What can a vendor-controlled comparison of notebook technology teach us? Plenty – but not in the way it was intended. Read on as we expose HP’s notebook ‘Reliability Challenge’.
Under the dubious moniker of ‘reliability challenge’, HP technicians dismantled current notebooks from their competitors in a light-hearted media session at their Making Connections 2007 press event, ‘comparing’ their durability features. Rather than an impartial examination of the facts, what this actually entailed was five HP employees in an oftentimes whimsical demonstration, showing off dismantled notebooks from HP, Lenovo, Dell and Acer. The models taken apart were the Lenovo X60, the Dell Latitude D420, the Acer Travelmate 3022 (available only in Asian markets), and the new HP Compaq 2510. The process was described as “timely tear-downs and full disclosures”, comparing each manufacturer’s “platform testing regimen”. Of course, this was essentially a paper comparison of published information that each company is willing to publicly disclose, with a generous dash of strongly skewed opinion.
|The so-called “competitor technicians” (all from HP).|
The HP presenters wore white labcoats with the competitor vendor’s logos crudely printed on, guffawing as they joked around during the demonstration. As each component was compared, ‘points’ were awarded for each section’s winner. It was no surprise to any of the journalists attending that HP was crowned the ‘winner’ of this humourous PT Barnum-esque production. What HP didn’t expect, we expect, was that anyone would actually write about it.
Reliability and Service are two terms that PC Authority magazine takes very seriously, especially considering our industry-recognised Reliability and Service Awards
. So as we watched this dog-and-pony show unfold, we were able to make some sharp observations on the comparisons being made, with a rather critical eye. PC Authority learned lessons in this ‘class’ that were not part of the curriculum. Additionally, despite the paper-thin credibility of the demonstration, it’s a very rare opportunity to see four notebooks from major vendors disassembled and compared together – our camera captured these exploded contemporary models, and we’ve followed it up with some research.
|HP’s whimsical presenter.|
Read on as we give you a front seat at this extraordinary presentation, but brace yourselves - it may come as a shock to see how technology companies can be when trying to shame their competitors – they really don’t pull any punches.Next: External Durability