Disclaimer:First of all, this post is not to defame any company but to highlight the basic facts which are based on my experience and perspective.
Toshiba M300 : My experience from May 2009 – June 2010
I bought this new laptop TOSHIBA M300 about an year ago in May 2k9, it was perhaps one the best configuration available that time in the nearest store. Configuration was 3GB RAM, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 300GB hard disk, 256 MB Nvidia Graphics card .The looks were pretty good,the keyboard was awesome, it had a nice glossy finish and looked like an awesome piece among the rest of the laptops kept alongside.
And i bought this for 49,500 rupees roughly $1100, which is perhaps one of the biggest mistake of my life so far. I am a student at IIT K, so I had to take this laptop to my college where I live in a hostel.
Problems Toshiba M300
The Flickering of the Screen
Just after 1 month of purchasing I started experiencing screen problems, there was some flickering issue . Every time you keep the screen in one particular position it started flickering so I had to move readjust its position so that the flickering stops. This problem increased over time and even after calling a their call center, support center and giving my laptop at the service center for about 1 week this problem was not rectified. I gave may laptop at the service center for one week in august 2009 and the flickering persisted. After that my studies had started and I did not had the time to go to a service station again which was 90 kms away from Kanpur. I had no choice but to keep on readjusting the screen and even on a new laptop barely a month old. This is really really bad service, product, support from toshiba atleast in India.
After 10 months, I had a friend who worked in Toshiba call center and from there I came to know that Toshiba M300 had an internal defect in the screen due to which all the screens had be replaced. But I was kept guessing why my screen never got replaced when i gave it at the service center.
The Face Recognition : Software
Toshiba M300 comes with digital face recognition software which is used for authentication. Guess what! The quality of this software is as bad as one can imagine. It will only recognize your face if you have the same background everytime you appear for face recognition . I think its name should not be face recognition , rather it should be picture recognition. I just used this feature for 4-5 times because it never worked for me and I am sure that being a licensed software it would have cost quite a bit in the actual price.
The Un-synchronized hardware
My laptop was perhaps the slowest laptop in my hostel. It took about 5 mins to start . And most importantly Never make the mistake of Hibernating a Windows Vista on Toshiba M300 it takes more time than to shut down. Time and again my laptop got hanged or got stuck. That was the time I realized that my laptop is just a piece of crap. When you invest in some product, you need it to be , if not the best atleast average. M300 startup and execution of any program was slower than any laptop. I compare the startup times of my laptop with Dell inspiron ( much cheaper tha M300) , Hp and Sony VIAO. No points for guessing mine was the slowest.
The Zombie: Dead all of a sudden
It happened twice in less than one year. My laptop all of a sudden went dead and none of the call center employee’s were able to help me. I tried everything, taking the battery out, flushing the power, then reinserting the battery nothing ever seemed to work.
The Hard disk error
This too happened twice. All of a sudden when my computer hanged I had no other option but to shut it down manually by pressing the power buttons for 5 seconds and guess what, when next time it sharted it refused to show any operating system installed in the hard disk. I had to use the installation DVD which I had fortunately made, but all my precious data was lost in the process. No I do not have the time of 1 week to give my laptop for repair so I had only this option left.
The Speakers : Harman Cardon
Toshiba M300 has some decent quality speakers of Harman Cardon. But to tell you a fact they are just normal speakers on which some brand name is written, I could not find any distinction in their voice quality neither the volume nor the quality was any different from any speakers in any laptop of dell or hp.
This is perhaps one major point where every technology company should focus. Products can be defective but active support can not only help you rectify the problem but also help the poor consumer . This is a vital part of a company’s brand.
Toshiba’s support is perhaps one of the poorest support center in the country. I am talking of the support centers RT Outsourcing. I do not blame them, they have 10′s of companies to which they give technical support. But from my perspective, it is one of the worst support I have ever seen. The center is located at only major cities and Kanpur doesn’t have one ( recently there might be one which has come up), in whole of Delhi the center is only at 2 places. The center opens for 10-5 where as the timings might be uptill 6 but the support staff isnt available and after 5 no one pics the phone call.
The biggest fear is that they take minimum of 1 week to fix any problem. 1 week is too big a risk for me to give my laptop. I have even found that they have kept a persons laptop for 2 months, can you imagine your life without your laptop for 2 months!
The End: Toshiba M300 a bad deal
Finally, after having so many problems in the first year and with no support or time for support my laptop suddenly went dead. The day 26th June 2010, laptop age 1 year 1month 19 days. I decided that I have had enough of this deal , I forcefully shut the screen of my laptop , and that was it. There were cracks on the screen. The screen was gone.
I went to the service center and argued that the screen was bound to be replaced in this defective product but my 3 year warranty was now void due to cracks on the screen. The price they quoted to me for screen repaid was 18000 rupees roughly $400. I submitted my laptop and asked them to repair everything under warrantee.
My warranty was of 3 Years, but it was useless as I did not have time to repair it.:
I hope this experience will help many of you to commit same mistake that I did.
Update: My laptop is currently with service center and here is what they told me.
My laptop has a malfunctioning motherboard ,RAM and the screen flickering problem. This tells that the product itself was defective on the first hand and was not repaired when it had gone to service center first time.