Monday, July 10, 2017

Issues with the Metabox N870HJ laptop

Rememeber I bought a new laptop few months back?

For the most part, it is running very well. The keyboard is my favourite part. I can type way faster on this keyboard than the Corsair K70 LUX mechanical keyboard I have on my desktop PC.

But there are two issues with it that I haven’t been able to fix so far.

Track pad is garbage

The track pad is rubbish. I don’t know how they managed to make this so bad. The benchmark - the MacBook Air - is leagues ahead of it. But the MacBook Air wasn’t that great in Windows. So I believe it is partially due to the software.

Fuunny thing is that this laptop has the Microsoft Precision trackpad. It never advertised like that. I tried with various settings in Touchpad settings pane in Windows Settings (that’s a lot of settings) application, but I still haven’t been able to settle down with something that I liked.

Random (soft) freezes

I experience freezes every now and then. I initially thought they were hard lockups, but then by chance, I found out that if you put it to standby (by closing the lid), it would go into standby. If you open the lid, it would resume fine with no sign of any lockup. I thought it was the graphics driver. But running with either the Intel driver or the NVidia driver did not make any difference. It could be something else.

It is really difficult to troubleshoot this because this doesn’t happen often. It could happen daily. Or it might not happen for a week. There aren’t any errors in the Event Log either. I don’t have much bloatware installed because the laptop didn’t come with Windows installed in the first place. I installed it. But I am using this tool called Obsidian Tools to download and install all the latest drivers and software for it. So it could be one of those drivers that is messing with things.

I think reinstalling Windows and only installing the bare minimum set of drivers would probably be the way to go. If it works fine, then I can create a back up of it and experiment with one new driver per week or something.

The audio output is terrible

This is a real issue but this is not fixable. This is how it is and I have to live with it. Both the quality of the sound output and the volume are terrible.

Conclusion

I think I would be able to fix that 2nd issue (freezes) by reinstalling Windows. I should do this when I have some time.

The laptop is decent otherwise. It is holding up as well as I expected. It was not that cheap honestly, but I got a lot of hardware for that money. Sure, there were couple of better deals during the End of Financial Year sales in June on similar SKUS, but I have no regrets jumping on the purchase a couple of months before that.

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