Toshiba puts its money on notebook reliability

Toshiba is putting its latest laptops through an independent testing process in which it is so confident it is offering a repair or replacement, plus a full (ex VAT) refund on any that go wrong in the first year.

The first models to undergo the new testing procedure and thus available under the offer are the Satellite Pro A120 and Tecra A8.

The new notebook design is tested using a HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing) procedure by German company TUV, Toshiba’s Product Marketing Manager Ken Chan said.

‘HALT is basically a machine that puts our design through three years of simulated usage … all machines we now do go through this process.’ The design also goes through other endurance tests including extremes of temperature and drop testing four times on each side from 70cm, we were told.

As well as the new testing methods, the laptops also have design features to enhance their robustness. These include a hardy chassis, three times stronger LCD display, a 50 per cent stronger system board, a 40 per cent stronger hard disk cover and a stronger and spill resistant keyboard, claims Toshiba.

Chan said that the system board has been redesigned to be some 20-30 per cent smaller so there is more room for air circulation within the chassis, and added thickness gives more resilience. Other features include fewer mounting screws.

Toshiba is restricting the offer to its latest models, although Chan was keen to point out that this does not imply older models are unreliable. ‘It doesn’t mean that, it just means we’ve evolved,’ he said, adding that all Toshiba notebooks have a ‘better reliability rate than the average.’

To see just how well the A120 performs, check out the next issue of PC Pro magazine.

To take part in the scheme, new laptop owners must register their device within seven days of purchase and must have any repairs completed at a verified Toshiba warranty repair in order to qualify for refund. The offer ends 1 December.

For more information visit the Toshiba website.

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