HP's line of laptop products is widely used, and has a high level of overall quality. However, no product is perfectly reliable, so it's likely that you'll need to replace some parts and do upgrades over time. If your laptop is still under warranty, HP typically replaces defective components for you. After the warranty runs out, you have to do some shopping around for upgraded or replacement parts.
The standard warranty for HP laptops is one year for parts and labor. During that time you're also entitled to toll-free technical support, free interactive chat-based support and a variety of other options. Refurbished business laptops carry an identical warranty, while refurbished consumer laptops are warrantied for 90 days. Extended warranties are available for an additional one to two years on most models, and can include options such as pickup and delivery from the service center, accidental damage protection or even on-site service. However, if you're tech-savvy and willing to do your own repairs, it's usually the lower-cost option.
Expect to replace some parts over time. For example, if your keyboard begins to malfunction, you can readily find a replacement through HP-authorized service centers or local electronics retailers. Heavily-used batteries lose capacity, and you'll likely replace at least one during your laptop's lifespan. Power adapters sometimes fail, and so might your hard drive or optical drive. You can replace most of these with either authentic HP parts or aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts sometimes offer similar quality at a lower price. Only attempt major replacements such as screens and motherboards if you're an experienced user.
The usable life of your HP laptop can often be extended with a few simple upgrades. For example, if your laptop came with 2GB of RAM, upgrading to 4GB of RAM can improve your system's performance dramatically. Adding a newer, larger hard drive either as a replacement or as a second drive can also give your system a significant boost. If your system contains a DVD drive, you can probably replace it with a Blu-ray drive with minimal effort. You can perform most of these upgrades with just a screwdriver.
Recalls and Known Issues
Like other manufacturers, HP has had to occasionally recall products because of safety considerations. Each recall has its own dedicated page on HP's support website, where you can enter your serial number to see if your laptop is affected. Aside from recalls, known issues might crop up from time to time. For example, the 2011 to 2012 Envy 15 models had numerous issues of fit and finish, with cosmetic dents and off-kilter touchpads. More seriously, a high-end optional screen had trouble displaying colors accurately. If you experience recurrent problems with your HP, track any pertinent threads on the company's support website, because sometimes fixes or corrected parts are available at no cost.
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