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  • laptop question / laptop rant

    after sending what must be the fourth or fifth laptop back for repair at the school where i'm currently working, i figured i'd pose this matter to everyone here and just get a feel for your opinions about something.

    the majority of laptop physical hardware problems i diagnose nowadays (at least at this one place) involve the AC power adapter plug, the power jack on the laptop, and the fact that wiggling will often make the system flake out. i've come to realize that in many cases, this is probably due to the fact that the power cord plugs in the rear of the laptop (these are mostly Dells) and that the faculty and students who use the systems are prone to either push the laptops all the way back against the rear of a desk (hitting the desk back or the wall behind it) or tilt the laptop upwards to get at papers, etc, sitting underneath (which puts a large lever-like strain on the AC plug). borkitude of the AC power circuitry ensues.

    most of the laptops i've ever owned, it seems, have had the AC cord plug into the side (typically all the way toward the rear/hinge area... but on the side, none the less). this wasn't by conscious choice, but i have to say i'm infinitely more happy with that design. the plug heads tend to be angled and more resistant to breakage... i've never had this problem before, personally. (and, just as day-to-day use goes, i tend to beat the hell out of my hardware)

    what do you guys and gals prefer? laptops where the power cord plugs in the on the back spine? or those with a power port on the side? (maybe one day a manufacturer will wise up and just put a pair of AC ports next to each other on two adjacent spots on a corner, so the user can plug in the power cord wherever they prefer.)
    34
    i like the power cord to plug into the rear / spine of a laptop
    67.65%
    23
    i like the power cord to plug into the side somewhere on a laptop
    32.35%
    11
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    I would like to have everything on the sides, even the CD and floppy. Nothing on the front of the back. Give me CD, floppy, memory card and PCMCIA on the right side and on the left I want USB, Firewire, sound, power, docking, COM1, etc.

    And while I am glad they are getting smarter regarding the wall warts and putting them half way up the cord, I'd really like to see a 110/220 conection directly into the laptop.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have had a laptop die due to the stupid ac adapter location, the rear is a poor design, also the circular plug sucks, as oppsed to the other more stable types like on some dells.
      ~:CK:~
      I would like to meet a 1 to keep my 0 company.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dell Home computers have had many recalls on batteries, and friends have had failed power cords and cables.
        On our Dell Laptops at work (Business Line) the power cables have been fine.

        I'm all for power cables in the back. Put all the cables in the back. I place a book on one side, and a "normal" mouse on the other size, and I'd hate to think what would happen if one of the hefty volumes I read were to collide with the laptop power connection.

        Wall? I do not have that problem in my office. I have a "data center table" as my office workbench and don't share it with anything by books, papers my pwer supply and a mouse.

        Comment


        • #5
          I prefer my power cord on the rear of the notebook, primarily because I use the two sides to keep things that need constant attention. Such as the external mouse I've been forced to start using, since the touch pad on my HP Pavilion gave out. Usually on the left side (if I'm setup on a table) I keep my beverage and any of the paperwork I'm working on at the moment, which works well, since I mouse right handed, and write left handed. I have a couple older laptops where, when I attempt this setup, the powercord on the left hand side just gets in the way of the paperwork I have.

          However, I also agree that they should put 110/220 standard power connections on the laptop, or at least have an option for it (if you want to keep the heat of the transformer on your brick for actual laptop use). It seems that I have the opposite problem than you. My powercords always seem to go bad, right at the laptop plug end. I've been babying my primary rig's powercord for a little over 2 years now, since I got it, and I doubt I'll see another 6 months of use from it. I'm thinking about cutting my losses now and buying a new one now, and using this one for my permanent docking area at home. But other than power and external monitor connections, I vote for all connections on the side. Definately more than 1 USB port on the side. Maybe even one on the front for my USB stick, since I use the one on the side for a mouse. I also vote to go back to switchable CD/Floppy modules. And 2 (or more) PCCARD slots. My HP Pavilion only has 1, which it's quite limiting.

          Just my $0.02.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well they can easily have two connectors, one on the back and one on the side, and we only use one!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
              maybe one day a manufacturer will wise up and just put a pair of AC ports next to each other on two adjacent spots on a corner, so the user can plug in the power cord wherever they prefer.
              Originally posted by astcell
              Well they can easily have two connectors, one on the back and one on the side, and we only use one!
              yeah, really... it would be the simplest thing in the world. i can't imagine why manufacturers don't do that. yes, space inside of today's ever-smaller laptops is limited, but it would take like an extra ¼ or ½ inch of room.

              heh, when you finally see this idea being realized in laptop designs... just remember where you read about it first.
              "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
              - Trent Reznor

              Comment


              • #8
                I want 5 cents per laptop for my idea. :>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well the design on my AC adapter sucks. It falls out easily, and only charges if its inserted all the way. Half the time its plugged in its not even charging. Im talking if it moves 1/16 of an inch it considers it unplugged.. also its on the back, and its a barrel plug.

                  This is a brand new laptop, HP.. Now that I think about it, it pisses me off. Im gonna call HP and share my frustrations. I doubt they have revised the power adapters, but you never know until you complain.
                  Last edited by [Syntax]; August 22, 2005, 10:22.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Having had a laptop die of a busted power jack, I think that part of the problem is manufacturers not building them with any balls. The connectors on laptops are usually 3 prongs soldered to the curcuit board and the connector just free floating in front of the hole in the case. This allows of alot of 'wiggle' that eventually fatigues the solder joints.

                    Just about every laptop I see that has a round power connection has this problem. The only ones that I don't are some that use funky proprietary square keyed connectors, but even they can have problems.

                    How bout we just move to induction charging and be done with cords all together.
                    Never drink anything larger than your head!





                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I too had a Dell fry because of this. The parts came in handy, but I'd much rather have a functioning 8200 again.
                      if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Glad I'm not the only one! My Sonys' supplies drop out when I press CTRL, Apple's cables work themselves loose from the
                        plugs and I've seen a fair share of Dell problems too.

                        My main gripe is that my laptops don't seem to share a common ground, I keep getting buzzed if I use more than one
                        at a time!

                        Bastards
                        "There are those who do the work and those who take the credit. I try to be in the first group, there is less competition there." -- Gandhi

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Seen many Dell laptops go bang - seems to be due to poor manufacture. I recall Dell laptops (Latitudes?) where you could replace the CD drive with a second battery. Compaqs always seemed to be ok but I once had one with the power pack built in - just a mains lead to the wall... my, that baby was heavy!

                          Using a Fujitsu for the last year and no probs yet.
                          "Don't call me Mr Average," he said, "I'm at the very top of the bell curve."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm not quite sure of the specs WRT power supply/location of power intake sockets, but one laptop that I've heard is a pretty good one is the Falcon Northwest FragBook DR.

                            Yes, I know it's designed primarily as a gaming laptop, but there's nothing that says you can't use it for other things too.
                            (We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Please, feel free to ignore this post if you so desire.)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              HP in all thier infinite wisdom has instructed me to take the laptop to the nearest store that carries HP laptops and ask to plug in another power adapter.

                              Once I determine which part is bad they will replace it.. However they deny there is any problem with any of thier adapters being loose. Even though I explained it was like this out of the box. Explaination "Maybe you got a bad laptop or charger"

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