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January 04, 2010

Getac now offers 5-year warranties!

Sometimes the most amazing news is not a product announcement. That's what I thought when I saw Getac's press release about offering 5-year "bumper-to-bumper" warranties for all their rugged notebook computers. That's a long time.

According to Getac, the new warranty covers all of their fully rugged computers (i.e. the A790, B300, E100, M230 and V100 models) delivered on or after January first of this year. And the warranty includes "damage that occurs due to accidental acts and exposure to environmental conditions". According to Getac president Jim Rimay, they did that because in these tough economic times, computers are more likely replaced on a 5-year cycle instead of the 3-year upgrading cycle of more prosperous times. By offering a full 5-year warranty, customers will not incur additional service/warranty fees if they keep their equipment longer. The 5-year warranty is also a welcome change, the press release says, to governments and other large entities where getting approval for equipment repair can be a lengthy and involved process (it can, I've been there).

Five years is a long time, and especially so for a product that is designed to be used outdoors and under demanding environmental conditions where it is much more likely that computers are dropped, bumped around, rained on, and just generally experience conditions far from those in a nice, warm, clean office. It'd be interesting to know the actual mechanics of the warranty, what all is included, if certain items are excluded, what the turn-around is, shipment costs and so on. I am sure Getac thought this through, and we'll put in an inquiry to the folks at Getac.

How important are warranties and service in this field? Extremely so. I've personally visited the service and repair facilities of the leaders in the rugged computer market and came away more than impressed. Unlike in the commercial market where service is often hit-or-miss, with rugged systems failure rates, failure statistics and service turn-around times are meticulously recorded and managed. That's because with rugged systems, total cost of ownership matters and a good reputation for service and a good warranty definitely represent a strategic advantage.

Getac is on to something here, and offering a 5-year warranty definitely offers significant value-added to their products.

Posted by conradb212 at January 4, 2010 04:18 PM