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Fujitsu Offers Free Laptop Upgrades For Life 166

Barence writes "Fujitsu Siemens is offering its customers free laptop upgrades for life with its Lifebook4Life scheme. Customers buying a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook will be offered a free upgrade three years after their original purchase, and every subsequent three years for the rest of their life — as long as they purchase an extended three-year warranty. Customers will have to hope inflation stays low, though: the value of each new notebook cannot exceed the value of the previous one, adjusted 10% for inflation. Fujitsu says the scheme is profitable, and a raft of small print ensures plenty of people will find they've excluded themselves from the scheme for all sorts of reasons."
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Fujitsu Offers Free Laptop Upgrades For Life

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  • by x1n933k ( 966581 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:21AM (#25908145) Homepage

    It's a scam, that's awefully direct:

    "Fujitsu says the scheme is profitable, and a raft of small print ensures plenty of people will find they've excluded themselves from the scheme for all sorts of reasons."

    Or this a case of another bad summary...


  • Hmm (Score:0, Interesting)

    by El Lobo ( 994537 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:29AM (#25908183)
    While it sounds good in theory: how much can you possibly upgrade a laptop? From the article you cannot say exactly what is considered to be an upgrade. Memory: you can only upgrade up to the limit the current motherboard supports, 4 Gb or whatever. After that, a new main board is needed and I really doubt that will be considered an upgrade.

    Laptops have integrated graphic cards, sound cards and NICs, so no upgrade is possible here, other than changing the whole main board...

    The screen, sure can be changed, but not upgraded to a new size easily...

    The catch is that a laptop cannot be easily "upgraded" as a desktop computer.

  • Free (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:43AM (#25908241)

    "Customers ... will be offered a free upgrade ... as long as they purchase"

          The complete ignorance of the majority of people where money is concerned is what has us in this whole financial crisis. It's NOT FREE IF YOU HAVE TO PAY SOMETHING, DAMMIT. At best this is a "membership" or "subscription" deal that has lots of strings attached to make sure it's very easy for you NOT to get your upgrades (like say losing the original receipt or not registering within 21 days (from TFA)), and forces you to pay an undetermined amount for the rest of your life to the manufacturer.

          Reading the fine print you will probably find out that they can change the price or cancel the plan whenever they want without notice. And of course what guarantee do you have that your "replacement" will be a competitive model?

  • Re:I have to agree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:01AM (#25908321)

    Most batteries simply loose capacity over time. I have heard a number of 30% per year capacity loss for many rechargeable batteries, even when the battery is not in use. After about three years most batteries simply need replacement.

    My four-year-old iBook is still doing about two hours on a battery charge, I'm impressed. Only 60% capacity loss after all those years.

  • Re:I have to agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jg ( 16880 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:51AM (#25908573) Homepage

    Batteries are a big profit center for companies. One of the things we worked hard on the OLPC to achieve is extended battery life.

    You can trade somewhat lower capacity for longevity. Basically, if you are charging the battery, and take it to full charge, you are in fact damaging the battery slightly. So we don't fully charge the battery, so we can get many, many more cycles out of them (we use LiFE, batteries as well, which are much safer than LiIon.

    So that extra 10% or so of "run-time" ensures you'll wear out the battery quite quickly, and you'll buy expensive batteries for the life of the laptop.

    So you see marketing on how long your laptop will run, but not how long the battery will last.
    In our case, the kids may be literally days or weeks from anywhere you might ship replacement batteries to (presuming they aren't stolen on the way), even if they or their school could afford to replace them.

    One of the parts of a low power machine such as ours is that our batteries can be much smaller and cheaper as well, if they do need replacement (or you want a spare).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:00AM (#25908645)
    "Even if they came to the US, stay away from them. They're like the European equivalent of Packard Bell."

    Except they are half Japanese and this type of "support" is common practice in their Japanese server market. They simply don't "grok" the western way of doing IT but they must be doing something right in Japan if they can afford to walk away from a billion pound government contract in the UK without the mass redundancies you would expect to see in a western company.

    AC and terribly biased because I work for Fujitsu. Unlike EDS and IBM (who I have also worked for), Fujitsu still have this quaint cultural thing whereby they respect ALL their employees, not just the high-flyers but also the guy who scrubs their toilet.
  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:22AM (#25908817) Homepage Journal

    I find it outrageous that still to this day we are trying to find new reasons for people to throw away their computers instead of actually encouraging them to KEEP THEM.

    But what else could you possibly get from a system that judges a company solely on its sales? Our economic system provides strong incentives to build products that break in as short a time as possible, and can't be repaired, so you must buy a new one. Complain all you like (and we all do), but unless you're doing something to reward a company for durability, you're not solving the problem.

    And yes you can always donate your computer to charity.

    Doesn't this machine come with MS windows? We've already discussed the fact that, if you donate a Windows machine, the license for the software probably doesn't transfer along with it. Yes, I know the MS PR people claim that they have a way to transfer licenses. But I have a number of friends working for charitable organizations who will tell you about the grief and wasted time from trying to get permission to legally run the software. Mostly, they failed at this, and either paid the retail price for a license, or more often they just trashed the hardware. If you go to the web site for MS's Microsoft Open License for Charities [], you'll see that they don't actually talk about transferring the original license. The site tells you how to purchase licenses at a special price.

    So if you donate your computer to charity, you may be sticking that charity with the expense of a software license.

  • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @11:39AM (#25908945)

    Yep, this offer is great for folks that subscribe to record clubs, 10-year gym contracts, "free" tire rotations, vacation time-shares, tenth-cone-free punch cards, and all that.

    The rest of us value lack of lock-in.

  • by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @12:30PM (#25909399)

    I have a Stylistic 3500 slate. It's only a 500 Celeron but it's a stonker of a machine for what it is. Given that I purchased it secondhand four years ago, Fujitsu weren't hesitant to replace the panel when the touch sensor expired for no charge save shipping. Nice one, FS!

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Thursday November 27, 2008 @02:07PM (#25910069) Homepage

    Interesting, i knew several people who worked for Fujitsu and they never mentioned this, they seemed quite unhappy there (hence why they left).

  • Re:I have to agree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mgblst ( 80109 ) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:07PM (#25912345) Homepage

    Did you know there is a disadvantage to doing this with the new MacBook Pros. They run 30% slower without the battery in them, by design.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.