A tale of two laptops

Not too long ago, I had the (dubious) pleasure of taking two laptops apart for the same reason. On both of them I needed to replace the cooling fans.

The first was a joy. An old Acer laptop Рflip it over, four screws and all the useful components are easily accessible via one panel.

The Good – a nicely designed Acer


The other, an HP, was an absolute nightmare to work on. Apart from removing the keyboard, screen, DVD drive, great chunks of the case had to be dismantled and the whole motherboard removed. All so it could be flipped over to reach the necessary components.

The Bad – a nightmare to work on – the innards of an HP laptop

But it could have been even worse, I suppose. As laptops become smaller and sleeker, they become harder to repair, if not impossible. Perhaps the worst culprit of this is Apple, who now solder and glue some of their components in. Either that, or use their own proprietary screws.

The Ugly – Apple’s Pentalobe screw

There is a slow but constant shift towards disposable IT hardware, where things are either impossible or just plain uneconomical to repair.



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Jonathan Gwyer

Jonathan Gwyer first delved into geekery with a ZX81 in 1981 and has been working in IT since 1990.

A Microsoft Certified Professional with many years of large corporate experience and training, he now focuses on helping small businesses make the most of their IT.
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A tale of two laptops

by Jonathan Gwyer time to read: 1 min