Youve found the shiny, new laptop of your dreams and youre ready to hand over the money or credit card. STOP! Have you read, and read every word of the warranty for your dream laptop? If you havent read the warranty (find them online at the laptop manufacturers web site or the retail outlet should have copies available) you could be buying yourself a big headache.
The first step to buying a laptop should be to read and compare warranties. Understand and know before you buy your laptop what kind of repair service you are entitled to.
Laptop Warranty: Coverage
Do you know what problems your laptop will be covered against? The majority of laptop warranties will cover hardware problems that were not caused by the owner, such as defective keyboards, monitor problems, modem or other issues with internal components. The laptop warranty generally covers the parts and labor for repairs.
A laptop warranty will also spell out what actions on your part will void the warranty. Something as simple as opening the case and breaking a seal can be enough to void a warranty even if you just wanted to take a peek inside. If you have no worries about opening the laptop casing, will removing, changing or adding new internal components void your warranty? You have to know this kind of information before you buy your laptop; this is not what you want to learn after the fact.
What Isn't Covered:
Damage to or loss of data is another item which is not covered by a laptop warranty. A laptop warranty will state quite clearly that any problems associated with software whether bundled or installed by you, it will not be covered under the laptop warranty.
You wont find coverage for theft, damage or breakage caused by the owner in a laptop warranty. Those would be covered by an insurance policy.
The coverage section will also include information on how a damaged laptop is to be returned, who is responsible for charges to return a unit, what type of telephone support is available and how long it is available. You want free telephone support for a minimum of 90 days and 24/7 access.
Laptop Warranty: Term
While comparing laptop warranties, investigate the term of the laptop warranty. Is it for 1 year or more? Going with a laptop warranty that is for more than a year (as long as it does not involve additional costs) makes the most sense.
Extended Warranties & Retail Service Plans
An extended warranty is a way to continue/extend the original term of the warranty and most often adds more to the purchase price of your new laptop. Some laptop manufacturers do offer extended warranties.
retail service plans are normally offered by the retail outlet that you will be purchasing your new laptop from. They differ from warranties in that they may cover additional exposures and can be purchased for different periods of time (1, 2 or 3 years). A retail service plan offers the best value in most circumstances.
Laptop Warranty: International Warranty Coverage
Mobile professionals who travel frequently are well advised to read carefully any mention of international warranty coverage. International warranty coverage is also normally referred to as limited coverage. This section may explicitly list which items are covered and in what countries you will have coverage in. Many laptop manufacturers will list by component (modem or power adapter) and where it is certified to operate in.
Another item worth investigating with an international laptop warranty is how repairs will be carried out. While traveling can you take your laptop to a certified repair service where you currently are or do you have to return to the country of origin. Really good international laptop warranties will have provision for repairing or servicing at the location you are currently.
Laptop Warranty: Repair and Service
In the laptop warranty the manufacturer will state how repairs will be completed and whether they will use new, used or refurbished parts. Choosing a new laptop that will be repaired with new parts is always preferable. The warranty will also provide details on where servicing will take place.
Laptop Warranty: Used or Refurbished Laptops
If you happen to buying a used or refurbished laptop there still should be some form of warranty in place. Normally this warranty will not be a period exceeding a year, unless you purchase an extended warranty or retail service plan. Most laptop warranties for used or refurbished laptops are for 90 day periods.
So before you put any money on a new or not so new laptop, be sure to check the warranties, you can also review the opinions and experiences of other laptop users. Search for reliability and service ratings which can give you a good indication of what you can expect with your laptop warranty coverage.