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

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:35PM (#36004684)

    Except 99% of people in the class aren't going to sue anyway, so they gain nothing by opting out. I just got $16 from a Comcast Bitorrent blocking class-action lawsuit, which is more than I would have gotten otherwise.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:35PM (#36004690)

    is getting pretty long.

  • by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) * on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:36PM (#36004698) Journal

    that they didn't just get a gift certificate for a cup of McDonalds coffee.

  • Get real, people. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 245670 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:43PM (#36004780)

    A class action is NEVER about making he victims whole. It's about punishing the offending corporation. Period.

    If you ever go into a class action thinking you're going to gain something personally, you're an idiot. (Unless, of course, you're a lawyer.)

    Since this is slashdot, I'll try to make a poor analogy. It's like the geeks and nerds at a school hiring a freelance bully to take care of their local bully. The nerds and geeks shouldn't expect to get anything out of it except a cessation of hostile activity from their local bully. The freelancer gets to keep the bulk of whatever he manages to recover from the local bully. He may get the bully to agree to give a candy bar to every kid in the school but the geeks and nerds aren't going to recover multiple years' worth of lunch money. The goal is to prevent future bad behavior on the part of the local bully and nothing more.

  • by Calibax ( 151875 ) * on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:45PM (#36004794)

    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.

    From TFA, a lawyer and an expert witness for the people suing NVIDIA actually agreed the systems were broadly equivalent. Maybe they needed an expert witness who was either more expert or less honest.

    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.

  • by Viewsonic ( 584922 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:50PM (#36004854)

    I think the argument is that back then, those were top of the line laptops. The ones they are getting today are not top of the line laptops.

    The specs may be the same, but the court should recognize that equivalent should be associated with cost as well as specs. The laptop of old was meant to run games of that day, the new laptops should run games of this day. If one laptop cost $2k, the new one should at the very least run $2k today.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:50PM (#36004858)
    The ruling here is basically that people can't trade in their four-year-old worthless laptops for brand new expensive ones. You get a new laptop that's equally as worthless as your obsolete PoS. It's not really as crazy as it sounds.
  • Paid the lawyers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesl ( 106902 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @05:51PM (#36004866)

    I'll bet a $279 single-core Compaq CQ56 that the lawyers are well paid.

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @06:10PM (#36005020) Homepage

    Asus EEE T101MT-EU37-BK

    Holy shit, that's a real model name? Jesus Christ.

    How else do you differentiate it from an EEE TM101MT-EU38-BK ?

  • by klingens ( 147173 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @06:36PM (#36005288)

    Not true. These people were without a laptop for 3 years. At the time the laptop died, it was worth $2000 and these people told nvidia: fix this mess you created. Nvidia declined and a suit was filed which took 3 years. It's not the customers fault it took so long to get justice. The day the damage was claimed against nvidia was the day the value of the item in question is determined.
    If you have to sue your insurance company about your car for 3 years, the company can't continue to depreciate the amount it owes you over that time if they're found guilty..

  • Buy AMD! After they bought ATI they've been opening up the code so FOSS guys can have decent drivers and support chips as old as they want, and their desktop and laptop chips are nice, and the new APUs have low power usage and full 1080p hardware acceleration for just about every format.

    After the Intel bribery and compiler rigging (which they are still doing last I checked BTW) and Nvidia trying to burn the living hell out of their customers for THEIR mistake in picking a bad solder, I've been strictly AMD+ATI in my personal life and in my shop and my customers couldn't be happier. The cheaper AMD chips means they can spend more on extras like more RAM or an SSD, and the Radeon chips make video smooth and make it trivial to hook up even the little netbooks to a nice widescreen and have a great picture.

    Sadly voting with our quickly devaluating dollars is pretty much all we have left in this country, as both parties are so heavily corrupted that they don't even pretend to serve anyone but their corporate masters anymore, and the courts from SCOTUS on down have made it clear the country is BY the corps and FOR the corps and fuck you peasant scum. So the only way we have to fight back against douchebaggery like this is to quit buying their products and hopefully start the corp into a freefall death spiral. Many of these corps have so many debts that a couple of bad quarters is all it will take, so vote with your dollars and tell your friends/customers/families to do the same. It is all we have left now really.

  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @08:37PM (#36006342) Journal

    If an extended warranty made sense, they wouldn't sell it to you. You're pretty much always better of taking the money the were going to charge you for the extended warranty and setting it aside in your own "personal warranty" fund. Think of all the devices you've bought over the years. How many of them have really failed during the time period and in a way that the extended warranty would even have been effective...

  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Monday May 02, 2011 @09:52PM (#36006766) Journal

    It does not apply to health and auto insurance, because you only have one life (and usually one or very few cars) to insure. If you had dozens, then it would not make sense to pay someone else to do your risk averaging for you.

    The maximum loss in the event your $2k laptop fails is... $2k for another laptop. You don't get so attached to a laptop that you'll spend anything just to keep it around a little longer.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @07:23AM (#36008844) Homepage Journal

    This problem isn't limited to nVidia though, it is just that they have been bigger asshats about it than anyone else. ATI had a few issues, and it is also the cause of the Playstation 3 yellow light of death.

    nVidia's crime was refusing to acknowledge it, then denying it, then trying to wriggle out of fixing it while still shipping defective GPUs. They ended up with millions of GPUs in the field that needed replacing, and the cost of replacement is so high that it is cheaper to ditch the whole motherboard and install a new one. That is what other companies like Microsoft have done when millions of their machines had a design flaw, and some OEMs using nVidia chips did too.

    The killer for nVidia was their deal with HP. Basically they supplied about 95% of the chipsets HP used in its laptops, and so for over three years HP was shipping defective nVidia GPUs. They came to an agreement whereby nVidia would pay HP $100 per laptop, clearly not enough to replace the motherboard for a fixed one (and remember that nVidia were still shipping defective parts at the time) so they just kept swapping mobos until the warranty ran out.

    For anyone in the EU remember that the legal minimum warranty period on electronics is 2 years. For anyone in the UK remember that the Sale of Goods Act requires all goods to "last a reasonable length of time", which for a laptop is generally considered to be 5 or 6 years. If your laptop is less than 5 years and and develops this fault you are entitled to either a partial refund (depending on how much use you have had from it) or a replacement.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn