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who actually makes the M-tech laptops?

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June 25, 2007 7:14:54 PM

I have an M-tech laptop (D470K), which I love and can actually run linux on. But I find the whole process of who makes the computer quite confusing. Sales people at M-tech and Prostar (which has some sort of buisiness relationship with M-tech) are quite vague when I ask where the chasses comes from (apparently Clevo), and what exactly they are putting into it. I guess Prostar takes the Clevo chassis and adds some stuff, including a mysterious motherboard which salespeople will not tell me anyting about (it's "propriatary knowledge"), and then M-tech then sells them.

Does anyone know anything else about these laptops? I'd love to know if the Prostar and M-tech computers are the same, and what exactly is the business relationship between the two. I'd also love to know why they are so secretive about their motherboards. Does anyone know who makes the mobos?

More about : makes tech laptops

December 7, 2011 7:50:30 PM

icthy said:
I have an M-tech laptop (D470K), which I love and can actually run linux on. But I find the whole process of who makes the computer quite confusing. Sales people at M-tech and Prostar (which has some sort of buisiness relationship with M-tech) are quite vague when I ask where the chasses comes from (apparently Clevo), and what exactly they are putting into it. I guess Prostar takes the Clevo chassis and adds some stuff, including a mysterious motherboard which salespeople will not tell me anyting about (it's "propriatary knowledge"), and then M-tech then sells them.

Does anyone know anything else about these laptops? I'd love to know if the Prostar and M-tech computers are the same, and what exactly is the business relationship between the two. I'd also love to know why they are so secretive about their motherboards. Does anyone know who makes the mobos?


I have been doing extensive research, and it looks like Clevo does one of three things when it comes to motherboards. (depending on the model). They either:

A: Build the mobo in-house (rare) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clevo
B: Use mobo built by Kapok (most), which is a factory in China http://www.clevo.com.tw/en/about/manufacturing_s.asp
C: Use very custom mobo's built by Intel (not as much anymore since the creation of the Kapok factory from what I can find)

So, it looks like your board is made by Karpok. It may be a Karpok Advent or Excel or AJP. You may be able to use some detection software (like cpuid or something) and determine exactly what it is.

Now before you go up in arms about Karpok being a no-name brand remember this: Clevo and Karpok produce many of the name brand components used in high end laptops today. They are just re-branded. For example, the iphone is made by Foxconn who you probably have never even heard of! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

Hope this helps!
July 3, 2012 2:32:42 AM

who actually makes the M-tech laptops?

I represent M-tech laptops, I want to first say we really appreciate you and all our long time long customers. M-Tech Laptops has been selling laptops since 1995.
M-Tech briefly try to assemble and support all its laptops. We quickly learned what other branded products had already learned. If you have a winning recipe for better bread, you don't have to own your own bread factory to have your bread made. You come up with the recipe, that’s what you do, and let the bakers make the bread according to your recipe. It is simply the most cost effective way. If the building, the trained employes, etc.. are already paid for and in place, let them do what they do and you do what you do. Don't re-invent the wheel. However, one should not assume that M-Tech Laptops is just another cookie cutter laptop brand.
Let me digress just a little, Yahoo periodically does reviews of major laptop brands, they ask owners of laptops one question after their third year of ownership. They pretty much just ask one question. Does your laptop still work? They found something alarming. It didn’t matter if you had a $500 Dell or $5000 Alienware, the laptops brands all had a 33% failure rate. What was interesting was that the average failure rate really was the average rate of failure. Normally averages are a tricky thing. As an example, 1 and 10 gives you the average of 5.5, even though 5.5 is as far from the two values as you can get. It was a revelation that backed up what M-Tech has been telling its customers all along. All laptops are made in the same factories and are made to the same quality so they can all be competitively priced with each other. They invest not in better laptops but in better marketing. Because they know that you will care more about what the advertising says than what 10,000 angry customers say. You know its true. M-Tech has thousands of happy customers, yet when you first heard of M-Tech through word of a long time satisfied customer, chances are you said “but I haven’t ever seen them advertise”. Well I digress, lets go back to the statistics that tell us most laptops are the basically the same. Does that mean if you want a better faster laptop you have no options? Fortunately no.
Now here is what M-Tech eventually decided to do that is different from the other laptop brands. Years ago, M-Tech was selling quite a few laptops. Every hour of every day was just spent processing customer orders. We were nothing but a retail outlet that sold only M-Tech Laptops. No real technology was taking place. We were in the very beginning reselling someone elses idea of a laptop. This was maybe ten to twelve years ago. So suffice to say the principles involved with M-Tech were not happy selling the same thing as everybody else, there was no feeling of personal satisfaction. Being able to say you sell discount laptops that are the same as every other laptop wasn't really cutting it. So we embarked on a plan to change the way our laptops were built and see if we couldn’t find a feasible way to increase their quality and their speed. Fortunately M-Tech had already been in business for over 5 years when we tried this new method. It was a good thing to because we would not have found any way to make it work if we had not had a half a decade long reputation. What we did was go to a couple of OEM manufacturers, the ones we knew that used Clevo based motherboards ( we feel that is the best quality ODM) and we asked them if we could pay them extra money. That got their attention, then we lost it again almost immediately. We said the extra money was to build our laptops separately and differently from all the other laptops they already were making. Almost all of them said "NO, the industry average is what we build and that is good enough, to build them to better standards would cost more, drive up the price and ultimately make the laptop unsellable. Have a nice day." Over and over we heard almost word for word the same thing.
 
Well for years M-Tech has had a great working relationship with Pro Star. We were with them back when Alienware Laptops were made right alongside of ours. (what, you thought Alienware was actually better than all other laptops? now you know it was exactly alike all others aside from its paint job) Back to Pro Star we went, again we asked them if we could pay more to have our laptops built to different our way.
 Things happened this time around
Step 1: Pro Star also told us the same thing again, almost. “Why cost yourselves extra money when the customer is already satisfied with the industry standard”. They said the same thing they said the first time, except this time they didn’t outright say “NO!” It was like that line in the movie Dumb and Dumber, “so your saying we have a chance?” That little crack was all we needed. They said if we wanted to try  it they would charge us the extra funds needed to build our laptops to our standards'. We were warned, "it won't be cheap". Pro Star is nothing if not honest. They were correct It wasn’t cheap, but still, we feel it was worth it. The extra money we pay goes into several areas. The first is the motherboards have to meet a certain level of performance quality. You see, if Clevo makes 100 motherboards, some of those will be super fast and last many years and on the other extreme you could have a lemon and of course you have variations in between ranging from awesome to awful. Up till now there was no way of knowing which one you would get. Would you luck out and get AWESOME or you could get a Lemon? So we paid extra to make sure that only the best of the best motherboard is used as the backbone of your new M-Tech Laptop. Once Built, M-Tech pays to have additional performance based testing added on to the laptop. For years this was one stress test, one burn in and three performance qualifying tests. (Far more than what is standard in this industry. The quality control testing is very time consuming and thus costly.) For our extra picky customers you could pay $100 extra and we would double the testing to two Stress tests, Two burn ins and six performance reviews. In any event, if the laptop didn't pass each test in the top percentile of all the laptops, then it was not going to be an M-Tech laptop and it sure enough wasn't going to be yours. Then in the last three years we negotiated a extra fee to have that second testing be added to all our laptops. No longer could you pay for the extra testing, it was now included. Our already low return rate dropped even lower. Our method worked.
 
Step 2: We still had work to do though. People could still buy the best laptop and not have the best laptop for the job. Think of it this way. You go to a Ferrari dealership and you buy a cute little sports car, and by gosh you own a Ferrari. But, did you bother to tell the car specialist there that you wanted something to pull your boat or maybe your camper? Now suddenly owing the best brand isn't enough, you need the best model for the job at hand. M-Tech has for a long time felt that too many people think of laptops as being generic devices and one size fits all. Far from being the truth, each model of M-Tech's laptops is there because it fills a specific job. Maybe you are a student, maybe a engineer, perhaps a doctor or lawyer . No way, no how, do you all need the same Best Buy laptop. One is okay with a run of the mill laptop, one needs a OpenGL video card, the other needs lot of cache and RAM. Now, if you’re a doctor, should you also be expected to know what specifications the laptop that is going to Run Dragon Naturally Speaking needs? Of course not, you’re a doctor that is what you do. Likewise, here at M-Tech, we have technical advisers. What they do is learn what each specific program you are running requires so as to give maximum potential, it can get complicated if you run two or more programs that have conflicting requirements. The chances of you buying the wrong M-Tech for the job is pretty high. So M-Tech added to it business model Technical Advisers who will learn your software needs and your personal usage requirements. We will help you choose the best model for the job and then we will direct you in how best to spec out that laptop.
 
Step 3: So years start to go buy and our reputation is growing as a source for quality laptops. That is why IBM, Ford, Lockheed, Grumman all use M-Tech for their high end laptops needs. They did the research and found that of all the laptops out there, M-Tech really does outperform other brands.  Still, there was a problem and we were somewhat at a loss as how to handle it.
M-Tech has the lowest failure rates because we set price aside and went with higher quality and tighter manufacturing standards. (for this we want to say thanks you to Pro Star fin doing this for us when no others would) However, laptop failure was not ZERO (never will be sadly). So, we asked Pro Star to not just fix the failures but report to M-Tech what the source of the failures was. (The idea being that if we could spot why the failures happened then maybe we could bump up that area of manufacturing quality control. What we found was disturbing. The failures (at least 80% of them) was not due to any fault of the process we have in place. In fact the parts that failed were not even the fault of the companies that made those parts. The problem was the end user, without meaning to, were shorting the life their laptops through unintentional misuse, more specifically lack of cleanliness. Nearly every laptop failure in the first to third year was  because of the extra heat generated by dust , dirt and small debris particle being sucked into the laptop cooling system and left their. This ruins the heating efficiency of the laptop and that heats ruins your Hard Drives, Video card and CPU.
M-Tech for years has placed every type of warning what would happen, encouragement on cleaning their own laptop daily and instructions on just how to do this.  Still, these were largely ignored. We found of course what you likely realized from the start. You don’t visit support pages until you need the help. Duh! why didn’t we realize that early on. So this led to the third and maybe most major of all steps that makes M-Tech the best laptop out there. We introduced the Three Phases of purchasing a laptop. Phase 1 and 2 you just read about. Phase 3 is when you call in after having received your laptop and installed all your programs. We take you by the hand (over the telephone or through remote desktop) and tweak your registry to make the best use of your RAM and drives. We setup power plans for you, teach you how to clean your laptop, then give you "the talk" about why that is so important By the time we are through (usually about one hour later) your laptop is running up to twice its original speed and tweaked specifically for the software you run and the way you use your laptop. You have also made your very own System Image so you can restore back to this condition as soon and as often as you wish (M-Tech recommends every 12 months you should restore to this image) But most importantly you know not just why you need to clean your laptop twice a week but you have actually already cleaned it once and so it will not be some mystery to you. This Phase Three is something we encourage all customers, past and present to call in for. I should say also that these steps did not happen all at once. In 17 years of business these steps happened because of needs we indentified then focused our attention on solving. IN fact today we have introduced several more areas to enhance the laptop and customers experience. However this was not about advertising our benefits. We are happy to fully explain every single way we are different by phone or email.

'what exactly is the business relationship between the two. I'd also love to know why they are so secretive about their motherboards. Does anyone know who makes the mobos'

So I told you this long story to tell you this short answer to your question. We are not secretive but we are trying to keep the focus on our name and our laptops and not push the focus onto Pro Star and Clevo. We don’t want you to assume that if our laptops are Clevo built by Pro Star then it is just like every other laptop built by pro Star. As I hope I have made clear, the truth is far different. Our lower failure rates and higher speeds are physical proof if nothing else maters to you. We want you to focus on our laptops not someone elses.


 
 

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July 3, 2012 9:25:01 PM

Wow. That was quite the answer. This was very informative and thought provoking, as you are 100% right in regards to failure rate, and what causes it. Even though I was explaining it to another, the timing could not have been more perfect, as I am in the market for a new laptop, and had completely forgotten about this thread. I do have one more question for you.

Do you have a link to factory direct sales? ( Like the new site btw)
http://www.mtechlaptops.com
New site (beta)- http://184.175.77.210/default.cfm
* Just wanted to make sure this is the site :) 

Do your laptops have Gorilla Glass 2.0?
Are you implementing Aluminum Casing?
Are you using carbon fiber?

Lastly, since you guys pride yourselves on cutting edge technology, I have an idea for you. Why not be the first laptop manufacturer to implement Graphene? Here are some interesting links on this new "super material"

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/79524
http://www.economist.com/node/21554503
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-04/new-graph...

Your story reminds me of another company in another industry. Vizio. They started off selling a buttload of "just ok" screens, but put all their revenue into R&D. Once they convinced a factory to start building to their spec's, things slowly but surely started to improve. Now in less than ten years, they have some of the highest quality screens, with the lowest failure rate. Quite the turn around. But you are correct. The OEM's dont want to change, and it takes throwing a bunch of $ at them to make that change. I can see that you guys have really stood behind your products, and continue to improve every year!

Keep up the good work!

Charlie
July 5, 2012 4:59:38 PM

Wow, what a coincidence. us replying just at the time you are back in the market. The address above is valid for shopping for a while longer. Very soon a new site (made by actual web professionals) will be up and running. It will be like all other major retail sites. Clean and boring. Totally lacking the messy character our original site positively reeked of. We will still maintain the original site for information and the new site will be for sales. Once people found out we were finally getting a better looking site, a bunch of tech oriented people bombarded us saying "oh no, you are getting rid of your old site? we love that site. It is like finding a flea market that specializes in just what you love" So, no we won't get rid of the site, we will have the other site for all shopping and for the more delicate presentation oriented shoppers :D 

The new URL (that still isn't ready) is www.M-Techlaptops.com The old one is still www.mtechlaptops.com. What a difference a - makes.

As for your other questions. Gorilla glass is a brand name and the technology exists by other standards. I will review just what their technology is and see about how it compares to what we use.
As for metal cases, we have tried them in the past and found it increased hard drive failures. Metal transmits vibrations more cleanly through the laptop chassis. These vibrations wreak havoc (that is twice in one post I have used reek, I could go for years and not use that word again, oh crud, spell check just told me reek should be wreak, now this doesn’t make any sense) on mechanical devices. Perhaps when the day comes that we use only SSD then the metal cases may reviewed again, until then most of our cases are Carbon Fiber

I will review all the links you provided and let others within the company know of this, if in fact they do not already know. Many times there are features coming up that we cannot tell you about because we have to sign non disclosure agreements that threaten us, our families and past relatives (apparently they have time travel figured out. I say the wrong thing then I just cease to
November 13, 2012 9:19:46 PM

I bought an M-Tech laptop back in '08 and have absolutely LOVED it. I try to take good care of it by cleaning it regularly and it has paid off, since it still runs like a champ. However, my one and only schtick with it is that it's so incredibly loud. Now, since it's a high-performance laptop that can still run any computer game on the market even today despite its age, I really shouldn't be surprised. However, since I'm in the market for a newer system, I was wondering if any of the cases for your newer models have designs similar to the Asus G75 series. My brother has this thing and it's incredibly quiet no matter what programs he's running. I've seriously been considering putting out the money for one like his, but if you guys have a laptop system with a quiet cooling system, I would buy one of yours again in a heartbeat.
a c 248 D Laptop
a b V Motherboard
November 14, 2012 12:37:18 AM

Hi :) 

I own a laptop repair company...

Most laptop parts are now made in China...

All the best Brett :) 
!