ECS G733 Laptop Review

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Dealing with a “barebones” – Chris Hardy

First, I’d like to thank Overclockers.com for hosting many quality user reviews and insider info. I have been a dedicated reader for over two years.

The system as purchased (ECS spec):

  • ECS (Elitegroup) G733
  • Intel P4 2.4B Ghz 512K 533 FSB S478
  • 512 MB PC2700 CL2.5 SODIMM
  • 15″ XGA LCD using up to 64 MB shared memory
  • 30 GB HDD 5400 rpm
  • DVD-RW combo drive

Purchase Price: $1,457 USD on June 6/03

The ECS brand is generally sold as a ‘Barebones’ laptop and the vendor allows you to decide which of their components you want to complete the system.

Upon receiving the laptop, it was only an hour before the OS was installed.

Immediately I noticed a problem: The audio level was barely audible – even at FULL volume.

I re-installed the drivers and eventually the OS again and could not improve the audio level. As an example, there is absolutely NO WAY that this laptop could be used on a plane, train, car or anywhere else there is ambient noise. Even with the headphones plugged in, I can still hear everything in my surroundings, AND NOT the laptop.

A second problem was the keyboard – it was loose around the number “8”, rattling upon every keystroke.

I decided to RMA the laptop back to the vendor (eGlobalOnline.com). After several e-mails, THEY concluded that the unit was working properly. I assured them that is was not normal and that I have other laptops that can be heard from an adjacent room. To no avail – the laptop was shipped back to me without any changes, including the keyboard.

Completely unsatisfied, I decided to go directly to ECS technical support. They were less than helpful.

They told me to RMA it to the vendor, despite the fact I told them I already did! I followed up with several emails asking for audio specifications, including normal dB levels. I NEVER received another reply from the vendor OR the manufacturer.

I have been using the laptop as a DTR (Desktop Replacement) even though I still need to use my desktop for anything audio (and games). The G733 has only ever been disconnected from AC about 15 times. The battery lasted 15 minutes ONCE; now I’m lucky if I get 5 minutes.

To top it all off, the screen flickers slightly and the RJ-45 port on the back stopped working – just add that to the list of failures.

Now it is time for me to sell this laptop. I am looking at a considerable LOSS. Everyone that has been interested in my G733 has been turned off by the audio volume.

This laptop was supposed to be a ‘Dream Come True’ for me – I had always wanted a fast laptop. Now, I am looking at a ‘Nightmare on my lap’.

CONCLUSIONS

Be VERY careful when ordering your new laptop. Read these kind of reviews, ask questions and do comparison shopping. DON’T let a vendor dictate what is wrong with your laptop. I should have told the vendor to keep the G733 and had my Credit Card company refund my money, but I was too slow (busy) to do that – now it’s going cost me A LOT MORE!

Note: I have repaired MANY laptops (after warranty) and I find most to be repairable. However, besides the RJ-45 port, I can’t resolve the G733’s poor manufacturing.

Please go HERE and view my ongoing “Project: OverMOD”

Thanks for taking the time to read my review – I hope it saves you from my headaches.

Chris Hardy

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