Repaired a few laptops recently – an HP G6000 with a cracked screen, a 1 year old Advent swarming with viruses and another Advent with a dead motherboard.

I have compiled a few tips when owning/buying a laptop:
  1. Laptops are NOT indestructible – just because they are portable, doesn’t mean to say that they are designed to withstand large shocks or sudden impact! So look after it! The screen certainly included in this; you should avoid touching the screen at all if possible. If you accidentally crack the screen, these can cost between £70 and £150 to replace depending on the size.
  2. Make sure you have some form of Anti-Virus and Spyware protection installed. If you can’t afford Anti-Virus then that’s fine, use a free one! Some examples are:

    AVG Free Edition for Anti-Virus, one of the best free virus scanners around
    SpyBot Search & Destroy for Spyware protection, also one of the best

    These are a breeze to install and will be willing to protect your computer right away, you don’t need a technician to do it for you.


    Also make sure you have installed the latest updates for your operating system. For Vista and 7, click Start, type ‘Windows Update’ and press enter. For XP, go to and install all critical updates.

  3. If you are considering buying a new laptop, buy a well known make. The main reason for this is that if you buy a cheap make, you may run into problems in the future which could leave you stranded with a broken laptop. Also, drivers can be hard to find if you buy one of these, since record of the laptop may only be on the company’s website for a limited time.

    Some examples of makes you should avoid are:

    • Advent
    • EI System
    • eMachines
    • Medion
    • Cheap Packard Bell models
    • Philips

    Most of these makes are sold and branded by DSG (The company which owns Currys, PC World, Dixons etc) and are simply bulk laptops which are sold to companies and then customised to suit that company’s needs. E.g. Certain Advent laptops are actually made by Mitac and are simply re-branded as Advent.