.

Update 2 05/02/2013: got the reply from the CEO of LDLC. An email in the same line as his customer service but more agressive. Bad news for the clients, bad news for the future of the company.

Update 06/02/2013: got another email from the CEO. Let’s just say that he did not use the nicest language, but they will reimburse me. Thanks for your help!

Update 21/02/2013: The money arrived to my account on Feb. 8. Again, thanks for your help!

Samsung 900x3a Ultraportable Review: WOW! The Looks!

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I’ve been lucky enought to put my hands on a Samsung 900x3a for a couple weeks. I fell in love with it at a Samsung event in Brussels, like the picoprojector, and had been asking for it ever since.  

WOW! The Looks

The design of the Samsung 9 series makes you scream wow. When you get it, even the box makes you say wow. It is beautiful, sleek and different, something you want to carry around because it will make others say the same and look at you in a much better way. And that is exactly what happens. Wherever I’ve pulled it out questions have arised about it and everybody wanted to hold it. That’s where the second hit comes…

Trully ultralight and ultraportable The computer is so light you are just shocked.

Just these were enough for my friend Boye to order one online right-away :)

On the bad side, it is a finger print magnet, which can easily ruin its looks (see the picture underneath, lower right corner of the computer.) And what really sucks about it is that the duraluminium body surfaces are really nice to tuch. I personally hate the touch of aluminium and the coating of the 9003xa is very agreable to touch.

Great Screen

The 900x3a comes with a matt 13.3 inch display that is as good as the computer is goodlooking. Fantastic. The only con is the fricking ugly shiny cheap plastic that surrounds it. Seriously, with a computer this well designed I don’t understand how they’ve screwed up the beauty of the screen with that ugly and scratch prone frame aroun the screen and the keyboard.

Ports

The computer comes with a surprising array of hidden ports on both sides: 2 USB ports (one 3.0 and one 2.0), a mini HDMI, a microSD card reader, and a proprietary port for the Ethernet adaptor. I don’t like carrying parts with me to make my computer work, and even less proprietary connectors, but appreciated the possibility of connecting the computer to the network with an Ethernet cable. The lack of a vga adaptor is a real bummer.  The fact of having a microSD card reader instead of a regular SD reader has started a debate in my mind I’ve not been yet able to solve. I guess that basically what they’ve thought is that the users are turning to their smartphones more and more and so their compatibility should prime over the cameras that most people have.

Battery

The main negative point for me is here: the battery can not be taken out easily. When working with a portable computer you are not always on the go, in fact most people use them as a substitute of a regular desktop, just connecting a big screen, a keyboard and a mouse. The battery is the part of the computer that degrades the fastest, with every charge cycle, and not being able to take it out while at work on my desk just screams back at me “you are killing the battery!”

Ubuntu Linux

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As soon as I got the ultraportable I put my hands into linuxifying it. My working operating system is Linux and I needed to see if there where any hardware problems. Installing Ubuntu on the Samsung 9003xa is easy as soon as you learn that you have to install on the right side port. 

Overall Ubuntu worked fine, except for a very anoying problem with the mousepad, which meant that I had to choose between being able to click & drag and to scroll. Any of these two choices is bad and reduces productivity a lot. 

The procesor was strong enought to do some basic video editing with Kdenlive, but I guess all of todays’ computers are easily capable of doing so. Overall the computer was not superfast, but quite good. I am looking for a bit more punch in my next portable computer.

Windows

Unfortunately, the Windows version provided was in Dutch (talk about a steep learning curve…) so I could not really use it much, and my Ubuntu Linux was running good enought to skip Windows :)