I have 2 laptops: a Compaq Presario B3800, 4 years old and an Asus W2P, 1 year old. I like both brands especially for the excellent after service they provide (at least here in Seoul). The reason I decided to try Asus instead of another HP or Compaq was uniquely based on the fact that the Compaq almost 6 months old had a visible crack on one of the hinges serving the opening and closing of the monitor. When I took the laptop under warranty to HP after service they changed the cover on the spot. 6 months later the crack reappeared but this time on both hinges (obviously a design flaw). It isn't affecting in the least the closing or opening of the laptop, but it is nevertheless an eye sore when you realize they are there. Enter Asus, with their sale pitch "Rock solid", the laptop's outer shell is almost all metal and feels indeed quite solid. After 8 months of use, guess what? One of the hinges not only almost cracked open but it would make that awful creaking noise typical of old doors. Under warranty I took it in and they changed the cover on the spot. When I asked whether it was a common problem the technician told me half of the machines of this model were affected. He also added that statistically I might get the same problem in 16 months, and out of warranty the cover would cost around 75 dollars. Now my question is, if there are design flaws, why should the user pay? It is true that most laptops after 5 years become virtually disposable, but why such a low tech thing like a hinge should be neglected in a device that is supposed to be opened and closed frequently, it defies any rational answer. The first question I'm going to ask when I buy my next laptop will be about how solid the hinges are!