Alternatives to TinyGreenPC/CompuLab low energy, 5-year warranty computer?

  wildside 20:53 26 Nov 2014

Hopefully my dispute with TinyGreenPC over their two defective ComuLab fitPC3 units will be resolved immanently, and I will be able to buy something of quality that works! But what and who to trust now? I live off-grid in a remote jungle area of Belize, with few resources available in the area, so I need a low-energy, RELIABLE computer. The bogus 5-year warranty is what suckered me into buying from TinyGreen, plus thinking they were an environmentally conscious "green" company. How disappointing to find the computers are made in Israel, and are marketed to the surveillance industry! I am totally opposed to all the snooping,spying, backdoors and big brother surveillance, and I would never have wanted to buy one if I had known that up front!

But now the question is, what are the options? I had an Aleutia solid state that lasted for 6 years, with the only problem a hard drive replacement under warranty. Last March the motherboard went south, and I couldn't get a replacement from them. They told me their newer models would be out in August, which would be the best unit for me, but then reneged and said they were only dealing with large commercial accounts from now on. So that's how I came to find TinyGreen.

I have a monitor & peripherals, so just need the low-energy desktop unit and appropriate adapters. All comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated... this is a very important decision for me, and I can't afford to make another mistake like I did with TinyGreen/Anders Electronics!

  Woolwell 13:53 27 Nov 2014

I don't think that you can claim it is a bogus 5 year warranty based on your experience. You haven't had the refund yet and have had difficulty contacting them but that does not make the warranty bogus and can be regarded as defamatory.

I have sympathy with your problems but a relatively quick search turned up many of things that you are now complaining about. Caveat emptor perhaps?

It is very difficult to advise on any computer without knowing what it is going to be used for eg very light use or more intensive including video editing and gaming and all in between. Plus what budget you may have.

An added complication is Belize where there is shipping costs, possible import duties and possible problems with warranties.

Have you considered a USA supplier that meets the latest Energy Star requirements. Alternatively if your budget stretches to it you may want to consider the MS Surface Pro which could be connected to a monitor.

  john bunyan 16:08 27 Nov 2014

It may be worth a call or e mail to the British High Commission in Belize; I would think they may have a contact you could talk to. The UK carries out Jungle Warfare training there but the unit concerned is difficult to speak to...

High Commission Belize

  wildside 18:47 30 Nov 2014

Thanks to you both for your advice. I need some different trains of thought to get through this.

What about this unit? It gets some decent reviews, and maybe I can use the SATA drive and memory from the Aleutia to get it up and running?

click here have the SATA in one of those cases so I can use it like a flash drive... could that just go into the new unit and work without having to install any new software?

I don't do any heavy computing, mostly word processing, publication layout with some graphics and my website, with some downloaded videos for entertainment.


  Forum Editor 09:41 01 Dec 2014

Calling a warranty 'bogus' without concrete evidence with which to support the allegation is a foolish thing to do, even if you have had a disappointing experience.

Similarly, I find it difficult to understand why the fact that a computer might be manufactured in Israel has any bearing on its quality. Computers - or their components - are manufactured all over the world, and why on earth should selling to the surveillance industry make any difference? Virtually every computer component manufacturer makes items that end up in all kinds of devices - surveillance equipment included.

Deciding who to trust is something you have to do - others can make recommendations, based on their personal experience, and you can do your own research. However in the end you are on your own when it comes to a purchasing decision.

Woolwell's advice above seems pretty sound to me.

  wildside 15:52 01 Dec 2014

Having training at Ball Aerospace and worked in an electronics assembly environment for many years, even writing some of their quality control guidelines, I can assure you that 2 defective units that do not work straight out of the box, sent to one customer, out of the thousands manufactured and shipped all over the world is a serious quality control problem. What are odds against that happening? The fact that the second unit showed evidence that it was a previously returned unit, and they tried to pass it off on me as a new, TESTED AND FUNCTIONAL unit, tells even more about their "warranty." I do not think I am so special as to be the only customer who has experienced this kind of service! However, I may be the only customer who has had so much time wasted, and so much extra $ out of my pocket wasted, and has the determination to recover it.

As for the comment regarding Israel and surveillance equipment, being an environmentally sensitive person with a conscience, I think it matters for people to support and spend their $$ in ways that support their ideals. Sometimes it's impossible to tell, but once discovered, it's hypocritical to do otherwise.

I agree, the advice given was well thought out, and well received.

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