nVidia Settlement

Waaaaay back in 2006 I bought a Dell Inspiron E1705 as a desktop replacement so that I could sit on the couch with my wife while I was checking email, working on writing, etc.  It worked great for everything I wanted to do and because I spec’d it out to be a desktop replacement, it had good sound, and the memory, video card, and processor to handle the games I want, as well.  Unfortunately, that means it ran hotter than some of the lower powered laptops and, after just over a year of owning it, the graphics card died… due to overheating, I guessed.  I’ve done computer tech work and the Dell customer service tech confirmed it was the graphics card after asking me their flow chart of questions.  Luckily, I had a three-year warranty and the tech showed up, swapped out the bad card for a good one, and in (maybe) ten minutes he was gone and my laptop was back in working order.  My warranty expired in the fall of 2009, but everything was still working great.  Then, one day in summer of 2010,  while I was away at a three week-class, my graphics card failed.  Fortunately, I’d also brought my work laptop along so I was still able to check email and type up documents for the class… couldn’t play games, though.  I looked up the price of a replacement graphics card and it looked like about $300.  I didn’t want to spend that much to get a four and a half year old laptop back in working order so I figured I’d wait a bit and then buy a new one.  Then, lo and behold, I got a note in the mail about a class action suit against nVidia.  I checked the website, my laptop and it’s problems qualified as one of the models included in the suit, so I registered to be part of the settlement which would be either a new laptop or a replacement graphics card/chip.  Once the settlement was approved by the judge, notifications were sent to those who registered to be notified.  I followed the new link and submitted my claim.  A few weeks ago, I received a letter telling me that my claim had been approved and that a box with shipping instructions would arrive in a week to ten days.  The box arrived and last Tuesday, I sent the box off via pre-paid FEDEX.  The tracking showed it received by Dell last Friday.  On Monday, yesterday, I got two voicemails exactly ten minutes apart.  The first said they’d received my laptop.  The second said the repair was complete and gave me my FEDEX tracking number for the return shipment.  Today, the FEDEX site said the expected delivery date is 4 May… tomorrow.  I’m really looking forward to having my laptop back and being able to not have to rely on my work laptop, esp. since I can’t play games on it.

Initially, I didn’t think that the problem was all nVidia’s problem.  I mean, it could have been a problem with the graphics card, in addition to the way the manufacturer put the laptop together, causing it to get hotter than it should, but I’ve been told that nVidia acknowledged they had a run of bad chips.

Once I’ve received my laptop, I’ll post a follow-up comment…either from it or from my work laptop again.

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