Notebook makers: change your warranties for RAM upgrades, please

Q1_45Just a mild, mid-day rant on the subject of RAM and small notebooks. In this day and age, what kind of sense does it make for notebook manufacturers to claim a warranty is void by adding memory to a device? I completely understand the concept of a warranty and realize that it’s near impossible to support every possible hardware tweak a user may want to do. I’m not suggesting the central concept be thrown out the window by any means and I believe that heavy-duty tinkering under the hood should render a warranty null and void. But let’s look at the situation as it applies to memory.

Many new devices are coming with minimal memory amounts in the 512 KB to 1 GB range. However, many of these same devices are advertised as capable of increased RAM capacities and some even offer a second, open SoDIMM slot. It’s a catch-22 though: if you take advantage of the advertised feature and upgrade your RAM, you risk voiding your warranty. It’s like advertising for an included feature that you effectively can’t use.Here’s my suggestion: going forward, companies should design their device to either make the RAM user-upgradeable or not. Allow for a simple cover to be removed that has access only to the RAM slots and don’t void a warranty if said cover is removed. You’ll make your customers happier, give them more options and won’t make them feel like psuedo-criminals for taking advantage of the full capabilities in the device you designed. Plan B would be to simply offer the full amount of possible RAM to begin with… the Q1UP with XP was only available with 1 GB, yet is capable of two.Wondering if I believe I should be out of warranty for the RAM upgrade I performed on my Samsung Q1UP? I sure do, but that’s a risk I knowingly and willingly took. The RAM wasn’t easy to access and I had to take the entire device apart. There’s a good example of when the “out-of-warranty” argument should be applied. In the case of my Asus Eee PC which has a cover specific to the RAM and one other slot? Absolutely not… there’s not too much I could muck about with under the hood in that example. Thoughts?

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