How does IBM's warranty program compare with Applecare?
September 5, 2004 6:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about buying a Thinkpad (work related) and wanted to know if anyone had any experience with IBM's "depot repair" warranty option. Worth the extra money, or not so much? Also, does anyone know if you can purchase an extended warranty after you've purchased the laptop and used it for a while? Or, put more succinctly; "How does IBM's warranty program compare with Applecare?"
posted by alana to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Disclaimer: I work for IBM, though I have nothing at all to do with the PC business, and am posting the answer to this question strictly as someone who has purchased IBM products:

At the time my standard 1 year warranty on my destkop was about to expire, IBM sent me a letter, offering to sell me an extended warranty. So you most likely can purchase additional warranty coverage after you first buy the laptop.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:57 PM on September 5, 2004

Depending on the model, the standard IBM warranty can be as long as 3 years. I purchased a T21 just over 3 years ago; just into year 2 the display started going flakey. I called their tech support line and after discussing the problem they express shipped a carton with return shipping paid. I sent off my Thinkpad, and had it back repaired 2 days later.

The only item not covered is the battery.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:03 AM on September 6, 2004

In comparison to other brands' warranty and repair services (Dell and Apple - this means you), my experiences with IBM's depot repair have been astonishingly quick and easy. No arguing from the techs on the phone. No blaming a physical problem on the OS. I even received my repaired laptop back within 24 hours of shipping. Obviously this won't happen all the time, but their repair times are not measured in months, like others.

Look for models that offer spill / drop insurance. It's not offered on all models and there was some legalese about not being valid for machines used exclusively at home. $150 could save your bacon one day.
posted by sardonista at 7:57 AM on September 6, 2004

AppleCare service is performed by third parties, and the quality of work varies widely. I've had machines come back partially assembled and covered in weird black greasy fingerprints, and I've had careful service. I don't know how well this compares to IBM, but I don't believe an outfit like IBM employs third party repair depots for most service.
posted by majick at 9:46 AM on September 6, 2004

I have used IBM depot repair. They turned around my thinkpad in less than a day.

Also, most thinkpads offer 3 year warranties. Check the machine type against this page.

The spill/drop insurance is here.

Thinkpads are absolutely fantastic in every possible way. Get one.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:33 PM on September 6, 2004

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