Over the past 32 months I have continued to be fairly happy with my Novatech n1410. It has generally been fast enough, reliable enough, light enough and with a decent battery life. The downsides over the long term proved to be the keyboard and trackpad which have never been enjoyable to use and the lack of audio volume. Overall though I would say that it has lived up to my expectations for a budget Ultrabook.
But then last night – disaster struck, I was closing my laptop after working and the case opened up at the right hand hinge. This is not a heavily-abused laptop – it has never been dropped, I don’t commute, the laptop is stored in a padded case and treated at all times with respect. So why would the case fail in this way?
On closer inspection this would appear to be a natural failure point, the case after all is only plastic held together by a single screw at that point and the pressures on that hinge are immense. Indeed I am very surprised that it did not fail sooner. I think I probably contributed by being right-handed and probably putting a greater strain typically on the right hand hinge.
On the one hand, after 32 months I can’t really complain – it has certainly justified its cost. But I do feel a bit aggrieved that such a lightly used laptop should have failed within 3 years.
I can hear many of you thinking that 3 years is a long time for a laptop, but to put it in context my last laptop, a Toshiba Satellite Pro A300-1GO, was bought in 2008 and is still in daily use after 7 years.
I also feel embarrassed, I was encouraged to buy a ThinkPad, but the cost deterred me. Realistically a ThinkPad would probably have carried on working for at least another 2-3 years, and if you divide the cost by the life expectancy then perhaps the Novatech was a false economy. Well let’s face facts – it was a false economy. And I wouldn’t have had to be put up with a grotty keyboard for the past 32 months!
At the moment the Novatech is still working and I can close it just about – by the insertion of a ruler between the screen and the keyboard, and putting my weight on that as I lower the screen. I will live with it for the time being, but will start giving some thought as to my next laptop.
Possibly even a ThinkPad!