Great Quality ZX-5572

Last night, after shopping online for Dells all day, Mom and I went to Fry’s Electronics to buy a cheap no-name laptop (the brand name is “Great Quality” or just “GQ” and is only sold by Fry’s and their website, Outpost.com). It is actually pretty decent. It doesn’t have built-in wireless but she can get a USB thumbdrive type of adapter for $30 (on sale) if she ever needs it. The silver chassis looks great and is thin and lightweight. Because the notebook was so cheap ($500) already and was no-name I recommended she get a 3-year extended warranty for $130. So it was $670 for a 1.3 GHz Celeron 256 MB 40 GB notebook with a 15-inch screen and a CD-RW/DVD combo drive, including tax. The equivalent Dell was $783 and only had a 90-day warranty, but included an internal wireless card. When buying a cheap computer $100 is a lot of money. Plus Dell’s free printer used Dell cartridges you can only get from them and this free printer is a Canon (iP1600) so cartridges should be widely available.

There was still foam paper wrapped around the notebook, so even though the box had been opened, it looked like it was in mint condition and had never been started. It started up without any trouble, I got MS Office installed, transferred some files from their old computer with my thumb drive, and dialed in to the internet to start downloading Windows XP patches. That tested most everything on the computer and it all worked flawlessly.

The Fry’s store was actually pretty nice inside even though it was enormous. The salesmen were reasonably honest and readily available though they weren’t particularly knowledgable (they didn’t know about the newspaper ad and said USB wireless adapters weren’t available). They didn’t push extras too hard or try to upsize us to a more expensive computer. We had some trouble at checkout because they had given us the wrong free printer and had to go back and get the right one (about a mile walk, so it took a while). Their checkout process is horrible where the salesman has to write a quote and then the cashier rings it up. It took at least half an hour to check out. I found out later that all of this fits perfectly with Fry’s reputation. I found a great web page about how to shop at Fry’s and a Salon article about Fry’s as well. The first guy likens shopping at Fry’s to competing in an Olympic event.

Mom didn’t realize she could use the notebook as her primary PC at home. She just figured it would be good to take to Florida. But I told her she could hook up an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor if she wanted. Their desktop monitor is only 1 inch bigger than the screen on the notebook though (Mom measured it).

12 thoughts on “Great Quality ZX-5572

  1. I just took the plunge too. I was a little worried because it was impossible to get any information about this thing — there’s no URL beyond the useless fryssupport.net listed anywhere in the ENTIRE package, and no Great Quality web site. You can’t search on Great Quality and get much useful information, and “GQ” only yields magazine links.

    Then I searched for an additional battery, which was terrifically difficult. I eventually found one at http://www.mdsbattery.com/departments/department003.asp for a whopping $155.

    But the interesting thing is that this battery is also used for the WinBook X4, which is startlingly similar — like an OEM. This means that facts that apply to the Winbook are often relevant to this thing, which instantly makes it better-supported.

    The components are lesser (celeron instead of pentium m, etc.) and there’s no wireless card, but I found out from Winbook tech support that all you need is a Mini-PCI wireless card and you can mount it internally (no antennas to break!).

    –Mike Jennings

  2. Your blog was very helpful for me. I am looking for a battery for my GQ ZX 5530 and I was wondering what other laptop used the same housing. The Website you refer to was very useful.

  3. Mom noticed the plastic near the hinge was cracked (the hinge mounting underneath is probably coming apart, which also happened to my old Powerbook) and Jeb recommended returning the laptop to Fry’s. Because it was under extended warranty they agreed to take it back and replace the top half of the laptop which includes the screen and hinge.

    But when we got there they just decided to do a total replacement and gave her a refurbished ZX-5580 instead. It has roughly the same specs (Pentium M 1.6 GHz, 256 MB RAM, 40 GB hard drive) but has an internal wireless card. So it was an upgrade.

  4. yo tamgin tengo un “GQ” y se me ocurrio ponerle xp profecional en español que es mi lengua natal pero al terminare de instalarlo me quede sin sonido y no se donde bajar el sofware para poder instalarcelo me gustaria me dieran un poco de ayuda

  5. I tamgin have a “GQ” and me ocurrio to put to him xp profecional in Spanish who is my native language but to will finish installing it I has left without sound and not where to lower sofware to be able instalarcelo gustaria me they gave a little me aid

    (Didn’t help much… -j)

  6. I found out that many GQ laptops are made by the Elite Group (ECS) so the GQ ZX-5572 is the same as the ECS model 557. However for the ZX-5580 there is no ECS 558.

    The 5580 has an empty slot on the bottom that seems to take PC2700 200-pin DDR SODIMM memory. DDR2 memory sounds similar but supposedly won’t work. Fry’s had a 1 GB Kingston chip last Friday for $43 after rebate. I don’t know for sure it would work. This place wants $73.

  7. I picked up 1 GB of PC2700 memory made by Crucial at Fry’s for $46 after a $20 rebate and installed that on the empty slot on the bottom of the laptop. Once the computer booted up it recognized 1.2 GB of memory. So Mom went from 256 MB of memory to 1280 MB. It was nice that there was an easily accessible empty slot available. I don’t know where the other slot is, but probably under the keyboard.

  8. It is an in-house Fry’s brand (I don’t think they sell them anymore) so Fry’s might fix it. But probably most computer repair places could take a look at it. It might be hard for them to find some of the parts, but other parts are probably pretty generic.

  9. I bought a GQ Zx-5580 in fry’s and in 5 months had to take it for repair I have a year extended guaranty on it

    They gave me a loaner, after 2 months went to pick it up was with me for less than a month took it to fry’s they gave me a loaner again 3 months they called me went to get it had it with me for a week took it back gave me a loaner again this time was like 1 month when they call me to pick it up had it for a wile took it to the store for repair a month later went to pick it up this time I try it in the store did not work so I was going to live it in they told me the warranty expire that for the good of him he was going to fix it but I will not get a loaner that is when I realize what was happening and I question too many times been in the shop I was told the day I bought it that 3 times repair and you get a new one, this time this guy tells me that the 3 times repair has to be the same thing and they had to replace the mother board only 2 times when I had it back still did not work so after that I decided to open the computer an fix it my self I will never buy the extended warranty at fry’s I feel they rip me off they kept me quiet with the loaner because I did not think that extended warranty was going to expire I will not buy a off brand computer with this guys maybe not a computer any more.

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