iconimg Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Gagandeep Sapra
February 25, 2013
I want to buy a laptop with a 4GB RAM, a 15'' screen, a 500GB hard disk drive, a third generation Intel Core i3 processor, a Windows OS, and a 1GB graphic card (optional). My budget is R40,000. Which brand do you suggest - HP, Dell or any other?
- Anil Kumar
Since you have specified a budget and your needs are clearly spelt out, you would need to figure out if HP and Dell have machines in the given price segment with the specifications you require. Both are great companies with good service support. However, there are cities where the service level of a Dell vs an HP does change - and this can only be checked with your friends in that city. Do thresh out a few important details. First, if you plan to use the laptop for more than three years, check if the original equipment manufacturer provides warranty beyond three years, and what is the cost to extend the warranty from 1 year (default) to 3 years, and beyond. Secondly, do look into a warranty called 'Accidental Damage' to cover situations like the machine getting dropped, water spillage, and so on. Also, in the past, we found it easier to find spares for HP laptops compared to Dell, but that's changing now.

I tried my MTNL SIM card in a Motorola mobile from the US. My son had used it for two years before he switched over to a newer handset. However, the mobile does not work with the India SIM. Please advise.
- SS Mandrekar

Though it is difficult to pin-point the precise reason without the exact model number, there are a few possibilities you need to look at. First, the cellphone could be a CDMA handset and you may have tried a GSM SIM, or vice versa. Secondly - and this is more probable -  the cellphone is still locked and registered for use with your son's service provider. In the US you can buy a cellphone with a contract, and pay much less upfront, then pay the balance as a part of your service plan. At the end of the contract, the cellphone can be released only by obtaining an unlock code from the service provider. I would suggest you speak to your son and ask him to check with his service provider.

(Gagandeep Sapra is a technology entrepreneur, who calls himself The Big Geek)