Most helpful critical review
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Problem after problem not solved
on September 18, 2012
Short story: Stay way. I have had multiple problems with this laptop and Dell support can not fix said problems.
I needed a laptop for school that could handle CAD programs, handle computational programs, have a good battery, and be portable. At the time my Toshiba Satellite had lasted me a good 4 years but the hard drive was becoming spotty and the battery life was decreasing. I decided to upgrade and after a little looking around I decided on the Dell Inspiron 14z. It looked good for a decent price. I quickly received the laptop from Amazon and the Dell was considerably faster than my previous Toshiba, a lot lighter, and the battery life was almost double. After a month of owning it I discovered that the microphone did not work with Skype or Google Chat. I guessed this problem was around since I bought the laptop. I was still in school at the time so I waited until summer to get it fixed. In July I contacted customer support via online chat help. After over an hour of diagnosis it was determined that my laptop motherboard was defective and I needed to send it in. This is what I had been afraid of, but since it was summer I could be without the laptop for a couple weeks to get it fixed.
Dell sent the package very quickly and then called me every step to let me know what was happening. A little too much in my opinion but it was good to know it would be done quickly. I then received the laptop back from Dell. I turned it on and first tested the microphone and it worked, problem solved. Not too fast, I was reloading my files that I had backed up and noticed that on 'Computer' window that my laptop said it only had 4GB of RAM. As in the description it came with 6GB of RAM when it was new. I opened up the back panel and saw that there was a 4GB RAM stick in the slot. I then popped out the keyboard to check the other slot and found out there was no RAM in RAM slot. I was hoping that it was something I could fix, but I was not so lucky. I called Dell again and told them my problem, it was pretty obvious and customer support said they would send the 2GB RAM stick.
I received the RAM within the next week, opened the keyboard again and put in the recently sent RAM. I then go to turn on the computer and it starts beeping at me (repetitive 3 beeps). I took out both RAM units and tried the new RAM unit in the slop on the back of the laptop, everything worked and computer booted up. Then tried the 4GB RAM in the keyboard slot, didn't work- beeps again. Time to call Dell again. I told them my problem and after a lengthy conversation they said they would fix the problem after I would send it in. Frustrated that they didn't fix it and annoyed that I wouldn't be able to use it for a more time, my only option was to send it in. I sent it in late-August. While the laptop was out for repairs I see a deal at Dell online that with a promo code the 14z laptop costs $500 with a $75 gift card to Dell. Which BEFORE the gift card, is $80 less than I had paid in April. And I had only used it for half of the available time due to issues.
Dell replaced the motherboard again and after a hold for parts I received it back mid-September. Finally, and just before school starts again my laptop is here and ready to go. Within 12 hours I discover yet another problem. The sound is not working either from speaker or headphone jack. I called them again. After running a couple of tests they confirmed that the speakers did not work. They wanted me to send in the laptop again. I really didn't want to, school was starting and it seems this fixing process has not worked before. I let the technician and his manager know my disgust asked for a new laptop because fixing it did not work the past 2 times. After a while of back and forth they couldn't do that. I then asked for the difference in cost since I was not able to use it for the entire summer. But it ended in that they can't and all they can do is service it in warranty. This fix will have the 4th motherboard installed for this laptop, not so random. It is so frustrating. Dell is completely wasting my time and can not fix a problem. I also asked them how they can be sure it is fixed completely but all I got was the same-as-always `we will run tests'-- which have not worked in the past. What if the problem is not fixed? I will just be going through this song and dance again.
I would stay as far away from Dell as you can. This is an unacceptable product and service. I know problems occur but at such a large company, they should have ways to check that products are fixed correctly. I have been with out a laptop for 3 months at the moment and it's just going to get longer. School is starting and I will be without my laptop. A complete waste of time and money.