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HP The Courts Portables

NVIDIA Gets Away With Bait-and-Switch 336

racquetballguy writes "As part of a December 2010 settlement agreement, NVIDIA agreed to provide all owners of laptops containing a defective NVIDIA GPU with a laptop of similar kind and value. In February, NVIDIA announced that a $279 single-core Compaq CQ56 would be provided as a replacement to all laptops — from $2500 dual-core tablet PCs to $2000 17" entertainment notebooks. Ted Frank, from the Center for Class Action Fairness, filed an objection to the court, which was overruled by Judge Ware today. Once again, the consumers of a class action lawsuit lose."
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NVIDIA Gets Away With Bait-and-Switch

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  • Re:$2500 Tablets (Score:5, Informative)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:37PM (#36004708)

    Who the heck spends $2500 on a tablet PC?

    Someone who bought a tablet PC, not an iPad or Xoom. It's a miniaturized laptop with a flip-around touchscreen. Expensive hardware.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:54PM (#36004884)

    I got lucky. My Dell laptop with a nice dual 8800M-GTX (SLI) card in it failed in a very interesting way. It would boot up in 2D just fine (I could boot in safe mode, and I could get to the login screen), but the instant it started up 3D, it would either lock up or bluescreen (an interesting one - it wasn't the usual BSOD, just one that said something like "Hardware parity error")

    Thankfully I bought the 4 year extended on-site warranty, so I simply called Dell, faked through their OS restore procedure (same effect - though it gets as far as the testing 3D performance step before it locks up - I already tried it).

    I had them also send the tech a replacement graphics card as well, and told them to replace that first. Half an hour later, it was working great.

    Thank god for extended warranties. I usualy get them for laptops because heat failures are common... and probably one of the few times an extended warranty makes sense.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:57PM (#36004922)

    The laptops with this nvidia were sold defective, and it was spotted RIGHT AWAY. Nvidia lied about the parts not being defective and refused replacement. That is why there is a lawsuit. The lawsuit has taken 3 years, so of course you can't replace these laptops with the exact model anymore. It's stupid to even offer replacements at this point, so this should be a cash settlement instead.

    Since nvidia parts aren't usually sold in laptops that cheap, the refund should be much higher. This isn't about getting something new three years later. It's about something that should have immediately been covered under warrenty and recalled especially since they knew they were bad. Intel has had bad silicon before, and did the right thing!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 02, 2011 @06:03PM (#36004984)

    It is not the consumers fault that it took 4 years to get action, and the laptops had depreciated by then. Most consumers laptops barely lasted one year. Then, they had to buy new laptops, because HP refused to replace the defective ones. That is why small claims court would have been a better route. You can sue for lost productivity. I am also getting stuck with the $350 replacement Compaq.

    So, I bought a $1200 laptop that lasted 6 months before overheating. I had to back everything up and ship it back. HP put the same faulty part in, and it lasted another couple of months. I asked them to NOT fix it by putting the faulty NVIDIA chip back in. They did it anyway. FOUR long years later, I'll get a replacement $350 laptop.

    Basically, I paid $1200 to order a laptop that I would not receive and could not use for 4 years. When it arrives four years later, it is worth only $350.

  • by racquetballguy ( 1994912 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @06:09PM (#36005016)

    There is definitely a large range of laptops affected by this settlement - I highlighted 2 of the higher-end models (which represent a sizeable portion of the class). Many of those models failed within a year and HP just replaced the failed GPU with an equally defective GPU. So it's not really fair to compare the laptop based on age or resale value - a fair analysis should solely based on specs.

    The settlement agreement said that HP claimants would receive "a replacement laptop of like or similar kind and equal or similar value." I own a 17" dual-core 1.8GHz dv9000 with 1680x1050 and a lot of accessories. Based on the settlement agreement, I didn't expect to get a new $2000 17" HP Envy laptop. I expected to get a ~$450 17" laptop that perhaps had some features my laptop lacked, but was missing some of the features my laptop had. I was surprised when NVIDIA picked one model to replace all of the laptops, and I was shocked to find that that model was the cheapest laptop that Best Buy sells. So the bait is a "laptop of equal of similar kind and value" and the switch is a laptop that is significantly slower and has almost none of the features contained in the original laptops: dual-core processor, 17" display, webcam, HDMI, firewire, Bluetooth, light-scribe DVD-RW, expansion port, stereo microphones, 4 USB ports, modem, remote control, number pad, dual headphone jacks.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <> on Monday May 02, 2011 @07:02PM (#36005546) Journal

    The problem was they used a defective solder on the GPUs, so heat cycling caused the solder joints to fail, which in your description would be the "WTF my screen is black!". I would sue if I were one stuck with the machine, as well as sue the OEM, since many like HP tried to "fix" the problem by simply sending a patch designed to max out the fans (causing them to burn through the battery and wear out quicker) in the hopes that the machine would survive long enough to go out of warranty so they could flip the bird to customers.

    I hope this has taught those that by Nvidia a valuable lesson: don't buy from total douchebags. I was a life long Intel+Nvidia man but after the bribery and compiler rigging came out on the Intel side, and Nvidia trying to dump bad GPUs in the channel and screw customers with bumpgate I'm strictly AMD+ATI for me and my shop. The only way these corps learn is by watching their sales plummet, as we can see in TFA the courts are now bought and paid for.

  • by racquetballguy ( 1994912 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @07:31PM (#36005848)

    The offered machine may be a bit better than the one it's replacing, but most software has got a lot heavier in the intervening time. In terms of what's being asked of it, the replacement is worse.

    The vast majority of defective machines have better specs than the replacement machine. A 3 year old laptop with a dual-core 2.2 GHz processor (AMD Turion 64 x2 TL-64 processor in many of the defective machines) is still faster than a single-core 2.3 GHz processor (AMD V140 in CQ56). Moreover, the replacement lacks just about every feature present on the defective machines (the CQ56 doesn't even have a webcam).

  • by hcmtnbiker ( 925661 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @07:31PM (#36005850)

    So some 3 year old HP laptops that cost a lot back then are being replaced by $350 HP laptops now. Normally a 3 year laptop can't even be sold for $350 (unless it's a top of the line Apple model - and these aren't). And what about the specs? Nowhere in TFA is a comparison of the specs of the system being offered with the specs of the original systems...
    Where exactly is the bait? Or the switch? I guess the article was submitted by one of people who expected his 3 year old system with something that costs the same now, so he could have a substantial improvement in performance.

    The TX1000 series which is a large portion of this suit is a convertible tablet PC. I own one of these, it was a dual-core 1.9GHz Proc, 3GB RAM, 12.1"(which is VERY portable), and had a screen that could be turned over and closed to provide a tablet. You cannot touch one of these for anywhere near the price of that Compaq being offered, nor does this "comparable" computer listed offer ANY of the features this notebook did. An iPad would be a closer fit to a Tx1000 series notebook, and even that is less of a machine and twice the cost of the Compaq.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.