No. of Recommendations: 1
This is a long post, fair warning! ;)

I have two Gateways. Three of my friends have Gateways, purchased from them because of my recommendation.

On my first Gateway, there was a partial motherboard failure just before the warranty expired. This sort of problem is hellacious to track down because its main symptoms in my case were constant system file corruptions. I would format, reinstall, everything would be fine and then all hell would break loose again.

The techs quickly realized I was quite literate and did not patronize me--and as a woman who has dealt with more than her share of techie chauvinists who equate a feminine voice with computer idiocy, it was APPRECIATED!

We had to try a number of things. First, I replaced the power supply. Then I had to do a supervised format. I said "Hey, I can't do that NOW! I have to back up!" and they said "Of course! Call this special number and use this code whenever you are ready." So we walked through the format. This gave me a week of peace, then the corruptions started again. I called them, and they sent me the new motherboard. I also had a number to call if I wanted someone to walk me through replacing the motherboard over the phone. I didn't need it, their computers are set up sensibly (unlike Acer, for example, whose has at least one model whose case is so difficult to open that even repair techs have broken them!).

No problems since then, and the computer gets hard use from SO and kids. Probably a manufacturer's defect, one of my geek friends said it sounded like static electricity damage.

My second computer had next to no problems. The mouse shipped with it was damaged. It was replaced promptly. The monitor inexplicably died when the computer was just a few months old. It too was replaced promptly.

Now to my friends. My friend J ordered his computer online from my house! Someone messed something up or picked up a virus when it was just a few days old, and it wouldn't boot. He brought me over, and we called Gateway together. I spoke to the rep, telling her what I had done already and checking if what I now planned to do (complete format and re-install) was the best course. She said "Yep, that's exactly what we would suggest and don't hesitate to call back if you run into anything odd." We had him up and running a few hours later.

Friend #2, R, had originally gotten a computer from Best Buy. It arrived but the monitor wouldn't work. I checked the video card to make sure it was properly seated. No go. We could NOT get support! Not from Best Buy, not from the manufacturer of the computer. So he brought it back. Apparently, after fiddling with it for over an hour, the technician there was able to get the card working, but my friend was totally disgusted and insisted on getting his money back. And he bought a Gateway. He has had NO problems at all, other than maybe being overloaded with software that he doesn't need. ;-)

Friend #3, B, got his laptop from Gateway a couple of months ago. A beautiful piece of equipment, he also has had NO problems.

You might say "but you had a motherboard problem, and a monitor problem. Doesn't that mean the product is unreliable?"

Believe it or not, the answer is "no". A computer is a very delicate piece of equipment. They idiot-proof it as much as possible, but with something that fragile, many, many things can inexplicably go wrong. So when I look at a computer, I want to know about their SERVICE. And Gateway is absolutely top notch for that!

Now, you may not be as comfortable opening the case to check stuff, but believe me, if you need help, they will patiently walk you through every step. Or, if you have a Gateway Country store nearby, you can just bring the computer to them. Again, it's all about the service.

One caveat: Gateway has introduced a program called "Go Back". The idea is great--if you install software that destabilizes your system, you can "go back" to your previous configuration. However, I have found this program to unneccessarily waste space and resources, and recommend uninstalling it.

If you have gotten this far, thank you. ;)
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