Evaluating PC's

Posted on 2012-09-03
Last Modified: 2012-09-19
Hi all

I'm currently evaluating these workstations for my organization, a corporate, insurance industry.

(1) HP Elitebook Folio 9470m
(2) HP Compaq Elite 8300 Small Form Factor PC
(3) Dell OptiPlex 9010 Mini Tower PC

Would like feedback from my fellow Expert Exchange’ers – given the choice between the 3, which one would you likely to go for if cost is not a factor? And why?

I do realise one of them is actually a laptop but the laptop would be docked and secured..

Thanks in advance.
Question by:autotrix
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Unfortunately, you're asking a question that is much like asking which is the best flavor of Ice Cream - chocolate or vanilla?  

    Everyone has opinions... Personally, I hate HP.  Their support, as I've experienced it, has been abysmal.  I once had to call just to ask a capability question on an old server - the response was "I'll have to open a support ticket for $250 to answer that..." SERIOUSLY?  $250 to ask if the server supports x technology?  How is that customer service?  And then there's the problem of parts - I've had them - under warranty - issue the wrong parts - on a SAN with 2.5" drives, they shipped 3.5" drives DAYS later as replacements.

    With Dell, I've not had seriousl problems like that.  Their support hasn't been perfect, but it's been better than HPs in my opinion.  And if someone wants to argue that I didn't call the right support, my answer is that if that's true, there are too many support numbers to call - the serial number should route me into the proper queue, not the phone number I call.  With Dell, that's what seems to happen.

    As for quality, I RARELY call Dell support because the Optiplex line is, USUALLY, rock solid in my opinion.  On the occasions that a part is needed - a drive fails, etc - it's fairly easy to get a new part on its way and the part received is next business day and to-date, always correct.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    While I don't share Lee's bias against HP support (likely because we've had different experiences),  I agree that Dell's support for business class systems is excellent (I don't think the personal support is nearly as good).

    .. and I AM biased towards cases that provide good airflow -- which the mini-tower in the Dell will do much better than a laptop or SFF system.     So we reach the same conclusion with regard to the systems you asked about ==>  go with the Optiplex 9010 :-)
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    I like both HP and Dell PCs, since I own an HP dv5t, use an HP z600, and purchased a Dell Inspiron 15R for a non-profit.  I don't like the SFF machines because they tend to overheat and you don't get a good return on the money spent on them.  Laptops are not really designed to run for long periods of time - they are geared to be portable, and compromise in other areas in order to do that.  That leaves the Dell Optiplex as my choice.
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    The good thing about HP is you can find a local vendor and they will service the warranty. I agree with most and would stay away from the SFF machines. If I were to pick one, I would take the HP 8300 and replace the disk with an SSD. It will reduce the heat in the chassis considerably and because of its lower profile it will also provide more airflow.

    The previous comment from leew (whom I often agree with BTW) and regarding support could have been easily remedied by asking for the local vendor. That is the attractive part of HP's model it is a shame that more businesses do not utilize it.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Unfortunately I don't view local vendors as a solution to my experience.  The client is a huge company with offices in multiple continents and at least a dozen cities with hundreds of servers throughout... you'd think they'd want to treat large customers like that right... And there should be ONE number to call... not a yellow pages... my philosophy anyway...
    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    Oh, I understand that point. I have a rebuttal but cannot make it in a public forum due to the language involved. Suffice it to say that they both have their limitations, and if you are calling tech support on a desktop issue that would result in a "click this button issue" it does not matter what brand you choose. I too have have hundreds of servers on several continents and have had no problem with HP or Dell.

    Pick on chassis design and warranty. nothing else matters. I have a plenty of  that are HP on servers and Dell on desktops. I Have one that is Dell Servers and lenovo desktops. That is my least favorite client.
    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    Ok, I'll chime in.  I prefer HP over Dell as far as quality and support.

    On our Dell dekstops which are Optiplex 380's I've had many power supplies go bad, had motherboard go bad.

    Support from Dell is a pain in the butt.  Once I'm on the phone with a person it taked 15 minutes to get the ticket created. This is after describing the problem and all of the steps I have taken.

    When they say "Can you hold for 7-9 minutes while your ticket is created" I always cringe.

    HP is much faster in ticket creation and I have less issues with their hardware.

    The level of support is of course what your company is willing to pay for it.  We have a goverment accont and get through much faster.

    I was so glad when we went back to HP from Dell after dealing with them for 1 year. The only thing I hate is that we have 1 years' worth of computers that won't rotate out of use for 4 years.

    The hold HP desktops that have rotated out were still running strong when we scrapped them.

    I would also suggest using desktops instead of laptops unless there is a need for laptops.

    You can replace parts yourself more easily than waiting for a service tech to come out.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for your inputs guys.

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