There is a class of laptop that I refer to as a “traptop”. Buying this class of computer is akin to stepping in a trap, and I have warned my readers about these in past years. And here I am again, writing about Traptops in 2023, because they are changing and still causing harm to my customers.
Traptops lure in people with great, low prices and amazingly positive descriptions. Consider this laptop on special sale right now at Amazon for the Prime Days. It looks like a pretty sweet deal at $287 for a 17″ Windows computer! But it isn’t. Please do not consider buying this dreadful device. As I say often: You will live to regret it.
Here are the criticisms I can levy on this computer:
Storage: These laptops start at 128GB of storage. And that’s not so bad, but please know that Windows 11 and its initial big updates will gobble 30-40GB of space. If you plan on storing much data, you’ll need more storage capacity. And this laptop only offers a slot for a MicroSD card. Those are extra-fragile, and I would not recommend using them for anything important.
Processor: A traptop often comes with a very underpowered processor, like an Intel Celeron. That CPU is not good at handling the weight of Windows 11. It will bog down quickly, if you leave Chrome open for too long, or during a virus scan, or even during a big Windows Update. And you cannot upgrade the processor down the road. If you plan on running Windows, avoid processors with names like Celeron, Silver, Gold and just Pentium. Those are fine for Chromebooks, but not for heavy-lifting.
Deliberately Hobbled: These computers are designed to spare all expense. They cut corners and then they cut corners off of those corners, to drive the cost down as far as is possible. And to the regular consumer, these tactics are invisible. But I and others can describe what’s going on, under the hood.
A traptop’s build cost can be cut if you eliminate the cooling fans. But to eliminate cooling fans, you must also eliminate heat. A processor has to create some heat, though. So to reduce the heat, the motherboard is programmed to throttle the already-pitiful Celeron processor.
Lack of Support: You can get into trouble with any new computer, and your first call might be to the manufacturer. No one wants to call the maker of the computer for help. But at least you can do that with an HP laptop or a Dell desktop. I have a feeling it’s not the same with a SGIN computer.
I’ve looked over the Amazon listing for their cheapest SGIN computer. I’ve done a bit of Googling and other searches. I cannot for the life of me find a website or contact number for SGIN. How would I contact the manufacturer, if I have trouble with this device? Send a message through the Amazon website?
PS: While I do not put much faith in Amazon reviews, they do reveal how bad the support level is with SGIN. Pick a SGIN computer, go to the Reviews and click on the 1-Star ratings. You’ll quickly see the suffering others have gone through.
There are many other traptops out there to beware of, so take this info and apply it wherever you see a computer that has a too-good-to-be-true pricepoint. Amazon is the worst offender that I see right now for traptops. But I should like to heap shame also on Wal*Mart and eBay for permitting these to be sold on their platforms, as well.
In general, I want to see a Windows computer with at least 8GB of RAM, a true Solid State Drive and at least an Intel i3 processor. Less than that is asking for trouble. And stick to the big brand names: HP, Dell, Acer, Asus, Lenovo. Pass over that Liánjià Lèsè Laptop or anything with a similarly curious name.
And please feel free to reach out to me before you buy your next computer. I am happy to give you my opinion on your future PC purchase!