The best laptop for travel? Check the international warranty.

My laptop has required repair eight times since I bought it -- and it's only 2 years old! Fortunately my notebook came with a "next-day international warranty" from Dell. Dell technicians have serviced my laptop in four countries.

On only one occasion the technician was unable to fix the problem. That was in Australia, where an unqualified technician managed to break the machine. A week later, a Thai technician in Bangkok (shown in photo) repaired the damage.

It's well documented that companies have trouble finding qualified technicians in Australia. I suspect the relative difficulty I experienced trying to get this computer repaired in Australia serves as a metaphor for the condition of Australia's economy. Australia has resources, but there are indications the Aussies are not investing sufficiently in their education system. (With a federal election looming, Australians now have a chance to set things right).

Speaking of Dell, Thomas Freedman wrote in the NY Times today,
I heard Michael Dell has declare that Dell Inc. would become “carbon neutral” in its operations by the end of 2008. He said Dell would take inventory of its total greenhouse gas outputs and then develop plans to reduce, eliminate or offset those emissions.
That would be an impressive accomplishment. According Greenpeace, at present Dell stands as the third most environmentally conscious of the major computer companies, ranking behind Nokia and SonyErickson. The 2007 rankings are available at the Greenpeace website.

Buying a laptop and planning to travel? By all means, get one with a decent international warranty.

Photo: A Thai computer technician repairs Jotman's laptop.

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