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ECT News Community   »   TechNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: Alienware's Area-51m: A Future-Proof Laptop Arrives

Re: Alienware's Area-51m: A Future-Proof Laptop Arrives
Posted by: Kirk L. Kroeker 2004-01-22 10:47:23
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In the past, mobile computers could not begin to approach the processing power of desktop machines. When you bought a new laptop, you had to be happy with the graphics processor, CPU and other fixed-system components. While the Alienware Area-51m does have some drawbacks -- including a fairly high price, heavy weight and merely average battery life -- this machine, being completely upgradeable, is perhaps as close to an aesthetic and functional ideal as a contemporary notebook can get.

Re: Alienware's Area-51m: A Future-Proof Laptop Arrives
Posted by: chunkylimey 2006-10-22 13:11:05 In reply to: Kirk L. Kroeker
Just from personal experence my Alienware was not only far from future proof but was beyond support and repair in less than 2 years. Bought an Alienware Sentia that was excellent at first but the proceded to get buggy, and died on me in under 19 months. No repair available locally, customer service very inadequate and overall a good arguement for spending less on the computer with Dell for example and spending the difference in cash on accident insurance and extended warranty.
Appallingly overhyped gimmicky product with very little to back up the hype.

Re: Alienware's Quality Control and Customer Service
Posted by: djww92262 2006-10-11 09:54:57 In reply to: Kirk L. Kroeker
Alienware Area 51 7500
Waited 6 weeks for system to arrive instead of 2 weeks. During that time, they kept telling me that it will ship in 1 week... or 3 days... etc... etc... They promised me a $280 refund due to the price reduction of the system going down in price over the 6 weeks. Took me an hour on the phone to fight for that. To find out since the system shipped before they were able to process the refund, they couldn't give it to me! ( told me it was $180 not $280) I spent 90 minutes fighting that ordeal only to have them offer me a lousy 256mb flash drive. I have a 2GB those lousy cheapskates! They couldn't offer me anything else AT ALL. I could only get to a spvr... supposedly his mgr was in a meeting and he couldn't put me thru to someone higher. I asked if I can leave a message with the mgr. and was told they don't have voicemail. I threatened to cancel my order but he remided me of the %15 restock fee. I could almost buy the same PC at a different company even with the lose of $450.I finally gave up after telling "Jake" I'll wait until the manager is out of the meeting and having 5 minutes of silence. I told him if he wants he can hang up on me, but i'm waiting... Well I finally got fed up and let him off the hook. They gave me $100 in Amazon coupons instead. At least I got something I suppose.
Once it did arrive, the sound wasn't working! (Some Quality Control! They blamed it on the shipping of the unit) Tech Support answered fairly quickly (Only good thing)... Turns out it has to do something with their new case and not the mobo. BTW... it's integrated sound and not a PCI sound card. Well, even though I have thier so called "onsite" warranty, they said I have to ship it back! (fine print says onsite repair WHEN POSSIBLE...bah!) They say it would take 2 weeks...(yea SURE!!!)
Well after waiting 6 weeks, I'm reluctant to ship it back. I resorted to just using the operating front audio connections. You'd be thinking they could send me an inexpensive sound card instead of paying for shipping both directions (60lbs mind you!) and paying for someone to reinstall EVERYTHING into a new case.
Oh... then my display stopped working!!! Well, something must have jostled loose cuz all I had to do was wiggle the graphics card a bit and it worked again.
Then I had problems running dual display mode... after 90 minutes, techsupport had me uninstall drivers and d/l drivers from website... guess what? I got an error that certain files didn't exist. So he wanted me to use the utilities/drivers cd. Guess what? They never shipped those Cd's!!! Well after a long time on hold...I downloaded drivers direct from Nvidia. Guess what? By the time the tech came back online, I fixed it. So what did I need him for all that time?
Now I have this "respawn" cd that I paid for, now I can restore the system to factory settings that don't work right! Oh Boy!!!
Wait...not done!!! one of my front usb ports causes my dislay to go to 1/2 size when plugging my thumbdrive into it. It works fine with the device connected before bootup. It must be another case defect... let me send it in and wait 4 weeks like people say it actually takes! or... let me talk with tech support for another 90 minutes so they can tell me it needs to be shipped back.
My onboard flashcard reader didn't work. The incompetent builders plugged it onto the wrong pins! AND the so called QC missed it!
At this rate, my system will be obsolete by the time I can actually use it!
I sent this via email to support@alienware.com They sent a message back saying I have to CALL Customer Service (Even though this is the email listed for Custome Service!). They also stated the CS Reps must follow certain polices and procedures. Which means they don't have the authority to do something above and beyond normal situations and the can't put me in contact with someone who can!
I sent another email requesting my complaint be forwarded to management. Now I don't get even a reply.
Posted this on thier forums... never appeared! It's moderated!
What a nightmare!!!
First and last Alienware system for me.

Re: Alienware's Area-51m: A Future-Proof Laptop Arrives
Posted by: DegreeC 2004-02-13 23:57:52 In reply to: Kirk L. Kroeker
This is the first review I have been able to find about the new Area 51m and it is spot on. I received my machine on Dec 29th and aside from an video driver issue that required an update from Alienwares's website the machine has run flawlessly. I travel a lot and I purchased this machine (identical to the review machine; Raedon 9600) with gaming in my hotel room as its primary purpose. So far I have completed Unreal II, Star Trek Elite Force II, Max Payne 2 and No One Lives Forever 2 at 1600X1200X32 with no problems. I love this machine!
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