All laptops have problems, but Acer was by far the worst - More often then not, the problems stemmed from bad heat management (the most common killer of laptops IME) and quality control that was seemingly laser focused on avoiding problems for exactly as long as the warranty lasted.
PSA: Lenovo has tons of problems w/r/t how they operate as a company, but the thinkpad is far and away the best overall non-mac laptop brand you can readily buy anywhere in the world.
For some of their models we had over 50% return rates. Far from all models mind you, but still: it was ridiculous. Many came back after warranty as well with hardware issues related to the casings and hinges. Their warranty service took forever and often we had to send back the machines again because they didn't actually fix the issue (we weren't allowed to repair them ourselves too, we had to use their repair centres; other vendors tended to be more flexible about this, especially if we had a long relationship with them).
But they were cheap. So we sold many.
We didn't usually sell ThinkPads, but we did on special demand. One customer returned theirs for whatever reason (T400 IIRC). We put it in the showroom, and it was there for well over year before we managed to sell it, at quite a loss I might add. We actually had a lot of business customers as we also did office management etc., but people just don't want a €1,000 laptop.
Another aspect is that ThinkPads just don't look good to most people when put next to flashy Asus or Acer laptops. The keyboard is more "wonky" instead of the neat rectangular square; it's clearly better designed instead of the cramped 1cm Shift keys and such, but it doesn't look as good. The more matte display is better for loads of people, but it looks kinda crappy next to a bright Acer in demo mode showing off cool pictures. And the "black box" design doesn't seem to appeal to many people's tastes (although personally, I always felt it looked quite handsome; I miss the blue Enter keys btw, I always thought they added something).
Oh, and gosh, don't get me started on the Acer "laptop" they put out with a desktop Pentium CPU, regular DIMMs, and 3.5" HDD. That was truly an abomination.
One day the IT guy was making the rounds distributing new laptops. I got to chatting with him about the new hardware and he said something like “yeah, these are great compared to that old thing, 8 GB, dual core, 256 GB SSD… blah blah…”, while pointing to my brand new Thinkpad. I started telling him the specs on my Thinkpad (which are still good today, but were especially good then) — quad core i7, 64 GB RAM, RAID striped dual M.2 SSDs, … he just said something like “Oh” and walked away without continuing the conversation. Haha…
Speaking of Asus, I've had no end of issues with the Asus laptop I've been using for the last 3-4 years. Decent spec for the money, but:
* audio output no longer detects external devices
* I've had to replace the display twice due to it flickering/losing part of the image
* multiple keys (~10) fell off the keyboard
* bottom case cracked when I lifted the laptop (plastic appears to have gone brittle over time)
* drive/RAM access cover is held on with electrical tape, as it's broken away from the screw that should hold it in place
* charger cable insulation broke where it meets the DC Jack; replacement charger is starting to do the same
* trackpad occasionally isn't recognised from a cold boot
* USB3 ports are flakey - the slightest nudge can cause devices to disconnect (tried with multiple devices/cables, and they're all fine on other machines)
* keyboard sometimes locks into repeating the last key until I disconnect a USB device or change my keyboard layout with the mouse (probably a software issue, but I haven't managed to track it down)
Combining the repairs (display, bottom case, keyboard, charger) with some upgrades (SSD, HDD, RAM, WiFi card), it's a real ship of Theseus at this point. There's not _that_ much of the original machine left. This is my first Asus machine, and I really can't say I recommend it.
 And I didn't notice until after I'd ordered the replacement keyboard that it's not really designed to be replaced without replacing the top case (it fits between the top case and a metal shield, and they're heat staked together), so that was an interesting repair
At the time needs stressing, because this is a long time ago and I haven't kept up since.
One thing I will say is that every brand can have issues. There can be a particular model that's problematic (see the exploding Samsung Galaxy Notes phone of a few years ago for a famous example), or you can just be unlucky with a particular production series that has issues.
But they're simple, elegant, and more practical than Apple.
this was exactly my experience. Bought an Acer in high school; it was cheap and did the job for me. But after a year both hinges were damaged to the point that the display was tilted. After two years the laptop split in half.
It's surprising that the thermal design can't passively cool the CPU while in this sleep mode. It feels like a design flaw.
Think the fan power management is the only downfall for these devices, mine either runs way too hot or at full blast (which was a turbo mode) back when there was still support for the drivers (some old windows version think 7).
I've never had the fans actually run while sleeping though, thats really bad.
I love the 2020 HP Spectre hardware-wise (better than my work ThinkPads), but sometimes forced NVMe RAID gets annoying with FreeBSD when Lenovo and Asus let you disable it. At least it's not Acer with forced Secure Boot. Yes, I'll take a Mac over an Acer, and I work at Microsoft (but not Windows).
One of the work ThinkPads I get has a locked BIOS, the other (that I normally use for work) doesn't. But I won't use a ThinkPad as my main personal laptop unless FreeBSD only works on one and nothing else.
Like the new MacBooks, it's a donglebook and it has basically no ventilation. I'd much rather get a T-series or a non-X1 X-series at this point. I don't think Dell currently offers any Linux laptops with that form factor, but I"d be willing to try them
It’s not a big deal for me since I just share the same dock between it and my work macbook, but I do wish it had more than two ports, for redundancy’s sake.
For some reason the W10 kernel chokes when handling network streams, huge load on the CPU0 core and barely nothing on the other. I'm also constantly thrown off by the inconsistent and sometimes roughly cut UI.
Booting into Linux is a litany of horrors: desktop fractional scaling is blurry, Gnome 40 won't properly handle the alternatives to NetworkManager or PulseAudio which I had to install when WiFi or audio suddenly stopped working for unknown reasons. KDE is cute, but will crash spectacularly taking down the whole session. Tried Ubuntu and Fedora, Same.
I'm a software developer so I can deal with quite a fair amount of tinkering and tuning but frankly I don't have time to learn and debug multiple implementations of entire OS subsystems in order to pick the less unstable one and meticulously integrate it with the rest.
I regret straying off the Apple path, and counting the days the new "M2" (or whatever it will be called) is announced.
Firstly, there are nice access hatches for the 2.5" slot and the DIMMs, but not for some reason for the M.2 slot. Minor nitpicking, but why make nice access hatches for two items out of three?
Secondly, it does not support NVMe, only SATA drives. Not a huge deal, they are of course not required to support NVMe, but why? It seems to me like they're only saving some wiring going to the CPU. And the firmware menu contains references to NVMe, which led me to believe it did support it.
Third, there were some some issues with Linux on it. Half the time you booted into Linux, the trackpad wouldn't work, and you needed to reboot to get it working. A bigger issue though was that sometimes when you suspended the laptop, it would instead just hang and hard reboot. It took like a year before these issues went away I think. These can be excused I suppose, it's designed for Windows, so it can't be expected to work flawlessly with Linux right away, but it does mean I won't consider Acer for a Linux laptop in the future.
Recently, AMDGPU sometimes hangs when it resumes from suspend, forcing you to reboot. Though this is probably not an Acer issue.
It also seems like the battery stops reporting charge level until you reboot it. I think this happens under Windows too. At least this happens very rarely, but it's one more thing.
But by far the biggest issue though, and the thing that means I will never get another Acer computer, regardless of OS, was when they released a Firmware update for it that caused it to bootloop if you started it without the charger connected (https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/599232/a315-41g-1-1...). As in, you started it, and after a few seconds it would hard reboot, over and over. You could start it with the charger connected and then disconnect it, and it would work fine (until you suspended and resumed, at which point it would hard reboot after a few seconds). And this wasn't a Linux issue, it happened regardless of OS, and even in the Firmware menu. And there was zero official communication from Acer on this, all we got was some "Acer Community Expert" idiot telling people to uninstall some Windows driver, even though Windows had nothing to do with it, and someone telling you to modify the updater tool to downgrade the Firmware. And it somehow took them literally months to release a fix for this. So fuck Acer.
They were So bad... I remember they had "clips" instead of screws to remove the case.
It also covers charger replacements and accidental damage, so if your charger frays, they replace it (a big issue with Acer and Asus). I grant that the Geek Squad people aren't great at fixing things, but replacing? Excellent.
There used to be a hidden key sequence to reveal an "Advanced" menu. It changed a few times. But on the more recent versions, there is no "Advanced" menu any more, it is removed completely. (They use InsydeH20 BIOS; you can find some reverse engineering tool to decode its menu structure – I heard rumours on forums the hidden menu was completely removed, the tool confirmed it.)
May still be possible to inspect and change some undocumented settings with some more in-depth BIOS hacking. But I'm scared I'm going to brick the computer by doing that. I gave up. I guess next time I buy a computer I'll keep this in mind.
But there have been some low points. Dodgey motherboards on multiple generations of T series laptops, Superfish and whitelisted wifi cards on the yoga, and generally poor quality screens for a variety of reasons gives one pause before buying the next one.
For the first time in a couple of decades I've taken the risk and branched out to the Acer Spin 5. I am pleasantly surprised. Not perfect either but not nearly as cheap as I had feard. A Bios update was essential for it to be functional. But that was true of some models in the T series in the past.
I sent it into acer (under warranty!) because i couldn't play any games on it for longer than half an hour. They sent it back to me saying they couldn't find anything wrong with it. The laptop would still crash within 30-45 minutes of playing a game.
Whenever people ask me to recommend computers or computer accessories, I never recommend acer. I've never bought another acer product since and I have never been dissatisfied with that decision.
I bought a Razer Blade 15 two weeks ago during Amazon sales - once arrived I opened it and upgraded the SSD from 256GBytes to 1TBytes without any issue, and it works really good on Arch...
So, Acer, not all computer vendors are doing this shit.
The biggest issue I've had with it was actually with the charger - the USB C port on the charger snapped off after just a few months of reasonable use. Razer replaced it for free, but that's when I learned that any charger less than 100watts results in the battery draining under load when plugged in. The build quality of the laptop itself, though, is excellent.
I've done BIOS updates, etc., and have had no issues.
The machines look and run great, but they don't last. Mine's a paperweight unless I find a replacement motherboard, or send it in to Razer to get it fixed for ~$300.
Fuck that though. A Thinkpad is a better investment.
I'm still irritated that I have to spend more than $300 to buy a new laptop. It's a constant struggle to balance old man syndrome with reasonable sticker outrage.
Also, I didn't lose $2000, I bought a $2000 life lesson: never buy Razer products.
The Blade Stealth ran me $1300, which I thought was reasonable for what I was getting. I don't expect it to last more than a few years, though.
My immortal army of Thinkpads disagrees with you.
It will be interesting to see what happens in a few years of use. I wouldn't be shocked if it died - but if it did, I still might get another one. I already replace my laptop every ~3 years anyway, and the benefits it provides in terms of form factor and capability are substantial.
As long as the marketing focuses on the flashy lights I can't bring myself to ever buy Razer anything.
(The Razer Synapse program you use to control the keyboard RGB is annoying, it'd be a good weekend project to replicate its functionality in a free app, but it works for that purpose.)
It's already been done: https://openrgb.org/
Yet another case where the vendor specific software was complete garbage, but FOSS to the rescue.
I also remember being able to make my PS4 controller LED change brightness and colors/shades/blinking, etc on release, and I don't think you can do that on a PS4 to this day.
I really prefer the simplicity of not having to drag around a laptop brick, and love the simplicity of having one cable to carry all the signals I need (USB, DisplayPort, Power, etc.)
Even then it's not enough for some top-end laptops. Alienware laptops with a 3080 use 330W
Gaming might be fine in some laptops, but clearly not in the one for this article. Top-end laptops like an Alienware w/ 3080 use a 330W adapter. 100W USB-C is never going to keep that thing from running down the battery.
It has two fans that in turbo mode can keep GPU it under 70C even at 100% load. But yeah it's bulky almost 3KG workstation.
Oh and at max fan speed it as loud as modern vacuum cleaner, but people play in headphones most of the time. So yeah you can have laptop with high TDP, but it's gonna be bulky and loud.
Sadly the new AMD version (Blade 14) has the RAM soldered on. I'm not sure why. I hope Razer isn't backsliding here.
There was once a time when you purchased a product you owned it, and were allowed to do devious stuff like "Change The Boot Order".
Apparently that's now out of bounds.
Op is making a bet not a claim.
A better bet would be to provide a non-nefarious answer as to why this isn't part of the product description.
According to the review, they are also unable to turn off Secure Boot and UEFI.
There was a time when people would make trustworthy Amazon reviews, but... one bad apple spoils the bunch. If I don't know if the review I'm reading is manipulated crap, then I need to go elsewhere.
For better or worse, "Best Buy" and "Walmart" have solid non-comingled supply chains. There's also the option of buying directly from some manufacturers (although I've had bad luck with say... HP from their website. So I prefer having a trusted 3rd party retailer to handle returns in the worst-case scenario. Best Buy handles returns fine, and I trust that an 'HP' laptop is indeed from HP from them. Good enough for me).
I also live near a Microcenter, which would be my primary computer store. But Best Buy isn't bad for prefab and/or laptops, I take my friends there to check out some merchandise when they're looking for new laptops.
First, Acer (the manufacturer) is doing it, not Amazon.
Second, it does appear to be systematic.
Third, refund policy is irrelevant and implies (falsely) that the issue is simply a consumer choice problem.
Fourth, you ignore what is troubling: it represents the loss of general purpose computing devices as a product category, even in that last bastion of "freedom", the personal computer. Acer is a major manufacturer, and this shift is ominous.
That's not what's claimed?
That doesn't make any sense. Why would you lock it because it was sold through Amazon?
Is it accessible if you buy it direct from Acer?
Sounds like a customer support person just made up a reason.
(Of course, they could still install a “hard mod” root kit by e.g. reflashing the BIOS through its JTAG pins, or just desoldering it and soldering on something else. But that requires a much higher tier of resources, one that also enables other classes of attacks that don’t involve putting the stock back into the first-party warehouse.)
Could be protection against that?
This happens a lot, I find. People just hate having no answer for you. So they make up one.
Customers hate not having a reason, and many techs will simply make one up rather than be yelled at again for not knowing.
While I don't shout at tech support, as I know what the script is, you better believe my blood is quietly boiling as I'm rebooting various devices that have nothing to do with the issue on their instruction, just so I can get to an appointment with technicians to fix my real issue.
Same thing occurs with GP doctors, and basically every other system in tiers, where it inevitably organizes to basically stall you, so people don't overload the higher tiers.
In the mean time, the techs would get yelled at for not knowing what was happening. I wasn't surprised when they invented reasons... And they may even have believed them.
As for the rebooting... I've seen too many weird things to deny them the reboots. And a few times it has actually fixed my problem, even though I believed it impossible. (And had the same happen to customers I was supporting.) So I know it's frustrating, but it's necessary in a surprising number of cases.
Also, techs were often the worst customers. They thought they knew everything, even if it was just Dunning-Kruger. Forcing them to reboot was painful, but actually worked more often than non-techs because the non-techs would blindly try things like that after having been told it once in the past. There were plenty of times I fell back on the "I can't send this up until you reboot it" because I knew there was a good chance the reboot would actually work if the customer tried to avoid it.