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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Worst Mouse Pad Ever...

Hello again everyone! I hope your Valentine's Day has been well (mine was fanatic). This post is about a personal vexation I have with my Laptop and a warning to unsuspecting buyers on what type of mouse pad NOT to purchase.

The Computer

Model: 2011 HP Pavilion dv7-4100 CTO Select Edition Entertainment Notebook PC.
Processor: Intel Core i5 at 2.52 GHZ
RAM: 8GB DDR Memory
Storage: 750GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 3450 with 512 Dedicated Memory and Switchable with Graphics 
Monitor: 17" 1440x900 Pixel HD Display
Portable Media Storage: LightScribe Blu-Ray ROM + SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW With Double Layer Support
Battery: 8-Cell Lithium Ion at 6 hrs max
Personalization Devices: Web Cam and Fingerprint Reader
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Edition
Keyboard: Full Keyboard with Numerical Pad

So, a brief glance at the machine should indicate that it's pretty decent. Moreover, I got it for a great price - $829.99 with the educator's discount and the Christmas special. I had researched laptops for more than a year prior to this purchase and I thought I had found the machine that would carry me through another few years. What I did not do was play with this machine in person - all research was done online.This post was compiled on the above machine. If I had to rate the machine on a scale from 1 to 10, it would receive a 6! Why?

The Worst Mouse Pad Ever!

The number one reason that I hate my new laptop enough to give it a 6 out of 10 star rating is the mouse pad design. The mouse pad is large and looks great. However, upon further inspection you will find that the left and right click buttons are not separated. That's right the physical button does not separate in the center and the left and right click are differentiated with a painted line. What a crappy design. I hit the right click button when I really want the left click button and the left click button when I want the right click all the time. In fact, at this point in the post it has already happened 4 times (and I am sure it will happen another 5 by the end of the post).

What's worse is that the large single left/right click buttons are also active motion sensors! With my old laptop I could set my index finger (some of you may use your thumb) on the left click button while I used my middle finger to navigate the arrow around the screen (whoops I just hit the right click button again prompting the pop-up menu). With the dv7 mouse pad this is impossible because touching the left/right click buttons, while trying to navigate the cursor makes the cursor jump all around the screen sporadically! Seriously... WTF... this mouse pad is terrible! Don't believe me, see this HP post on a complaint / support forum.

If you thought the problems ended there you would be wrong. The left/right click button is also very difficult to press and makes an obnoxious sound when pressed... it makes the same noise my automatic transmission lever makes when switching from park to drive - and my car is pretty old, if you get my drift.

I have contacted HP, looked at the instructions for the touch pad, and even tried to order a different mouse pad for the machine. All to no avail... the best option (changing the touch pad) is impossible according to HP. The mouse pad is almost unusable and this is no exaggeration. What's worse is that the newest models have a completely different mouse pad which has corrected each and every problem with my mouse pad! I will NEVER buy a laptop again without using it first and I suggest the same to all of you. If I had used this mouse pad for all of 5 minutes, I would have rethought my purchase.

On a quick side note, the keyboard that came with the computer squealed when I pressed the "delete", "space bar", "A", "R", and "Tab" keys. I had to remove the keyboard and use a piece of sandpaper to remove leftover burs which were rubbing against the metal springs in the keyboard design. To fix this issue HP wanted me to send away my computer for 1-2 weeks, as if I have the time to be without my machine...? I share an office with another colleague; can you image what he thought when I was typing a paper? All he could hear was the squeal of my keyboard and the obnoxious click of my mouse pad - not to mention that the fan on this machine is really loud (but that's a different story). What a nightmare!

The lesson which I learned from this fiasco is to always use, play with, and physically inspect your laptop or any other consumer electronic before you purchase. It felt good to write this post and get this complaint off my chest! I have been holding this in for some time now :)

P.S. I will probably never purchase an HP product again... and to think I used to be a proud supporter. I had my last HP business laptop for over 4 years before I decided to buy my new one - not as pleased with the new model as I was with thew old one. As a result of this experience, I will be purchasing a new machine in the next two years.

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