I CAN NOT COMPLAIN. IT LASTED ME ALMOST TEN YEARS W/O PROBLEMS. SO FAR THE FAN WENT OUT WHICH LED TO THE POWER SUPPLY OVER HEATING. IF YOU DIVIDE $1,000BY 10 YEARS THATS $100 A YEAR AND IT STILL WORKS. AFTER ANOTHER $60 INVESTMENT FOR REPAIRS IT STILL WORKS.
I bought the ecs i-buddie a928 a few years back. I at first got it with no hard drive, ram and processor so I could put in what I wanted.
So when I went to actually put in a 30 gig drive, 512mb ram and an amd 1800xp, it would not post, just the fan would go and lights on no lcd screen or bios beep. I battled with ecs to fix it they said it was the way I put the processor in, and I know how to put a processor in. I decided to suck it up and pay to fix it, it took over a year for me to get it back, somehow it was lost, and they failed to return my laptop case I sent it in.
So it's up in running, after a few months it started to reboot, and shut down when it felt like. I reseached the error and found hundreds of people with the same issue. It appears the power cord gets to hot and either melts, the ground wire seperates from the motherboard and a few other issues, of course all these customers tried to get ecs to fix it and they get the same answer, that it is from wear and tear not a defect. The fix is to get another lower gauge ground pin soldered on the motherboard which a lot of people have done for about $150usd.
I have backed up all my data as I am waiting for the day it will never turn back on and am wondering if it is worth the money or just take the drive, processor and ram and cut my losses.
Never by anything from ECS, the support is far from helpful and they just turn there back on there customers. I think someone should start a lawsuit for these desknotes.
Email me if you are intrested maybe we can get something started here.
I purchased this machine over three years ago, with the full knowledge that it was NOT a laptop. It was a portable desktop replacement. I had been waiting years for just such a beast, and this gave it to me. I run it into a full sized monitor at home, with a desktop keyboard and optical mouse (both USB 2.0) and it works just like a desktop computer in every way that I need. I do a lot of video editing and DVD manufacture and with an external DVD burner (USB 2.0) it runs just fine. When I occasionally need to take it somewhere, I put it in a padded computer backpack with all the accessories I need (it is heavy) and I take it with me. Then I use the integrated keyboard and a spare USB mouse that I carry also, and the LCD screen that is attached. It performs fine there too. If on the really rare occasion that I need it away from a power source, the external power UPS available as an option makes it fully functional then also. I did not have any misconception about this being a laptop. I have two of those also. I wanted it for what it is. Now I have upgraded it to 1GB of RAM and am looking to put in a larger HDD now that they have 7200RPM laptop hard drives. ECS technical says I cannot do this because of heat issues, but we'll see. I have never had a problem with overheating, but maybe I don't tax it enough to drive the heat up. The fan cuts in when it seems to be thinking hard, and video editing can cause this, but the processor never seems overworked. It came with a Pentium 4A 2.4 Ghz processor and a 184 pin DDR ram stick, which is not portable components. The Hard Drive is a 2.5 which does bottleneck it a little. It does have a printer port (parallel) but lacks a serial port, so needs a serial to USB adapter cord. It also lacks a card slot, but as it has everything built in for LAN and internet, I have not found this to be a problem. After three years, I am still not looking for a new desktop computer to replace this, but I had looked for this to replace desktops for years. All in all, the best computer purchase I have ever made, and I have owned in the neighborhood of fifty, over my thirty five years of computer use. (read TRS80 as my first personal box and the NORAD defense systems room sized behemoths at work)
Anybody not happy with their ECS I-Buddie4 A928 and wants to sell it to me cheap, just let me know. Must not be DOA. I don't need any anchors.
Elitegroup ESC desknote iBuddie A 929 user review
I bought this laptop at the beginning of 2002 (august 2004 now) with an 1800 Atlon XP, 256MB Ram (upgraded afterwards with an 512MB Infineon module) a 30gb Fujitsu Hdd and a DVD CDRW combo for about 900 Euros.
It came with windows XP Professional edition but for some good reasons I wanted to have windows 2000 installed. The install went fine until I wanted to install the drivers from the original driver CD. It was a no go situation until I had the idea to make a copy of the supplied CD. Afterwards everything went just fine. The reason why I could only install from a self-made copy and not from the ORIGINAL CD is beyond me.
Under windows 2k this laptop was rock stable I cant remember a single crash. I also had Suse linux 9.0 personal edition on it with everything working just fine.
The first problem appeared 3 (three!) months after purchase: the power supply connector just melted and one of the three pins remained in the power plug. I mean if grandma would start building laptops things like this may happen, but ?!? Whatever.
Called the guys from ECS here in Germany, wrote several emails. They didn?t even try to appear helpful. So much about ECS support! , I took the matter in my own hands, opened the thing and soldered the dammed connector.
I had again problems with the computer about two months later. On occasions it would not boot, I would get only the suspend led on, the processor fan and a black screen. It would start maybe after several hours or the next day. After some internet search I founded a bios update which would fix this (at least so was written on their web site). I know better because I installed that update and the erratic behavior continued just like before. Well I founded there several other updates, one suppressing a real loud and nasty beep that the computer is making each time is started and the other which would make the pretty loud cpu fan (placed right in front of you) turn only when needed. For reasons beyond my understanding you can have only one of them at the same time - that is, either the one which was intended to fix my problem with the failing boot, either the one removing the start up beep (believe me I know what I mean when I say it?s nasty) or the one reducing the noise of the cooler). At that time I choose the update removing the beep. Just checked on their web site, it appears that they had removed the last two. Nice one ECS!
Other gripes: at one time I tried to install Thiz linux (ECS edition) which also came with the laptop. So I made partitions, popped the CD in, booted from it just to get the message that it can?t be installed from the CD. Don?t ask me why. It presented me with the option to install over some pcmcia adapter. Funny thing is this laptop does NOT have a pcmcia adapter at all.
The speed of this computer with a 1800 XP athlon and 512MB RAM somehow reached the speed of my 1.3 ghz duron desktop with 256MB memory. (I did some mp3 and video encoding benchmarks on both of them)
This laptop gets HOT! Good think they called it a desknote. It has two plastic supports on the bottom far side, something like a desktop keyboard. They recommend that you extend them so that some air gets under the computer. They are the flimsiest thing ever built in a computer. Mine broke in first two weeks of use.
The size and weight of this computer: Even without a battery is heavier than every other 14? full option laptop I got my hands on. Add the big noisy power supply unit and you are ready to go.
Good things: it has a decent keyboard, a bright screen and good speakers.
That is about it.
Do yourself a favor, and buy from a brand you can trust, which ISN'T this one. I bought this computer because I'm a power user, and the dealer gave me a pitch about how powerful this computer is, with it's fast processor, large hard drive and lots of RAM. It should be noted that some of the shortcomings belong to the dealer, who didn't stress that this is NOT intended for use as a laptop, but rather a "desktop replacement." Since it doesn't take up much less space than a desktop, I'm not sure why a desktop needs replacing, but at least the manufacturer has the good grace not to try to pass this monstrosity off as a laptop. Yes, there are 4 USB ports... but there are no ports for a printer, common peripherals like a Palm cradle, or even an external mouse. This means newer peripherals, or clunky adapters. Yes, it has a powerful external battery... but that's because there is NO, I repeat NO internal battery. I had this computer for about six months when the hard drive failed. The damage was apparently caused by the normal bumping of being carried in a laptop bag, brought on a plane as carry-on and so forth. The unit was never dropped, and was handled more carefully than I've handled other laptops, but this one isn't intended to be toted around in the real world. Read: fragile - handle with care, if you must touch it at all. To make matters worse, when I turned it in under warranty (through the dealer, since the company refused to even speak to me directly), I got it back about six weeks later, with a 20GB hard drive in place of the 30 that had been in before. No effort was made by the dealer or the mfg to correct the discrepancy. When I pushed it, they offered to LET me ship it back to California and wait another month for it. I ate the 10 gigs. The second time I turned it in, it was because the power cord had MELTED inside the machine's port. That's right; that
's how hot this baby gets. Another month later, I got back what was supposed to be a new machine. I don't know whether the manufacturer lied to the dealer, or the dealer lied to me, but unless someone took the time to reposition the stickers and such in EXACTLY the same, unusual way I did, this was the same machine. Six month later, here I am ordering new cables again, because the machine's melted two battery cables and a power supply cable in the past three weeks. When I complained to the manufacturer, they directed me to a web page where I can pay them to diagnose the problem. I'm an independent software developer and technology consultant, and I've made my living on computers for about a decade. If you want to actually be productive with a computer, instead of just showing off the big screen, leave the DeskNote alone. If you expect to be even nominally mobile, don't even think about the DeskNote. Get a computer from a reputable company like Toshiba, Dell, IBM or a host of others that have proven themselves with reliable hardware and dependable support. Incidentally, I've replaced my $1,800 DeskNote with a $350 used Thinkpad that starts faster, runs better, works with nearly all peripherals and which I can actually take on the road with me. It may have lower specs, but I consider it an upgrade. I'm looking to sell the DeskNote at a significant loss.