Evan Youngblood

The Worst Laptop I’ve Ever Bought

by on Apr.18, 2016, under News

Now that’s a bold statement. I won’t even venture to guess how many laptops I’ve owned, but I am certain I’ve found the worst one. I’ve had laptops that blew batteries, ones that were so handicapped by slow hard drives they were nearly useless, and even one who’s power button required an act of God to press. And none of them were the worst.
Now, you might expect the worst laptop to be big, bulky, with poor battery life. You might expect it to have a terrible display, or horrendous keyboard. Perhaps even it would be too heavy to actually pick up. But the worst is none of those things.
Let’s go through a few things. First, I’m a power user. I run my laptops hard, I run my IT business with them, and I use them at home. I use a docking solution at the office to connect two external displays. And I rarely turn the unit off. However, I also don’t buy cheap laptops. This one, in fact, retails for over $3,000. That should be sufficient to have a good laptop, even for me.
So why do I say this is the worst laptop ever? Simple. It’s annoying. Let’s go through a few things.
1) This is actually my third. The first two had factory defects. This necessitated a 5 hour trip to a store, and 12 phone calls.
2) The dock (sold by the laptop manufacturer) is unreliable. About 25% of the time, my USB keyboard won’t work plugged into the dock, so I have to plug it in to the laptop directly. 10% of the time, the monitors connected to the dock don’t connect. You must reboot to fix it.
3) The DPI of the laptop’s screen is higher than standard, and Windows cannot handle this. If an application was open when you move from the built-in display to the external display, you’ll need to shut down and restart the app. If that doesn’t work. Reboot.
4) The build quality is not $3,000 worth. My MacBook Pro is one of the best designs I’ve ever seen. Furthermore, the Mac feels solid, sturdy, valuable, and reliable. This laptop is more expensive, built as a competitor to the MacBook Pro, and all I can think when I pick it up is, “I hope it doesn’t bend.”
5) Drivers are unstable. With an OS and hardware made by a single company, it’s supposed to be the perfect marriage between hardware and software. Fail. The graphics driver is unstable, further complicating issues with the dock.
6) It doesn’t like to power on. Laugh, I know. But it’s true. Half the time I open this laptop, it doesn’t power up. My Dell back in 2000 had that mastered. In 16 years, we’ve gone backwards. Unacceptable for a premium laptop.
7) The battery sometimes doesn’t charge. Again, this is laughable. But I actually have to check to see the battery is charging when it’s plugged in. The light on the power adapter will be on, but the laptop may not actually be charging.
I could go on. But I won’t. The worst laptop I’ve ever bought is the Microsoft Surface Book. This is the only laptop I have ever bought that I truly attempt to avoid using. I’ve gone back to my MacBook Pro at home. I’m about to start taking it to work again. It’s far more stable and predictable.
Am I just being hard on the Surface Book. No, I don’t think so. Microsoft specifically designed the Surface Book to one-up the MacBook Pro. Put simply, it doesn’t. It should — on paper, it’s superior in many ways. But actually using it is another story.
I’m honestly saddened by this. I had such high hopes for the Surface Book. I was completely sold during the keynote when Microsoft revealed the product. I pre-ordered, dealt with massive frustration to actually obtain a working unit. I wanted so badly to love this product. I wanted to ditch my Android tablet and my iPad for work. I wanted the Surface Book to be the ultimate laptop. But it’s not. It’s the worst laptop I’ve ever bought.
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